A Peruvian feast at Lima Floral in Covent Garden

So tonight I’m back in Covent Garden trying out newly opened Lima Floral. I ate at Lima earlier this year and absolutely loved it, so felt it was compulsory to visit the new member in the family. Chef-patron Virgilio Martinez describes the latest addition as a “natural evolution” and talks about it being “natural, indigenous and unique”. Well, I have to say he’s certainly achieved that, the Lima eating experience is a truly exciting one.

The white washed brick walls and brightly coloured cushions create a wonderfully modern and comfortable environment. The menu is, as at Lima, totally intriguing. Having checked the menu out online (something I frequently do to aid the decision-making process), I have to admit to having googled some of the dishes before our visit. There’s no need (I just like to be prepared) as the staff are really friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and will explain everything in detail, and pretty poetically, too.

The menu isn’t huge but it’s still difficult to choose. I was thrilled with my starter – and escabeche salad beef crudo, algarrobo syrup, warm escabeche dressing and green salad.. Each dish has the ingredients laid out under its title and you’ll find some ingredients from the diversity that is Peruvian food that are unheard of in the UK. Well, I certainly hadn’t heard of them…you’re always learning with food.

This beef dish is nothing short of spectacular, beautifully tender raw beef thinly sliced and tossed in a tangy dressing. Mouthwatering flavours and melt-in-the-mouth textures.

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A beautifully tender and tangy beef starter

The sea bream ceviche is their signature dish so had to be ordered. It’s described as sea bream, tiger’s milk, avocado, crispy onions and cancha corn. Before you get alarmed there are no tigers involved here, or their milk, it’s the Peruvian term for the juice produced from the ingredients of ceviche, which does have a milky tone. Many Peruvians believe ceviche is a hangover cure and an aphrodisiac (interesting combination), this particular dish could probably do no end of positive things to your physical and mental welfare. A mix of amazing flavours and textures with the beautifully soft sea bream, creamy avocado, crispy onion and wonderfully tart juice.

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Lima Floral’s signature dish: sea bream ceviche

The beef sudado is described as seared entrecote, coriander, heritage tomatoes and white quinoa. All served with a tasty broth, I can’t remember steak tasting better and so perfectly cooked.

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Tender seared beef served up with Peruvian flair

And finally, a totally amazing fish main course. Grilled monkfish with yellow chill pepper, courgette, green and red tiger’s milk and green leaves. A bowl of deliciousness with the flavoursome plump flesh of expertly cooked monkfish.

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The flaky monkfish nestles under a bed of shaved courgettes

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I’Even the bread’s colourful and packed with flavours at Lima

I’m aware some of the photography is not up to my usual standard, could have been the lighting or the fact that I was so excited at the arrival of each dish I didn’t pay enough attention to snapping it. Apologies for that, I’m sure you get the idea of what this wonderful food was like.

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And more colour…with traditional Peruvian design

The amazing fusion of flavours that is Peruvian food intrigues me more and more. Lots of it to still be tasted I am sure. The good news is that I know where to go! Lima Floral has a bar downstairs with a piqueos menu (now doesn’t that sound nice). It’s basically tapas and you don’t have to book…I’m going to be wandering in there some day soon, I can promise you that.

Lima Floral is at 14 Garrick Street, Covent Garden. The entrance is in Floral Street which is very close to Leicester Square Station.

Square Meal

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