titos-2

Two years ago, I visited Tito’s for lunch.

I don’t live in London and I only go there a few times a year.

Yesterday I had a business meeting and we needed to go somewhere quiet for a coffee and a chat, so I recommended Tito’s as it was 11am, so too early for lunch.

It was closed with a window cleaner outside. The doors were open, but with a chair blocking the way in.

I called out and asked if we could come in for a coffee.

‘Of course you can!’ I was told. The chair was whisked away and the lights were turned on.

After our coffee was brought over, we were left in peace for over an hour.

Can you imagine that in an English restaurant? We would have been snapped at and told, ‘Sorry, we’re closed and we don’t open for 1 minute, 40 seconds.’ Then we would have been glared at for hogging a table without spending any more money.

It was the same Tito’s as before, and I’ll be visiting it again when I next go to London.

How lovely to receive a warm, friendly welcome like that!

Well done, Tito’s.

Some people deserve to succeed in life, and Maria Huapalla is one of those people.
Widowed at a young age, she lived a very poor life in Peru, with nine of them in one small house and hardly enough food to eat.
Wanting a better way of life for herself and her young son, Maria set off to look for opportunities. She visited several countries in Europe, and finally settled in London, where she worked for the Rank Organisation in the catering trade.
She brought her six-year-old son Fernando to the UK and she opened a small sandwich bar, which was a great success.
Then she opened the first Peruvian restaurant in London, Tito’s, followed by the nightclub, La Pollera Colora in the huge basement. They play South American Salsa music there, and it’s a very popular venue.
While I waited for my friend, who was stuck in a traffic jam, I had a Pisco Sour, the National cocktail of Peru.
It’s made with the distilled fire water Pisco with fresh lime juice, egg white, sugar and ice, and it’s topped with Angostura Bitters.
titos-1Honestly, it’s one of the best cocktails I’ve ever tasted! I thought it had a faint chocolatey flavour.
Another popular cocktail is Miraflores, made with Pisco, passion fruit, sugar and ice.
My friend was finally blown through the door, soaking wet and starving.
We were given a small bowl of what looked like peanuts, but turned out to be maize.
We chose two different starters so that we could try them both;
Anticuchos con choclo & papa a la Huancaina; two grilled marinated beef heart skewers, served with boiled Peruvian white corn and cooled sliced potatoes, topped with a creamy sauce, ‘Huanciana.’
Calamares Fritos; Batter coated shallow fried squid served with fried cassava, tartar sauce and tomato and onion relish.
I loved the beef heart skewers. I love hearts, but they can be a bit chewy and it gave me an idea of how to serve them.
titos-3For our main course I had Pato en aji con frijoles y arroz. This is Tito’s signature dish; a whole duck leg served in a mildly spicy Peruvian ‘Aji Panca’ Chilli sauce, served with steamed white rice and Peruvian style white beans, ‘Frijoles.’
My friend had Ronda Criolla, which is a Peruvian Platter that combines a selection of dishes included in the menu. It includes ‘Carapulcra,’ which is a Peruvian dried potato stew, shallow fried Peruvian style fried pork ribs, Tamal, which is a white corn parcel filled with chicken or pork, and shallow fried sweet potato slices.
My duck was so tender that if fell off the bones, and I loved the beans, which were like a very fresh, upmarket baked beans dish.
I had a Peruvian beer with my meal, and my friend had Inca Cola, which is the most popular Peruvian drink, green like limeade, and nothing to do with Coca-Cola – except that Coca-Cola has bought the Company now!
We were persuaded to try a dessert.
titos-4My friend had Chocoflan, the signature dessert. The bottom layer is moist chocolate sponge cake, topped with flan.
I had Mazamora Morada. It’s a home-made Peruvian dessert, like a warm jelly, made with Peru’s unique purple corn, ‘Maiz Morada,’ with dried prunes and cinnamon.
Interesting. I don’t understand how it stayed jelly-like when it was heated.
What did I think of Tito’s?
The staff were wonderful, leaving us alone but there when they were needed.
Peruvian food is simple, unpretentious food. But Fernando and his mother carefully source their suppliers,
A lot of it, like the drinks, comes from Peru, and the food is all good-quality, and mainly local.
Prices are reasonable, averaging £5-7 for a starter, and £10-14 for a main course.
Would I go there again? Yes, and I will. It’s at London Bridge, just outside the station, which is my station in and out of London. titos-5I shall pop in for a drink and a snack when I’m waiting for my train.

Tito’s Peruvian Restaurant
The TRUE Latin Experience
4-6 London Bridge Street
London SE1 9SG
0207 407 7787
0791 944 1070

www.titosperuvianrestaurant.com
www.lapolleracolora.co.uk

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.