The Heart of Peru in the Centre of London- Andina Restaurant, Shoreditch
TTH Taste | 20.01.2016
Of all the influences that come to bear on our adult food tastes, nothing is ever quite as strong (or as good) as the food grandma used to make. Now, you can sample the food that the grandma of one of London’s leading restauranteurs used to make for him. Andina, located slap bang in the centre of Shoreditch, is the second dining house of Martin Morales, the man who founded the Ceviche group.
The Peruvian-inspired menu has been born out of his early years of being fed on the finest produce sent to him by his grandmother, Mamita Natty. She was the formidable Lady Mayoress of her village in the mountains, hence the name of his latest establishment ‘Andina’ – woman of the Andes. Throughout his childhood she would send Martin packages upon packages full of ‘superfoods’ sourced from her locality. They ensured Martin received the richest form of goodness in his diet rather than living off the ‘city food’ available in his new surrounds in the capital, Lima. These ‘Ecomienda’ baskets were sealed and sent each with a note reading ‘con mucho cariño’ meaning ‘with loving care’.
Forever inspired by these unique foods that he grew up on, Martin has brought his love for his childhood nutrients to the city of London, setting up Ceviche in Soho before later opening a second restaurant under the same branding in Old Street. Now restaurant #3 is here. As we all know, building a business is a dragon’s den of a game and Martin admits that the stress and struggle of making his way began to take a toll on his health, his family relationships and personal happiness.
Once he realised that his own wellbeing and that of those nearest and dearest to him were taking a back seat to success, he was forced to accept that the whole reason for opening his restaurants was suffering too. He’d wanted to inspire people to live and eat properly and purely but somehow his own wellness had become corrupted in the process. His determination to turn things around began with the hiring of personal trainer Harry Jameson to rediscover the fitness levels he’d taken for granted as much as granny’s glory baskets as a young boy. As soon as Harry had whipped Martin back into shape, he regained not only his health but his memory for why he’d fallen in love with the foods and lifestyle that inspired good health. It was ‘win win’ for both Martin and those around him.
The dynamism of this most dynamic duo combined a brain and a body power, bringing together Martin‘s love for food and Harry’s knowledge of fitness in the ‘Replinish’ menu. The dishes included combine health, nutrients and taste that feed not just the hunger but the soul. A combination of unique Peruvian flavours and carefully combined ingredients make for meals that both tantalise and tickle the taste-buds. Next to each dish on the menu, there is a small icon recommending it as a pre or post-workout meal. Portions are good and so is the price. What is there not to like? They even take their food education one step further by offering morsels of digestible knowledge on the back of each menu detailing the benefits of the ingredients they’ve chosen.
There is a vibrant, yet cosy sanctuary vibe in the private room out back, where we were lucky enough to sample their sumptuous superfood from the other side of the world. We sipped on fresh mint tea and dined on the most succulent steak while mingling and jawing with the likeminded. If you ask us there could be no better way to spend a Tuesday morning!
con mucho cariño,
What did we feast upon?
H opted for the egg white omelette with mozzarella, chive and coriander piled upon ‘sweet potato toast’. E went for the steak, eggs, avocado and sweet potato. Obviously, inevitably we had half of each other’s… it was too good not to!
What did we feast our eyes upon?
Everything! But especially the granola and chia pudding. If you’re heading for lunch or dinner the Ceviche selection looked divine!
And to sip…
We tried the Fuerza, a blend of quinoa, apple, cinnamon, milk and maca. It was like a mini breakfast dessert!