Two ladies living in Peckham, you'll either love us or hate us!
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
Ceviche old street
We first tried Ceviche a couple of years back with our friends to celebrate a birthday. Being very much a food novice, I (Soph) had never really heard of Peruvian cuisine let alone tried it. I very much enjoyed what I ate during my first experience, even if it was just the meat (I used to hate fish). So when Sarah (who has been to Peru and loves peruvian cuisine) saw that Ceviche were opening a new venue in old street she was right onto them to get a reservation. Sarah arrived early and happily spent 50 mins while I was in the gym drinking a Cusquena which is a Peruvian beer she lived off for 3 months and eating cancha which is effectively crunchy corn. The bar area was really large and the people behind were so friendly and passionate about the restaurant. After getting abit lost trying to find the entrance (ending up in a hotel lobby) I arrived late to find she had moved onto cocktails and had one waiting for me. Despite not liking pisco while travelling Sarah thought she would give it another go and ordered us a Peru Boom and La Jarra which was infused with chilli, both were tasty but neither of us are converts!
On my arrival we moved to our table which was round the side of the bar right by the open kitchen. The old street restaurant is much bigger than their Soho one and kitted out with local Peruvian art which Sarah would have tapped up if she had any wall space! We found our table quite noisy and although appreciate that having an open kitchen and full service it was going to be noisy we found ourselves having to raise our voices and a fair amount of the conversation ended up consisting of "what?", "huh?", "pardon?".
We set about looking at the menu even though we pretty much knew what we were ordering as this had been decided when we got the confirmation of booking. When the waiter arrived we ordered basically quarter to half of the menu and he seemed surprised by the amount 2 girls would order - we reassured him that we would finish it all and actually we ordered more once the first lot had arrived. This wasn't due to small portions but due to how good the food was we just wanted to try more!
So where to start with what we ate? I guess we break it down as per the menu...
Burford Brown egg, quinoa, morcilla sangrecita, rocoto sauce
So this was pretty much a black pudding scotch egg. It was rich and yoky and lovely. The rocotto sauce was spicy and very addictive. We polished off the whole lot pretty sharpish.
Tequeños de Ají de Gallina
Wonton fritters filled with traditional chicken recipe, onion, parmesan, single cream, amarillio chilli dip. These crunchy, chickeny, fried fritters were absolutlety wicked. They had such a depth of flavour and went with the dip so well.
In basic terms, these are corn fritters served with a wasabi mayo. This probably sounds a tad strange but I found these too sweet. They went well with the mayo but alone, for me, they could have passed as a desert. I probably wouldn't order these again as they just weren't quite to our taste.
Ceviche del Día
(Available Tues-Sat) Cornwall Project day-fresh fish, celery, red onion, plantain chifles, sweet potato, classic tiger’s milk. The fish of the day was lemon sole (which I had never tried before) was presented really nicely but in terms of flavour didn't really blow me away. I personally found the fish a little rubbery and tasteless.
The tuna was presented differently to the usual chuck of fish that you get in ceviche but it was beautiful and worked really well with the sharp lime sauce.
This was a cross between sushi and ceviche and we really enjoyed it! The crunch on the top helped with the texture of the overall dish and our only gripe was there was only 3 pieces not 4!
Pollo a la brasa
Our own recipe marinade, corn-fed quarter rotisserie chicken
Oh boy was this chicken good, infact it was some of the best chicken I have tasted. It was succulent, soft and full of flavour. We probably could have put away half of the chicken, if not all of it.
Seasonal broad bean and quinoa risotto, bean flowers
This little dish we found to be the dark horse of our evening. Not entirely sure what to expect from the first mouthful we were sold. The flavour yet again blew us away, the one thing I would say is the texture of the dish I guess is a bit porridge like. It took a while for me to get my head round that and it wouldn't be to every bodies taste, I say give it a go.
Flame-cooked beef fillet red onions, tomatoes, saltado sauce, proper chips
We received this dish at the same time as we got the quarter chicken and OMG was it a taste sensation. The steak was perfectly cooked and just fell apart. The proper cooked chips were PROPER! Crispy on the outside whilst being amazingly soft on the inside. In my opinion the best thing on the dish was the sauce. Saltado sauce is a traditional peruvian sauce originating from the Chifa tradition (a kind of Chinese/Peruvian combination). That is about as far as my knowledge goes with this sauce, one thing I do know is that it is EPIC.
Slow cooked pork cheeks adobo, traditional Catacaos cassava hash
Unfortunately neither of us liked this dish, to the extent that we had one mouthful each and left the rest. We didn't like the pork cheeks at all, this isn't necessarily due to bad cooking or ingredients, I just think we don't like pork cheeks.
Warm chocolate beetroot and panca chilli brownie, cancha ice cream
What a nice way to finish a great feast. Individually this desert was pretty good but when you put them altogether it works really well. The chilli element is subtle to begin with and builds up nicely into an intense flavour (it doesn't blow your head off).
Overall we had an absolutely wicked night at Ceviche and enjoyed 90% of what we ate! We really urge anyone who has not been to check out one of their restaurants as you will not be disappointed!