You might wonder why Peruvian cuisine has been all the rage in the last few years. A quick visit to Lima Floral in Covent Garden might answer that question. With the cultural melting pot that is Peru, as they’ve had European and Asian immigrants into their country for centuries, their cuisine combines unique flavours and cooking styles from across the world. There are also many unique ingredients native to Peru which is used in their cooking.
Robert Ortiz is the executive chef for Lima Floral and achieved a Michelin star at their sister restaurant, Lima in 2013. He worked on the Lima project with fellow Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez who owns Central in Peru which is widely regarded as one of the top 5 restaurants in the world.
It is highly likely that every dish on their menu will contain at least one ingredient you’ve never heard of. I ordered their trio de tiraditos which is a ceviche of salmon, tuna and cobia fish. Not only did the dish look incredibly appetising, all 3 types of fish were silky smooth in texture and freshly chilled. The tiger’s milk added a refreshingly citrusy taste to the fish whilst they also included the very quirky, Amazonian cashew pesto.
For main courses, I ordered a very hearty pulpo mancora beach, which had very tender pieces of chopped up Atlantic octopus. It is served in a fragrant tasting broth using coriander and potato purée. It is a very heartwarming dish, perfect for the wintry months; although the chargrilled taste of the octopus is somewhat lost by being soaked in the broth. The other main course we tried was a very tender and meaty suckling pig which was lovingly slow-cooked for 6 hours and flavoured with fascinating Andean corn purée along with crackling crisp.
Desserts are simply named like chocolate and passion fruit. Their chocolate mousse uses chocolate from the Palo Blanco Community in Peru, which has mature, earthy flavours. There is finely made blue potato crisp as the garnish along with chancaca syrup, which is a typical Peruvian sweet sauce made of raw unrefined sugar from sugar cane. A relative lighter dessert was the passion fruit, which had petite cubes of frozen yoghurt with passion fruit and minty tastes from the hierba buena.
If you want to explore the exotic tastes of Peru, then make sure your first stop is at Lima Floral.