What’s new in London’s Peruvian restaurant scene?
With Peru still sitting on my bucket list of countries to visit, the closest I have got to experiencing the home of Machu Picchu has been its cuisine here in London, the food capital of the world.
Having dined at the likes of Lima and Coya, I get a feel that Peruvians love their food artistically colourful and ridiculously packed with flavours coming from every crumb and drop on their plates!
Our Review of Pisqu, a Newly Opened Peruvian Restaurant in London
So when Mr New Yorker and I were invited for lunch at recently opened Peruvian restaurant in London, Pisqu, it was a no-brainer decision for me. What caught my interest however, was that not only is the restaurant situated on the same road as Lima, but that its head chef, William Ortiz, is the brother of Robert Ortiz, his counterpart at Lima.
However, in joining forces with ex-financiers Coco Gil and Yuko Uchida, Pisqu’s Ortiz is offering a slightly different approach on Peruvian cuisine, something that resonates well with where we are right now in our life. Their approach is health-centred in that their cooking draws on the use of quality, healthy and natural superfood ingredients.
The Interior of Pisqu
Upon entry into this cosy little setup on Rathbone Place, we liked the interior’s simplicity and intimate wooden table arrangements. Chalkboards were on display, showcasing their breakfast and brunch offers while bar staff were preparing for the day ahead.
We arrived around midday on a Saturday and it wasn’t too busy, which meant it was great to dive into deep conversation and of course, discuss our thoughts after devouring into each rainbow colour filled dish that came into eyesight.
The Food at Pisqu
To kick off and especially after surviving a punishing Barry’s Bootcamp session just an hour before, we opted for two superfood smoothies – the Amazon Power (camu, strawberry, papaya and peach) and Cleanse Green (curly kale, lemon grass, banana and mango).
After being taken on a tour through the menu by the incredibly friendly and helpful Coco, we decided to select a trio of starters, all of which were seafood in nature: Ceviche Pisqu (sea bass, sweet potato, lime, coriander, tiger’s milk and Inca corn), Pulpo (grilled octopus, Inca corn grain cake and achiote oil) and Salmon Nikkei Tiradito (sashimi cut salmon, ponzu, rocoto chilli and tiger’s milk).
While our taste buds enjoyed all three, the standout dish was easily the ceviche. The sea bass was wonderfully fresh and complemented well with the tiger’s milk and lime, while the Inca corn (present in a number of dishes) was a revelation and a delicious alternative to potatoes.
For our main courses, we were convinced to go for a trio of dishes to get exposure to the variety of flavours on offer. Lomo a la parrilla, their signature dish, was a must and comprised a beef fillet served with pachamanca sauce, yellow potato puree and a side of that new favourite of ours, corn grain cake.
The second dish was their anticucho de pollo (chicken marinated in chilli anticucho sauce), which is supposedly a popular street food dish back in Peru. The pairing of the chicken skewers with the anticucho sauce worked perfectly and in a way, made me feel like this was Peru’s version of Asia’s famous chicken satay dish.
And finally, we had the seabass a la plancha – grilled seabass served with purple potatoes and achiote oil. Our first experience of purple potatoes and we quite liked its earthy, nutty flavours. Being Pisqu, this potato is also bursting with numerous health benefits, such as lowering and regulating blood pressure.
While all the plates we cleaned off for starters and mains were divine, we somewhat regretted our decision to order three of each as it meant we literally had no space left in our well-fed stomachs for dessert. It was a shame because they all sounded tempting, especially the alfajores morados (purple corn traditional Peruvian biscuit with dulce de leche and lucuma). On the positive side, it means we will certainly be back to give it a try!
The best part about Pisqu? Deliciously, guilt-free cooking with flavours that transport you to South America! If you’re looking for something different and to be introduced to new flavours packed with superfoods, then I highly recommend you book a table here. In the meantime, I’m off to find how I can cook some of that corn grain cake at home!