Savvy diners may have reached peak Peruvian, but this classy newcomer shows a broader view of Latin American cooking courtesy of Spanish chef, Francisco Lafee. His back story includes world-famous Basque restaurants such as El Celler de Can Roca, but this London outing features Mexican street food and hearty Brazilian stews, clever riffs on ceviches and tiraditos with prime fish and meat from the robata grill.
The cooking is ambitious, but supremely skilful and modern: try tuna tartare with crisp seaweed, avocado and a Chinese-influenced dressing involving hoisin, lime, garlic and ginger oil. Sea bream ceviche with Peruvian corn is served warm to contrast with sweet-potato ice cream, while Zuaya’s version of crispy duck salad involves slices of Ibérico duck in a super-light tempura with watermelon, raspberry and a sauce of cloves, fennel, cinnamon and Szechuan pepper.
Elsewhere, a mighty piece of sizzling grilled octopus arrives with smooth potato cream and vibrant chimichurri sauce, while chunks of suckling pork belly are served in a rich stew of Peruvian pepper, chillis and tamarind. For pudding, we suggest ‘quindim’, a medley of coconut textures presented in the shell.
No expense has been spared on the interiors, with jungle foliage and a handsome cocktail bar of brass and marble dominating the ground floor. Downstairs is much larger, full of romantic details and cosy corners; also check out the peaceful outdoor terrace.