In the next 12 months, at least five Latin American restaurants will launch in the capital, including Brazilian concept Cabana, Villa Rose, from Roka and Zuma owner Arjun Waney, Peruvian restaurant Ceviche in Soho and a new venture from Virgilio Martinez, chef patron at Central restaurant in Lima, Peru who is opening a restaurant called Lima.
At the beginning of March 2012, Ceviche, named after the Peruvian dish of raw fish marinated in citrus juice and owned by DJ-turned-restaurateur, Martin Morales will open and feature a pisco bar, serving Peru’s national drink.
Morale’s used social media and initially set up a Twitter account to gauge people’s interest in the idea of bringing Peruvian cuisine to the UK. He said, “We asked people ‘Do you care about Peruvian cuisine?’ and the response was fantastic.
Another chef, Rene Redzepi, urged Morales to open a restaurant via email, saying ceviche was one of the best foods in the world.
Interest across the world
Morales explained that the new found popularity of Peruvian food in the UK, was down to an increasing momentum for the country’s cuisine on an international scale.
“There are Peruvian restaurants in San Francisco, New York and Madrid, which have become some of the best restaurants in these cities. Peru is a powerhouse in gastronomy – it has more chef schools than any other country in the world.”
Astrid Y Gaston, a Peruvian restaurant, owned by Gaston Acurio – also debuted at number 42 on the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list this year.
Morales said, “Dishes such as ceviche are not dependant on fat but the meat and marinade” and he also mentioned that the cuisine will be appealing to the UK market because of the food’s healthy nature.
Meanwhile David Ponte and Jamie Barber’s mid-market Cabana, a Brazilian concept, is opening in the Central St Giles development, this month, with a second restaurant lined up to open in Westfield Stratford City once their restaurant insurance is confirmed, staff are hired and manufacturers have agreed on supplies.
Have you tried Latin American food before? What are your thoughts?