A vast melting pot of cultures, London is filled with an eclectic mixture of restaurants experimenting with various national cuisines – some classic, others contemporary. Within the past five years, Peruvian food has become hugely popular across the city, with a continuous stream of exciting new restaurant openings. One particular Latin American dish to have found international acclaim – ceviche – typically features raw fish cured with citrus juice and spiced with chilli peppers or ají (a pungent chilli generally associated with Peruvian cuisine).
With National Ceviche Day taking place this week (28th June), we’ve rounded-up the best places in London to sample ceviche, best washed down with a stiff Pisco Sour.
Originally launched as a pop-up, inspired by founder Harry Edmeades’ travels across Peru, Señor Ceviche now has two permanent locations; one in Kingly Court, off of Carnaby Street, and a shiny new branch on Charlotte Street. Showcasing Peruvian food with plenty of Japanese influences, the menu has a strong focus on ceviche, unsurprisingly, with signature dish ‘The Señor Ceviche’ comprising sea bass and octopus, joined by sweet potato puree, avocado, crispy baby squid and ají Amarillo tiger’s milk. ‘Nikkei Ceviche’, on the other hand, is vibrant with Yellowfin tuna, sea bass, ponzu tiger’s milk, yuzu tobiko and a langoustine cracker. Ceviche aside, the Charlotte Street venue also has a downstairs Pisco bar, while the grilled beef heart is an additional must-try.
Señor Ceviche can be found at Kingly Street, London, W1B 5PW or 18 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2LZ.
Originally born in Peru, Martin Morales has become a pioneer of Peruvian food in Britain, having lived here for the last 30 years. A chef, restaurateur and founder of four Peruvian restaurants in London (Ceviche Old St, Ceviche Soho, Andina and Casa Andina) – Morales is also involved in numerous other projects, including running Ceviche Old Street Gallery (showcasing Peru’s top 50 contemporary artists) and running his own music label – Tiger’s Milk Records. Andina in Shoreditch is an award-winning restaurant which pays homage to healthy superfoods of the food of the Peruvian Andes. A modern ‘Picanteria’ – Andina showcases Morales’ personal respect for ingredients, inspired by his Grandmother. Here, six exclusively gluten-free ceviches are available from the ceviche bar, with a prominent focus on sustainable fish (namely sea bass and Yellowtail tuna). Elsewhere, a range of other Peruvian-inspired dishes are reasonably priced, also complete with a children’s menu.
Andina can be found at 1 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DJ.
Another of Martin Morales’ London restaurants, Ceviche Old St (close to Andina) opened in 2015, following the success of its sister restaurant Ceviche Soho – having recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Between Old Street Roundabout and Moorfields Eye Hospital, Ceviche Old St is housed within the re-stored Alexandra Trust Dining Rooms. The menu is inspired by the coast, Andes and Amazon of Peru, with Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) and Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) influences. From the ceviche bar, dishes include a regularly changing Ceviche Clàsico, teaming ‘catch of the day’ fish with tiger’s milk, red onion, limo chilli, sweet potato cream and plantain chifles. Like at Andina, the ceviche offering is entirely gluten-free, also including a vegetarian option (Don Ceviche) as well as versions featuring sea bass, Yellowfin tuna, or King prawns.
Ceviche Old St can be found at 2 Baldwin Street, London, EC1V 9NU.
Quickly becoming renowned for serving high-end Latin American food from a swanky Mayfair venue – the menu at MNKY HSE features a number of ceviche and aguachile dishes. Mexican Executive Head Chef Pablo Peñalosa Majera’s creations include beetroot and Mezcal-cured salmon with red onion and vinegar; yellowtail tuna with orange, ginger, passion fruit and jicama; and prawn ceviche tostada with spicy sauce, guacamole and coriander. In addition, the bar at MNKY HSE serves an extensive selection of riffs on the classic Pisco Sour. These include a ‘Pisco & Jasmine Sour’ with 1615 Quebranta Pisco, lime juice, jasmine syrup, Chungo Amargo bitters and egg white; or the playfully named ‘Taking The Pisco’, which comprises 1615 Acholado Pisco, Picasso Tempranillo Crianza, Crème de Mure, blueberry puree, lime and cloudy apple juice.
MNKY HSE can be found at 10 Dover Street, London, W1S 4LD.
Since opening in 2012, LIMA in Fitzrovia has been at the forefront of London’s initiation into Peruvian cuisine. Soon after opening, LIMA also became the first restaurant of its kind, in London, to earn a Michelin star. Five years on, the restaurant has recently undergone an interior transformation, while the team spent last summer exploring and researching the culture and food of Peru, ultimately working on producing a new menu. Amongst the new menu changes, a new version of Peru’s national dish – ceviche, which has been part of the LIMA menu since opening – uses the acidity of tumbo fruit to ‘cook’ the fish, a practice widespread in Peru, before the Spanish brought limes in the 16th century. Black bream, root vegetable, or tuna Nikkei ceviches are joined by hot scallop or red mullet options, available alongside an extensive selection of additional high-end Peruvian dishes, with various tiraditos, a signature octopus dish and black cod main. Elsewhere, LIMA has a more accessible sister restaurant (LIMA Floral) in Covent Garden.
LIMA can be found at 31 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1JH.