From the Andes to the Pacific, the highs and lows of Peruvian terrain help to explain its varied cuisine. But what was going on behind the scenes at this small Essex Road eaterie to account for our visit’s ups and downs we could only guess at. Things began badly after our booked table was given away – though a couple of complimentary pisco sours helped keep us sweet.
The starters were a success. Grilled baby octopus appeared smothered by black Peruvian botija olive cream, yet the sauce was light as sea foam and the olive flavour vibrant. A ceviche was fantastic, the fish barely coaxed out of rawness. At this stage, the owners’ decision to move on from their original Camden market stall seemed justified, so it was a shame that one main – lightly battered fish and cassava – arrived unacceptably lukewarm. And the seafood in a creamy picante de mariscos stew seemed too subdued and insubstantial.
The lengthy menu, trying to cover all their nation’s culinary bases, probably doesn’t help. Decor is simple – polished dark-wood tables, long brown banquette, white walls adorned with colour photos – and the drinks list includes Peruvian beer, wines and Inca Kola.
It is very popular to share dishes in Peru, so for those who love to share we have amazing platters which are carefully selected by our chefs to create explosive combinations. We have platters with fish and sea food, a platter with different types of meat (pork, chicken, beef and lamb) and also a platter that combines both.
Tierra Peru uses imported Peruvian products – the food is freshly cooked and you can taste this in every dish. We also have the already-popular all-you-can-eat 'buffet criollo' every weekend (Saturday and Sunday), with a selection of more than 25 dishes served in clay pots so you can indulge in this Peruvian cuisine and taste its flavours.
Tierra Peru is located in Islington and is a very nice, small, modern and sleek Peruvian house. The idea is to bring the best of Peru under one roof. And while you are dining you might feel as if you were in Lima...