London's Peruvian Food Craze
Scallops, Chia Seeds, Tumbo Passion.
The list of Peruvian restaurants in London seems to grow longer each month as Chotto Matte, Ceviche, Andina, Coya, and Lima (the first Peruvian restaurant to receive a Michelin star) are playing with ancient culinary traditions and introducing them to eager foodies. While each spot decidedly offers their own style, it's the blend of Japanese and Peruvian techniques and flavors, called Nikkei cuisine, that offers some of the most innovative, exciting dishes I’ve tasted.
At a recent lunch at Lima prepared by reknowed chefs Mitsuharu Tsumura and Gaston Acurio, the ceviche course melded effortlessly into the sushi course. Where one style ends the other begins, with an explosion of textures, temperatures, and tastes. This is healthy food that plays with ingredients you might associate more with your daily smoothie: chia seeds, quinoa, cacao. And in that vein, this is food that leaves you feeling energized and happy—the spirit of the Andes and the Amazon tickling your tastebuds.
Sally Hurst is a chef and writer based in London. You can follow her on Twitter @chefsallyjane.