In the past few months I’ve had more plates of ceviche than I have Sunday roasts. Which either says that Peruvian eateries are multiplying like Incan rabbits in our great city or that I’ve sold out as a former staunch supporter of meat with gravy. It’s not the second.
So here I am at Lima Floral hitting my raw fish quota, along with a whole host of gastronomic delights on their new brunch menu. There’s two set menu options to choose from, both feasts in their own right and well worth the dollar.
If you get here before half 12 and can’t face the fish, you’re best off going for the Andean breakfast (£18) which offers some choice comfort eats like quinoa porridge and egg frittata. I’d pick the long lunch option (£30) every time though – each dish that comes out is as beautiful and inviting as it is delicious. And before you start thinking that’s code for ‘pretty food, small portions’ think again – for your flat fee you get a shitload of grub.
On the drinks front, smoothies are inventive and taste fantastic; my ‘Peru’ added avocado to coconut milk, banana, agave & lemon and was literally bursting with flavour. Also loving the presentation – I think someone could serve me White Ace in a mini milk bottle and I’d still find it charming. I hadn’t been out the night before but H was sufficiently hanging to be perked up by a shot of tiger’s milk (lime juice ceviche marinade). If you’re hellbent on punishing your body after a heavy night then you can get 4 glasses of prosecco for a tenner too. No unlimited option unfortunately kids.
Starters steal the show. Sea bream ceviche is chunky but succulent, topped with crunchy choclo corn and sweet potato crisps (I refuse to call them chips).
Lima’s huancaina beef is my new reason for being a carnivore – it would cure vegetarians everywhere. I keep looking at this photo and can’t help touching myself a little.
Sumptuous pink slices of tuna come lathered in a rocoto chili pepper sauce with more of our friend, the sweet potato crisp. It’s between this and the Mr Miyagi from Senor Ceviche as the London tiradito champion.
Steamed dumplings are an unnecessary fourth child. They’re tasty enough but aren’t anywhere in the same league as the other starters.
It was always a difficult act to follow but the mains didn’t hit the same highs. Both our stew choices were winter warmers for a cold dark December, not springtime lunch affairs. That’s not to say they weren’t very nice – just out of place. Beef lomo was a hearty bowl of meat and veg with a playful Asian streak, whilst the hot and sour hake sudado warmed the cockles with its tangy broth. ‘Eco-dried potatoes’ (I didn’t ask), quinoa and steamed veg were of a similar heavy ilk. That said, the kale was insanely crispy and worth the thirty quid on its own.
Throw in some coffee ice cream, mini meringues and little alfajores fitties filled with dulche de leche, and you’ll find space in your belly you didn’t even realise you had.
The genius about lunching at Lima Floral is that, despite feeling fit to burst, it’s all pretty healthy. No need to beat yourself over the head with the Hemsley sisters’ cookbook, self-medicating cauliflower rice for the next week for eating a month’s salt content in one sitting. It’d be value for money if you stopped at the second-to-none starters, which scream out with bold flavours, bright colours and stunning presentation. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to my huancaina photos…
14 Garrick St, WC2E 9BJ