Scores: 1 M*/ 2 GFG / Z 23/ H 2
There are definite foods fads in London, as well as other major cities, for example at the moment gua bao (see review of Flesh and Buns) is one of the ones around at the moment. Last year a theme seemed to be Latin American (Peruvian in particular); Lima was the most upmarket of the Peruvian launches and opened to good reviews. It was recently awarded a Michelin star (see rant here); I enjoyed my first visit but was keen to try it again.
The restaurant was busy but not packed fairly early on a Saturday night, this differed from the last time I was here soon after it had opened when it was so full that we ended up eating in the bar downstairs as we did not want to wait longer for an upstairs table. The room is fairly small but does not feel too restrictive.
The service here was good; our waiter had a detailed knowledge of the menu and was keen to tell us his favourites. Sea bream ceviche (£10) consisted of good sized bits of fish in a classic tiger´s milk with red onion and Cancha corn. The fish was good quality and the tiger’s milk was very well balanced, the corn added some crunchy texture to the dish. This was a very good ceviche but I have had better. Salmon tiradito (£9) had some tasty sashimi style pieces of salmon in a lime and yellow ají pepper sauce with some samphire. The tiraditio sauce here was very good, a perfect balance of spicy, sweet and sour. I could eat a lot of this dish.
A main of Halibit “chalaca” (£20) with Andean giant corn, yellow ají pepper, avocado oil and muña mint was a pretty good dish overall. Here the fish was very tasty; meaty and buttery- it was served as three chucks. If I was being critical both the meat and skin of one of these pieces was overdone, the other two were well cooked. The side of corn was served as a sort of fritter, cooked on the outside and soft on the middle, this had a nice slightly nutty flavour. Although most of it was cooked well the bottom was burnt so it was very black. Overall the flavours of this dish were good but I thought the avocado got lost.
A special of venison medallions came as four large perfectly cooked slices. More corn came with this dish, this time a coarse purée form along with some potato. This should have been a great dish but it was lacking something, I think to start with it was a touch under seasoned but also the sauce did not quite have enough flavour to stand up to the depth of favour in the meat. The black quinoa topping did add some texture but not a lot of taste.
Lima is a very good restaurant, in fact IMO it is probably the restaurant with the best South American food in London; however, it still needs to improve. On this occasion on top of some minor flaws in the dishes there were also a couple of very basic mistakes- this is unfortunate!