Japanese and Peruvian fusion restaurant Ayllu in Paddington serves a range of sushi and contemporary dishes plus bottomless brunch with DJ sessions.

Recently I wrote about the Sunday roasts at Smith’s Bar and Grill, well Ayllu is its sister located downstairs. Unlike the restaurant above Ayllu specilises in Nikkei cuisine.

For those unsure, Nikkei means ‘expat’ or ‘immigrant’ in Japanese. It also became a term in cuisine for Japanese cooking techniques using Peruvian ingredients.

Despite the geographical locations the two cuisines really work well together actually. Think tuna tartar with tiger’s milk, avocado and sesame seeds. The menu is broad. There are a few tasting menu options and a la carte with sushi, tiraditos and tacos plus grill.

We spot a few dishes we really want to try, so we opt in for a la carte. Although there is a tempting list of cocktails such as Pisco Sour and smokey Diablo we choose wine to accompany our dishes.

While we study the menu we order yuccas bravas, which is chunky cassava sticks served with rocoto sauce. It’s slightly pinkish mayo consistence sweet Peruvian pepper sauce.

Cassava is a great alternative to potato chips, it has similar texture but with slightly more consistency. First to arrive is yellowtail tiradito with truffle puree.

The fish slices are fresh with slight sweetness and just the right touch of truffle. Yellowtail is quickly followed by trio of tacos. They’re rather petit but loaded with plenty of fish in a crisp taco. Just like the yellowtail they disappear off the tray promptly. Then we start on the sushis.

We choose two options, uramaki salmon and uramaki crab topped with salmon. Both come in good sizes with generous fillings wrapped in fluffy rice.

For the hot dishes we decide on octopus a la plancha and lomo saltado. Our waiter Parviz compliments our choice, highlighting that lomo saltado is a traditional Peruvian dish.

The dishes are certainly prepared promptly in the kitchen, we have the hot dishes on the table already. Unexpectedly lomo saltado also comes with side rice, this is in addition to potato chunks under the steak cubes.

But we are quite peckish so we don’t complain. The lomo saltado is good with plenty of flavour. There is lots of variety with both flavours and texture. Al dente slightly sweet red onion, pureed like cooked tomato, tender beef cubes and savoury potatoes squares topped with sweet and sour gravy.

It’s an excellent dish, the only let down is the small amount of beef cubes in it. It could definitely benefit with a few more thrown in.

We pair it, if I dare to say, with the octopus a la plancha. I’m slightly thrown back by how bright the green sauce is. It’s basil and potato, my guest tries to explain to me that creamy potato in combination with dark green basil makes that colour.

It’s the perfect sauce for the grilled octopus, so I accept his explanation. Unlike the lomo there is a good portion of octopus, it’s perfectly tender with a good deal of flavour. It’s the tentacles style of course.

We both eat octopus so we are no stranger to it, but if you are there are plenty of other fish options to choose from on the menu. Such as black cod and even lobster tail with aji amarillo sauce, which was highly recommended to us by Parviz.

Since I planned on the basque cheesecake, I obviously studied the menu prior to visiting, we draw the line at savoury plates so leaving space for our desserts.

The desserts menu is shared with the Smith’s Bar and Grill meaning I can once again order the passion fruit and mango basque cheesecake described here. While my guest can enjoy his treasured almond tart, he tried the Sunday roast with me earlier this year.

Needless to say our expectations are met, the desserts are exactly the way we remember them.

We visited during quieter times to catch up, but Ayllu does offer a loud boozy bottomless brunch for £37pp and £55pp with bottomless drinks. It’s a good price for good quality food and smart casual chic setting, a great spot for a friends’ catch up.

Ayllu, 25 Sheldon Square, London W2 6EY