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Our features assistant discovers the culinary delights of Peru in the heart of London.
Soho is bursting with original, atmospheric restaurants, but Frith Street’s Ceviche has to be one of the best. This is the place to come if you’re after some truly distinctive dishes, served up with a big dollop of fun. There’s a party vibe from the moment you walk into this bustling venue, which is full with the sound of chatter, laughter and South American music.
The charismatic staff put us right at ease, suggesting we try the restaurant’s signature cocktail, the oh-so-delicious Pisco Sour, with some Cancha, or crunchy corn, that tasted like a moreish mix between salted peanuts and popcorn.
The restaurant boasts a large cocktail offering, all based around the Peruvian national liquor pisco, and we soon moved on to the Pasion de Ceviche, a passion fruit medley that was sweet and refreshing. Peruvian beer, fresh juices and non-alcoholic cocktails are also available.
As you might expect, ceviche (citrus-cured fish) is the cornerstone of Ceviche’s menu, but it also offers a wide selection of grilled and cooked dishes, showcasing Peru’s eclectic cuisine. The restaurant serves small plates so that you can experience as much as possible in one sitting.
We started with the must-try Don Ceviche (large chunks of fresh seabass marinated in amarillo chilli tiger’s milk, with radish, sweet potato and chilli), alongside the Black Kingfish Tiradito. Both dishes were superb, with really interesting flavour combinations that neither of us felt we had tasted before. Our waiter jokingly referred to them as “posh sushi”, and it’s safe to say that fans of sashimi will be blown away by the fresh yet spicy taste of ceviche.
Moving on to the grilled dishes, we tried the Panzo & Higo (a beautifully concocted skewer of braised pork belly, confit figs, crackling and sweet potato puree) and The Lenguas (braised beef tongue with caramelised onion). Both were equally tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
After this, we decided to try two of the restaurant’s classic favourites, the Quinotto de Habas (a wonderfully creamy broad beans and quinoa risotto) with the Lomo Saltado (flame cooked beef fillet with red onions, tomatoes and chips), which had an incredible chargrilled taste that we couldn’t get enough of.
Despite feeling absolutely stuffed, we finished up with dessert, trying a Peruvian classic, the Trio Barranco, which included an amazingly light passion fruit mousse, and the Pecado de Chocolate, a delicious chocolate tart offset by salted Pecan ice cream.
Ceviche is the perfect place to experience the huge variety of Peruvian cuisine in an informal, friendly and fun setting. You encounter so many new and exotic flavours, making this restaurant feel genuinely unique – a rare accolade in London.