Sundays are for brunching.
If all my Sundays started with Pisco sour cocktails I would be a very drunk and happy lady. …Not that it is very hard to get me rather tipsy.
With it’s discrete easy-to-miss ground floor entrance and distressed wooden staircase leading into the basement to a surprisingly voluminous space; Pachamama feels a secret underground hideout.
Inside, it’s as if you’ve stepped into Nana’s home with her wonderfully eccentric decor, and bric-a-brac artfully placed around the restaurant. Think muted colours, warm lighting and an air of carefree relaxation.
Cue triple orders of Miraflores: Barsol Quebranta Pisco, Mandarine Napoleon, strawberries, lychee, lime, orange blossom, bitters and violet foam. Dangerously delicious, as you only faintly taste any alcohol, but by the end of the glass; I was red-faced and semi slurring my speech….
Maybe just one more…
The menu is small, but wonderfully thought-out, themed around small bites and grouped into snacks; land, sand and soil all priced between £5 – £14 (during lunch).
To soak up the alcohol, so I don’t just lay cross-eyed on mama’s floor. We ordered
almost the whole menu. Food comes as and when it is ready, so prepare to eat endlessly, until you can’t breathe any more. This also adds to the relaxed atmosphere…
Peruvian fried chicken, I have to admit I was a little blown away by the juiciness of the chicken encased in the light, crispy batter.
Next up we had the Brown crab and yuca churros. Oh yes, you heard correct. Crab churros… you half expect these not to work as well as they do, but these were utterly gorgeous. Think cassava paste with crab, deep fried and coated in citric sugar. Fluffy yet crispy, with notes of shellfish. A must-try!
House sea bass and samphire ceviche was refreshing as it was light and excellently paired with the different flavour combinations. Sweet and sour.
You have to just admire the artfully plated Salmon tiradito,with beetroot and avaocado. It was a real feast for the eyes, and almost too pretty to eat.
Or maybe not…. when is anything too pretty to eat?! NOT EVER.
This was a power bomb of flavour with the sweetness of the beetroots perfectly paired with the subtle sweetness of the salmon and creaminess of the avocado.
There was one dish that was the heart throb, the lime-light stealer, the sex bomb of the afternoon. He was the Pork belly chicharrones.
Think sticky sweet, uber soft and tender pork medallions with 10x intensity of flavour. Literally sucker punched so hard, your eyes pop and you look over and give your companion that silent nod of approval. This is one dish that if you blink too fast will be gone in a heart beat.You can never go wrong with some padron peppers sprinkled with flakes of sea salt.
Brunch isn’t quite complete without a side order of quinoa waffles with bacon and yacon syrup. Oh yes that does mean that it is gluten free!
These quinoa waffles were very soft yet crispy, completely well balanced between sweet and savoury. The aubergine, smoked yoghurt with peanuts was one of my other highlights. I can’t seem to string the right words to describe the flavour. It was just everything I wanted it to be. Soft gooey texture, with crunchy peanuts resting on a generous smear of smoked yoghurt. Juicy.Isn’t she a a sight for sore eyes. Crispy, yet soft deep-fried slices of plantain with feta, black olives and yacon syrup.
Normally I am quite the vege snub, but the vegetarian options at Pachamama were some of THE BEST dishes on the menu. The plantain was perfection, sweet plantain laced with yacon syrup with the saltiness of the feta and olives was just pure pleasure. I could have easily scooped the whole lot and eaten all myself.
My least favourite was the Crispy lamb belly, with jalepeno and miso. The lamb was alittle too tough and over cooked unfortunately.‘Duck on rice’ such a simple description for the bounty presented before me. Succulent duck breast was cooked to medium-well drizzled with with a rich jus and resting on a airy pile of coriander-infused rice. Admittedly, the desserts at Pachamama were not as strong as their mains.
But after such an afternoon of gluttony, they were the most worthy companion to finish off the meal.
Basil sorbet, with meringue gems and blackberry coulis; was very refreshing and tart in all the right places.
I just wished there was more of that basil sorbet. Fragrant, subtle and delicious.
Followed by the Peach leche tart, this was again very refreshing surprisingly. I was expecting this to be rather rich and decadent. Very subtle hints of peach.There isn’t much I can fault with Pachamama. The hidden-away feel of the restaurant, only adds to it’s charm. Just a few side streets off Bond Street make it an ideal date spot with the girls, or even for a date for those killer cocktails.
18 Thayer Street