Taste of Peru: Lima team to open second London restaurant

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Peru

Artist's impression: Lima Floral will be split into two spaces, with a relaxed airy dining room and a cosy basement bar
Artist's impression: Lima Floral will be split into two spaces, with a relaxed airy dining room and a cosy basement bar
Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez is to open a second London restaurant with the Gonzales brothers this summer.

Lima Floral will open on the corner of Garrick Street and Floral Street in July, offering traditional and contemporary Peruvian cuisine in a relaxed space.

The restaurant will be split into two spaces – a 70-cover dining room on the ground floor, and a 30-cover ‘piqueos’ bar serving Peruvian tapas in the basement.

“We are so excited to have found a beautiful site in Covent Garden,” said Gabriel Gonzalez, co-owner of Lima.

“After two years of operating Lima, we thought it was time to develop a casual and fun offering with serious food credentials in this foodie destination.

“The cuisine will be of very high quality, using traditional and unique cooking techniques.”

On the menu

Martinez and head chef Robert Ortiz will oversee a menu featuring some of Lima’s most popular dishes, as well as new plates such as Scallops with Chia Ceviche, Amazonian Fish with Warm Causa and Kholrabi and Quinoa Tiradito.

A separate bar menu will offer small piqueo dishes such as Grouper with Rocoto Tiger's Milk Ceviche and Tuna and Seared Aubergine Tiradito, alongside an extensive cocktail list featuring variations on Peru’s traditional Pisco cocktail.

Martinez plans to incorporate native vegetables and fruits into his menu, as well as some rare Peruvian ingredients from remote places in the Amazon basin and the Andes altitudes.

However, Lima Floral will – like its sister restaurant – source most of its produce in the UK, supporting local producers and sustainable fishing.

Location, location, location

Lima Floral will be located inside a historical former monastery which is owned and managed by Capco.

Beverley Churchill, Capco creative director, said: “The LIMA team’s new project is the perfect addition to Covent Garden’s thriving dining scene and continues our strategy of partnering the world’s most exciting restaurateurs and foodies to premiere UK-first concepts in the neighbourhood.”

The interior of the new restaurant has been conceived by B3 designers, and will feature strong native influences throughout, with large arched windows creating a ‘bright and airy’ dining room, and the basement space converted into a ‘comfortable drinking den'.

Focus on biodiversity

Martinez is a founding member of Peru’s Mater Initiative, a multidisciplinary group of Peruvian chefs, scientist and ecologists who travel around Peru searching for unique edible plants and ingredients to promote biodiversity.

The chef’s Central restaurant in the Peruvian capital of Lima was placed 50th​ on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants​ list last year.

He opened Lima with partners Gabriel and Jose Luis Gonzalez​ in August 2012, and the restaurant became the first Peruvian restaurant in Europe to receive a Michelin star in September 2013.

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