When Eduardo Vargas closed Chicha, he told us that Ceviche, a similar concept located just down the street, would step in to fill the void. As its name suggests, Ceviche specializes in plates of citrus-marinated fish. It doesn’t have much else, though its cute lane house and relaxed eating style can be enough of a draw for some particularly invigorating cuisine.
Ceviche is a predominantly Peruvian dish that uses a complex lemon, lime and chilli marinade known as leche de tigre to turn cuts of raw, fresh seafood into mouthfuls of infused wonder. Modern methods use a shorter marination time and raw fish must be served extremely fresh. From behind a tiny sushi counter in the corner of this six-table restaurant, the chef concocts mounds of sea bass, snapper and assortments of seafood for RMB90 a plate (each enough for two). The sea bass Don Ceviche is where money should be spent—the cubes of fleshy, premium fish are mouthwateringly succulent and tremendously piquant.
However, after all that citrus, washed down with a deliciously frothy but equally acidic pisco sour (RMB50), we yearned for something to balance the meal. Peruvian appetizers and side dishes are wingmen at heart and Ceviche’s are a little lacking. Their crab causa (RMB40), a layered mound of deconstructed crab cake, was bland in comparison. A handful of pisco prawns (RMB65) served in a generous and fruity dressing were fair but fleeting.
Larger dishes are also mute in contrast to the star attractions. The lomo saltado (RMB120), stir-fried chunks of beef tenderloin with potatoes, onions and rice, was lacking in both identity and sauce. If only we could pucker up for another plate of the Don Ceviche. But here lies the crux: one plate is all you need. We’ll be back for it though, along with another of those refreshingly provocative pisco sours.
- 021 5404-1052
- 559 Fuxing Zhong Lu, near Sinan [map]
- ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆