If you think of brunch, you probably conjure up an image of eggs, avo and bloody marys, right? The morning-to-afternoon staple has become synonymous with the Aussie style of doing things, but Señor Ceviche is here to shake that all up. Serving up modern Peruvian eats on the same Fitzrovia stretch that houses ROKA and Gaucho, Señor Ceviche is gravitating towards a more authentic South American brunch spread with free-flowing drinks to match.
Narrowly avoiding a burst of rain (what’s up London, it’s June?), I grabbed the boyf and scrambled inside the Charlotte Street restaurant for a boozy start to our Saturday. Deceptively larger than it looks, the venue is split between three levels, with a light and airy upstairs area filled with luscious plants alongside the main dining area and a subterranean kitchen which gives way to another dining room; the type of sexy hideaway for an intimate date night.
When it comes to bottomless brunch, one of the worst things is having to wait ages for that much-needed refill, but that wasn’t the case here. Located in prime proximity to the bar, our glasses were rarely empty for more than a few seconds as our attentive waiter made sure we were plied with peach bellinis, prosecco and house wines… my kinda guy.
Now, when Señor Ceviche say banquet, they mean banquet. Not only can you choose a dish from 4 sections, but there’s also a sharing dessert. From the first section, we ordered Peruvian hot wings and calamari. Baby squid was lightly fried and accompanied by a spicy pickled jalapeño miso salsa, while a generous portion of meaty wings - so tender that they slipped off the bone - were drenched in the type of chilli where you can practically smell the heat.
Usually, my brunch order includes some sort of egg-topped bread or pancakes, but this was far from the average basic bitch pick. The signature Señor Ceviche came cured in tiger’s milk, proving to be a delicate mix of fresh sea bass, squid and octopus swimming in a sweet potato purée combined with avocado and red onion topped with a crispy nib of plantain. Going one step further, the Nikkei Ceviche was a citrusy symphony of flavours, with fleshy yellowfin tuna, sea bass and yuzu tobiko which brought a real tang to the table.
As for the main event… slow-cooked pork ribs were massive, meaty and perfectly complimented by barbecued sweet potato and asparagus so beautifully charred on the outside and mushy within. Another perfectly scorched green; hispi cabbage arrived layered between garlicky miso sauce and creamy burnt butter. Even black beans were slicker than your average; with the classic creamy frijoles mixed with smoked bacon, burnt aubergine, a slick of pineapple and soured cream to balance things out.
A Latin American staple, dulce de leche was given the crème brûlée treatment with the caramelised dessert blow-torched for a perfectly crisp surface. Accompanied by an icy green pineapple granita, this sweet finish had my (usually) crème brûlée-hating boyfriend eating his words… and every mouthful.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Wondering where to book your next brunch? Señor Ceviche should be on your radar. You might not find those pretty dishes that are prone to clogging up your Insta feed, but this flavour-filled feast brings you dishes that taste authentic, perfectly cooked and far beyond the average avo on toast that you’ll be forgetting about days later. In fact, I’m already dreaming about my next trip back for dinner.
Señor Ceviche’s Brunch Banquet is available at Charlotte Street on Saturdays and at the Carnaby site on Sundays. Tuck into your choice of 3 courses, plus a side and a sharing dessert, with free-flowing drinks for £39pp.