Situated just off Old Street round about, is a upper-mid price restaurant offering its namesake. Located in what was once a famous rave venue, the inside is bright, clean, crisp and airily lit by day. Formal lines are broken only occasionally by selected Peruvian artwork, leaving the food centre stage.
The eponymous Cevice, is a South-American seafood dish made with raw fish, citrus juice and spice. Comparisons to Sushi are common and in part deserving, but if you enter Ceviche expecting something similar to the delicate style of cuisine which emanates from the pacific, you might find yourself very surprised indeed. In fact, you’re likely to be surprised in any instance by the incredible variety of taste, texture, colour and fragrance on offer across the very broad menu. Fortunately the dining format of Ceviche is medium sharing platters, which means even two people can make their way through a decent portion of it in a single sitting. Still, there are some absolute stand out dishes which were so good we put down our forks in awe, and so absolutely have to be ordered on your first visit.
This is a Peruvian Pisco themed joint, so if you’re not familiar grab yourself a Pisco Sour to start and explore the cocktail menu from from there. Then start with the Golazos de Chicharrón from the nibblers sections. These unassuming wraps are a mini culinary journey in a bite size form, beginning with the lightness of watermelon and ending with the dark richness of pork belly confit, all underpinned by a tone of subtle heat from start to finish.
Next it’s time for the Cevice. Whilst the Don Cevice (gluten free) is a worthwhile classic, the scallops really blew us away with a very fine balance of delicacy and sweetness that contrasted with an almost gravelly texture on the tip of the tongue as they melted in our mouths. Don’t miss out.
For a quick break for the Ensalada Sierra with pomegranate proved a perfect cleanser between stronger dishes.
From the grills section the Lomo Saltado, flame cooked beef found under the classics really stood out for us, counterpointing the delicateness of the Ceviche faultlessly, with smokiness and salty substantiality that you naturally start to crave after several light dishes. Finally we had the Pulpo Parrillero from the grill section, which was incredibly tender with the lightest of textures, and like all of these dishes was outstanding on its own, and even more so in the company of such great variety.
Finally, for your desert make sure to pick the Picarones, Pumpkin doughnuts, with chancaca honey, and cinnamon ice cream. Served in a carved wooden oblong bowl, their presentation allows the ice cream to melt into shallow pools, encouraging you to skate your donut through puddles as you go dipping. For the more delicate eaters amongst you the Peruvian Sorbets (gluten free) provide an alternative lighter ending to your meal.
Finishing and reflecting with a Yacon Tea, we were impressed with chef Martin Morales work. It’s rare that a meal leaves a palette both teased and satisfied, but we felt Ceviche’s menu managed both. Even in London, it’s both exciting and rare to discover something new that you instantly love, and that was our experience here. Highly recommended.