Peruvian pioneer Marin Morales is at it again, this time taking this tried and tested formula to the lucky folk of West London.
Not content with just rolling out identikit restaurants, the new location on Westbourne Grove see’s London’s first Peruvian Bakery – Andina Panaderia – sitting alongside Andina Picanteria, a brand new, shiny version of the Andina’s you’ll find in Shoreditch and Soho.
Led by Head Pastry Chef Ana Velasquez, Andina Panaderia specialises in slow-ferment baking with traditional sweet and savoury pastries and breads alongside hot dishes, lunchtime salads and all-day brunch-style dishes to eat in or take away. This is the place to go during the day, yummy-mummy’s on mat leave – take note. Just like other bakeries, things get going early doors when Andina’s bakers will fill the shelves with Peruvian breads such as Andean black mint and sweet potato sourdough; the delicately crusted traditional pan frances roll; and the challah-like chancay bread, a cinnamon-scented take on brioche. Sweeter treats include the Pastel de Lúcuma, an Andean spin on the famed Portuguese custard tart and the chicha morada muffin, a purple corn muffin with a moorish corn and almond centre.
If you haven’t met Martin before, he’s infectiously passionate about everything Peruvian. You’ll find pieces by Peruvian potters adorning the shelves and regular collaborations and talks taking place to shine a light on Peruvian culture. He regularly takes the team out to Peru with him to source ingredients and keep inspired, with many of the more unusual herbs and spices being imported.
“I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the bakeries of the Andes. I was just six years old and after an eight-hour journey up through the mountains, we arrived at Santiago de Chuco, my gran’s village, to be greeted by the enticing aromas of fresh bread and pastries. My team and I have been travelling across the regions of the Andes meeting bakers, cooks, farmers and learning new recipes, techniques which we can’t wait to bring to London,” says Martin Morales, chef and founder of the Ceviche Family.
“We first introduced the flavours of the Andes to London in 2014 and over the years we’ve been busy travelling back to Peru discovering more about the traditions of the women-led picanterias. At Andina Picanteria we will be perfecting ancient techniques previously unseen in London and delving deeper into the rich culinary history of the Andes. We look forward to giving our new friends and neighbours in West London a typically warm Peruvian welcome!” adds Raquel Oliveira, Managing Director of the Ceviche Family.
The light, bright, open plan space leads on through to Andina Picanteria headed up by Chef Luca Depalo. Here you’ll begin with a selection of those delicious baked goods, and perhaps London’s best pisco sour – have two just to make sure. The menu is brand new, split into small plates if you’re in the mood for sharing as well as more substantial feasts for two. We tucked into super spicy carrot fritters whilst we took in the rest of the menu.
First up was a slice of fresh bread topped with smooth goats cheese spiked avocado cream and beetroot. Basically, your new avocado toast obsession. Ceviche seems to be popping up on loads of menus right now, but when you have the good stuff you remember just how flavoursome it can be. It shouldn’t taste like cold fridge, the fish should be full of flavour, delicately nuanced with citrus, onion, and given texture with crunchy corn in a riot of colour. Thanks Andina for reminding us of this. Perhaps our favourite dish of the night was the purple corn tamal – a deliciously creamy and comforting plate with sweet kale pesto which we carried on eating way after we were full.
Meat-eaters will love the slow-cooked beef short rib and the perfectly pink slices of pork served on spicy mash potato. Make room for the chocolate tart with its salty dulce de leche cream.
Overall, the latest outpost feels a little more grown up without losing any of the original vibes. Our love for this group shows no signs of slowing down – congrats to Martin and the team.