Ceviche, Pisco Sours, antichuchos: us Londoners can’t seem to get enough of the Peruvian party. From upscale city eateries to lively Clapham spots, these are the best Peruvian restaurants in London, guaranteed to get your tastebuds tingling…
The Best Peruvian Restaurants in London
The City offshoot of the original COYA Mayfair is equally alluring. Glitzy, low-lit surroundings evoke the party spirit of Peru with Incan-themed décor, Latin American art and handcrafted furniture, backed by a pumping party playlist. It’s a large space spanning more than 400sqm, with with three open kitchens, multiple dining areas, a Pisco Lounge and a dedicated ceviche counter: swanky settings, which unsurprisingly prove popular with the city’s well-heeled city workers. This glamour is mirrored in the menu, which includes a range of small plates – ceviche, sashimi, tacos, you name it – alongside larger fish, seafood and meat dishes. Everything here is delicious, but the sashimi is particularly good, and be sure to order one of the anticuchos dishes: marinated skewers grilled on the Robata. A heads up: this is a pricey spot, so keep an eye on what you’re ordering or you may end up with a hefty bill – particularly if you’re getting stuck into the cocktails…
From the outside, you’d never expect the vibrant, bubbly hangout that is Pachamama, hidden in a basement down a set of Narnia-style steps on an unassuming Marylebone street. The restaurant is named after Peru’s Mother Earth, and this friendly family theme runs throughout, with warm interiors and delightful staff. A combination of low lighting and Ibiza-inspired tunes creates a buzzing atmosphere, which is more than matched by the bright, colourful food. The eclectic dinner menu is split into four sections: snacks, land, sea, soil and sweets – the kind of fresh and flavoursome small plates you could chance upon in South America. Highlights include the beef short rib with sweet potato, the Peruvian fried chicken, the sea bass ceviche, and the unusual yet delicious brown crab and yucca churros. Their bottomless brunch is also legendary: free-flowing bubbles paired with a mix of sweet and savoury waffles, topped with everything from fried chicken to toasted quinoa ice cream.
On a Saturday night soujourn down Clapham High Street, you could easily mistake Mommi for just another South West boozer. But on closer examination, you’ll discover something quite unique: a hybrid restaurant with a fun party vibe, which serves really good food. Japan meets Latin America at Mommi: the vibrancy of Miami mixes with the upbeat rhythm of Peru, the eclecticism of Venice Beach with the refinement of Japan. Dishes are designed to be shared, and packed with flavours from around the world: pan-fried king prawns with spiced garlic yuzu buter, sticky miso glazed chicken wings, crisp-fried belly pork bites with smoked corn and caramelised sweet potato, and tuna tartare with pickled ginger. Quirky flavour combinations continue into the dessert menu, which includes a salted caramel ice cream with agave syrup and puffed quinoa, a passion fruit, yuzu and ginger cheesecake, and a Pisco spiked jelly with lychee and kumquat. On weekends there’s live music, and their cocktails are especially good – we recommend the Passion Pachamama: a punchy number mixed with dark rum, passion fruit, ginger & vanilla and almond.
Floral by LIMA is the younger, less pricey offshoot of Virgilio Martinez’s famed Fitzrovia restaurant. Found on Covent Garden’s Floral Street (hence the name), Floral is a more accessible option – classy without being formal, ideal for dates. Expect more of the cooking Martinez is famous for: unusual ingredients cooked with flair and imagination. The slightly lower price tag means you can go all out on the dishes: some of the best are the smoked chicken causa, the sea bream ceviche, and the Chinese cauliflower, served with ginger chimichurri and Rocoto mayonnaise. Afterwards, continue the party at buzzing basement bar The Lost Alpaca, where you can enjoy colourful surroundings and an innovative cocktail list featuring not just pisco, but rum, tequila, mezcal and more.
The second restaurant from the Pachamama group, Chelsea’s Chicama is a charming restaurant named after a coastal town in Peru – not the word chic, although that does describe it well. Unlike its sister, Chicama is meat-free, focusing instead on seafood and fish served small plates style: ceviche, blackened octopus, spicy prawns and trout cooked in banana leaf all feature on the menu. But there are also plenty of delicious, flavoursome vegetarian options, like aubergine with plantain miso, grilled cauliflower and green bean salad. Eat al fresco on the lovely plant-filled outdoor terrace, or watch the chefs working their magic up close from the pink marble counter, which looks onto the open kitchen.