credit: New World Review
Arriving at Floral Street, Covent Garden this month will be an offshoot of Fitzrovia’s successful Peruvian establishment LIMA. The new restaurant promises to adopt an unrestricted approach to the food that earned its sister joint a Michelin star and various favourable reviews. In addition to the main restaurant, a ‘piqueos’ bar will serve sharing platters and cocktails concocted from a curious fusion of fruits, spices, and herbs cultivated from both Peru and Britain.
LIMA Floral will be a good place to discover some rather esoteric cuisine. Vegetables, fruits, and fish including maiz morado, cherimoya, and peacock bass will be sourced directly from their native habitat in the Amazon basin and the Andes Mountains.
While the restaurant will be providing dishes such as scallops with chia ceviche, Amazonian fish with warm causa, and kholrabi with quinoa tiradito that gave the LIMA fame in the first place, a basement tapas bar will give accessible sharing options to visitors dropping in. This piqueos bar will feature finger food traditionally ingrained within Peruvian cuisine, including grouper with rocoto tiger’s milk ceviche, and tuna with seared aubergine tiradito.
Robert Ortiz is the head chef at the new establishment, with Virgilio Martinez overseeing the menu. Martinez, a founding member of the Mater Initiative, travels Peru with ecologists, scientists, and fellow chefs with the aim of discovering edible plants, spices, and vegetables. They use their collective knowledge to educate chefs (Ortiz being one of them) in culminating these unique ingredients to create innovative dishes that would otherwise never reach London menus. Ortiz has collaborated with Martinez ever since they first worked together at the Four Seasons in Canary Warf.
LIMA Floral hopes to embellish the bustling Covent Garden atmosphere with a touch of South American ‘youthfulness’ about it. Interior design will be of a more casual orientation than LIMA Fitzrovia, with a pared back open brick style supplemented with an assortment of somewhat kaleidoscopic wall paintings. Simply put, the general décor will reflect the contemporary take on traditional flavours rooted in Peruvian cuisine.
There’s certainly some anticipation surrounding the expansion of the LIMA franchise that has already accumulated valuable recognition for itself. Virgilio Martinez’s Central restaurant in Lima is 4th in Latin America’s 50 best restaurants and 15th in San Pellegrino’s best restaurants in the world. As for LIMA Fitzrovia, it became the first Peruvian restaurant to win a Michelin star, received a sensational review in the Telegraph, has scored an average of 8.1 on Square Meal, and was labelled by the National Restaurant Awards as ‘one to watch.’
LIMA Floral is scheduled to open its doors to the public on the 23rd July 2014.