This is Ceviche in a nutshell (mainly because I left my phone and camera at home on the night and therefore have no pretty photos to distract you from my rather mediocre writing skills :p).
Ceviche is a newly opened Peruvian restaurant in Soho. Peruvian cuisine seems to be growing as the flavour of the moment on the London food trend scene and it’s about time seeing as this city is severely lacking in quality South American food.
The restaurant is named after one of Peru’s signature dishes, and so the menu boasts a variety of ceviche dishes (raw fish marinaded in lime juice and garnished with onions, chillies and other ingredients). Embarrassingly we did not order ceviche as the only Peruvian in our party, and therefore by default our food guide for the evening, is not a fan. :(
The pisco bar ia the main feature of this quirky establishment and when you first walk into this weirdly long restaurant you hit the narrow bar area, full of people drinking and chatting against a backdrop of vintage Peruvian posters. The restaurant itself is dimly lit, saloon-like and with a noisy, bustling ambience which I would like to think is reminiscent of a night out in Lima. We ordered a round of chilcanos (pisco quebranta, ginger ale, lime and amargo chuncho bitters [and no, I don’t know what half of those ingredients actually are!]). In short: light, sweet and refreshing.
Ceviche’s menu succeeds in presenting the best of Peruvian cuisine and adapting it for a London market in the form of street food-style tapas (whilst [perhaps wisely] leaving out delicacies such as whole roasted guinea pig and tripe stew). Being tapas, the portions are small and each cost £5-10, so things can get a little pricey. However, the food is absolutely top-notch.
Cancha- crunchy Peruvian corn- a moreish traditional bar snack
Yucas- fried cassava with Huancaina sauce– sweet, crisp and fried to perfection
Top rump marinated in aji pancha chilli sauce with fried potato slices X2- we ordered this twice, what more do I have to say.
Braised octopus marinated in aji pancha chilli sauce and coriander– impossibly fresh, meaty, tender chunks of octopus, I think I dreamt of this dish last night
Arroz con pato- confit duck in coriander and dark beer rice with aji amarillo chilli
If I had one complaint about Ceviche is would be that some of the portions are a liiiittle small, even for tapas, and definitely small for the price. Service was friendly, albeit a bit slow, but I would put that down to simple opening night disorganisation.
In a nutshell Ceviche is a fresh, new restaurant which creates a fun and vibrant atmosphere to showcase some amazing Peruvian dishes. The food we ordered was delicious and I would thoroughly recommend going there , although be prepared to pay about £30-£35 per head excluding drinks.