Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez and his partners, Gabriel and Jose Luis Gonzalez, will open a second site on Garrick Street, Covent Garden, in mid July 2014.
The new 70 cover restaurant, LIMA Floral, will introduce new ingredients and dishes never seen in the capital before. July will be a significant month for the team, marking the second anniversary of Lima in addition to the new opening.
Gabriel Gonzalez, co-owner of LIMA, comments: “We are so excited to have found a beautiful site in Covent Garden. After two years of operating Lima, we thought it was time to develop an offering with serious food credentials in this foodie destination.
"The cuisine will be of very high quality, using traditional cooking techniques. It will be an evolution on what we have offered diners at Lima London, with an aim of sharing the latest research and findings direct from Virgilio’s Central restaurant (15th in the World’s 50th Best Restaurants) in Peru. LIMA Floral will be split in two spaces: the main restaurant and a ‘piqueos bar’ (essentially a bar serving tapas dishes which is very traditional in Peru).”
Following a launch to critical acclaim in August 2012, LIMA became the first Peruvian restaurant in Europe to be awarded a Michelin star in September 2013. In reflection of this, the menu at the new site, overseen by Martinez and head chef Robert Ortiz, will feature some of LIMA’s most popular dishes alongside a menu of challenging Peruvian cuisine aimed at helping customers discover new flavours.
Interestingly, Martinez is a founding member of Peru’s Mater Iniciativa, a multidisciplinary group of Peruvian chefs, scientist and ecologists who travel around Peru’s diverse landscape discovering unique edible plants and ingredients with the goal of sharing them and information about the cultural and biodiversity of Peru’s produce.
Through this, the menu will include some of these rare Peruvian ingredients, which have yet to appear on London menus, coming from remote places in the Amazon basin and the Andes altitudes. The menus at Lima Floral will also showcase produce from the British Isles as part of the team’s philosophy to work in harmony with the environment, supporting sustainable fishing in the UK and local producers.
Virgilio Martinez comments on Lima Floral, “After two years of LIMA, it feels right to develop another Peruvian concept in London; an evolution of the cuisine currently available at our first restaurant. Now London is familiar with Peruvian food, we feel it is the perfect time to push the boundaries with our menu. The location is fantastic and this will be a fresh challenge for our team.”
The restaurant and bar interior design is by B3 designers, B3’s previous restaurant projects include Gymkhana, Bubbledogs and ROKA. The vision of the project will have strong native influences throughout; large arched windows create a bright and airy dining room on the ground floor, while the basement bar will be a comfortable drinking den, with a fun and high quality bar menu.
Located on the corner of Garrick Street and Floral Street, the new restaurant will be within a historic building which was originally built as a monastery, and more recently home to The Forge restaurant. The new site, at 14 Garrick Street, will seat approximately 70 customers, with an additional basement space of 30 covers, a specialist Pisco bar plus a private dining room.
The building is owned and managed by Capco. Beverley Churchill, Creative Director said “The LIMA team’s new project is the perfect addition to Covent Garden’s thriving dining scene and continues our strategy of partnering the world’s most exciting restaurateurs and foodies to premiere UK-first concepts in the neighbourhood.”
The new site will be an exciting addition to the dining scene in London. The project presents an opportunity for the LIMA team to introduce more of Peru’s culture and biodiversity to London through food, while the inclusion of a bar offers a new dimension and vibrancy to the LIMA brand.