Covent Garden At Its Best!
LIMA Floral is ‘the little sister’ of the Michelin star restaurant Lima, the brain child of Virgilio Martinez. This award winning chef and chef patron of Central in Lima, Peru, which is ranked #15 of the list of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World and also ranked #4 of the 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 already is proving a huge success looking at the packed restaurant, which is spread over 2 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 a main restaurant, which seats 60 guest, 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 reviews, that you don’t know anymore where to go. The best advice are recommendations from people you know as dining experiences are very personal.
” Lima! Your kinda thing according 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’m a keen lover of light food. The use of spices is very important for me too. I love complex flavours. Although Peruvian cuisine isn’t incredible hot and even might be seen by some people as bland, the complexity of the flavours is amazing. 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 wonderful cocktails we spotted a very 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 hang over 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 2 variations; one without fish so vegetarian and one with fish.
I always thought ceviche was a French dish, but it actually was introduced by the Moorish women from Granada into South America when they travelled down 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 other 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 Monk fish served in stock and to finish coffee ice cream and an amazing dessert with Dulce de Leche with beetroot and chillies. Their food is perfect for sharing too. The atmosphere is very relaxed, more like cafe style. Lima Floral is definitely a place we will go back to and not just for their food. Their cocktails are absolutely amazing. Cocktails instead of wine wouldn’t be something I normally would consider, but here I would seriously consider it as an option. If you like ‘Sours’, then you must try the passion fruit one. It’s creamy and has a nice tang. Simply devine!
Keen to find out how to make ‘the perfect tiger milk? Check out this debate of Peruvian chefs!
If you like a great and unusual place for a cocktail before dinner; check out Dub Jam.