Sunday 11 March 2012

Ceviche - is Peruvian the next big thing?

If you listen to those whose job it is to predict the next big thing in food, this time next year we will all be eating ceviche like its pizza.  2012 is the year. The time has come, we are told, for Peruvian food to take its "rightful" place alongside the great cuisines - the Italians, Chinese and Indians of this world  I enjoyed Peruvian food when I was there, but as with Bolivian and Ecuadorean, it didn't strike me as something which was about to embark on an era of global expansion.

And yet this week the first, of what is likely to be many Peruvian openings this year, threw open its doors to guests.  Joining the burgeoning food scene on Frith Street is Ceviche - an offering from Martin Morales.

At the front is a ceviche bar, at the back a casual restaurant with tables packed together like sardines - so close that we ended up in conversation with the table of girls sitting next to us!  The decor is a bit Wahaca-ish, you certainly don't feel as though you should get dressed up to go.

The menu is split into nibbles, smaller plates and what you may assume to be the main plates - don't be fooled, all of the plates are small, very small.  We shared a few plates, and then got a couple more to fill up.

In round one we had the Don Ceviche (sea bass ceviche (raw fish, "cooked" by being marinated in lime juice)) - very good, almost up to the stuff I had in the central market in Chiclayo in Peru.  We also had lomo saltado - a dish of grilled beef in saltado sauce which, in Peru, is normally served on top of soggy chips - here the chips came on the side, a definite improvement on the original!

Braised and grilled octopus - tender and delicious but rather on the small side for 8 quid!

Sakura Maru: salmon marinated in "Tiger's milk" (a Japanese marinade made of soy, satsuma and mirin).  Tender salmon, delicious.  The Japanese link is not as tenuous as you might think, there are strong ties between these countries - the former President was Peruvian of Japanese descent.

On the side, Solterito, a salad of broad beans, Peruvian corn and feta, and Yucas - deep-fried cassava -crispy like the best triple-cooked chips you've ever had.

For round two we had some fried seafood and some mixed seafood ceviche.  Tasty, but unfortunately the prawn and the Octopus tasted like they had been cooked before being put into the ceviche.

The food was very good indeed.  But the portions were on the small side and I sometimes felt a little shortchanged!  Shame as, if the portions were just a little more generous, this place would get a full thumbs up from me...

Ceviche on Urbanspoon


  1. Looks like a combo of two big trends: Peruvian and Small Plates! While I'm not averse in principle to the latter, I am when the prices take the piss, which appears to be the case in this instance.

    BTW, I think the PR guff about Peruvian grub is, to be blunt, bollocks. There's a whole panoply of cuisines out there ahead of Peruvian food imho.

  2. The prices were certainly on the high side for what you got, but it was tasty which went some way to ease the pain!

    Would have to agree, think that 2012 will be a bit of a flash in the pan - can't see it coming to fore in the long term.


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