Three questions you might have about Ceviche, the Peruvian seafood restaurant in Soho.
Number one – how do you pronounce Ceviche? That would be ‘suh-vee-chee’. If you struggle to remember the phonetics, knight the place: ‘Sir Vichee.’
Number two – what’s Ceviche? It’s the national dish of Peru, typically consisting of raw fish marinated in citrus juices and seasonings. (Although the formula can be tweaked.)
Number three – is Ceviche (the restaurant) any good? Yes, it is. Ceviche is very good indeed.
Thus endeth the review.
[After a brief word with my editor]: OK, let’s serve up a little more detail.
Ceviche sits on the much sought-after junction of healthy food that tastes delicious and won’t ravage your wallet. (Metaphorically, that is: the Ceviche we visited sat on Frith Street.)
The menu is divided into three primary sections: Street Bites, Cerviches, and Classics. Ideally, order a couple from each, maybe a side or salad, and then you can consider dessert.
Of the Street Bites, we went for Beef Heart Skewers and a Peruvian Bao Bun (with tempura sea bass). Both were delicious in a street-foody kind of way. Although served on a plate, the skewers are Peru’s answer to shish kebabs, and “carry memories of crazy nights out in Lima. I’m quoting the menu here, having never experience a night out in Lima, crazy or otherwise.
You can’t go to a restaurant called Ceviche and not order Ceviche. (I mean, you can: the waiter isn’t going to strongarm you. But it would be poor form if you did, or rather didn’t.) The Salmon Ceviche is very finely sliced and topped with trout roe – be warned, it’s very fishy, which I loved and my friend didn’t. Pervuvian Ceviche, the ‘classic’ version made up of seabass, tiger’s milk and sweet potato, should also be on your list.
Happily, the most impressive dishes on an impressive menu are the big ‘uns. Grilled Salmon is perfectly cooked and slathered in a delightful panca chilli marinade. Even better is the Chicken Pachamanca, served with chunks of sweet potato in this amazingly flavoursome panca and Andean huacatay herb sauce. (Huacatay is a type of mint.) Vegan? Then go for the Mushroom Stew: the accompanying cream choclo purée will stop you glancing longingly at the chicken.
As it’s January, we stayed clear of the booze; however the mocktails proved a more than adequate substitute, especially Paddington’s Fruity Foray (riesling verjus, cucumber, lime, orange and elderflower tonic). But fear not: there’s plenty of booze if you wish to indulge. A Pisco Sour is a must – it’s the national cocktail, after all.
In these chilly winter months, a visit to Peru is the ideal tonic. Go via Ceviche.
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For more info, see Ceviche