Food Review: Lima
IN A NUTSHELL
This charming, bustling little restaurant served the best meal this critic has eaten in 2013. Force your way in now.
My neighbour is in South America at the moment, beaming back stunning images of natural beauty and boasting on Facebook about the brightly coloured markets that are fleecing her senseless.
But I'm not jealous, although I wish she'd return speedily as watering her extensive plant collection is a lengthy and dull business.
Horticulture aside, the reason no green-eyed monster dwells in my breast is Lima.
Like so many things in London, you can live here and travel several thousand miles in a couple of Tube stops.
Sooner or later anything that's any good washes up on the shores of the Thames and that includes Peruvian cuisine.
I'm a little behind the curve, of course. Lima's not new. It's been here for 11 months.
But if you haven't been, prepare yourself for an onslaught of paragraphs browbeating you into submission.
It's not often I gush, but the meal I ate there was the best I've had this year. It was fresh, an Andean mountain stream blasting out the cobwebs.
Hot, the blistering cherry of molten iron. Indulgent, collapsing on a bed with silken sheets.
Scallops, octopus, beef, halibut, lamb and ice cream.
All were superbly presented and delivered; a rainbow of tastes.
The service was pitch perfect too. Knowledgeable staff helped with foreign ingredients and wines.
And that's before I even mention the Vinedo de los Vientos (£39) - a Uruguayan dessert wine that brings chocolate, cherries and the hush of a hot night in paradise to the mouth.
If I ever gave six stars, this simple, neutral, buzzing space would be the recipient.
Apparently it's tricky to get a table. All I can say is the experience will be worth twice any effort to secure one.
Lima, 31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1JH, 020 3002 2640, limalondon.com.