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|Address:||31 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JH|
|Tel:||020 7768 0267|
|Price: £52.00||Wine: £19.00||Champagne: £52.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 5.30-10.30pm|
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Our first visit on a busy Saturday lunchtime today, and we both ate from the a la carte menu to get a view of the restaurant's style and quality over a range of dishes. The restaurant itself is nothing special at all- casual, fairly cramped, fairly spartan, not very large. A quick look at the place without any sight of food would tell you that it could house anything from a Cafe Rouge on up. Customers and staff are very casual in appearance, but not , we found , in attitude , and enjoyed explaining the dishes which first time visitors are not going to fully understand from the ingredients .
Between us we had three starters, two mains and a dessert. Nothing was less than good, and my wife would place her asparagus starter , and I'd put my hot ceviche main course, better than that. The dishes tend to be complex. with lots of ingredients, and most of these you can taste quite distinctly. There seems a tendency towards sour/citrus flavours , and a lot of fish/vegetarian dishes. All told we got the impression of dishes conceived with considerable care and similarly executed. Portion sizes are not large and that alone (rather than food quality) produced a slight feeling that value was not quite what we'd have liked, but our overwhelming impression was strongly positive. Our bill for two with 3 courses wine and coffee came to £114. I should mention that the bread was very good indeed.
We enjoyed the least expensive white from a medium-sized list and this was a very satisfactory sauvignon-based Cotes de Gascogne with enough acidity to cope with the food.
We do eat out a lot, and its always good to find somewhere new that is both excitingly different and reassuringly competent, and Lima is both. If your impression of Latin American food is created by Mexican , please accept that this is very different and much superior. Just how good was a pleasant surprise and we'll certainly be back.