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Combining a taste of the Andes with a predominantly gluten-free menu, this well-judged, vivacious restaurant is the latest offering from Peruvian champion Martin Morales (of Ceviche fame). The steep staircase and close quarters might suggest a house party, with bright accessories providing flashes of colour, though the neutral walls and furnishings help ease any claustrophobia. If the idea of gluten-free doesn’t inspire you, rest assured that flavour isn’t sacrificed. The menu is packed with intriguing and delicious-sounding possibilities, from chilli-marinated cauliflower to lamb’s sweetbreads with dark beer sauce, but don’t miss the mildly spiced black pudding on quinoa toast or chilli-pressed watermelon and black quinoa salad – an addictive balance of fruit juice and chocolatey accents. Well-trained staff can navigate you through these honestly priced small plates, although the Peruvian chocolate ball is a must-order finale, filled with elderberry gel and scattered with puffed chocolate rice. To drink, we reckon exemplary Pisco Sours are preferable to the more experimental cocktails.
When I heard Martin Morales, the man who kickstarted the Peruvian food revolution in London, opened another Peruvian gem called Casita Andina in Soho, I knew I had to go. Martin is the brains behind Ceviche restaurants as well as the Michelin-recommended Andina in Shoreditch.Casita Andina is inpsired by ‘picanterias’ or traditional family-run restaurants usually found in the old homes of Andes locals. The cooking here is a homage to Cusco cuisine in the Andes and aims to celebrate fresh, nutritious Peruvian ingredients paired with sustainable British produce. The menu is a gold mine for gluten-free eating, so...
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Signature Recipe by Casita Andina - Trout Tiradito - Serves 1
80g trout fillet
40ml amarillo tiger’s milk (See below)
3 nasturtium leaves
2g amaranth seeds
15g purple (heritage) potatoes, boiled and mashed
15g trout roe
For the amarillo tiger’s milk
A small piece of fresh ginger, cut in half
1 garlic clove, cut in half
4 sprigs of coriander
Juice of 4 limes
1⁄4 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of PK Peruvian Kitchen Amarillo Chilli Sauce
For the tiger’s milk, add the fresh ginger, garlic, coriander and lime juice into a bowl. Stir then leave to infuse for five minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve. Add the salt and the chilli paste, mix thoroughly and taste to ensure the balance of flavours are correct. Set aside.
Boil the potatoes and mash into a smooth purée and leave to cool. Shape the mashed potato into a cylinder shape and cut into discs.
Prepare the amaranth seeds in a hot pan and heat until they open.
Place the trout fillets and potato discs on a serving plate. Place the trout roe on the potato. Pour the tiger’s milk generously on the dish and sprinkle the amaranth seeds. Garnish with the nasturtium leaves and serve immediately.
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