Covent Garden at its best!
LIMA Floral is ‘the little sister’ of the Michelin-star restaurant Lima, the brainchild of Virgilio Martinez. This award-winning chef and chef-patron of Central in Lima, Peru, is ranked #15 on the list of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World and also ranked #4 of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. LIMA Floral opened its doors on the 23rd of July, 2014. With just a bit more than a month open, it is already proving a huge success looking at the packed restaurant, which is spread over two floors. LIMA Floral gives you a taste of the diversity in Peru, mixed with the latest findings from Virgilio’s Central restaurant in Peru.
LIMA Floral has, besides the main restaurant, which seats 60 guests, a ‘piqueos bar’ too. Here it is all about cocktails and finger food, delicious food meant for sharing. There is an extensive list of cocktails based on Pisco infusions with Amazonian fruits, Andean herbs, and local UK products, too small piqueos dishes, best described as Peruvian tapas.
14 Garrick St.
What’s hot in London? I asked a friend. These days there are so many blogs and review sites that you don’t know anymore where to go as can you trust the opinion of the reviewer? The best advice is recommendations from people you know, as dining experiences are very personal.
” Lima! Your kinda thing, according to this London connoisseur of restaurants. It’s Peruvian, has a Michelin star and recently opened a second restaurant too.” As their Michelin-starred restaurant LIMA Fitzrovia was a bit of a trek from where we were staying, I opted for LIMA Floral in Covent Garden. Good choice. We loved it!
Since my time in Cape Town, I’ve been a lover of light food. The use of spices is essential for me. I love complex flavours. Although Peruvian cuisine isn’t incredibly hot and even might be seen by some people as bland, the complexity of the flavours is fantastic. Of course, if properly prepared. As with Indian cuisine, it’s not about the hot spices but about the warming subtle heat. It should have a kick and not burn your throat out.
Whilst sipping on excellent cocktails, we spotted an interesting ingredient, ‘Leche de Tigre’ or tiger milk. Nothing to do with tigers, though. A bit bizarre it was ever given that name. It’s the marinade used for their famous ceviche/cebiche. They also serve it as a drink to accompany the ceviche or as a hangover cure. Peruvian chefs all have their ‘secret recipe’, but it will always consist of lime juice, chillies, sliced onions, salt and pepper. Some ad fish or fish stock to enhance the flavour. LIMA Floral uses two variations; one without fish, so vegetarian and one with fish.
I always thought ceviche was a French dish, but it was introduced by the Moorish women from Granada into South America when they travelled with the Spanish explorers. In Peru, it now has become part of their heritage and is made with Sea bass. In other South American countries, they use different types of fish too.
We had a stunning meal. We had a starter of sliced beef and one Ceviche. As main courses, we both had Monkfish served in stock, and to finish, coffee ice cream and a fantastic dessert with Dulce de Leche with beetroot and chillies. Their food is perfect for sharing too. The atmosphere is very relaxed, more like a cafe style. Lima Floral is definitely a place we will return to, not just for its food. Their cocktails are absolutely amazing. Cocktails instead of wine wouldn’t be something I usually would consider, but here I would seriously consider it as an option. If you like ‘Sours’, you must try the passion fruit. It’s creamy and has a nice tangy flavour. It’s simply divine!
Keen to find out how to make ‘the perfect tiger milk? Check out this debate of Peruvian chefs!