Peruvian food has fast become one of my favourites, who can resist a succulent, tangy ceviche, even during the coldest months of the year? It’s like taking an exotic holiday with none of the jetlag. London has an abundance of restaurants offering up the South American cuisine and if you thought that the hype was dying out, you haven’t tried the latest addition to the family, Pachamama East.
In comparison to the first that opened in Marylebone all the way back in 2014, the Old Street baby is an urban jungle as opposed to a cozy, dim underground eatery full of grandma-chic furniture. And am I allowed to say, the staff are much nicer here? Lots of light, high ceilings, exposed brick and a plethora of green, juicy plants. In some ways Pachamama East looks like a Shoreditch hipster loft more than a restaurant, which makes it all the more appealing for a weekend date with the girls. Another similarity it has to the original, is the weekend brunch menu, serving their signature waffles made from quinoa or sweet potato. I would always recommend going for the a la carte, which has never disappointed, but if you’re a die-hard fan of breakfast food and really insist – then go for the quinoa base and opt for the sweet version (£9-10).
Don’t miss out on the snacks, like the generous portion of pork belly chicharrones. Expect juicy, fatty bites (£5) that are fit to rival the main dishes. But you’re really here for the colourful selection of sharing plates. As a huge fan of the Japanese influences that emerge from the Peruvian palate, I’m usually in favour of endless plates of ceviche. At East, it’s worth investing some belly space for vegetables, which feature heavy Chinese flavours, like the wok fried water spinach and shimeji mushrooms (£9). The warm aubergine salad (£9) is an incredible dish and with its heaving portion, reminded me of something I’d see at any typical Chinese family dinner. As for meat dishes, the crispy lamb with green pepper and miso (£11) deserves a mention for its wonderful combination of flavours that you just can’t stop eating. One plate that pleasantly surprised me was the octopus with black quinoa (£15). It’s just too easy to find sub par tentacles in London but the simplicity and texture of this dish was a winner in my eyes.
Already a fan of Pachamama and Chicama? With the greater inclination to Asian touches than the previous restaurants, you’ll find a wider variety at East. But still with the same aesthetic flair, balanced cocktails and signature dishes you return for.
73 Great Eastern St