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Hot Dinners


31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1JH
Latest critic review: November 03, 2013
Critics' score: 7 out of 10 Users' score: 7.0 out of 10

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This Peruvian restaurant is from Virgilio Martinez, former Executive Chef at Astrid y Gaston, listed on the San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants list. It aims to "integrate Peruvian traditional cuisine with a modern and contemporary twist."

Hot Dinners Test Drive

Hot Dinners has had a test drive of this restaurant. Find out what we thought.

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AA Gill Sunday Times
Reviewed on November 03, 2013
"The problem, and I freely admit that this is my problem, is that I don’t understand the menu. Since I’m not a gay old Peruvian hand, the ingredients remain opaquely mysterious." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 3
Matthew Norman Telegraph
Reviewed on April 29, 2013
"As for Roberto Ortiz’s cooking, as overseen by the celebrated Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez, this is a ridiculously perfect amalgam of taste and aesthetics, every dish marrying dramatic colour combinations to clear, precise and equally vibrant flavours." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 10
Giles Coren Times
Reviewed on November 03, 2012
" Short, very original menu, mostly excellent cooking, grown-up staff, imaginative wine list, tables, chairs, reservation line… in short, a nice new restaurant. I had no idea they were still making them." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 6.5
John Walsh Independent
Reviewed on September 08, 2012
"...it had been well worth travelling all the way to north Oxford Street to encounter modern Peruvian cuisine and be startled by its flavours, its zingy colours, its unexpectedness, and the charm of the waiters." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 6.5
Zoe Williams Telegraph
Reviewed on September 04, 2012
"...if you're looking for true innovation, I'm not sure this is your place. If, on the other hand, you want to eat mainly lovely food, and look as if you're innovating at the same time, it's perfect." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 7
Albany Bell City AM
Reviewed by August 28, 2012
"Lima finds the perfect combination between modern cuisine and traditional Peruvian ingredients and the imagination and creativity that Martinez brings is sure to keep people coming back." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 7.5
Chris Pople Cheese & Biscuits
Reviewed on July 16, 2012
"Despite the nagging environmenal questions though, and the cost, there's still a lot to love about Lima. The food, as I say, is extraordinary not just because London has seen little like it before, but because it is thoughtfully constructed, expertly cooked and tastes incredible." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 8
Fay Maschler Evening Standard
Reviewed on July 18, 2012
"One of the arresting qualities of dishes at Lima is their beauty — due to a vivid use of natural colours. When I saw ceviche of artichoke, white onion, Amazon tree tomato (aka cocona) and pink peppercorns, which I think is the translation of molle, I thought I would like a dress in exactly those colours and in the way they were arranged." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 8
Guy Dimond Time Out
Reviewed on July 18, 2012
"...we were agreed that the execution was very good, and the dishes original, with many making their debut in the capital." READ REVIEW
Critic's score: 8

User reviews

5 reviews

Overall rating 
7.0  (5)
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Overall rating 

Not up to scratch

It all looked so promising; we had one of the best tables (at the back in the corner seat), a lovely friendly waiter, attentive and keen to share the intricacies or the menu. The vibe was set and when the food came out it was beautifully presented and really tasty. But we were seriously let down by the amounts. So much so it has led me to write this review. I don't remember a time I've left a restaurant hungry and severely out of pocket. We only had a cocktail each and some tap water, shared a desert but somehow managed to spend £50 per head and were still starving. We had three plates between us and in my view it's not good enough to just be able to put up lovely looking tasty food and expect people to pay ridiculous prices for what were seemingly taster plates. It's not the waiters fault, he told us to order more but at those prices, I couldn't justify it. Lima is a lovely concept, producing some delicious food but the price margin is just not there - yet......

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Not that impressed

I was really excited to try this new and exciting place but to be honest - I was not that impressed. It wasn't the actual food as such but everything else. When you go out to eat you expect good food at a decent price with amazing service. The food was 'beautiful' and so so delicate. But the chef's at Lima have gone too far on the presentation and kinda forgotten that if people are spending serious money on eating out, they expect to be fed. We left hungry but with some lovely photo's of beautiful looking food. The service was good, the atmosphere ok and I think we had one of the best tables. I would not want to be downstairs in the cramped basement which had a distinct whiff of drains. Lima needs to work out it's price - to ratio level, I am all for squeezing the margin but I've never spent over £50 per head on a meal, and headed for the kebab shop!

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Original and delicious

I went last night with a friend and had a delicious meal. We shared the asparagus and purple potato starter (it was really purple!) which was very tasty and beautifully presented, if a little salty. I had the suckling pig main and my friend had the lamb, both of which were expertly cooked, succulent and delicious. The service was prompt and attentive and we enjoyed some lovely Spanish red wine to accompany our meal. All in all I would highly recommend this restaurant if you would like something different. Just be wary of the price as it can mount up (we paid £107 between two people for one starter, two mains, one bottle of wine, two teas and, er, another 500ml carafe of wine) and I would have liked to see more choice of mains. There were three fish options and three meat options. As I didn't fancy fish that night I looked to the mains and struggled to pick one that I thought I truly wanted. I was happy with my choice in the end but keep an open mind and you will have a wonderful dinner!

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Overall rating 

Seriously creative Peruvian cuisine!

Would recommend Lima for a special occasion such as a birthday or a night out with friends who enjoy their modern contemporary food and don’t mind splurging a little! Loved the fresh flavours and the way each dish was boldly presented – never a dull moment in sight! We paid about £150 for 2 people for the 3 starters, 3 mains & 2 desserts plus the cocktail & beer to start and a bottle of white to share so don’t expect a super cheap meal (a la tapas style) here unless you’re coming in a group where economies of scale may work in your favour! In hindsight, one less main (lamb) and one dessert to share (dulce de leche) would have been fine as we didn’t quite make it to our post dinner cocktail session – we were seriously stuffed!! Would like to try the ceviche in tiger’s milk one day as have heard good things.


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Peter Casey
Overall rating 

Lima : Review

Having eaten at Ceviche in Soho last month, all I can say is that Lima is in another leage altogether. This is truly delicious food presented beautifully.

Pricey but well worthy it !

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More information

Address31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1JH
Telephone number 0203 002 2640
Michelin star 1 Michelin star
trainTottenham Court Road
Opening timesMonday – Saturday: Lunch 12pm – 2.30pm; Dinner 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Bar area

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