When I first moved to London, as a graduate, I lived in Goodge street for a few months; in a tiny flat above an old school Italian Restaurant called Signor Grilli. That’s where I met a couple of my closest friends.
Living in Goodge street is very different from just working or going out there; we got to know a microcosmo of really strange and interesting characters. From the Asian owners of the chinese take away, to the dubious crowd of the strip club, the crazy woman knocking at our door at night, the Italian restaurateurs of the street, our crazy gay neighbours partying all night; Ornello, our little white mouse, and a certain dutch guy hanging out more than he should have at our flat.
Back then I was a poor and underpaid PR intern, and my friends were either students or looking for a job. We spent our evenings ‘hanging out’ at Icco (Italian Coffee Company), where you can still find one of the tastiest budget pizza in Fizrovia, (around £4 per pizza) my favourite still is the Margherita. When we were in the ‘splashing-out mood’ we used to buy the smallest and cheapest glass of wine at The Marquis of Gramby in Rathbone place.
Years later, I visit my creative agency, based nearby, at least a couple of times a month, and then meet friends for dinner at Bam-Bou or Barrica, for a glass of Chablis at the Charlotte Hotel, or for cocktails at Shochu Lounge or at the Crazy bear.
Last Wednesday here I was, back to Rathbone place, to try out one of the new comers into the London dining scene, the Peruvian Lima, headed up by chef Virgilio Martinez, where I joined a friend for dinner.
On my way back from the office I got stuck in a terrible traffic on the M4, and I arrived half an hour late. Our table was still there, and my friend patiently waiting for me. Thank you S! The front of house guy was really friendly, and showed me to our table, downstairs by the bar. The decor is modern and simple; the atmosphere buzzy. They offer complementary bread and butter, top marks for that!
Now down to business, what we ordered: bay scallops tiradito, yellow aji emulsion, umami salt, cassava.
The scallop tiradito was similar to the popular Peruvian ceviche, served with a delicate yet tasty emulsion. A joy for your eyes and for your taste buds!
Our second starter to share was the braised octopus al olivo, organic white quinoa, botija olive bubbles. The hero of this course is the octopus itself, very meaty and cooked to perfection (terrible photo, sorry).
I am not sure about the quinoa, it tasted a little bland. However, I thought that the purple olive bubble decoration is genius.
We then ordered the same main: halibut, andean herbs, cancha corn parfait, mirasol alioli.
I liked how the soft flash of the fish complemented the crispy and sweet corn parfait. The dish was pleasant, but it missed a little kick, perhaps something spicy or a completely different flavour combination.
The portions are not huge, so we were able to indulge in desserts. I had the dulce de leche ice cream, that was so yummy, really heavenly.
My friend ordered the coffee and olive oil ice cream, with coconut shavings, lovely and creamy.
Would I go back? Yes I would, food is lovely. Perhaps the description on menu is a little scarier than what the dish actually is. Recommended.
Avg dinner for 2 including drinks £100.