Informality is a growing trend in restaurants and it’s not gone unnoticed by LIMA Floral who as a result has introduced a fun, sharing menu combining the Peruvian market-inspired food – the innovative yet accessible menu is available at lunch in the main dining room.
We went down to sample the yunza box, which is an absolute must. Designed to share between two, nine wonderfully tasty dishes selected by the chef are presented in a frame of sorts or specifically a wooden box of windows – based on a Peruvian tradition of gifting.
The dishes selected range from the freshest ‘ceviches’, delicately sliced fish ‘tiraditos’ topped with Peruvian superfood ingredients, marinated meat and fish skewer ‘anticuchos’, to snacks and desserts making this a diverse yet thoroughly enjoyable lunch option.
We sampled a number of these standout dishes starting with Plantain Crisps with Peruvian Salsa. The Mixed Ceviche of sea bream and prawn in a traditional tiger’s milk (sorta soup) was delicious, fresh Cobia Tiradito, chucky pieces of cob fish, red kiwicha, blacksquid ink, divine, Anticucho artichoke hearts with beetroot, huancaina sauce, wilted greens, scrumptious King prawns marinated in yellow chilli, seaweed, yuca root crisps, cusco corn, Tempura prawns, Squid marinated in rocoto pepper, coriander, red onion, chilli mayonaise and a steak tartare of sorts. There was also a heavenly hot beef escabeche, which was our favourite of the selection, slow cooked beef with mild chillies, garlic, red onions on a bed of potatoes. We also learn from our knowledgeable host Samson that these potatoes are grown 4000m in the Andean mountains and naturally dehydrated before the land on our plate to create this yummy dish.
The vibrancy of the menu we’re told is drawn from the Peruvian market but also inspired by Head Chef Robert Ortiz’s experience of sharing food from his childhood on the edge of the Amazon. He comments, “When I was 17, we would gather as a very large group of something like 36 cousins plus all extended family. Out of necessity – and a bit of family competition – our table was filled will many dishes and it was a big excitement to try so many things at one meal. I see customers wanting a break from a formulaic three-course meal looking to enjoy a lunch out where they can have a new experience in every mouthful.”
The naturally healthy nature of Peruvian cuisine, means the menu is well suited to the nutrition conscious and captures the colours, flavours and spirit of the Peruvian market in London’s own Covent Garden. We loved the variety of dishes and flavours and left satisfied and pretty healthy minus the prosecco we consumed, oh and a lethal Peruvian Pickleback (shot of Pisco with a side of Tiger’s Milk) which sent us on our merry way!
LIMA Floral’s new market food menu is available weekdays from 12 to 3PM in the main restaurant and a shortened version in the bar.