[Pisco Sour feature photo by Pisco Trail piscotrail.com]
We recently visited Pisqu (23 Rathbone Place), named after the eponymous birthplace of the national drink, for a quick Pisco Sour with a Peruvian friend of ours, who recommended the place as his favourite Peruvian restaurant and bar in London, in particular because – he says – the cuisine prepared by the Peruvian-Japanese team is authentic, not watered down for the Western palate.
He might be slightly biased, because the bar manager is from his home town and the first twenty minutes were spent on our friend talking with his buddy about their village and what had changed in recent years, who left and who returned.
It is only four months since the restaurant was opened (and is now run) by chef William Ortiz, the younger brother of the chef at Michelin-starred Lima, literally just across the street, which is why Pisqu has not yet been considered for the latest ‘Best Peruvian Restaurants in London’ lists of TimeOutLondon, the Evening Standard, or The Culture Trip. TimeOut’s readers (3 so far) have given it 5 out of 5. Tripadvisor ranks Pisqu #2,426 of 17,814 London restaurants with 4.5 out of 5 stars, which is a respectable result for a new opening. Dishes cost roughly £10 for a starter and £15 for a main. The restaurant is the idea of former City worker Yuko Uchida, whose husband and co-founder Coco Gil, a banker, is of Peruvian heritage.
The cuisine has a strong focus on health food, even though to us the menu simply looked like very delicious, typical Peruvian cuisine, many Peruvian dishes are strong on health food ingredients after all. The chef likes to use ingredients from the Amazon and the Andes such as camu, a berry packed with Vitamin C, cedron, a herb that helps with digestion, the well-known matcha to boost energy levels, and achiote, which is seen as a new super food. We enjoyed our £8 Pisco Sours and will certainly be back soon to try their signature dish hot ceviche; might also look into their ceviche and cocktails masterclasses.