Posh Peruvian in Marylebone
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : South American
Address : 18 Thayer Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 3JY, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.pachamamalondon.com
Opening Times : Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm & 6pm-12am, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm & 6pm-12am
Closest Tube : Bond Street
Pachamama had its work cut out for it, battling for London diners with Peruvian early adopters Lima, Ceviche and Coya. However, head chef Adam Rawson has some serious cooking chops, having manned the pans at Viajante, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, White Rabbit and Lucky Chip. His mission was to merge traditional Peruvian with contemporary British cuisine, and serve it up with flair in Marylebone, and he quickly cemented Pachamama's status as a favourite in the neighbourhood and an ambassador for the cuisine.
Nestled on Thayer Street at the bottom of Marylebone High Street, the restaurant echoes the faded glory of a South American colonial home with broad-leaved plants and ferns, plasterwork chiselled from the walls and a modern 16-seater bar in the entryway, imbuing the setting with a boisterous energy. There's often quite a scene at the bar, with DJs playing and a buoyant ambience fuelled by strong pisco concoctions. We opted for the 'She Drinks', a whisky cocktail shook up with lemon juice, blackberry and basil, which did a fine job of sharpening our appetites.
Rawson does a stellar job in the kitchen of drawing on the various facets of South American gastronomy. The ceviches are lashed with bright flavours. Citrus-cured yellowtail tuna with pickled potatoes and soy evinced classic Chifa savour - a mashup of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine. A more traditional Nikkei ceviche of salmon, pickled beetroot and avocado was evocative of Japanese cuisine. We enjoyed the popular dish of arroz con pato, or rice with duck. The rice was stirred often to give it a glutinous texture. Smoked Gloucester Old Spot ribs were studded with fat, awash in a sticky malt and peanut glaze with lime and coriander on the side. Blackened herb-fed chicken was a bit lighter but overshadowed by the chicharrones, which were crispy, saline and ineluctably moreish.
In our opinion, the desserts were some of the best players on the menu, including a dragon fruit and melon sorbet and a chocolate fondant with peanut brittle and a suspiro de limena with strawberry and fresh sorrel. Chewy white chocolate with rhubarb was also superb, not to mention a chocolate tart with quinoa ice cream. For something easy-going, easy on the wallet and fun, Pachamama ticks all of the boxes.