Image sourced from The Guardian
Despite being an aficionado of all things Hispanic, Peruvian food is something I have never tried. When thinking of Latin American food, the Brazilian Feijoada or Argentine Steak spring to mind but it seems Peru also has something to shout about with its own Ceviche. A distinct dish, Ceviche is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices and chilli and I had my first experience at the new Ceviche restaurant located on Frith Street, Soho. A quirky setting of turquoise accented walls, aged black and white photos and 50s style lighting, give you the impression that you have left the streets of Soho and found yourself enjoying the delights of a bar in Peru.
The menu is hugely varied, giving you a chance to try many flavours. Pisco, is a speciality of the restaurant, which is incorporated into both the food and drinks and so we started off with a Pisco sour to get into the Peruvian mood. We decided to get a few different dishes in order to try as many things as possible, something encouraged by the way the menu is set into different sections. We chose some Ceviche, a rice dish, a salmon skewer and some snacks in the form of Tequeños, melt in your mouth pastry filled with cheese and chilli and Cancha, salted dried corn.
The flavours were diverse and bold and yet managed to create a balance between the raw fish and the other strong ingredients. It’s very rare to say you haven’t eaten a certain type of food but this really was unique. The raw fish, was bursting with citrus and chilli which gave a kick alongside the calmer tastes of the potato cake or avocado. The seafood was really good quality and although small, there were enough mouthfuls to keep you satisfied. Moving onto the skewer, the salmon was falling off the stick and again was full of flavour. Another favourite were the Tequeños, simple and yet so delicious, who can say no to melted cheese and chilli (we ordered another two portions of these!)
Finally, we couldn’t miss dessert and chose the Suspiro de Chirimoya, a fruit mousse with cinnamon and port wine meringue and the Encanelado de Pisco, a cinnamon sponge soaked in the pisco spirit and with dulce de leche ice cream. I was blown away by both of these desserts, the fruit mousse tasted somewhere between caramel and papaya, absolutely delicious. The sponge was also amazing and had soaked up the pisco so that each mouthful had an extra kick after the cinnamon. Dulce de Leche is always a favourite and added another Hispanic flavour into the mix, a perfect sweet mouthful to end a delicious and yet light meal.
Ceviche demonstrates the diverse and interesting flavours that Latin America offers. The quirky and yet understated setting allows you to experience Peruvian food in an unpretentious way, enjoying the delightful food and fun atmosphere.