Peruvian food. Had it? Of course you have if you’ve eaten in London in the last 2 years. Of course this was almost totally championed by Lima and Ceviche. Truthfully, now every chef worth his weight in alpaca has created some sort of Peruvian inspired dish, though other than the original two, it is rare to get it spot on without looking amateur.
Well, hello Andina! Andina is the younger and just as desirable sibling of Ceviche and evidently, good taste runs in the family.
Named after the creators grandmother, an Andina is a “strong lady from the Peruvian Andes”. Usually, these women run “Picanterias” – Family-run, all day restaurants that serve delicious soul food from the Andes.
The actual ceviche itself is a must and frankly I wont hear of a Peruvian restaurant that doesn’t serve seabass ceviche! I also wont hear of anyone who will not at least try a seabass ceviche. It will change things for you. It will change you.
Their other standout dishes for me are the cancha (Crunchy Corn), their Pulpo Chancón (grilled octopus, lúcuma, butterbeans, chancaca and limo honey sauce), and their Lengua de Arguedas (Slow cooked ox tongue in picante stew)…. Just mentally absorb those words…… They also serve a pretty solid selection of gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
This is where it gets a little tricky. Being a Pisco Bar, I tried a couple of their cocktails. I wanted to move into a safer and less strong drink and spotted gin as a mix to one of their cocktails, so felt safe in my request for a G&T…… Non. They told me that they couldn’t make it and when I asked why, they said that they didn’t know why but could only make what was on the menu without “just leaving out the Pisco”. Kindly the manager came out to apologise for the rigid ruling on this, but that he was not able to serve any drinks that were not Pisco.
If you dont want Pisco, then there is always the option to have beer/wine/fizz.
You know what? My advice? Be adventurous! Try the Tiradito de Pato Nikkei (duck breast, yuzu tiger’s milk, radish, pomegranate) Do you know what Tigers Milk is? No? Then try it and see what you think!
Set across two floors including the staple Pisco bar, this place is perfect for an end of the week leap into the weekend.
Andina – 1 Redchurch St, London E2 7DJ