The owners of Lima, a Peruvian fine-dining restaurant set to open in London next month, have unveiled full details of the new venture.
Set to open on Rathbone Place in Fitzrovia at the end of June, the restaurant is the first London venture from Virgilio Martinez (pictured), chef-patron of the Central fine-dining restaurant in Lima, and his partners the Gonzales brothers.
Named after its capital, Lima will be a modern, fine-dining restaurant, showcasing the globally influenced cuisine of Peru, with a focus on seafood including ceviche. The 80-seat restaurant will be spread over two floors featuring a bar area, offering Peru's signature Pisco cocktail and an informal menu, as well as a 40-seat formal dining room.
The head chef at Lima will be Peruvian-born Robert Ortiz, who met Martinez 13 years ago in London. He has been part of Central restaurant's "creativity team" for the past five years while also working as a chef in London.
Restaurant manager Bunmi Okolosi will oversee the front of house having previously worked at London restaurants including the Boundary and Pont de la Tour. Most recently Bunmi held the position of maître d' at the Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
The menu, put together by Virgilio and Robert, will be split into a "crudo" (raw) section, which includes ceviches and tiraditos, starters and main courses, and a tasting menu. While Lima will aim to source much of its produce from within the UK, the restaurant will also import some more unusual ingredients from small producers in Peru. Typical dishes will include octopus "al olivo" or duck cured magret next to main courses such as turbot with Amazon citrus and suckling pig with potatoes cultivated at 4,000 metres.
The restaurant's interior has been developed by March & White, featuring native Peruvian influences throughout.
Commenting on the launch, Martinez told Catererandhotelkeeper.com: "We want to give a few examples of traditional Peruvian cuisine but we also want to show what's happening in Lima right now. In the past five years there has been a huge development in the restaurant scene there, which is really cosmopolitan now.
"We will work with local suppliers here but I have many local producers in Peru and I want to bring some of their amazing produce here such as organic cacao, coffee, chilli, herbs and potatoes that people here in London don't know about."
Martinez previously worked in London at the Ritz as well as in Spain at the late Santi Santamaria's three-Michelin-starred Can Fabes and at Astrid y Gaston in Madrid where he was executive chef. In 2008, he opened Central in Lima.
Lima will be the second Peruvian restaurant to open in London this year after Ceviche, which opened in March.
By Kerstin Kühn
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