On Sunday, my friend Cat and I met up for our annual Christmas meal at Ceviche in London. Peruvian food is still a very trendy cuisine at the moment and one I have been wanting to try for a while. There is a little Peruvian place in Bath but it is only open for lunch through the week meaning I haven’t yet had the chance to sample it, although I have heard they do the most amazing hot pork sandwiches!
Anyway, I digress…Ceviche is named after one of Peru’s signature dishes which involves marinated raw seafood in lime, usually served with chili, coriander and raw onion for example. The citric acid of the limes starts to lightly cook the fish which makes for fantastic flavours and interesting textures.
The décor of Ceviche is bright and colourful and the service prompt and friendly. We had a waiter talk us through the menu and recommend the best of the ceviches on offer.
We opted for the Don Ceviche, which is the restaurant’s signature dish and packed full of flavour: fresh sea bass served in a lime based marinade with coriander and red onions for some crunch. I will say now that the texture is quite love/hate. I imagine some people will not be able to get over the fact that it is raw fish but with the delicious flavours I hardly noticed.
The menu offered tapas-sized dishes and we ordered 6 between us. Next to arrive was from the Christmas special menu – Causa Salmón – which was a base of Peruvian potato cake topped with smoked salmon, sour cream and chives. These were quite familiar flavours to me and very tasty.
One of the side dishes was Yucas, deep fried cassava chips served with a Peruvian sauce which was a lovely alternative to chips!
My least favourite dish was the Ensalada de Arroz Navideña which was a rice dish served with olives, peppers and pecans. It was fine but nothing special.
Our chicken skewers were delicious, served with a fresh yellow and red beetroot salad.
Finally, we had a Peruvian macaroni cheese which didn’t particularly go with the other dishes we had ordered but was so cheesy, creamy and indulgent I am so glad we did try it!
With our meals, we both opted for a cocktail but I have to admit Cat’s was much nicer than mine! The waiter insisted we try their pisco which is like a Peruvian brandy and I had a Padrino Limeno, an amaretto, fig and vanilla infused pisco with pink peppercorns and grapefruit…a tad too strong for me! Cat tried the Pisco Sour which was rather lovely.
Neither of us could manage a pudding so just settled for our 6 tapas dishes and cocktails which came to about £30 each. I loved this meal and would highly recommend trying this cuisine if you have a Peruvian restaurant nearby to where you live. Having spent the best part of a year living next door to a Bolivian and Ecuadorian, I am used to some of the flavours used in South American cooking but this was the first time I have tried ceviche and I have to say that I am a convert! Fresh, vibrant and full of flavour, Peruvian cuisine is definitely one to try.
I also loved the little match box we got with our bill offering us a free pisco sour if we visit again in 2013…a lovely touch!