Ceviche and Peruvian cuisine are by no means new to the London food scene. Frith Streets aptly named Ceviche has been stalwart of the Soho food scene for quite some time. However, of late, this cuisine has been getting a little more attention as several more ceviche themed restaurants have popped up across our capital. I myself actually had my first taste of ceviche in San Francisco where the food scene is really global. Having enjoyed it so much across the pond I decided to hunt it down on my home turf.
Top: Mr Miyagi
Bottom (l-r): Jaleo mixto, Chifa Chicharonnes, Señor Ceviche
On a little wander around Soho one lunchtime I decided to take stroll through Kingly Court as I’ve heard of so many new restaurant openings in there and I’d not been through in a long time. Kingly Court is almost a hidden away little square just behind Carnaby Street buzzing with restaurants and bars with loads of al fresco seating. With several board walk style levels above the courtyard, it almost has a bit of a seaside destination feel and you’d never guess that you’re two minutes away from Oxford Street. With ample restaurant and bars and a really lively atmosphere, it’s a great place for a night out. Señor Ceviche is perched on the first level overlooking the square and as soon as I spotted it I put it to the top of my to-do list as it ticked off two boxes: dining in Kingly Court and eating ceviche in London.
For those unfamiliar with ceviche, it’s similar to sushi in that there’s a lot of raw fish involved. It is usually cured in citrus juices and tastes very different as there’s a lot more of a South American influence on the flavour with lots of citrus and chilli and not so much ginger and miso. Señor Ceviche has a great selection of ceviche with a great variety of dishes and a descriptive menu that suggests how much you should order, making it really easy for a diner who is unfamiliar with the food. The staff are also really helpful if you need a bit of guidance. It’s not all fish though as there’s plenty of other traditional Peruvian dishes including a whole anticuchos (barbecue) section.
The menu is designed to share which I thought was absolutely great as, specially when trying this out for the first time, you get to try a little bit of everything. We chose around six dishes to share between two of us and it was just the right amount.
Chancaca Stone Bass with Fennel Salad
Whilst the fish was undoubtably the star of most of the dishes we ate, I feel it’s always important not to overlook the sides! In particular this fennel and apple salad served alongside the bass was absolutely delicious. A really original side, this was not the sort of salad that gets left untouched at the side of the plate.
Flat Iron Anticuchos
Even if you’re visiting just to try the ceviche, it’s definitely worth ordering one or two of the meat dishes as well. Flat iron anticuchos were really tender and although I’ve never been a huge fan of pork, I really enjoyed the chifa chicharonnes (pictured at top). I never order pork so when my sister chose this slow cooked pork belly dish I reluctantly tried a piece but was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed it with the stick sweet soy sauce and happily helped myself to more.
The restaurant’s signature dish: Señor Ceviche
The stand out dish of the evening for me was the restaurant’s signature dish, aptly named Señor Ceviche. Silky smooth sea bream ceviche topped with crispy tempura squid, this dish is basically the two best ways to do seafood piled one on top of the other. What’s not to love?
The bright, colourful and noisy dining room at Señor Ceviche, alongside the sharing plate theme makes it a great place to enjoy a casual dinner with friends. There’s a great cocktail list to try as well as all the tasty dishes. This is the ideal place for a fun girls night out or to take your more well travelled foodie friends.