Jasmine Phull discovered the perfect Peruvian pit stop at Andina restaurant
On every street corner and in every park, foodie culture reigns far and wide in Peru. Sharing the titular of ‘foodie capital’, it’s little wonder that the gastronomical thoroughfare of Latin American cuisine has made its way to the London. But is Andina in Redchurch Street, Peruvian street food’s most ambitious relocation yet?
On a very pretty block of Shoreditch real estate, Martin Morale’s second UK offering endeavors to translate his traditional family – foodie – culture, where food is at the centre, of his childhood to East London’s restaurant scene.
Mirroring the sincerity and culture of cookery from the motherland, is by any means, a task of gargantuan proportions. So it is reassuring to instead see new interpretations: twists on the classics using local ingredients make up a menu that is innovative while humble.
New World bites include cancha, golden toasted kernals, chifles – crispy plantain crisps – and old favourite ceviches, historically a lunchtime dish, but tonight I see no one offended by the espousing of hake and cod cheek slices marinated in blood orange and topped with spring onion.
It’s not just the flavours; it’s the bursts of yellows, pinks and golden browns that romance you. Peruvian food is regionally diverse and by default plentiful in colour. Purple potatoes, slathered in a rich, zingy huancaina sauce are as pleasing for the eyes as they are for the mouth. And the chicharrones are not to be missed; tiny cubes of pork belly in a chilli jam that are simple yet something your tastebuds will talk about. The food is flavoursome without being overpowering. It offers an array of subtle yet complex tastes without being pretentious.
What was to follow, the sweet finisher, was what really caught my attention. The dessert menu is assertive, rivaling most. Stealing the show were the picarones, pumpkin fritters that look like thin donuts but are so much more. Served with a chocolate syrup on top, they were the fireworks to close all meals.
Andina is a tip of a hat to the Latin American motherland, but is so very – unapologetically – Shoreditch. Go hungry and be indulgent.
Andina Restaurant – 1 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DJ
Words by Jasmine Phull, a writer by day, an imbiber by night, sipping sours at the bar is all in a day’s work for our resident bar reviewer and travel writer @f_reshprince