Pachamama, Bar + Kitchen.
18 THAYER STREET, MARYLEBONE, LONDON, W1U 3JY
Tucked behind a nondescript glass door, the only giveaway being a pink neon ‘A’ above it, nestled between Marylebone highstreet and Oxford Street sits Pachamama, the Peruvian bar and kitchen. Yes that’s right, Peruvian. For a time now Pachamama has been flying on the cusp of Londons foodie radars and with great cause, its inventive and mouth watering interpretation of Peruvian dishes has come to blow the minds of people like myself time and time again, showing the seemingly endless possibilities of what Peruvian food has to offer. Thats right, there’s no boring seeds or Cuy (Guinea Pig) here.
Situated in the basement of the building above, on entering you are transported to a chic, rustic and well lit space that somehow instantly makes you feel at home. Even the odd horse sculpture tucked behind a floral curtain which I was particularly taken with. On arrival we were greeted by our waitress, the lovely Silvia, who, with her infectious smile and obvious enthusiasm, made us feel like old friends. Silvia, as if gliding on air, whisked us to our table and offered us a choice of, quite frankly, sensational cocktails and wine. Cocktails at lunch you say? Mistro if you please, serve away. We decided we would try Pachamama’s Piso Sour – Piso being a Peruvian brandy that is mixed with lime hydrosol – to say it was effective in its purpose, is the understatement of the year. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever felt so cheery at lunchtime. No, no… Half cut, let’s just call it what it is.
On to the food and we opted for the restaurants ‘pick and mix’ lunch menu. A delectable, saliva inducing list of treats from sea, land and soil that come in a mixture of small and large plates, depending on what takes your fancy which I personally loved. We ordered the Spicy Salmon Ceviche with orange tigers milk and pickled fennel, Spicy Sea Bass ceviche in tigers milk with cholco and sweet potato crisps – for those of you unfamiliar with Peruvian cooking Leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk, is the Peruvian term for the citrus-based marinade that cures the seafood in a ceviche – Caramelised Sweet Potato ( which tasted like it was hand crafted by the gods might I add) and from the lunch specials, the Topside steak with sweet potato and spring onion.
To sit along side this merry gathering of sea and land we decided to delve into ‘Mama’s Cellar’ and persuaded out a fine bottle of the Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which is a beautifully fresh and light sauvignon with tasting notes of wild gooseberry and grapefruit – an absolute delight to drink and purely thanks to our own refined palates (ok that’s not true, it was all thanks to Silvia again) a fine companion for the fish dishes.
Normally at lunch time I tend to stay away from sweet treats, but Silvia, once again doing an outstanding job some how managed to twist our arms and tempted us towards the dessert menu. My guest decided to try the Peruvian chocolate and toasted quinoa ice cream and I decided I would indulge in the Burned butter ice cream, miso meringue and sweet potato. Yes, I do like sweet potato. There are no other words to describe these desserts other than simple perfection. They were incredible and with each mouthful I prayed that it would never end, but unfortunately it did.
In summary, Pachamama could well be the epicentre of casual Peruvian dining in London, for too long this foodie sanctuary has flown under the radar of passersby. I demand each and every one of you who read this to go and dine at this fantastic restaurant, tell your friends, shout it from the rooftops. It will be an experience your tastebuds will thank you for, an experience your soul with forever remember and seek each time you go out for dinner or lunch in the future, will it ever be as satisfied? I’m not sure. Pachamama is home for all that appreciate the delicacy of what good food really is. It’s the home of some of the best Peruvian food in London.
Pick & Mix Lunch Menu: £7.00 Per Plate.
Topside Steak, Sweet Potato, Spring Onion: £12.00