To explore your inner glutton, look no further than the Peruvian Michelin master chefs at LIMA, Fitzrovia and their secret weapon: Muga Wine.
Tucked away from the turmoil of Tottenham Court Road lies LIMA Fitzrovia, to date the first and only Peruvian restaurant to have achieved a Michelin star for their modernly exquisite South American cuisine. Their pleasant contemporary but decidedly Latin interiors makes LIMA an excellent choice for romantic evenings, low-key business dinners and family gatherings, especially with their ‘Sotano’ available downstairs for private hire.
I attended LIMA for a South American x Spanish delicious wine pairing dinner, with Muga Wine brought in straight from Bodegas Muga, a family owned winery based in Haro, La Rioja, since 1932. Wine 'guru' Tom Harrow of Honest Grapes was on hand to eloquently educate us on the subtle intricacies of Muga's different wines and their unique winemaking background.
As Harrow explained, Bodegas Muga is one of the few remaining wineries who hold fast to traditional wine making methods, such as using fresh egg white during the clarification process and maintaining their own artisanal cooperage where the luxury wines are fermented and aged in bespoke French oak casks.
The first course was Wild Seabass Tiradito: fine textured sashimi-style raw sea bass enhanced by a sauce of creamy coconut, aji mirasol (peruvian sun-dried pepper flakes) and a zesty Amazonian ponzu sauce. This was paired with Muga Blanco 2016, a fresh and fruity white, with hints of apple, generating the right level of subtle sweetness gleaned from Muga’s high altitude grapes to counterpoise the lemony fish.
The second starter was the gorgeous Black Bream Ceviche: a popular Latin American dish consisting of a spicy, succulent and fleshy raw fish marinated in citrus juices and accompanied by avocado, sweet potato, and aji limo pepper flakes. This was simply a joy to sink one’s teeth into and paired with the Muga Rosado 2016, a specially blended wine with hints of lychee and apricot, I was in heaven. A beautifully complex rosé, the Muga Rosado 2016 is blended from Garnacha, Viura and Tempra grapes grown on the shaded slopes of the Obarenes mountains in two different types of soil.
After these two starters of fresh, raw and citrusy fish, I was completely unprepared for the main: Suckling Pig, accompanied by Muga’s Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2009 a youthful ruby red coloured wine that, on the nose, evokes a modern bouquet of subtle scents starting with plum and redcurrant evolving into cedar, cinnamon and cloves.
It is no exaggeration that the Suckling Pig was by far one of the most deliciously decadent yet delicate pork dishes I have ever been so lucky to taste. Slow cooked and soaked in eucalyptus syrup, this crispy on the outside and sumptuously soft and stringy on the inside main course left me glowingly sated. Internally rationalising my defence, I called upon the words of American housewife and journalist Erma Bombeck: ‘I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food!’
31 Rathbone Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1JH
Reservations: 020 3002 2640