A major player in the Peruvian wave of eateries which began popping up in London in 2012, Rathbone Place’s Lima Restaurant is cool, fun and engaging.
At 5pm on a sunny Thursday in June, I have the interior of the venue entirely to myself – and I do not intend to waste a second of it.
The space is bright, light and exceedingly welcoming with white walls, chalk coloured stepped wood panelling, biscuit coloured sofas and real wood floors. The back of the restaurant, meanwhile, is dominated by a huge pitched ceiling window which has results in the area being flooding with natural light. It’s very appropriate for a venue inspired by the sunny climes of South America.
The music at the venue is delightful, too with an unfailing mix of delicious salsa erupting out of the venue’s speakers. It’s the kind of music that cannot help but make fat fifty something Londoners sway in their seats while trying (and failing) to maintain their dignity.
But what of the food, I hear you ask. Well, the menu is fun, varied and refreshingly full of gluten free options. I begin with the Sea Bream Ceviche. It’s wonderfully refreshing with a lovely blend of crispy cancha corn, soft avocado paste and wonderfully tender sea bream. The combination is tangy but not overly so which allows me to enjoy the nuanced mix of flavours.
The plantain crisps with avocado mousse is good too. The chips cr are crisp yet chewy while the avocado paste is fresh, smooth and refreshing. The Lamb Seco is heavenly. The lamb is melt in the mouth tender, pink but not bloody and perfectly seasoned. The pumpkin puree is full of flavour and the faba beans are cooked so that they are tender but still retain just enough of a crunch.
The real star of the show, however, is the Grilled Pina Colada. This takes its cue from the cocktail of the same name and features a lovely mix of grilled pineapple slices, coconut cream and an irresistible, buttery tasting lemon verbena tuile.
Honestly, the combination of flavours and textures, with the soft and spongy pineapple, mindblowingly creamy coconut cream and crispy tuile is so good that it immediately has me purring. Quite frankly the combination is a revelation and it makes a worthy end to what has been a superlative meal.
Service throughout is friendly and approachable and the young man who serves me makes absolutely sure to explain each dish to me as he lays them in front of me.
Soho’s Lima restaurant is a real gem. Friendly service, warm and inviting interiors and great music mingle, however, it is the food that really seals the deal. Quite honestly, it’s a revelation. Go soon.
More information about Lima Restaurant can be found here.
For information on other great places to eat and drink in London, please click here.