Ceviche – The Peruvian invasion in London Part 1
This year there has been a (very welcome) invasion by the Peruvian food movement in London. The first time I had ceviche was on a little “stopover” in Tahiti. I am a lover of raw fish, so the combination with a zesty lemon and spicy chilli was always going to be a winner for me. There is apparently some controversy between Polynesia and Peru as to where this beautiful dish was created, but if they wish to claim it and prove that they have other outstanding dishes on their repertoire, then why not give it a try?
Ceviche, the restaurant on Frith St in Soho, is a nice easy going restaurant with a friendly diner like vibe, where the tables are quite closely and people go there for drinks. There is a wonderful sky light in the back of the restaurant, so it was wonderful to sit in the back area on a summer night, as you really feel like you still can enjoy the natural light.
It was slightly strange to see “Wantan” in a Peruvian restaurant, but why not give it a go? They were nice, crispy and fluffy but there was no real interesting punchy flavour to the filling or sauce to go with it.
So the name sake of the restaurant, the seabass ceviche… it was fresh and zingy. Perhaps could have been a little zestier but was delicious and I would always go back for more.
Being Brazilian, I grew up eating palm hearts (the inside of the palm tree). I love the delicate sweetness and soft but tender texture of the “meat”. This version, came with a beautiful lime, olive and feta dressing.
The grilled rump skewers were beautifully chargrilled and perfectly medium rare as you bit into them. The sauce was nothing to write home about, but then again, perhaps Peruvian cooking is not as zingy or spicy as it can be in Brazil.
To wash all of this yummy food down we did have a cocktails, I would recommend the pisco sour as its super refreshing and goes nicely with the food!
One thing that really marred the experience was the very very very slow service. We had to wait at least 40 minutes for our first drink and had to enquire as to where they’d disappeared to at least 4 times. In that time we saw the table next to us (that of course had been seated after us) been served two rounds of drinks and their starters. The worst thing is that no apology was given and we were told that we still had to leave our table after our timeslot was up.
The food was delicious, and was a great night out after spending about £35 each. I’m not convinced I’ll be rushing back to go on a busy night out until I hear that their service has improved somewhat.