Old Street Roundabout's dining repetoire has never been the best. Your choices? A bog standard burrito, a pastry from Shoreditch Grind or the last minute lapping up of discount sushi at Abokado. Well, until Ceviche came calling that is.
Okay, so Ceviche isn't the newest kid on the Shoreditch block, but it has gone a way to show the burgeoning new interest in East London as a whole, filling the space in an old, yet timeless piece of Shoreditch architecture. While the colours in their dishes feel like a polished up version of a Pollock, Ceviche as a whole is a more understated venue, set between two dining spaces of vintage brickwork, mahogany partitions, open plan kitchen and humble glassware, lined with walls of unique art and purchasable pieces. Filling a space once known as the Alexandra Trust Dining Rooms, Ceviche have gone quite the way to retain its dated flecks, old-fashioned typography and lighting, even with its markedly Peruvian dining front. Nope, not an alpaca in sight.
The Food and Drink
While i've yet to see a category on Just Eat for Peruvian food, Ceviche is clearly a dining brand that is going a long way to bring these dishes to the city. And with good bloody reason.
The star-ter of the show, and one that had us excited from the offset of dinner had to be the Trujillo Tiradito (£9) (responsibly sourced seabass with chilli tiger's milk, sweet potato crisps, tobiko caviar and Greek yoghurt). While I often consider myself a sushi imposter when shying away from raw fish, the flavours in this dish were undeniably incredible. Punchy and spicy, with a creamed edge, the raw seabass melted alongside the greek yoghurt and chilli tiger's milk, making way for a side of rice tempura and sweet wasabi mayo king prawns (£9). While my mum roars about her cold mash potato sandwiches when pregnant with my brother, Ceviche don't need nostalgia. Sharing my grilled salmon main with a trio of cold potato mash (Mis Causitas, £7), the restaurant managed to do something that a Tesco potato salad (sorry picnic enthusiasts) never could, and that's to make cold spuds tempting. A trio topped with beetroot, avocado and Andes flavour, this colourful side made for a tempting counter to the main.
Cocktails at Ceviche were tart and tact, just how I like them. Noted for their Pisco Sour (£8) and 'Pisco Imposter' Margarita, it was rude not to give the two a good seeing to. Fresh, light and with a welcoming citrus whack, both of these cocktails were a palate cleansing side to some of the heavier dishes on the menu. My only bug bear? With two options for Seabass Ceviche including one responsibly sourced, and one not, it would be nice to see Ceviche give their diners the sensible sourced option only. Lead the horse to water, or something like that. While I understand the two dishes were slightly dissimilar, it would be nice to see responsibly sourced fish across the board.
With a few office Christmas parties in tow, Ceviche was just about the busiest i've seen it. And while the hubbub gave me and my ten bell vocals a run for their money, it still added to the overall effect of Ceviche, which is pretty much just to drink, dine and have a good time. Ceviche normally takes a more humble tone on dining evenings, but sometimes (only sometimes) you just don't want to miss Karen giving Steve an earful at the office do.
Overall, Ceviche was a down right treat. A tempting blend of tapas inspired sharing plates and Peruvian classics, there's so many flavours on the Ceviche roster that it would be a hard one not to try if you're in the area, and the prices aren't too bad either. With a hearty staff, one mean Pisco Sour and a warranted buzz about it, Ceviche is sure to tempt even the most hardended of Kingsland Road Vietnamese scoffers to give them a try. It did me.