Lauren and Carly – from now on known as Larly….do LIMA

Mine and Carly’s new years resolution for 2013 was to go out for more dinners and so now, each quarter we treat ourselves to a Friday night out – drinks and dinner at a nice restaurant. So far we have gone wherever Elix has recommended (a perk of her job is lunching at London’s top restaurants) so Q1 was Roka and Q2, last night was Lima on Rathbone Place in  London.

Our evening began with drinks at Paramount at CentrePoint, for once the weather was nice and so we had a little potter around the viewing gallery where we realised that from a bird’s eye view we dont know where anywhere is in London. I ordered a Pina Colada (or Paramount’s version of one) I’m not ashamed to say I was expecting a bright yellow drink with whipped cream and a cherry on top but the smart short drink that arrived was just as tasty and I especially liked the giant coconut and pineapple flavour ice cube in it! Carly is classier than me and ordered a glass of champagne.

On we tottered to Lima which from the outside looks like a little cafe and so we almost walked past it! Our waiter was Peruvian which really impressed Carly (it apparently made the meal feel more authentic) and advised Carly on what to order. I have a habit of checking the menus out weeks before I go to restaurants and so had already decided I was going to have the Sea Bream Ceviche to start and Halibut for my main. Carly decided on Scallops to start and Hake for main and she picked a lovely light Pinot Noir for us to enjoy too.

Some figgy bread arrived with a yoghurty dip and some butter which was super yummy and then our starters arrived. Both had a kick to them, my sea bream ceviche melted in the mouth and came with crunchy corn which added an extra texture. Carly’s scallops were wafer thin slices and the sauce which they were placed on was creamy and spicy all at the same time, there was also some crunchy bits on top – after re-checking the menu and googling it I am going to guess it was the  cassava powder – in any case it was lovely. The main’s (pictured below) were both amazing. The highlight of mine was the giant corn and sweetcorn cake which provided a perfect creamy compliment to the halibut. Carly’s hake looked beautiful on the plate – two halves of bright red salsa and sunshine yellow potato each topped with generous portions of hake.

After dinner i popped to the bathroom (which was lovely – I do love a good restaurant bathroom – so far my favourite is the one at Nopi but thats for another post) and discovered a whole other section of the restaurant downstairs – anyway, when i returned I found Carly in tears (happy tears) and very emotional having just received a “Save the Date” for Nicki and Iain’s wedding – god help her on the wedding day – she is going to be one teary bridesmaid!

We shared dessert of dulce de leche ice cream which came with beetroot emulsion (apparently I don’t pronounce beetroot properly as i miss out the ‘t’) and another crunchy element – this i believe was andean maca root, the dish was a lovely light way to end the meal.

We both really enjoyed our meal at Lima and continued the Q2 party on for one last drink at The Charlotte Street hotel. As this is my first post, now is probably the right time to tell you about Carly’s tendency to complain – usually its about waiting, tipping or manners. I love going out with Carly because if I am too scared to complain she will always do it for me! Last night it was the waiting – we sat at the bar and the barman gave us the menu straight away – Carly once again went for Champs and I had a Portuguese Syrah Wine – it took over 15 minutes for us to order which Carly was not happy about – i did feel for her as not only were we waiting and being ignored by the barmen but she was also sat next to an old woman wearing a halterneck polka-dot mini dress who was flirting with a man who looked homeless – she was pretty grossed out – poor girl! Once we had our drinks and cashew-nuts we were both happy and started planning our Q3 meal…….to be continued!

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