Lima 22

31 Rathbone Place , London, W1T 1JH

020 3002 2640

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  • Lima restaurant dining eating out London 2016
  • Lima restaurant dining eating out London 2016
  • Lima restaurant dining eating out London 2016
  • Lima restaurant dining eating out London 2016
  • Lima restaurant dining eating out London 2016

SquareMeal Review of Lima

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016Forget the hot barometer of Peruvian food, Michelin-starred Lima is one of the few restaurants in London making the unfamiliar utterly delicious. Start with an easy-drinking Pisco Sour plus some puffy pumpkin seed bread, but defer further choice to staff who know the baffling menu inside out. From crisp octopus tentacles on polenta-like maize and olive purée (a riot of purple) to blood-red potatoes set against sour, yellow dressing and artichokes, every dish is a picture in vibrant Technicolor. Elsewhere, sweet potato melded into corn purée is a veggie spin on ceviche, while the real thing is spiky, silky perfection involving dense-fleshed chunks of sea bass. Pressed suckling pig is a standout main (especially with a side of creamy sun-dried potato), while avocado cream and chocolate mousse is a knockout dessert. With its neat, grey-on-grey room recently revamped and extended, Lima is now a true destination – a “fun place with a fun atmosphere”.

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7.9

Food & Drink: 8.2

Service: 8.0

Atmosphere: 7.9

Value: 6.7

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Timothy P. silver reviewer 02 May 2017

We ate before going to the theatre so arrived at an almost empty place at 5.40pm on a Saturday. A good-sized and reasonably priced glass of prosecco later, we started with a special - a scallop topped with abalone in a hot sauce; only one though so we ordered two. My main was slow-cooked crispy suckling pig belly and it looked and tasted delicious, on its celeriac base. My wife ordered roast duck breast on green rice - which was stringy and inedible. I got the manager Patrizio over who quietly removed the dish ( as he did for the neighbouring table too), and he removed the charge too; he also removed the service charge. We had no replacement, by choice, and no pudding either, but it still came out relatively expensive; mains are £24-30 each; but we did have a glass of the chef's carrot soup as a taster. So that's all right then. Wines can be obtained by carafe, which is always a good idea.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Sehar M. bronze reviewer 03 November 2015

Lovely atmosphere especially for brunch due to the skylight in the back room. Food was very impressive looking in terms of presentation, however slightly overpriced as have had more authentic Peruvian food else where. Fun place, fun atmosphere - will come back again.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Paul L. 18 December 2014

The food was very tasty, innovative and interesting and there was a lively buzzy atmosphere, only one table was free for lunch. However, we went for the fixed menu and the portion sizes were miniscule, shame about that as it rather tainted an otherwise very enjoyable experience.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Aran s. 20 December 2013

Ceviche, braised octopus, scallops… .every dish is carefully presented and introduced by friendly staff. I have been several times and I am never siappointed.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Aran s. 29 November 2013

great ceviche grilled octopus excellent dishes and the staff are very friendly and explain everything in detail

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Cullinary Kate silver reviewer 21 August 2013

For a revolutionary food experience Londoners should be flocking here. This place embodies all the ideas of an amazing restaurant, trendy South American food in a great location, stylish interior and an upmarket experience of Peruvian fare but my main critique from my personal experience is the service. For people who are not experienced in Peruvian food language the menu is a little hard to decipher which does add to the intrigue but when I asked our server he didn’t seem to know much about what the dishes encompassed either and the waitress who came over was as solemn faced as they come. I could see this was not the same for all tables though as the table next to us seemed to be enjoying the Carlsberg of waiters. He was joking with them, explaining the dishes and giving helpful recommendations. Foodwise, I was blown away. It is really exciting to find somewhere with new, delicious flavours and textures and every dish is bursting with both. Seabream Ceviche was wonderfully delicate, Scallop Tiradito was superbly spicy and Suckling Pig was succulent, juicy and flavourful. Be aware the portions are small but they can be forgiven because they have mass loads of quality over quantity here. I did end up having to order two more starters after the main as I was still quite hungry (the perfect excuse to try the incredible raw tuna), then topped it off with the richest looking dessert to fill me up a bit further (well who wouldn’t). Unfortunately they don’t offer side dishes here and in my opinion they are desperately needed. As much as I enjoy the haute cuisine culture, dinners shouldn’t go home feeling empty. Regardless I am a complete sucker for food this marvellous and it would take a lot for me to not go back and try every dish on the menu.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

David H. platinum reviewer 11 May 2013

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.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Matt P. gold reviewer 27 November 2012

In Latin American Spanish, rather oddly, a ‘peru’ is a turkey. This Peruvian restaurant is similarly confusing. Is it a neighbourhood joint (albiet Charlotte Street grade) or is it a fine dining establishment? From start to finish, it wasn't clear. Despite there being only 50 covers in the place, they’ve chosen to put a hostess station by the door… yet there’s no cloakroom, so you are greeted, escorted to a table, and then left to dump coats and bags on the seating and floor. We were served by three different people during our lunch, two of whom I would have sworn on the holy book were the maitre d’. Their website lists two head chefs, an executive chef, an MD, a manager and a founding partner. Where do they put them all? The former cloakroom, it must be. Happily, I loved the service. The aforementioned hostess is strikingly beautiful and covered in cool tattoos, yet down to earth and chatty. My lunch companion and I talked 13 to the dozen throughout, yet the staff managed to interrupt us to introduce the dishes without causing irritation. Everyone we interacted with (and there were many) was a pro. Food-wise it’s 10 out of 10 for presentation: elegantly plated, with vibrant colours, unexpected arrangements and microscopically finessed garnishes; definitely the best-looking food I’ve seen in this category of restaurant. The range of ingredients was eye-poppingly impressive: I’ve travelled in South America and yet hadn’t heard of half the menu (more tree tomato emulsion, sir?). Tasty too: zingy sauces accompanied most dishes, amongst the best of which was a clever black olive foam, served up as a neat array of circular purple blobs. The ‘signature’ starter of braised octopus was the most successful execution of that scary cephalopod I’ve ever had: tender, flavoursome and moreish. Sea bream ceviche had gone pleasingly plump from its marination in 'tiger's milk', of which I greedily spooned up every drop. Despite their best intentions, however, I couldn’t call the place a fine dining destination. There was a familiarity to the range of flavours: acidic citrus tang, while delicious and refreshing, returned again and again across the dishes. And if it’s not fine dining then the pricing starts to look a bit iffy: it’s easy to spend £10 on a starter and £20 on a main. Similarly the room does not match those intentions: the place was no more than 70% full, yet at times I struggled to hear what my companion was saying. I can’t imagine what it would be like on a Pisco-fuelled night at capacity. Confusion aside, if they let a bit of heat out of the prices, which could easily be achieved by serving up a few P45s to the executive staff, then this would be an absolute returner for me.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Terence N. 16 September 2012

There’s been a lot of hype around Peruvian restaurants opening in London recently. At the epicentre of it all is Lima restaurant. We decided to give it a try and quite frankly, we were blown away! Quite honestly we didn’t know what to expect from Lima. We knew that the head chef, Virgilio Martinez, hailed from good stock. Previously he worked at a top 50 San Pellegrino restaurant in Peru, called Astrid y Gaston, but we’d never been. However, based on the dishes we sampled at Lima, I can’t conclude other than: extremely good chef! When we were at Lima we tried the following dishes: -Seabream Ceviche (8/10) -Sea bass causas (9/10) -Teradito Salmon (8.5/10) -Lamb shoulder (9.5/10) -Suckling Pig (9.5/10) -Cacao Porcellana dessert (9.5/10) -Dulce di leche (9/10) All the dishes we tried at Lima were a hit. However, I do have one small quibble: you can tell the dishes have been toned down for Western taste buds and I’d prefer it if we could taste the dishes as Peruvians would have liked them to be, with full flavour and all. For instance, the acidity of the ceviche was quite mild, while in Peru the ceviche tends to be much higher in acidity. It might take Westerners a little while to get used to it, but in the end that’s when the dish really shines. However, overall the cooking at Lima is stunningly good. In particular the mains were cooked to perfection and the depth of flavour of both the suckling pig and lamb were incredible. The talent of the chef really shone through. Lima only recently opened it’s doors, but I predict very very good things for them and I wouldn’t be surprised if they will be awarded with a Bib Gourmand. If they improve on the consistency of service they could even be awarded with a Michelin star, but I’m not sure if that fits in with the ‘cool&trendy’ image that the restaurant seems to strive for. Lima has a good selection of Pisco-based cocktails as well as a good selection of wines by the glass and bottle. We paid £110 (including service, 2 cocktails and coffee), which somewhat on the expensive side, but in line with the other dining establishments on Charlotte Street.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Gillian G. 07 August 2012

Visited for lunch for the first time since it has opened. A nice airy dining room and kind greeting when we walked in the door. There were three of us so we decided to try both of the set lunch menus and chose some other bits from the a la carte. The ceviche was fresh and tasty – my favourite was the sea bream which they pair with a crunchy topping for contrast. For mains the meats (lamb and suckling pig) really stood out – very tasty. Desserts were also out of this world – dulce de leche ice cream and manco sauce with dark chocolate blocks. Definitely going back.

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Lima’s semi-private dining room, the Sotano, is located in the restaurant’s cellar and features blue-leather banquettes, an art wall showcasing paintings by great South American artists, plus its own fully stocked bar. Ideal for business dining, private parties or small acoustic concerts, this room can accommodate up to 26 seated guests, or 36 standing.

The Sotano
Capacity: 26