Lima Floral

Restaurants, Peruvian Covent Garden
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(28user reviews)
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Venue says Weekday lunch special – two plates for £14 and three plates for £21.

A second London venue showcasing Virgilio Martinez’s Peruvian cooking style - but here focusing on texture and taste rather than high-tech wizardry.

Turning up at a smart destination restaurant with a large suitcase is always going to be awkward. What’s more awkward is not being able to find the front door. I’m not sure who was more surprised, us or the kitchen porters, when we marched, suitcase in tow, through the kitchen door of Central, currently the hottest restaurant in Lima, Peru. Central is so discreet it doesn’t even bother with a sign. But its dishes are the opposite, with plate after plate dazzling its mixed clientele of tourists and wealthy Lima residents.

There’s no such problem finding the new London outpost – its sign is clearly visible. And considering the near-impossibility of transposing chef Virgilio Martinez’s uniquely Peruvian style of cooking more than 6,000 miles, they’ve done a pretty good job. This is Martinez’s second London restaurant, following on from the success of Lima in Rathbone Place, an elaborate affair that has already bagged him a Michelin star. Lima Floral, on Covent Garden’s Floral Street, is not a copy but an extension of this gambit, and showcases more Peruvian classics. This time there’s a little less fuss, a more reasonable price tag, and a bar in the basement serving pisco cocktails.

Interesting textures and depth of flavour, rather than the high-tech wizardry of Central or Lima, take centre stage here. Sea bream ceviche comes as a sublime starter, teamed with mounds of guacamole-like avocado uchucuta (salsa), speared with dried onion slices and sprinkled with toasted corn. Sea bream is also used for a main, this time served hot and swimming in a sharp ‘tiger’s milk’ (citrus-based ceviche marinade) tempered by sweet-potato purée.

Humble vegetarian dishes surprise; chunks of rehydrated chuño (freeze-dried) potato are stewed in a moreish cheesy sauce garnished with peppery shiso leaves, while a soy and sesame stir-fried black variety of quinoa is a nod to Peru’s Chifa – Chinese meets Peruvian – heritage.

Desserts are also intricate and way outside the norm, with the humble potato meeting the dehydrator to whimsical effect. Sweet purple potato powder is piled on top of coffee ice cream, while dried purple potato crisps, laced with syrup, rise out of a custard apple mousse that’s sprinkled with ground maca, a dried root.

Lima Floral is perfect for diners looking for a new kick, but who find Lima too fussy and too pricey. Here, Martinez’s dishes are playful and imaginative. And there’s no need to fly to the Pacific coast of Peru, suitcase in tow, to try and find them.

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Lima Floral says
Lima Floral aims to showcase Peru as a country full of diversity: ecologically, culturally and historically, with both venues sharing an authentic and native culinary offering.

The main restaurant serves an innovative menu overseen by Virgilio Martinez and head chef Robert Ortiz, featuring some of Virgilio's latest creations as well as some rare native vegetables, fruits and fishes – from the Amazon basin to the Andes altitudes.

The Bajo Bar's menu is designed for sharing and served as finger food, and comprises small piqueos dishes that are best described as Peruvian tapas. These dishes are sit alongside an extensive cocktail list based on pisco infusions with Amazonian fruits, Andean herbs and local UK products, too.
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By: Catherine Balston

Posted:

Venue name: Lima Floral
Contact:
Address: 14 Garrick Street
London
WC2E 9BJ
Opening hours: Restaurant: Mon 5-10.45pm; Tue-Fri noon-2.45pm & 5-10.45pm; Sat 10.30am-3.30pm & 5-10.45pm; Sun 10.30am-3.30pm & 5-9pm. Bar: Mon 5-10.45pm; Tue-Thu noon-2.45pm & 5pm-1am; Sat 10.30am-1pm; Sun 10.30am-9pm
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £100.
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:9
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|28
1 person listening
Hugh Malkin
2 of 2 found helpful

I spend a lot of time in Peru and Lima Floral is one of the better Peruvian restaurants I have come across outside of Peru. The pisco sours, lomo saltado, and ceviche are all as good as you would find in a strong restaurant in Lima. 

Duncan R
2 of 2 found helpful

Cannot comment on the main restaurant, as was fully booked - however, after the experience with the Tapas bar downstairs I consider that as a good thing; a nice quiet atmosphere, calm, relaxed, doesn't feel stuffy in the slightest (can seat I would say - 30 people), and in our case, hosted by an incredibly helpful and most importantly knowledgeable waitress (Neus, who unfortunately for everyone reading this review, was on her last shift before going back to Catalan)...


The food, well - we went purely with Neus' recommendations, and as said above, she definitely knew her menu inside out and back to front, everything was delicious, but for me the stand out dishes were the sea bream ceviche and the tuna causa, oh, and I've forgotten the name of it now, but the meringue was definitely the standout choice from the dessert menu, wow - every mouthful was like I'd died and gone to heaven...


Everything was fresh (and palette cleansing!), there was no oily feel left in your mouth after each mouthful like you sometimes get with this style of tapas, and the overall flavour combinations (or, I suppose - fusions, if you prefer that word) - out of this world...


This was my first experience of Lima Floral, and - as a pre (or post) theatre venue, I would say that this is up there with the best of them - if not, arguably - the best in theatre land...


Yes, the main restaurant may be fully booked most of the time, but - don't let that put you off of going downstairs to the bar area - still great service, and - more importantly, still amazing - no, AMAZING tasting food (and drinks - the cocktails both sound, and taste very fresh, not too in your face with the alcohol, well mixed, and great flavour combinations!), at very reasonable prices...


Definitely recommended by me (although maybe I shouldn't recommend Lima Floral, else I might not be able to get in the next time!!)

JC

"title"

1 of 1 found helpful

Just delicious! Very good food at very good reasonable prices. The best ceviche I've ever tried is served at Lima, worth a visit

elladacas
tastemaker

My friend dragged me in here and I'll always thank him for it .... The atmosphere was light And relaxed but the smells coming from the kitchen had us in a trance!!! We mostly went for chamgpane so I can't comment on their cocktails but the service was second to none. Very friendly and attentive . I'd 100% come back.

Misha M.
tastemaker

Not very impressed with this! I thought the food was overpriced for what it is...If the prices were cut in half, then perhaps it can be justifiable? You have to ask yourself are you going out for the experience or food? This place offers neither. The only thing I liked was their cerviche. I've had better Peruvian food.

Tyan
tastemaker

My favourite Peruvian restaurant in London, this is an amazing place for a date night. Decor was romantic and staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Pisco sour is a must, promise you will not be able to stop. Every single dish we had was presented beautifully and mouth watering. Don't forget to try the Ceviche as it's probably one of the best in London. Very impressed with this place and would be going back to try the bar as well!

Rose L

High quality food at a high price. Portions are small. Great for a light meal but don't come here if you want to leave feeling full. Had a better time at Ceviche

Stuart Q

Dreadful! One dish was so salty it drowned out any flavour, the next so spicy it made my fillings tingle and drowned out any taste. The suckling pig looked like it may save the day but the discovery of an artery and what looked like part of the aorta in the confit summed it up. My wife is a Spanish vet and knows a lot about swine and the offending items were not from a suckling pig - £24 of offal from an old pig - your choice. I explained that I would not be paying and they just said ok! The manager didn't even come and apologise. He let it to the poor waitress. Frankly pretty awful.....which was surprising considering the other positive reviews!

Mel C

I went to Lima Floral with my mum for the pre-theatre menu.  She is new to Peruvian food so I was worried that a more limited menu might be an issue.  I shouldn't have worried at all.  The staff were super helpful and explained exactly what each dish was.  There was a good range of fish, meat and vegetarian and a glass of house wine is included in both the 2 course and 3 course menu.  All in all delicious food and a great pre-theatre choice.  The only reason I've dropped a star is that the menu ends at 6pm which is that tiny bit too early for me, would be better if it could last until 6:30.

Laura B

Really great ceviche, fantastic flavours with a little crunch on top. Wish that we had ordered ceviche only as this was definitely the highlight of the meal. Dined in the bar downstairs which had a lively ambience but was a little on the dark side. I ordered a Pisco sour, but then realised I didn't actually like Pisco sours. I'm sure though if you like them, then these ones are good!

Jason James

The food here reminds me of when I spent some time in Peru, and for anyone looking for that kind of thing anywhere outside of South America, it's a difficult feat to achieve. I actually prefer this to the original Lima in London. It's more relaxed, and the cocktails are ace.

Mark O'Donnell
moderatorStaff Writer

The best Peruvian food I've tasted in London (sorry, Ceviche), Lima is an absolute assault on the tastebuds, with every mouthful zinging with flavour. The only downside is the price: you can rack up a hefty bill in here in no time, but the quality of the food does make it worth it. A visit here should also be bookended with a trip to the pisco bar in the basement.  

Emma S
Tastemaker

This is a lovely restaurant - really interesting, fresh, inventive food that's as much a joy to look at as it is to eat. My colleagues took me here for my leaving lunch and the chef was even nice enough to sign the recipe book they'd bought me as a gift. It's not cheap (hence I dropped a star), and while I loved my dessert, my companions found them way too sweet. All in all though, delightful

A-Dog
Staff Writer

Been a few Peruvian places in London and this one left me most disappointed. It's pretty nice inside, interesting building with a few nooks and crannies. However, the food was a little bland. Those who had the cervice said it wasn't good and my Beef Causa starter just tasted of unseasoned potato. However, my main course of Pulpo Mancora (chargrilled octopus) was lovely so perhaps you have to be very lucky with your choices. Service was fine if a little slow, although this was near Christmas. Didn't help that there was a nasty smell coming from their toilets downstairs. Maybe I caught them on a bad day, but I wouldn't go back as there are better Peruvian options available, like Andina in Shoreditch.

Laura H

This chicken starter was horrible, it was purposely cold, but tasted just like something that comes from the tesco sandwich aisle. The purple potatos looked great, but seriously lacked in flavour. Not worth the money

Cookie Monster
moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

Excellent food and service. If you're new to Peruvian food like me, ask the staff for recommendations and you will not go wrong.

Matilda Egere-Cooper

A top choice if you've never tried  Peruvian food. Dishes like ceviche are beautifully prepared with so much love and care here - and you'll want to wash it all down with their well-made pisco sours.  Definitely one for the hit-list. 

Darya.sh

My first time at a Peruvian restaurant and Lima Floral has certainly met my prejudged expectations of what Peruvian food should be like. After my initial experience not only would I go back but by the end of the night I felt compelled to visit Peru and find out more about their culture.

The menu at first glance seems simple as it is only one page, but the dishes themselves have a unique twist to them. It took me a while to actually decide on a dish as I wanted to try everything on the menu. The waiter was very friendly and helpful. I was also told of a few fruits/vegetables that was only specific to Peru. I was specially shocked to discover that potatoes come in different colours of green/orange/purple and the "normal" yellow. The waiter was even kind enough to bring me a purple potato to see and taste for myself.

The dishes were beautifully presented with vibrate colours and interesting textures. A small party for my taste buds. Everything from spicy, sweet and sour in one plate.

My favourite dish of the night was Surspiro Ardiente, which is by far one of the best deserts I've ever tried. I won't even begin to describe the varies flavours but let's just say it's worth going to Lima floral even if it's just to try this one dish.

ANH

I took my wife here for our anniversary. There was uncertainty on her part about Peruvian food but having been to the sister restaurant Lima I assured her its worth going to for the beauty of the presentation alone. Fortunately the food matched the aesthetics and we had a lovely meal full of unusual colours and flavours. The only negative about this place was the acoustics meant it was incredibly l;out and very hard to hear each other.

Charly Lester
moderatorStaff Writer

Traditional, inventive Peruvian food, beautifully prepared and presented. Beware, there are no 'westernised' menu options - you have well and truly stepped into Peru, so you need to be prepared to eat Peruvian! Great service and lovely atmosphere

Roz L

Amazing food and great service! We had a super friendly waiter who helped us pick some incredible choices from the menu, I'd highly recommend anything with scallops or the steak. The cocktail menu was extensive and delicious - especially the pisco sours, which is a good starting place on which to rate any Peruvian restaurant. 

Emma P
Staff Writer

The pisco sours were absolutely amazing but the service we received on a weekday lunchtime was lacklustre. We got off to a bad start when the waiter rolled his eyes at us deciding to move tables – the place was practically empty so it wasn't as if he was busy. The set lunch menu was a mixed success with portion sizes decidedly on the ungenerous side. My ceviche was excellent but my husband had a raw asparagus and quinoa salad which didn't work at all, especially as it came with hardly any dressing. It reminded us a bit of the Jacob's cracker challenge. Dry, very dry. The chicken main course was perfectly fine but the experience didn't encourage us to go back and try the dinner menu.

Tamsin V
Staff Comp

My favourite spot for cocktails in Covent Garden. The Pisco Bar downstairs has a really cool vibe, with a fresh and unique menu of drinks, and the staff are consistently friendly. My recommendations? The Pisco Clasico and El Senor de Sipan.

Tim A
Staff Writer

Three words for this superb Peruvian restaurant - simply delicious! Okay that two words but it really tells you all you need to know. The food is light, fresh and so tasty. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and the cocktails are too good to miss. Perfect for date night or for an informal works night out.

Clemmie D
0 of 1 found helpful

OVERPRICED AND TINY PORTION SIZE!!! Mains cost £22 on average and are literally minuscule. Wine is also very pricey. Food is good but does not justify the cost, no way.