Lots of Peruvian-related restaurant news this week as Martin Morales’s (Ceviche, Andina) latest venture Casita Andina launches in Soho on 28 July, and Chicama (from the folks behind Marylebone’s Pachamama) arrives in Chelsea. If you hurry there’s a 50% off food soft launch at Chicama until Sunday 31 July. As 28 July also marks Peruvian Independence Day we thought we would bring you a list of the capital’s best places to find sensational ceviche and perfect Pisco cocktails…
Harden’s survey toppers
“Intriguing” Peruvian fare – in particular “fantastic ceviche” washed down with “wonderful” Pisco Sours – still wins praise for this atmospheric Soho South American, whose “bustling” new EC1 sibling is also off to a good start; “pushy” service and “noisy” conditions can grate though.
“Not only is the atmosphere buzzing” – the “fabulous ceviche packs a punch”, as do the other “fresh and delicate” dishes, at this trendy Shoreditch Peruvian yearling.
“Taste bud-reviving” Peruvian dishes (with “outstanding ceviches” and “delicious” Pisco sours) win ongoing acclaim for this Fitzrovia yearling (which recently added a Covent Garden offshoot); service can be “inefficient”, though, and the interior is “cramped and noisy”. Currently closed for a refurb, it will reopen in September.
“Sexy and dark” Peruvian haunt in Mayfair extolled by fans for its “incredibly buzzy” (ie “very noisy”) vibe, and its “zingy” fare (not least “wonderful ceviche”); it’s arguably “too expensive” though, and to some reporters the whole set-up is “just the wrong side of euro-trashy”.
“Intriguing sharing plates inspired by Peru”, all “washed down with good Pisco cocktails” win a big thumbs-up for this Marylebone yearling; on the downside, its basement setting is “soulless”, and “the acoustics are terrible”.
“Funky”, new Peruvian pop-up-turned-permanent in Soho’s growing Kingly Court; fans extol its “exquisite ceviche”, but “creeping” prices spoil the fun for sceptics for whom it’s now too “mainstream” and “unremarkable”; still “great frozen Pisco sours”.
New kids on the block
Martin Morales (the restaurateur behind Ceviche Soho and Old Street and Shoreditch’s Andina) launches a fourth Peruvian restaurant in London. It is inspired by Peru’s ‘picanterias’ – family run, traditional restaurants – serving traditional Andean dishes and snacks. The venue will incorporate a pisco bar, ceviche counter, dining room and patio.
From the team behind Marylebone’s “intriguing” sharing plates spot Pachamama, a new Peruvian seafood restaurant on Chelsea’s King’s Road. Chef Erren Nathaniel (who has worked at Viajante, as well as Maido in Peru) heads up the kitchen. As well as a 72-cover dining room there’s a 16-seater chef’s table in the kitchen and 30-cover terrace.
Fast casual Peruvian street food spot named after the popular Peruvian street snack Butifarra (a bread roll with slow-cooked meat and salsa), serving authentic sandwiches and ceviche alongside ‘Cevushi’ – a ceviche-sushi hybrid.
New Japanese-Peruvian fusion outlet that’s dropped anchor in St Katharine Docks, with backing from the owners of Spanish tapas joint Bravas; survey feedback was limited (hence no rating), but encouraging.
Another Japanese-South American fusion hang-out, this time in Clapham; it opened too late for our survey, but apparently marries the ‘vibrancy of Miami and the eclecticism of Venice Beach’.
Sushisamba EC2 (WC2 coming soon)
“You can’t argue with the view from the 39th floor!”; this dazzling City eyrie combines “amazing vistas and outside spaces” with “heavenly” Japanese/South American fusion fare – “incredibly fresh, zingy flavours, blended with panache”. And yet… for some reporters “everything is slick, it looks brilliant, but it lacks heart and soul”, not helped by the merciless prices. And look out for a second outpost, set to arrive in Covent Garden in early-2017 on the lovely former site of Brasserie Blanc in the historic market.