What: The team behind Peruvian-inspired restaurants Chicama and Pachamama Marylebone have headed to east London for their latest opening.
Who: The restaurant is overseen by 25-year-old Mikkel Gregersen, who’s cooked at Portland, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and AOC in Copenhagen. He was recently appointed executive creative chef at Pachamama, working across its three sites.
The vibe: Dinner at Pachamama East has the same slightly clubby feel as its sister site, the music is loud and there’s a DJ stationed above the dining room. The open kitchen contributes to the buzzy atmosphere, with a coal fire and a view of chefs busy in the kitchen. At 85 covers it’s around 40 seats smaller than the original Marylebone restaurant, with exposed wood, concrete walls and plenty of indoor plants.
The food: The emphasis is on sharing, with lunch and dinner menus offering dishes from ‘Soil, Land and Sea’ categories. This is the first Pachamama to focus on Asian-inspired flavours in Peruvian cuisine, with dishes such as whole jiang-glazed chicken; hand-pulled lobster noodles; and Sichuan fried chicken; alongside the group’s signature colourful ceviche and pork belly chicharrones. Make sure not to skip the desserts, Gregersen has a background in pastry and his Peruvian chocolate, with quinoa ice cream, is not to be missed.
And another thing: There was something of a surge of Peruvian-style restaurants opening around central London a few years ago, including Lima, Senor Ceviche, Chotto Matte and Martin Morales’ Ceviche and Casita Andina. This trend seems to have slowed recently, so it’s good to see Pachamama finally heading east to join Morales’ Andina Shoreditch and Ceviche Old Street, which launched in 2013 and 2015 respectively.