Everyone has that one friend who specialises in holding curious baseless beliefs. It’s one thing when they claim their sense of direction is superior to ‘that lying bastard’ the sat nav, but it’s quite another when they start arguing that the world couldn’t possibly be round because, if it was, how do you explain giraffes’ necks being so straight? That same person will probably try to tell you that Notting Hill is nothing but an expensive G Wagon garage that throws a big street party once a year.
Andina - a slick but informal restaurant based on the ‘picanterias’ of Peru - is just the place to prove that W11 isn’t all questionable art galleries and expensive candle shops. It’s a clean and modern space, but with just enough colourful touches to make sure it doesn’t feel like an Ikea showroom. Think simple Scandi furniture but with plenty of Andean textures and bright paintings of ladies in traditional Peruvian dress thrown in for good measure.
This isn’t a see-and-be-seen kind of place. And, whether you’re looking at the atmosphere, service, or especially the food, there isn’t a lot of posturing here. You’re going to be diving into sharing plates like the yellowfin tuna tartare without standing on ceremony (or for that matter, pausing to breathe). And the huge doorstep of richly glazed short rib manages to be hearty and delicate at the same time. That’s exactly why it’s so moreish.
Andina makes food made for enjoying, and you could come here at any time and on pretty much any occasion. Nobody would bat an eyelid if you rocked up in your Sunday worst for small plates of meatballs with sourdough for brunch, but it’s equally perfect for a slightly upscale but still casual date. You could even come here with your vegetarian fitness fanatic friends. While they eat the excellent fermented beetroot on toast and talk about how much their core work has improved their form, you can fill up on some incredibly good spicy, sticky, crunchy pork bites.
The thing is, whether you go here for a heavy duty brunch or a casual catch up that quickly descends into too many pisco sours, you’re pretty much set for a good time. As for that mate, they’ll probably always believe that Michael Jackson was ET’s cousin, but after spending a couple of hours at Andina, their opinions on restaurants in west London will probably change forever.
The Aretha Franklin of small plates – hearty, soulful, and very saucy.
Looks a bit like an ornamental garden, tastes far better. The tuna is chunky, and there are spicy, herby surprises dotted all over.
An absolute must order. Spicy, crunchy, chewy pork crackling in a rich glaze.
Not far behind Listerine on the freshness scale. This beetroot, avocado and feta combo works perfectly, and is a really great light and healthy option.
These are more buttery and doughy than they are prawn-y, although they’re cooked well enough for it not to matter.
Carrots can be boring These carrot fritters though, are not. They’re a bit nutty and a bit crispy. They’re easily the best vegetarian side.
The highlight of their meat dishes. The sauce is rich and moreish, and the meat falls apart at the slightest of glances. You’ll be returning this particular plate spotless.
Like the leftovers from a four year-old’s birthday party has been crammed in a jar. Cake, meringue, and ice cream make for an extreme sugar rush. Perhaps a bit too extreme.
This is rich, biscuity and should be your dessert of choice here no matter how much your vegan friend wants the coconut flan.