11 Jun 2012

karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
Ceviche is another of the rather recent openings I wanted to visit and finally had a chance when I was in London and had enough time to go before a late starting gig. It's on busy Frith St. in Soho and the restaurant is equally busy with tightly packed wooden tables and chairs/stools. I was there on a Thursday at 6:45 and mine was the only free table, even the pisco bar (where you can also eat) in the front was packed so booking is highly recommended. There aren't starters or mains as such but the food is served as sharing plates (or non-sharing if you're on your own) and they recommend three or four plates per person. Have a look at the menu to get an idea. I had three and a dessert without extras and was thoroughly sated.
Now for the food. I obviously wanted some ceviche so I chose sea bass which I enjoyed. The fish is sliced and mixed with "tiger milk" (a mix of lime juice, chilli and spices) which tenderises the fish and basically cooks it without heat. A very fresh and light dish with just a little kick at the end.
The other cold dish I had was chunks of Pulpo (octopus) grilled on a skewer with slices of chorizo. Octopus is hard to get right and this was perfect, lovely and tender, the rich and chewy chorizo a nice contrast.
I also had Solterón, a salad of palm hearts, spinach, alfalfa, feta and olives in a lime dressing. Also very nice, although the flavour of the palm hearts is a bit odd at first.
For dessert I had the most disappointing dish, at least in value: Lúcuma ice cream with crumbled alfajores (a sugar confection). 5.25 for two scoops of ice cream is a bit steep, even in central London, I thought, but the taste was brilliant.
I couldn't leave without having a cocktail with pisco (the national drink of Peru, a grape brandy) and I chose one with passion fruit. Fresh and very enjoyable.
The bill for this meal (three dishes, one dessert, a glass of the house white and the pisco cocktail) came to 43 pounds which is OK for the location. With exception of the dessert, the food prices are fine and drinks were priced well, too (4.35 for the wine and 7.50 for the cocktail).

So, if you fancy something a little different (but apparently Peruvian cooking is up and coming) and don't mind to be packed into a place with a lively atmosphere (and the odd wobbly table), I can only recommend Ceviche and I will definitely be back as I want to try some of the other dishes.

Sorry for the lack of photos but I was going to a gig afterwards so couldn't take my camera. There are stunning ones by Paul Winch-Furness on their website.

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