The word Andina is typically used to describe a ‘woman in the Andes’, so perhaps Martin Morales intended his second ‘Peru in London’ restaurant for ‘ladies who lunch’ in Shoreditch. Or perhaps he didn’t give it that much thought.
We (four ladies, one man) went to Andina on a beautiful December day. The restaurant’s long windows, white washed walls and light furniture meant we could bask in the sunshine, despite being indoors. It’s lucky we weren’t seated in the back room or – at worst – downstairs. Not that it would have mattered during the great storms of 2013.
Just like Ceviche in Soho, the menu is filled with smaller ‘sharing’ plates and plenty of ceviche. Unlike its sister restaurant, it also boasts a number of larger main course dishes for those who secretly don’t like to share (i.e. me).
We started with a number of dishes from the Street Food and Ceviches sections of the menu. The slightly dry Quinoa Croquettas (£4) weren’t a patch on the enormous Pig Butty (£6), which we greedily ended up getting two of.
Inside the soft, white buns was a mountain of tender confit pork with sweet potato ketchup and salsa criolla. We even had little pots of pork on the side, just in case we didn’t have enough fatty, oh so tasty, meat.
Of the ceviches, we had Sato (£7.5), Siwichi (£8) and Cheeky (£8.50), also known as trout, seabass, hake & cods cheek. A complete contrast to the heartier street food, it didn’t have the wow factor I’d experienced at Ceviche. Some seemed over limed and the fish wasn’t as delicately cut as I’d have liked.
I chose Skewered Lamb Kebabs for main, which came with giant Peruvian Corn and salad. I enjoyed the tenderness of the meat and overall lightness of the meal, but couldn’t help adding a few dollops of delicious lucuma puree for extra pizazz (thanks to the plate of Lomo next to me (£20)).
Lucuma is a native Peruvian fruit that makes the most wonderfully sweet, creamy sauce. Take my word for it, it’s a wonderful alternative to mayo or ketchup if you can get it.
Desserts were shared and in plentiful supply. First we had a tray of Picarones (£9) – Pumpkin Doughnuts that were as light as air and even more delicious when dunked in purple corn syrup or chocolate fudge.
The Quinoa Chocolate Brownie (£5) wasn’t my favourite. The quinoa had dried yet another dish, destroying any chance of a gooey middle and crisp, chewy top.
Instead, the Mousse De Lucuma took me by surprise (£5). The yummy lucuma fruit had worked its magic once again, producing a sweet, creamy dessert that couldn’t have been more delicious.
Andina was a mixed bag. Some dishes were a delight, others didn’t live up to the reputation of Ceviche. Then again, the atmosphere, price and ridiculously close location to my office is bound to draw me back. So for now, I’m giving it a LLE Rating of 6 / 10.
Andina, 1 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DJ