Whilst Alex was away recently, I planned to go for brunch with our housemate, and one of Alex’s best mates, Mo. As it turns out, the repairman came to fix a few things in our flat a little later than expected, and so, both not being overly busy that day, changed the plan to dinner. It’s lucky really, otherwise we never would have tried Senor Ceviche.
It was a Saturday, and arriving near Carnaby at about 6, we considered Flat Iron. But with a 2hour 45minute wait for a table for two, this quickly came off our list of options. Pouring with rain, we headed to Kingly Court, very wet and in need of cover. We had a quick look around before I remembered that Senor Ceviche was there, and we were soon being greeted and seated – we were pretty lucky as they’d had a cancellation so could seat us right away.
Our waitress kindly explained the menu as we’d both never been before, as well as giving a couple of recommendations. It’s basically like tapas, and they recommend 3 dishes per person. Obviously you can share these, which is what we planned to do – I always prefer this option, you do get to try more after all.
For those of you still unsure what Ceviche is, Ceviche is a seafood dish, typically made from raw fish cured with citrus juices, and spiced with chilli, which is popular in the coastal regions of Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Perú and other parts of Latin America.
Mo also ordered a bottle of white wine for us to share. We picked the cheapest one on the menu, at £20, but it was delicious. It had notes of sweetness and yet was crisp and refreshing.
We then ordered food. We went for the Ceviche Classico, Anticucho de Cordero (Grilled lamb & turnip skewers cumin & aji panca), Flat Iron y Uchucuta (Papaya marinated flat iron steak with uchucuta sauce), Calamares (Crispy baby squid with pickled jalapeño mayo), Patatas Fritas (Sweet potato fries with aji rocotto mayonnaise) and Frijoles Negros (Black beans, smoked bacon, burnt aubergine, aji panca, pineapple & sour cream).
The dishes came out as and when ready, but they weren’t that far apart in time so we soon had a pretty full table.
The Ceviche Classico, a sea bass ceviche with aji limo tiger’s milk, sweet potato puree, choclo corn, red onion, coriander & plantain, was different to anything I’d ever tasted before, and just look at that presentation.
It’s not quite like sushi, perhaps that’s because of the sauce, and it feels almost colder than some sushi I’d had. It was however extremely delicious. The sauce, milky yet light, the fish really tender, and the onion adding a slight sweetness to the taste. I loved how It was presented, and the dried plantain added an extra dimension and texture to the dish – it tasted pretty much like a plantain crisp, which I do really like.
The Flat Iron, which we ordered medium rare, turned up perfectly cooked for us – nice and pink in the middle – and was already sliced. It was extremely flavoursome by itself, rich and juicy. The uchucuta sauce reminded me of chimichurri, and did add an extra depth and delicious herby flavour too.
The lamb skewers were fab. Again, very tender, the lamb was rich and flavoursome, and the turnips complimented this well.
The calamari dish, served with jalapeno mayonnaise dip and a lemon for squeezing over the portion, was super yummy. They only had a light coating, which was perfect as you get more of the fishy flavour rather than just batter. They were lightly fried, and had a slight crunch on the outside, with a chewy centre, as you expect. They weren’t overly fishy but had a good flavour coming through, with a slight citrus edge from the lemon. I think these could be some of the best I’ve had recently (too many times have I been served soggy calamari with too much batter), and served with the jalapeno mayo dip, made a tasty accompaniment to our selection.
The black beans might have been one of my favourite dishes. They were rich and saucy, slightly a la dente as not to be mushy, and were absolutely delicious. I didn’t notice on the menu that it said the beans had bacon in, but this would make sense as to why the dish had a meaty edge to it. 100 times better than baked beans, so don’t think they’re anything alike.
The sweet potato fries, were slightly crisp on the outside, almost fluffy in the middle, and the accompanying aji rocotto mayonnaise sauce really complemented the sweet flavour of the fries.
After eating as much as we possibly could – 4 dishes, a starter and a side was plenty! – we sipped the rest of our wine before paying up to leave. At peak times, a table of two does only get the table for an hour and a half, which is plenty to enjoy your meal, but you’d need to move on should you wish to carry on your evening. The plus side is, there are so many places to go after in the area.
Overall, we had an awesome meal. Having never had Ceviche before, I was really impressed. I would most definitely return, and I think I’d have to have the steak and those beans again, they were just SO yummy, but would definitely give one of the other Ceviche dishes a whirl too! At roughly £70 for a meal for two, including a bottle of wine and service charge, it’s reasonably priced for Soho too, and is great for a catch-up with friends or date night!
Have you been anywhere new recently?