I had seen the words “Peruvian” and “brunch” mixed into what ended up being a delicious time over at Lima Floral, so was rather excited to see even more such opportunities closer by in Shoreditch. With glowing reviews everywhere, it was a bit of a downer to end up feeling rather lukewarm about the whole meal.
Head chef: Martin Morales
Camera: Nikon D40 – 50mm lens
I had high expectations of Andina – not least because I had come across it by innocently googling “Best brunches London” and came across the list from TimeOut. Needless to say that I would not have included it in any top lists (unless Top 10 Disappointments After Reading the Hype counts).
The service was good – there are no complains there. Everyone was rather lovely and accommodating.
The smoothies were nice, but barely had any freshness beyond just being cold – it felt less like a fresh fruit smoothie and more like a frozen fruit smoothie (which would be fine should you not charge me 5£ for one – or has my price gauge been skewed by the US?). The main issue I had with both the Huevos Q’apachana and the Peruanazo was that the eggs (and some of the other parts, such as the spinach) had no condiments on them whatsoever. The dish worked when all the ingredients were mixed, but when I initially tried to take a bite of the eggs it was completely tasteless. My eggs also had a rather rubbery texture. One of the eggs from the Peruanazo was completely solid on the inside (you really want them to be runny when poached).
The eggs and avocado on sourdough had a similar issue. Really, a pinch of salt and pepper could have made such a big difference. The whole idea of eggs Benedict themselves (to make a comparison to other brunch dishes) is that the eggs are covered in sauce hollandaise to give them flavour (or, if you decide to risk it without, make sure that they are the freshest, most darn delicious eggs – these weren’t).
The onions in Peruanazo were cooked deliciously however, and the puree in the Huevos was spicy and gave a really nice flavour to the dish – that and I enjoy the option of spicy food for breakfast that you can’t find that easily otherwise. But they didn’t make up for the poor quality of part of the dish, and even overall, there wasn’t a lot of interplay between the various ingredients on the dish.