Restuaurant review: Lima Floral, Covent Garden, WC2

Lima's interior is a sleek blue bistro

Lima's interior is a sleek blue bistro - Credit: Archant

Peruvian food has graduated from an on-trend, culinary flash in the pan a couple of summers ago to now being a mainstay of the capital’s food scene.

Zingy Sea bream ceviche with cream avacado

Zingy Sea bream ceviche with cream avacado - Credit: Archant

The latest venture to bring a taste of the Andes to our shores is Lima Floral in Convent Garden, the second London establishment from Peruvian uber-chef Virgilio Martinez.

It’s a smart, sexy, sky blue bistro right in the heart of theatreland and dispenses with the tapas-like aesthetic of some other ceviche joints, opting for three-course approach.

With a specialist pisco bar downstairs, the classic Peruvian cocktails comes in all shapes and sizes: sour, passion fruit, even chilli varieties all got our taste buds in good order before the food.

Despite sourcing a lot of ingredients from the UK, there are things in here you will never of heard of: bright blue and purple potatoes, rocoto chillis, red shizo and the like.

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As someone who has tried their hand at making ceviche, I appreciate how hard it is to get the balance right.

Our sea bream starter showed why it is best left to the experts; ice cold fresh fish with zingy tiger’s milk just the right side of spicy, mixed with creamy avocado – a free-for-all of colour, texture and flavour. In comparison, the tuna carpaccio was a little moribund, but still consisted of tender and well seasoned raw fish, with yellow spuds and crudo (otherwise known as raw) vegetable roots.

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Also on the dull side was the grilled monkfish – a lovely piece, but from a country that prides itself on zesty, invigorating fish dishes, the broth lacked excitement.

But all was forgiven by the time we’d finished the wonderfully rare sliced beef sudado, which came swimming in a rich quinoa and coriander-based sauce that just begged for a dipping.

We were also very surprised by the dessert, which is not something Peru is famous for.

But the incredibly deep, indulgent Peruvian cocoa chocolate, and the chilli and beetroot infused suspiro ardiente were both fantastic.

All-in-all, bar a couple of minor disappointments, Lima Floral is another cracking addition to London’s ever-growing Andean outlets.

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