Casita Andina

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  • Casita Andina
  • Casita Andina
  • Casita Andina
  • Casita Andina
  • Casita Andina
  • Casita Andina
  • Casita Andina
  • Casita Andina
  • Casita Andina

Contact Info

Address: 31 Great Windmill Street (Map)
Neighborhood: Soho
Cuisine: Peruvian, Tapas
Website: andinalondon.com
Phone: (020) 3327 9464
Price: £££

NoBread Facts

Gluten Free Menu: Yes

Cross Contamination: No

Malted Rice: N/A

Gluten Free Pasta: N/A

Gluten Free Bread: N/A

Gluten Free Taco Shells: N/A

So here's what we think...

The most recent venture from the man behind the much-lauded Ceviche restaurant trio, Martin Morales, has introduced Casita Andina to London, which aims to offer diners a true taste of Peruvian cuisine and culture. The restaurant’s name (Casita means ‘little house’) and its menu is inspired by his grandmother’s cooking from her home in the heart of the Andes, while the vibrant décor scattered across three quaint floors transports diners even further in to the heart of traditional Latin America. This, along with a welcomingly extensive selection of gluten-free dishes, all sounded incredibly positive – but is it worthy of the same high praise its sister eateries have so greatly enjoyed? I went along to find out…

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It’s not often that someone with coeliac dietary needs can walk into a restaurant and truly say they are spoilt for choice. However, thanks to the fact that a large proportion of Peruvian food is naturally gluten-free, this is definitely the case at Casita Andina. The fare served in this charmingly authentic eatery is presented in smaller, tapas style dishes – an extra plus, as it allows you to enjoy even more of what’s on offer. Wave goodbye to any cross contamination fears too, as the staff assured me this is something they are very aware of, and are careful to use different oils and preparation methods to ensure this doesn’t occur.

I’m a sucker for anything battered, so to kick-off I tucked into melt-in-the-mouth Aubergine Jalea – tempura battered aubergine fries – which were enhanced by a sticky sweet honey and pomegranate dressing. I’d never heard of Chilaso, but these tempura battered chilli’s stuffed with bacon and hot, melted cheese were off-the-scale delectable, and not at all too spicy for more sensitive stomachs. You can’t eat at a Peruvian restaurant and not have Ceviche, and Casita’s seabass variety is an example of this classic Latin dish done right – wonderfully fresh chunks of fish bursting with a pungent zingy, citrus flavour. Meanwhile, the Puka Pikante is one of the most stunning dishes I’ve ever seen, with earthy Heritage potatoes doused in a creamy, beetroot sauce of rich, swirling, pink tones. In contrast, the Burnt Salad – of orange slices, quinoa, watercress and a thyme yoghurt – was rather simple; but its pure and complementary flavours made no less of an impression. Last but not least, both the dessert options sounded intriguing – a flan made of quinoa or a purple corn cake – and the latter was an unexpected but delightful surprise. The steamed, thin cake layer was dense but moist and the contrasting sweet physalis jam slathered across the top was unbelievably moreish.
Plates are brought to your table as they’re ready rather than all at once, so I enjoyed a steady flow of wonderfully varied ingredients, tastes and colours, all looking (almost) too good to eat. Every dish I tried was fresh and light (even the battered ones), and offered something different to the others. It may be little by name, but Casita Andina is headed for the big time – it truly is a foodie’s paradise that I cannot wait to return to.