Last week, we headed to Old Street for a night of Ceviche Libre. On entering what used to be the Alexandra Trust Dining Rooms, we were welcomed by the sweet sounds of Peru and a rainbow of ingredients, all waiting for us to start creating.
The building itself is steeped in character; the walls of exposed brick need only a little restoration, as the interiors will stay faithful to the Victorian architecture. This disused building will become the latest outpost of Peruvian restaurateur, chef and award-winning cookbook author Martin Morales, who opened Ceviche in Soho, Andina in Shoreditch, and in March 2015, Ceviche Old Street.
On arrival we were given placemats that listed all the ingredients available to us on the night. We decided to create something spicy and full of flavour – it is ceviche after all – and so our dish featured octopus, avocado, cucumber, pomegranate and white quinoa, with Amarillo for milk and garnished with aji limo. It was delicious, if we do say so ourselves. We were then shown how to mix the flavours together and then display them using our finest culinary skills for the photographer. You see, the best ceviche made on the night will find its way on to the menu. But even those who’s dish didn’t make the cut will be able to see their achievements as they plan to decorate one wall with all the images of ceviche’s created.
As well as ceviche, you’ll also find a Peruvian rotisserie on the new menu and creative interpretations of Victorian classics, as well as Peruvian recipes from the 19th century, taking inspiration from their new surroundings. The restaurant itself will have an open grill and kitchen, where you’ll be able to watch the Peruvian-trained master chefs at work. The separate bar area will serve bar snacks, Pisco cocktails, of course, and British and Latin American craft beer – it is sure to become one of East London’s hottest new hangouts. We don’t like to wish away Christmas and New Years, but roll on March!