Street food focus: Ceviche

Street food focus: Ceviche

Ceviche

What?
Peruvian ceviche.

Where?
Ceviche runs “two award-winning restaurants serving exquisite food and drinks that are inspired by Lima and Peru’s coast”. Both are in London.

How much?
£9.50.

The menu says:
“Seabass, classic tiger’s milk, sweet potato, red onion, Andean corn, cancha corn nuts.”

The hype says: “This place is brilliant. The cooking is super confident, rare and interesting”: Giles Coren, The Times; “A winning formula of great drinks, great food and smooth, sunny service”: Time Out; “As authentic a Peruvian ceviche as I’ve had outside of Peru”: TripAdvisor customer review.

We say:
With the salmon-like rise to prominence of poké, ceviche has received something of a schooling in recent times as to which is the superior fast-casual fish dish – possibly because of the absolute freshness required to get the latter totally right. This London’s small chain, however, not only specialises in ceviche (funnily enough), but it is also one of the few places to offer it up in something of a street food style.

Not that you would know it on entering, as, despite the relatively low price point, the Old Street outpost is located in a listed building dating back to 1898. The menu itself remains casual, though, with an emphasis on small plates, snacks and sharing. We couldn’t come without trying, of course, the Peruvian ceviche and it is certainly worth its top billing. The star of the show – the seabass – is practically swimming in lime juice, giving it the exact amount of zing required – and that’s before you get to the hint of chilli that lurks beneath the surface.

Even the lightest of biters won’t find this to be enough on its own, though, especially if you are sharing, so it worth pairing it with some authentic options from the ‘Street bites’ section. The highlight here is the pork rolls, which are nicely contrasting, being satisfyingly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, all finished off with a pleasingly piquant sweet rocoto red pepper dip. These small plates are certainly big on flavour.

Should you believe the hype?
A first-class fish outlet. And even if you’re put off by the prices, the Lllama express lunch menu, which offers a generous three dishes for £12 on weekdays, will have you hooked.