2017 has seen some refreshing cuisines come up right at an arm’s length each promising us an experience that will tantalize our taste buds. We got a similar invite from FBAI for LIMA, the Latin American Lounge Bar by Chef Atul Kochhar that is launching a new menu based on the trending Peruvian cuisine and bringing in some exciting
new flavours from Latin America.
Strawberry & Basil Margarita
A refreshing light bodied concoction with strawberry, a generous amount of
tequila & a fresh basil leaf as garnish.
Spicy Matcha Margarita
A spicy drink with tequila (Blanco), a hint of citrus & jalapeno as garnish. On the first sip it seems like your regular lemony drink but as it dribbles down you get a spicy kick. Though the matcha wasn’t quite prominent, the jalapeno did make its mark.
Grilled Pineapple Margarita
A very ‘Hawaiian’ kinda luau drink, with a base of tequila, citrus & honey, garnished with spiced & grilled pineapple. To feel the wholesomeness of the sweet and sour flavours we suggest you bite into the pineapple pieces and take a sip.
Mango passion colada
A unanimous favourite of the evening made from cream, vanilla ice cream, with a subliminal decoction of tea ( mostly for a slight bitter after taste ) with a berry compote & mint garnish. An amazing thick bodied creamy affair we couldn’t stop sipping on !
This seafood dish is popular in many parts of Latin America & also happens to be one of Limas signature dishes. Made from Sea bass cured in Leche de tigre along with cubes of sweet potato, cuzco corn & lettuce leaves, this cold fish salad was the highlight of our evening. Leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk ( no not literally ) , is the Peruvian term for the citrus-based marinade that cures the seafood in a ceviche. The acid from the limes and lemons change the structure of the proteins in the fish, essentially “cooking” the fish without using heat. The cubes of sweet potato cut the tartness of the mix while the cuzco corn & lettuce give you a lovely crunch.
We love dunking our nachos in dips instead of fishing for them under an avalanche of toppings, but no matter what its the nachos that has always been the hero of the dish for us…. until now. Accompanied with red tomato salsa, sour cream & green tomato salsa, well, we almost dove our fingers into the dipping bowl to grab every little drop of green tomato salsa there was ! An explosive spicy sweet melange that we cant get out of our head.
Zuppa de Mexicano
Zuppa ( meaning soup in Italian ) is a Sopa ( Mexican for soup ) with a lemony zing. Limas take on the Mexican sopa is made from lemon juice, butter esquites, sour cream & potato sallis. Esquites also known as Mexican corn or vasito de elotes is a Mexican snack ( or antojito ) pretty similar to our rainy day bhutta with butter, chilli, lime, cream & cheese. Now in this soup we have buttery sweet corn kernels doused in a lemony broth, topped up with a thick layer of sour cream that adds a lovely velvety texture countered by the crispy, spiced potato sallis. In sickness or in health, this is one soup
we strongly suggest you do not skip.
Pico di Gallo Molletes & Chorizo Molletes.
We had two versions on Mollete ( kind of bread in spain, typical Mexican dish ); the vegetarian – Pico di gallo molletes & non vegetarian- Chorizo molletes. Mollete, typically an open faced sandwich , is served at Lima as bread topped with Tomato salsa, Frijoles negros ( pureed beans), lettuce leaves garnished with a thick white sauce & avocado. This dish reminded us of the bruschetta we all know and love. The only difference between the vegetarian & the non vegetarian was the finely chopped smoked and cured Chorizo. Though we are diehard fans or Chorizo, it didnt impress us much. The Pico di gallo molletes
was our favourite amongst the two.
Mushroom Tostada & Tinga Chicken Tostada
Translating to ‘toasted’ in Spanish, the first thing the bloggers unanimously said was ‘Mexican Sev Puri’. Tostadas, in Latin America, constitute various local dishes which are toasted or use a toasted ingredient as the main base of their preparation.
The Mushroom Tostada was made of a spicy Aji panca + Rocoto pepper sauce with sour cream & salsa criolla ( pickled onion ) garnished with micro greens placed on refined flour tortilla sheets. Now Aji panca is a peruvian red pepper that has a tinge of ‘spicy’ but not ‘fiery’. Measuring just 100 SHU on the Scoville scale, this pepper isn’t really very spicy but has a certain smokiness to it in taste. On the other hand the Rocoto pepper, measuring 50,000–250,000 SHU, gives the tostadas a spicy mexican punch. These tostadas has a very smoky, spicy, BBQ’ish taste to them and being perfectly bite sized
they go well with a good drink.
The Tinga tostadas are a Mexican dish made with shredded chicken in a red and green tomato, Aji panca + Rocoto pepper sauce, along with a chipotle chilli and some onion strips. Quite similar on flavour to the Mushroom tostadas and we loved both the versions.
Green Pea, Potato & Goat Cheese Quesadilla
Moist green peas tuck inside soft & crispy refined flour quesadillas along with a spiced potato mash & generous amounts of goat cheese. The soft filling teamed up with the a soft, crispy exterior ( go figure ) was quite a nice combo in flavour & texture.
Chicken, Raisin, Aji panca & Cheese Quesadilla
Quite a bunch of unusual flavours, sour goat cheese, sweet & juicy raisins, mild spicy & tangy notes from the Aji Panca, tangy ortiga olives ( Peruvian purple olives ) & a medley of chicken & cheese. The flavours blended well but we are sure we could have done with a little more cheese to grip us.
Corn, Cheese Chimichangas & Lamb Pilbil Chimichangas
A popular name on Tex-Mex menus, chimichangas are deep fried burritos prepared with a choice of meat, vegetables, and spices. To give you a better idea, something like our spring rolls. The corn cheese Chimichangas , like the name implies, is made up of sweet corn & gooey cheese encased in a nice crunch.
The filling of the Lamb pilbil Chimichangas were made with shredded lamb marinated in an Anticuchera –bell pepper sauce. Though the spicy-sweet saucy did grab out attention we think a little more gravy could have made it a winner. Draw back? Oily texture owing to being deep fried.
Lima Sharing – Sweet Potato Gratin
A French dish with a Peruvian twist. Gratin is a culinary technique in which ingredients are tucked into or topped with crispy pastry sheets / bread crumbs. Limas sweet potato gratin had soft sweet potato marinated in chilli adobo ( dried aji panca, yellow lantern chilli, etc ) & chipotle chilli tucked in between the crispy sheets with a cherry tomato, pineapple & goat cheese salad on top. For us, just the gratin itself had lovely textures but was a bit monotonous on flavour. Teamed up with the salad… the sharp, tart & sweet tones brought another tasty dimension to the dish.
Bean stew with Garlic bread & Mexican rice
A Melange of beans, tomato gravy, sour cream, green tomato salsa & a drizzle of chilli oil served with garlic bread & a deliciously sautéed Mexican rice. A perfectly earthy & flavoursome main ! The bean stew has a delicious creaminess to it that blends wonderfully with rice. For some reason we felt a certain smokiness to the rice, but we aren’t complaining. It was delightful, a must have.
This dish is a traditional Mexican Bake eaten at breakfast or supper. This bake is made from tortilla chips, Kidnry beans, cottage cheese, Parmesan & tomato salsa … absolute cheesy, tangy heaven ! If Garfield had a crack at this it would be bye bye lasagna !
Blue Berry Cheese cake
A simple blueberry cheese cake that hit the perfect spot on flavour. The cake was moist and the berry compote was not a tad bit over powering.
Inspired from the delicious After Eight chocolate, Lima has added to the menu a dessert called After 9 which is a gooey brownie with a mint filling. We would have devoured a bunch of these. Why After 9 you ask? Chef Jerry told us Latin Americans party hard.. they start the party only after 9… hence the name
We certainly thank Chef Atul Kochhar & Chef Jerry Thomas for this delightful taste bud journey to Latin America & a special thank you to the manager, Rohan Nair, for baring with our insane questions. We are definitely coming back for the Ceviche, colada, zuppa but most importantly…. the green tomato salsa !
LIMA by Chef Atul Kochhar
Address : Maker Maxity, North Avenue 2, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East
For Reservations Call : 022 30005040
Restaurant Timings : 12:00pm to 12:30am – Open for Lunch and Dinner