When we got wind that Peruvian pioneer Virgilio Martinez would be bringing his Michelin-starred culinary concept LIMA to Dubai, our intrigue was only matched by our keen anticipation.
So it was with some glee that we took our table at this swish, split venue. The first thing of note is the impeccable service here, with our waitress being both patient and well-informed. She later tells us she applied for the job purely because she’s a huge fan of Peruvian food, and with fine fare such as this, it’s very easy to see why.
It would be remiss of us not to try one of LIMA’s signatures, so for starters we order the braised octopus, which is a fantastic introduction to the sheer craftsmanship on show here. The meaty chunks of cephalopod are cooked to a tee and form a wonderful unison with the creamy bed of potato they sit on. With the scallop ceviche sold out, any tinge of disappointment soon evaporates as we tuck into the sea bass version, which is perfectly executed and wonderfully moreish.
Anticipation heightened, it’s not long before our mains arrive, with the lamb rump seco a triumph from the first nibble. The quality of the meat is top-notch and the coriander marinade is a stroke of genius. While the duck chalaquita might have been a bit chewy for some tastes, the dish is still pleasing to both the eyes and the palate.
Our side of Peruvian potatoes (including a funky purple variety) are also a winner but our Andean adventure ends on a real high when we demolish the cherimoya (custard apple) ice cream from the suspiro dessert. Yum. The bill (for two) 1x braised octopus Dhs80 1x sea bass ceviche Dhs60 1x lamb rump seco Dhs130 1x duck chalaquita Dhs150 1x Andes sautéed potatoes Dhs35 1x Peruvian suspiro Dhs50 1x large bottle of water Dhs35 Total (excluding service) Dhs540
The bottom line A charming venue serving dishes that do Peru’s top chef very proud.