6 June 2015

Pachamama


The two biggest things on the London foodie scene have finally come together under the skilled eye of chef Adam Rawson: enter a British brunch Peruvian style. I'll admit, I wasn't sure how ceviche and cornbread could compete with firm favourites such as avocado toast and eggs Benny but Pachamama is really turning things on its head.

A beautiful basement bar tucked a few streets behind Oxford Street, Pachamama is a real beauty to stumble into on a Saturday morning. Combining rustic tables, rambling plants and even a full-size horse light fitting with a welcoming wooden and tiled bar, the attention to detail here is reassuringly good and it continues through to the food and drink.


Of course, we kicked off with the mostly pisco based cocktails, reassuring ourselves it was midday somewhere in the world. I was drawn to the Rosa del Inca (pisco with pink peppercorns, coffee beans, vermouth, campari and orange bitters) and had to order a second, it was so good. A South American twist on the negroni, this had real warmth and depth and the obligatory kick of booze to start the day. Sophie had something floral with flavours of raspberry running through it that was simply divine.
Then came the food. We were presented with a few of the chef's favourites which led to a bit of guessing as the smiley waiter sort of mumbled the dish then left us to it. First up were the bacon and cheese tacachos - a sort of combination of a croquette and an arancini with roasted banana all up in the mix, these were brilliant. Oozing cheese paired with smoked meat and a fresh mango salsa is now the key to my heart.



Then came towering sliders of pork belly with a lightly pickled slaw and a spiked mayo, and a large skillet of baked eggs with avocado, samphire and 'farmers cheese' in a rich tomato sauce. This was quite similar to shakshuka, a definite brunch favourite, and while Soph wasn't convinced by the cheese ('it's like paneer') I was too busy spooning it on to my plate.



The last two dishes were even better than the ones that came before - the salmon ceviche with beetroot and avocado simply sang. The tiger milk cut through the hearty flavours of the baked eggs and the earthy beetroot was a lovely accompaniment that I would fight anyone for, just you wait. Soph's favourite was the smoked brisket with plantain hash, corn and an HP aji (that's the British bit making a reappearance!) - big enough for the both of us to simply not be able to finish.


Desserts were breathtaking. A mazzamora morada cheesecake with a spiced berry sorbet and edible flowers was quite possibly the prettiest thing I've ever eaten. With a baked cheesecake consistency and a rich base, this was the heavier pudding while the suspiro de limena got my vote. A meringue with a basil and lemon sugar/sorbet crumbled over the top hid a custard and a strawberry heart. This was pure genius and the right combination of sweet and cleansing.

Brunch by way of Peru might not be the most obvious combination but by god, is it a winning one. Pachamama is one hot mama worth waking up for. Five out of five.
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