Integrating both traditional and contemporary Peruvian cuisine, the 80-cover fine-dining restaurant is the brainchild of Martinez and the Gonzales brothers. LIMA will showcase the globally-influenced cuisine of Peru, with a focus on seafood.
Martinez is currently chef patron of Central restaurant in Lima (Peru’s capital). He was previously executive chef at Astrid y Gaston, which placed 35th on this year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.LIMA will be Martinez’s first solo venture in London and will parallel the culinary offerings of Central.
LIMA’s head chef will be Martinez’s long-time friend Robert Ortiz, while restaurant manager Bunmi Okolosi will head up the front-of-house. Okolosi most recently held the position of of Maitre D’ at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which came ninth on the list.Martinez’s team at Central is to be headed up by his fiancée and sous-chef Pia Leon.
On the menu
The restaurant’s menu, constructed by Martinez and Ortiz, is split into a crudo (raw) section, including ceviches and tiraditos, starters and main courses; and a tasting menu. Diners at LIMA can enjoy starters of octopus al olivo or duck cured magret, while main courses will include turbot with an Amazon citrus and suckling pig with potatoes cultivated at 4,000 metres.
Although aiming to source much of its produce from within the UK, the restaurant will bring carefully selected and hitherto unheard of ingredients from small producers in Peru. As Martinez explained: “Peruvian cuisine is nothing if it doesn’t show its native produce.”
LIMA will be spread over two floors with a bar area, featuring Peru’s signature Pisco cocktail as well as a 40-cover informal dining room. The restaurant’s interior has been conceived by London-based design firm March & White. It features a ‘playful yet elegant’ design, with strong native influences throughout.
The restaurant will open at the end of June at 31 Rathbone Place.
Concept and location
Latin American cuisine has been taking the capital by storm in recent months. Fellow Peruvian restaurant Ceviche opened in Soho in March, while restaurateur Arjun Waney is planning Villa Rose. David Ponté and Jamie Barber's Brazilian concept Cabana also opened at Central St Giles and Westfield Stratford last year, while London's first Brazilian temakeria opened in Soho last month.
Meanwhile, LIMA’s location of Fitzrovia is becoming an increasingly popular area for new restaurants and pubs. Village London, the Draft House, MARC, Fino, Melito Pizza and Pho all opening sites in recent years.