The Sweet Taste of Andina
Variety is not something we’re short of when it comes to dining in Shoreditch. A bustling selection of pop up street food vans around the Truman Brewery and Brick Lane, the numerous offerings at Boxpark and umpteen cafes scattered in and around the backstreets, its safe to say we’re spoiled for choice. Breakfast however, can be a little harder to find something off the predicable list. I was dubious about an invitation to Breakfast at Andina, (a Peruvian Andean themed restaurant) mostly because I’d heard such great things about Ceviche (Martin Morales Soho based sister restaurant) that is seemed almost a waste to visit Andina without being able to order the exotic Peruvian dinner options. Morales is causing quite the stir, Food and Travel Magazine called him“The pioneer of the Peruvian food revolution in Britain”. Breakfast therefore, had to be good too, right?
The breakfast menu was more detailed and varied than I’d expected and each offering was a Peruvian twist on breakfast classics. Sourdough toast with Peruvian jams “red pepper & goldenberry, strawberry & rocoto” to savoury treats like Pig Butty “confit pork belly, soft bun, sweet potato ketchup & amarillo chilli” and the Lengua de Suegra “filo pastry, dulce de leche filling”. To be honest I was tempted by all, but it was 8am and I went for a recommendation of Quinoa porridge with Amaranth, seasonal fruits and purple corn syrup.
Whilst I waited, I ordered an Americano, which only whilst a third of the way gulping down did I realise it was one of the nicest coffees I’d had in a long time, smooth yet rich and intense I could’ve drank a bucket of the stuff, but having heart palpitations might not be a great way to start the day. I was later told it was a Peruvian blend coffee (60% Peruvian, 20% Costa Rican and 20% Tanzanian).
The Quinoa porridge arrived in an elegant bowl with a scattering of appetising fruit on top and two little bowls filled with the sticky purple corn syrup and amaranth – I drenched the quinoa in both.
This was turning out to be a really enjoyable dining experience – exoticism pre-work felt like such a novelty. I polished off the quinoa in what was probably embarrassingly mere seconds, interrupted only by slurping on a second Americano (just to be sure I wasn’t imagining how good the first one was).
I noticed the super smoothies and drawled over the combination of flavours (note to self, must come her for a weekly smoothie for a vitamin superfood boost.) Not to mention the £1 coffee, (Americano and Espressos) Why this place isn’t generating a queue outside every morning I don’t know!
It’s in a great spot, sitting on a corner unit between Redchurch St and Shoreditch High St, its a cute and very well situated affair. Inside, the interiors are open, airy and inviting, pretty pale yellow kitchen tiles surround the kitchen counter, multicoloured Peruvian art displays add vibrancy and huge hanging basket lights adorn the ceiling. It feels ever so slightly exotic, and yet effortlessly stylish.
Casting my eyes over the rest of the menu – I lot of the menu was mouth wateringly appealing. Ingredients I’d not heard of and flavour combinations untasted, this place was becoming more interesting the longer I sat there. Prices are reasonable, between £1.50- £10 for breakfast options (lunch weekday set menu is £9).
I ordered a Superfood Smoothie to takeaway, the “Picaflor” kale, kiwi, pineapple, coconut water and hemp protein was just as tasty as it was nutritious, (you will have to taste it to believe me) £4.50 and worth every penny. They also offer gorgeous sounding fresh juices “Ekeko” for example is carrot, melon, pear, macs and ginger. There’s an interesting selection of teas, and Andean Hot Drinks “Hot Emoliente” barley, linseed, alfalfa, quince. You can see a theme building here – healthy, nutritious, unusual food and all reasonably priced.
Now you know where to go if you’re getting fed up with the normal breakfast coffee & croissant affair, craving something a little healthier or just want to try something new.
Left me with a sweet taste all day…