Week two of our “new and different cuisines” challenge and we decided to do Peruvian food.
“What, you’re from NYC and you’ve never had Peruvian food?” Well, actually yes we have but when we heard about Ceviche and how it was recently voted one of the top Peruvian restaurants in London and one of the top 50 restaurants in London, we knew we had to give it a go.
Ceviche, named after a popular Latin American dish made from pieces of raw fish/seafood cured in citrus juice and chilies – has two locations – one in Old Street and one in Soho. Andy and I opted for the one in the extremely busy area of Soho without realizing that the menus are slightly different in each location.
The food at Ceviche is served tapas style which basically means the plates are small and you are meant to get several and (maybe) share with your group. Andy and I brought our appetites that night (when don’t we?) so he ordered four tapas and I ordered three.
When I originally planned out this post I was going to mention everything that we ordered. But, midway through writing I switched gears and decided to only highlight the best dishes we had that night – mainly because while everything we had was pretty tasty, these dishes are the reason I’d happily go back to Ceviche anytime.
Cremoso Camaron (aka shrimp ceviche). I’m usually not a fan of anything covered in creamy sauces – mainly because I equate it with mayonnaise (barf!) or some sort of heavy ass cream. So, naturally, I was a bit skeptical when this dish first arrived at our table and wondered what made me want to order it in the first place. To my surprise though, the sauce only looked creamy. It was actually a light sauce made with Tiger’s milk (a first for me!) which reminded me how looks really can be deceiving. The ceviche itself was full of citrus flavor with lots of red onions (yum!). They didn’t skimp out on the pieces of shrimp either which I loved because, let’s face it, who wants to pay for a shrimp dish and only get 2 pieces of shrimp??
Don Ceviche (aka sea bass ceviche). Another winner. This one also came with the tiger’s milk sauce which, again, turned out to not be too creamy or heavy at all. The Don was just as yummy as the shrimp with a touch of citrus and a slight kick of heat. The pieces of sea bass were large, which we appreciated, and were mixed in with sweet potato chunks and more red onion. It was sweet, spicy, creamy and delicious – all in one little dish. Oh, and it case you’re wondering, those orange things garnishing the dish were sweet potato chips/crisps.
Choclo (aka heaven on a plate). Choclo is basically a sweet corn bread that is very popular in certain Latin American countries. It’s kind of like corn bread, but slightly denser. The choclo at Ceviche had huge chunks of feta cheese in it and was topped with an avocado slice. I can’t even explain how delicious this was! The sweetness of the choclo plus the saltiness of the feta with more red onions (yum, yum!) and avocado. It’s like someone knew what some of my favorite flavors are and turned them into a dish. While the food we had that night was good, this honestly was the star of the night for me.
Although I’ve only highlighted three dishes in this post, Ceviche does serve up a good example of what Peruvian cuisine is like – it’s not all fish and sweet breads, trust me. To the folks who voted Ceviche as one of the best in London: you clearly know what you’re talking about! So, if you find yourself in London and either missing some Latin American flavors or curious about the cuisine, go get yourself a table at Ceviche (because, let’s face it, we can’t all be wrong about this place can we??).
Our list of cuisines to try keeps growing! Help us add more places to the list and keep those suggestions coming.