Posted on Thursday, 1st January 2015
I couldn’t wait to go back to Pachamama for lunch after my hugely rewarding last visit (you can read about it here). I loved the food and I was also pleasantly surprised at what good value the lunch menu was. Each dish was priced at a mere £6. So during a spot of gift shopping along Oxford Street two days before Christmas, I decided to pop into Pachamama for a bite to each for some respite from all that Christmas craziness.
This time I tried two new dishes, starting with the lamb anticuchos which were really nicely cooked, with meat that was were tender and very tasty. Charred mackerel with bleeding tiger’s milk was also very enjoyable. The mackerel was fresh and there was a pleasant and well-balanced acidity coming through from the tiger’ milk (the citrus based marinade used in ceviche). The mackerel was cooked through so it wasn’t really a ceviche dish, but the combination worked well together.
I also went for two of my favourites from my last visit, the purple potato salad with mint and peanuts, and short-grain rice salad with spring onions and nuts. Sadly the huge flavours that I was expecting from both these dishes were not forthcoming. The mint, coriander, honey, chilli and lemon dressing in the potato salad didn’t sing like it did previously which resulted in a dish that was flat. The crispy onion garnish was also stale and on the whole this dish tasted tired. Nor was the rice salad as tasty or vibrant as that of my last visit. The flavours weren’t there, and this too had been topped with a crispy onion garnish which was also stale.
This time around I left Pachamama feeling a little disappointed, especially as I knew what the kitchen was capable of. Some of the below par cooking might have been down to it being two days before Christmas. But whatever the reason, this has highlighted that there are some consistency issues at Pachamama. I still think the lunch menu is great value for money, but I’m downgrading my food rating to 3.55/5. What a shame.
Food rating: 3.5/5