It is time to treat all of your senses to a feast. Reserve a table at LIMA for brunch and experience an intricate burst of colours, flavours and aromas native to Peru, in the classy yet accessible Fitzrovia space. Lima whips up Michelin-star dishes that are intrinsically healthy, gluten-free and affordable. This gem is not to be missed…
The dishes envisioned by Head Chefs Robert Ortiz and Virgilio Martinez are edible art forms, so delicate you don’t want to disrupt, but so tempting it’s difficult to take pictures before digging in. The three-course brunch menu includes three starters to share, followed by a main with two sides and a dessert. This sounds like a lot for brunch, but the portions are sized perfectly so you don’t waddle out or even have to unbutton your pants.
We started the only way we knew how on a Sunday morning: with a bloody mary. LIMA does a twist on the classic called the “Sangriento,” made from aji-infused pisco that brings you back to life after a Saturday night. Once we were hydrated, the starters arrived. The “asparagus causa” resembled an artist’s palate with long strokes of asparagus shavings, little mounds of pink and purple potato purees, splashes of tiger’s milk and luscious deep red, green and yellow tree tomatoes – a vegetarian delight sure to appeal to all diners. The mixed ceviche of fresh tuna, octopus and seabream was our personal favourite, marinated in just enough lime with large pieces of cusco corn and traditional tiger’s milk – a dish that I honestly could eat every day.
For the main show, you can choose between the hake plancha and a gluten-free take on the lamb seco. Order one and make sure your plus one orders the other – you will not be disappointed! Being a fish lover, I chose the hake which was perfectly grilled and mounted on a bed of cusco corn puree, a dish with the consistency of grits with the flavour of creamy corn, and garnished with sprinkles of pink quinoa – because why not?
On the other side of the table, steamed pumpkin puree elevated slowly braised lamb dressed in a dark green cilantro sauce. A beautiful contrast of texture and taste, both dishes quickly ended up in the middle of the table to share. Also to share was a light baby gem lettuce cup with figs and crushed nutmeg and steamed broccoli served in a light apple vinegar dressing – seemingly effortless and unexpectedly delicious.
Dessert did not last long enough. Four gluten-free Argentinian alfajores, or dulce de leche cookie sandwiches, were served in a stunning sea blue glass oyster shell around a scoop of dulce de leche ice cream. A staple in Argentina, and soon to be a staple in my kitchen!
We know weekend mornings can be tough to get moving, but LIMA’s contemporary brunch is not to be missed. And for those of you in the mood to celebrate, why not have bottomless, free-flowing prosecco? Bring the Peruvian fiesta to London.