While this NRI has yet to dine at NRI, Michelin-starred chef Atul Kocchar’s restaurant that’s Not Really Indian, I definitely made sure to have my trip to Lima reserved as soon as Kocchar’s second Mumbai offering opened its Incan doors in BKC…
Joining me on my Peruvian foray was my foodie partner-in-crime – Upasana of Diet Tamasha. We arrived on a Wednesday night to find the dimly-lit tapas bar fairly buzzing, with an upbeat tone set by the Spanish tunes playing loudly overhead.
Sadly, the pretty-in-pink seashell chairs taking up the lounge area were occupied, so we had to make do with the canteen-like seating propped up against the copper tables in the main dining section, instead.
We set upon our evening with Latin American-inspired tipples and bar-bites in the form of fried yuuca (cassava) chips.
I was quite looking forward to a Pisco Sour (or two) but alas, the bar was out of Pisco and still waiting on their next delivery to hit Indian shores.
After much deliberation over the enticing options, it was an Espresso Tequini for me – a potent concoction of espresso-infused tequila and kahlua with a dash of hazelnut syrup, which lent a nutty undertone!
Ups made a good call too, with a lush passion & litchi caipirinha featuring a pure cane rum (made with pure sugar cane juice) that’s a signature focus here.
With a very limited selection of tapas-style dishes, we didn’t spend nearly half as long placing our dinner order though – deciding to skip over the quesadillas and chimichangas for a selection of salads and small plates, in a bid to keep things light.
I know, I know.
But in my defence, I’ve really been eating out far too much of late!
Palm of hearts was a simple yet beautifully executed plate – tender strips of hearts of palm layered with the ancient Aztec “pseudo-cereal” amaranth (technically speaking it’s not a grain, even if it has similar properties!) in a subtle orange reduction.
The five bean “tiradito” (a bit misleadingly categorised, as there were no raw fish involved in the making of this veggie-friendly dish) saw a vibrant mix of fava, lima, kidney, pigeon pea and edamame beans dressed in a mild salsa made with aji amarillo – the chilli pepper that’s a staple in Peruvian cooking.
On natural foods-chef Upasana’s astute suggestion, we also added a squeeze of lemon on top, which released that much-needed zesty ring we’d initially thought lacking.
In comparison, the quinoa salad could have seriously dialled back on the excessively sweet flavours pouring out of the passionfruit leche coating the delicate grains of red, black and white quinoa.
While the food was failing thus far to pack in that extra punch, I’ll concede that we nonetheless had gotten into quite a groove…
And so, spurred on by visiting mixologist Shatbhi Basu (India’s first female bartender is one persuasive lady!) – another round of cocktails managed to make their way to our table at some point in the evening.
Disappointingly, the Dark Litchi Daquiri fell a bit flat – not to sound picky or anything, but I just found that the dark rum and litchi slush was lacking a distinct sharpness.
Fortunately, the Dark Volcano was just the tall tropical paradise it promised to be – rum on ice with pineapple juice, finished off with an orange flame burnt on our table!
And finally, desserts were rolled over on a trolley from NRI next door as Lima is still firming up its own menu. As deliciously unique as the masala chai Baileys brownie looked and sounded, we were definitely craving chocolate.
… And so we settled on the Maracaibu Orange Chocolate – a combination of 70% dark chocolate textured with orange flavours. It was the rich, gooey chocolate dollop at the centre that was definitely the highlight here!
So my overall verdict?
Personally speaking, I found that the food and drinks were good but not perhaps as spectacular as one might expect of a restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef.
But there’s no denying that I had a really fun evening regardless and that Lima is a novel addition to Bombay’s already eclectic dining scene!
Have you visited yet and if so, what would you recommend that I try next time round?
Lima, 2 North Avenue, Maker Maxity, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai