Andina Notting Hill, from the same stable as Ceviche, Casita Andina and Andina Old Street, is a modern take on a typical Peruvian picantería: a casual all-day dining spot. The anything-but-boring menu, divided into small and large plates, sparkles with bright and sunny items such as Andean olluco potatoes and uchucuta salsa.
We asked our waiter if it was better to order our own plates or share and were told we could do anything we liked. Don’t listen to him, reader – it makes much more sense to share. The one plate you won’t want to share is the ceviche, Andina’s take on Peru’s national dish. This small serving of ocean-fresh sea bass packed a one-two punch of heat and acid, and the zingy citrus broth was good enough to finish off with a spoon. But there was a vast size disparity between the big plates. The hulking beef short rib was roughly four times larger than the flimsy single tentacle of the octopus with sweet potatoes dish. Despite its size, the sweet, well-charred octopus won out against the short rib, which was let down by an oily coating of fat. But at Andina, the triumphant ceviche and the best pisco sours this side of Machu Picchu are enough to carry the meal.