Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez and his partners, Gabriel and Jose Luis Gonzalez, have opened their second site on Garrick Street, Covent Garden. The new 70 cover restaurant, LIMA Floral, introduces new ingredients and dishes never seen in the capital before. This month is significant for the team, marking the second anniversary of Lima in addition to the new opening.
Gabriel Gonzalez, co-owner of LIMA, comments, “We are so excited to be opening the doors of LIMA Floral today. The cuisine is an evolution on what we have offered diners at Lima London, with an aim of sharing the latest research and findings direct from Virgilio’s Central restaurant (15th in the World’s 50th Best Restaurants) in Peru. LIMA Floral is split in two spaces: the main restaurant and a ‘piqueos bar’ (essentially a bar serving tapas dishes which is very traditional in Peru), where we don’t take bookings.”
Challenging Peruvian cuisine
Following a launch to critical acclaim in August 2012, LIMA became the first Peruvian restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star in September 2013. In reflection of this, the menu at the new site, overseen by Martinez and head chef Robert Ortiz, features some of LIMA’s most popular dishes alongside a menu of challenging Peruvian cuisine aimed at helping customers discover new flavours.
Interestingly, Martinez is a founding member of Peru’s Mater Iniciativa, a multidisciplinary group of Peruvian chefs, scientist and ecologists who travel around Peru’s diverse landscape discovering unique edible plants and ingredients with the goal of sharing them and information about the cultural and biodiversity of Peru’s produce.
Through this, the menu includes some of these rare Peruvian ingredients, which have yet to appear on London menus, coming from remote places in the Amazon basin and the Andes altitudes. The menu at LIMA Floral showcases produce from the British Isles as part of the team’s philosophy to work in harmony with the environment, supporting sustainable fishing in the UK and local producers.
Some key native vegetables and fruits from Peru are showcased in unusual forms and shapes to bring new tastes and experiences to customers. Highlights of LIMA Floral menu include tiradito (sea bream, green leche de tigre and crushed giant corn) and beef sudado (Seared entrecote, coriander, heritage tomatoes, tiger milk with white quinoa). A set lunch menu is available at £17.50 for two courses and £19.50 for three courses, including a glass of house wine.
The bar menu is designed for sharing and served as finger food, with small piqueo dishes, best described as Peruvian tapas. Some small plates include grouper with rocoto tiger’s milk ceviche and tuna and seared aubergine tiradito. These dishes sit alongside an extensive cocktail list, which feature variations on the classic Pisco Sour, made with infusions of Peru’s national drink with Amazonian fruits, Andean herbs, and local UK products as well.
The restaurant and bar interior design is by B3 designers, B3’s previous restaurant projects include Gymkhana, Bubbledogs and ROKA. There are strong native influences throughout; large arched windows create a bright and airy dining room on the ground floor, while the basement bar is a comfortable drinking den, with a fun and high quality bar menu.
The new site, at 14 Garrick Street, seats approximately 70 customers, with an additional basement space of 30 covers, a specialist Pisco bar plus a private dining room.
The new site is an exciting addition to the dining scene in London. The project presents an opportunity for the LIMA team to introduce more of Peru’s culture and biodiversity to London through food, while the inclusion of a bar offers a new dimension and vibrancy to the LIMA brand.
LIMA Floral, 14 Garrick Street, London, WC2E 9BJ
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