Fusion, International, Japanese, Peruvian, Sushi, Tapas, Vegan, Vegetarian·

SquareMeal Review of Ayllu

If you’re not careful it can be easy to miss Ayllu, which sits beneath Smith’s Bar & Grill along the canal in Paddington. But when you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find a swanky restaurant beneath the surface that’s decked out with plush emerald seating, accents of wood throughout, and enough contemporary lighting to take it from a low key basement to somewhere atmospheric and glamorous. However, when the weather suits, you can also take a seat upstairs along with the Smith’s Bar & Grill crowds - which is exactly what we do on this rare, sunny day in London.

With a menu that offers a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, we’re not surprised to find a number of small plates available, and opt for a tasting menu to take the hard work out of it for us.

Our meal starts with a few dishes arriving in quick succession, including tapioca tacos with salmon and guacamole, which are fresh and light - a great way to kick things off - some heavily seasoned edamame beans, and juicy chicken yakitori skewers.

A number of small plates follow with ceviche, warm prawn and avocado sushi, and some miso aubergine - which whilst incredibly soft, we find the flavour a tad overwhelming. However the black miso cod steals the show, and our hearts, with its top tier fish cookery and hitting the perfect note between punchy and OTT. The dessert is simple yet effective with churros and chocolate sauce, and offers a comforting way to round off the meal.

All in all, Ayllu lends itself as a great spot for catching up with friends and comes with an impressive drinks list to match. Plus, with such a modest price tag, it’s also found itself as one of the more affordable options in the city.

Good to know

Spend SquareMeal Smart Vouchers
Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Fusion, International, Japanese, Peruvian, Sushi, Tapas, Vegan, Vegetarian
Eat at Home
Deliveroo, Takeaway service
Cool, Cosy, Dark and moody, Fine dining, Fun, Lively, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Quirky, Romantic, Unique
Food Occasions
All day dining, Bottomless brunch, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Great views, Outside seating, Terrace, Waterside
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Live music or dancing, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Hidden beneath Smiths Bar & Grill, away from busy Paddington Central, Ayllu is a swanky Peruvian restaurant serving traditional dishes also influenced by the flavours and aromas of Japan.

Taking its name from a historical Peruvian group of families called the Ayllu, this contemporary restaurant is all about sharing fresh plates of food in a cool but cosy setting.

Ayllu’s decor is chic through and through, with the walls and plush leather booths all done up in dark green. Oversized pendant light bulbs hang from the ceiling at one end of the room and at the other glows a backlit bar stacked with a huge array of spirits.

The menu is full of classic Peruvian fusion dishes and begins with small plates such as guacamole served with prawn crackers and corn tortillas, pork bao buns, and croquetas de pescados served with a hot chilli mayo. These are followed by a selection of traditional South American dishes such as tiraditos, anticuchos, tacos and ceviches.

Larger plates include seafood dishes such as grilled octopus glazed with teriyaki sauce and served on a corn purée, and a whole sea bream marinated in mirin. There are also meatier offerings available including baby chicken, served with grilled vegetables, coriander and a mint aioli, as well as spiced picanha – a fatty cut of beef which is particularly popular in South America. For dessert, expect favourites such as churros and baked cheesecake.

The drinks offering at Ayllu is just as central to the restaurant as the food and is predominantly focused around cocktails. Unusual concoctions include the Red Hot Chilli Pepper which combines mescal with Grand Marnier, sours and jalapeno syrup, and also a couple of beer-based cocktails, one of which pairs Corona with mango syrup and chai tea. If you’re looking for something a little more classic, there’s also the option to share a jug of sangria.

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Menu Highlights

Tasting Lima - £39.00

Experience the flavours of Lima with Ayllu's Tasting Lima menu. Start your culinary journey with the savory and addictive Salted Edamame Beans, followed by the refreshing and zesty Lubina Clasica Ceviche. Don't miss out on the crispy and flavourful Beef Croquettes and the delicate avocado tacos. Savour the delicious Uramaki Salmon before indulging in the classic and hearty Lomo Saltado and Pollo A La Brasa. Finish off your meal with the Chef's Choice Dessert that will leave you wanting more. Come and taste the best of Lima at Ayllu.

Main Courses
Tasting Cuzco - £49.00

Let Ayllu's Tasting Cuzco menu take you on an unforgettable culinary journey. Begin your adventure with the addictive Salted Edamame Beans, followed by the deliciously fresh Salmon Taco and Tuna Taco as well as the mouth-watering Chicken anticuchos. Experience the unique flavours of the Tuna Tataki and the satisfying Uramaki California. Savour the earthy Grilled Aubergine and the Short Beef Rib before indulging in the melt-in-your-mouth Black Cod. End your meal on a high note with the Chef's Choice Dessert. Join us at Ayllu and discover the enchanting tastes of Cuzco.

Tasting Machu Picchu - £65.00

Take your taste buds on a journey to the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu with Ayllu's Tasting Machu Picchu menu. Start your culinary adventure with the fresh and flavourful Guacamole, Ceviche Selection and the indulgent Duo of Oysters. Savour the mouth-watering Tuna and Salmon Tacos and the tender Beef Tataki before experiencing the unique flavors of the Spicy Tuna Roll and the rich Salmon Cazuela. End your meal with the tantalising Peruvian BBQ and the Chef's Choice Dessert, sure to leave you wanting more. Join us at Ayllu and discover the magic of Machu Picchu through our delicious cuisine.


Are there gluten-free options on the menu?

Yes there are gluten-free options on the menu.

Helpful? 0

Can you book?

Yes, we strongly recommend booking, this can be done online or by phone.

Helpful? 0

What time is Bottomless Brunch?

Bottomless Brunch is available on Saturday and Sunday between 12pm and 5pm.

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Ayllu is featured in

This venue also offers

Private Group Dining


Christmas Parties



£16Bento Box Lunch
Live Event
Bento Box Lunch

04 Jun 2024 until 31 Aug 2024

Are you looking for a quick and fuss-free lunch option? Our Bento Boxes are here to satisfy your cravings.
Choose from Teriyaki Chicken Robata, Miso Salmon or, if you’re craving for a more traditional Peru take, try our Lomo saltado - stir-fried sirloin.
A vegan version of our Bento Box comes with Futomaki Yasai and Quinoa Salad (excludes steamed rice).

Priced from £16.

More Details
£37Samba Bottomless Brunch
Live Event
Samba Bottomless Brunch

04 Jun 2024 until 31 Aug 2024

Every Saturday (12pm-4pm) & Sunday (11am-4pm), enjoy unlimited Japanese-Peruvian Fusion dishes for £37pp or with endless wine, prosecco, or a cocktail of the week for £55pp! Please note, the entire table must opt in to the same drink. (either white wine, red wine, Prosecco or cocktail). Our Samba entertainment will be available from 1:30pm. Immerse yourself in the electrifying sounds and rhythms of Samba while exploring a Nikkei fusion of flavours. Each person may order two dishes of their choice at a time.

More Details
£65Tasting Machu Picchu Menu
Live Event
Tasting Machu Picchu Menu

04 Jun 2024 until 31 Aug 2024

At Ayllu we’ve got the Premium Sharing Tasting Menu, £65pp, which includes Japanese-Peruvian fusion dishes that really combine the best from both cultures.
Dishes included in tasting menu: 
- Guacamole
- Duo of ceviche
- Duo of oysters
- Salmon and tuna tacos
- Beef tataki
- Spicy Tuna roll
- Salmon cazuela
- Peruvian bbq
- Dessert

More Details
£39Tasting Lima Menu - £39pp
Live Event
Tasting Lima Menu - £39pp

04 Jun 2024 until 31 Aug 2024

The tasting menu is an exploration of the very best flavours of Peru and Japan, taking you on a culinary journey. 
Sharing Tasting Menu includes:
- Edamame
- Ceviche Lubina Clasica
- Beef croquettes
- Avocado tacos 
- Uramaki salmon
- Lomo saltado
- Pollo a la brasa
- Dessert

More Details
£49Tasting Cuzco Menu - £49pp
Live Event
Tasting Cuzco Menu - £49pp

04 Jun 2024 until 31 Aug 2024

The food we bring to you from this Sharing Tasting Menu is traditional Japanese flavours paired with the influence of Peru.
- Edamame
- Salmon and tuna tacos
- Chicken anticuchos
- Tuna Tataki
- California uramaki
- Grilled aubergine
- Short Beef Rib
- Black cod
- Dessert

More Details
FreeAffordable Luxury Dining
Live Event
Affordable Luxury Dining

04 Jun 2024 until 31 Aug 2024

Indulge in our new menu with reduced prices on all dishes without compromising on quality. Explore our tantalising dishes like Chicken Bao Buns at £7, Tuna on Crispy Rice at £8 and more. Discover the perfect blend of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine in Paddington, with affordable prices and luxury dining in Central London. Book a table at Ayllu today!

More Details
FreeAlfresco Dining
Live Event
Alfresco Dining

04 Jun 2024 until 31 Aug 2024

Perfect for both casual get-togethers and special occasions, alfresco dining in Ayllu Paddington allows diners to savour the flavours of their meal while soaking in the unique atmosphere of one of London's most beloved neighbourhoods. With attentive service and a welcoming vibe, it's an ideal spot to unwind, people-watch, and enjoy the dynamic surroundings of Paddington.

More Details


25 Sheldon Square, Paddington, London, W2 6EY

020 8054 0385 020 8054 0385


Opening Times

All day
Mon 12:00-23:00
Tue 12:00-23:00
Wed 12:00-23:00
Thu 12:00-23:00
Fri 12:00-23:00
Sat 12:00-23:00
Sun 12:00-22:30


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5 Reviews 


06 June 2024  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Best place to celebrate a birthday in London! Ayllu's bottomless brunch was so good - it's 90 minutes of bottomless Japanese and Peruvian food as well as unlimited drinks. There's a variety on the menu and the staff are very friendly. The samba dancers and DJ bring the best atmosphere and I got sparklers with my dessert for my birthday. Would highly recommened. 

Harry S

06 June 2024  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Loved it here! There's a large menu to choose from me and my mates choose lots of small plates to share. Cocktails were delicous and staff very friendly. I would reccomened the Ayllu sushi platter and the Lamb Anticucho! The interiors are very luxurious and i would reccomend. 

Angela M

27 June 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 2.5

Piers C

05 May 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 2.5

Sam H

02 July 2021  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
My favourite restaurant in London!

Absolutely love the food, vibe and decor at Ayllu. I had dinner and drinks here on the weekend where they had a DJ which really livened the ambiance. The moody lighting makes for a very romantic setting and a perfect date spot. We had a few different sharing plates that the waiter kindly recommended, and all were delicious, I especially enjoyed the cerviche sushi roll and the lomo saltado. We noticed they have a brunch on Saturdays and Sundays so we'll be returning for that very soon.

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Order takeaway from Ayllu by calling 020 8054 0385.
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