Ceviche and Paddington Bear are the UK’s two favourite gifts from Peru; now Casita Andina is about to add to the Peruvian story in London
For those unfamiliar with the culinary stylings of music mogul Martin Morales, he has become a veritable champion of Peruvian cuisine in London, with soon-to-be four restaurants in the capital – two Ceviches and two Andinas.
Ceviche is the original, opening first in Soho and then Old Street, with Andina in Shoreditch about to be joined by a little sister joint in Soho. Its philosophy of chicha is pure Peruvian capital Lima all over, and means cheeky or playful. The idea is evident in the staff, funky dishes and colourful interior. It’s won plaudits across the industry, from the bees’ knees and the who’s who, and is a regular favourite with punters too. Stick your head in on any night and it’ll be vibrant and buzzing.
Andina’s menu hails specifically from the Andes area of Peru, with Martin’s signature bright colours, fresh, zingy flavours and beautiful presentation. Upstairs is casual with lovely little details like exposed hanging bulbs and Peruvian wall hangings, while downstairs is cosier, and great for private events.
Morales’ new outpost Casita Andina opens in Soho in two weeks’ time, with the kitchen headed up by Vetilio Reyes, formerly Senior Sous Chef at Lima Floral. The new menu will be entirely gluten-free, featuring dishes such as Chupe, king prawns, coriander quinoa chicharrones, chupe liquor and Maca Lamb – huacatay marinated lamb loin, garlic maca uchucuta, heritage Peruvian potatoes, St George’s mushrooms and crushed spicy cancha.
There will be a dedicated Ceviche counter, pisco bar and a little patio – perfectly timed for some healthy, summery eating and drinking.
Peruvian cuisine is certainly having a moment, with the current wave of all things healthy, exotic and instagramable, but unlike the fads that we’ll be glad to see the back of (avo toast I’m talking about you) Peruvian can stay, and Morales is bang on the money.
Words: Amy Lainchbury