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There are some beautiful cuisines that, sadly, we do not get enough of or any access to. There are plenty of Italian, Chinese, American-style comfort food and European dishes in the city. Even Japanese, which is an expensive cuisine, has a fair amount of eateries from high-end to mid-level ones. Sadly, South America is quite far from India and its food is even further.
At one time, it seemed unthinkable to have a South American inspired restaurant in the city. Thanks to celebrity Chef Atul Kocchar, Mumbai now has a small slice of Peru. At the beginning of the year, Chef Atul Kocchar took the city by storm with his restaurant NRI and, three months later, launched his own Peruvian-themed bar named Lima. In case you were wondering, it has nothing to do with the restaurant in London, and this menu and approach is entirely different.
Located right next to NRI at Bandra Kurla Complex, Lima is dimly lit with an open kitchen, a green ceiling, a blue bar and monochromatic flooring. There is, thankfully, nothing excessive in the décor to make sure you know you are in a South American bar, but the constant yet peppy Latin music is a subtle reminder.
The drinks menu consists of a wine list, regular spirits and their in-house cocktails. Currently, there is no Pisco on the menu, which is strange for a Peruvian place (as that is the drink to have) but hopefully they should have a steady supply of Pisco in the next couple of weeks. It is understandable as some products are difficult to import and the bar is still in its teething stages – it is barely a few weeks old. They do, however, have Caipirinha in various flavours, along with tequila and rum-based signature cocktails.
The food menu is not excessive; the focus here is on the bar, as it is not really a restaurant. There are a lot of small plates, including ceviche (the sea bass is their best one), salads, tiraditos (Peruvian-style sashimi or carpaccio almost), churrasco grills (no beef but prawn, chicken and vegetarian options) and antojitos (Mexican street food such as empanadas, quesadillas and chimichangas).
There is no dessert menu, but Chef Jerry (who is running the show) assures us there will be a couple of additions soon, including dessert. If you are craving something sweet, you can choose from the dessert cart that they roll around from NRI.
A lot of what they use is local but, at the same time, certain key ingredients are imported. For example, they are trying to harvest their own corn (as it is tricky to import) but they import their Pisco, blue potato and, most importantly, the yellow aji chilli, which many say is the soul of Peruvian food.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.