Señor Ceviche: Great food, pity about the name (May 2017)

Peruvian food remains distinctly on-trend in London – and so it should do, since the country offers a wide range of flavoursome dishes spanning meat, fish and veg. There isn’t a lot of gluten in the Peruvian diet and so this should also tick a box for many. Much as I love all things Peruvian (and I can highly recommend the country as a holiday destination), I was instinctively put off Señor Ceviche because of its name. Why – it seems only fair to ask – would anyone choose to call a restaurant the equivalent of ‘Mr Raw-Fish?’ Maybe that’s the point though – it is memorable to the point of absurdity. Also, I’m in my early 40’s and maybe the younger trend-setters of Soho love the name. The restaurant itself emphasises informality, being full of bright colours, graffiti-covered walls and uplifting music. It was certainly busy when a comrade and I visited on a recent Friday lunchtime, clearly suggestive that Señor Ceviche is doing something right. Setting aside any name-based prejudice, my simple assessment is that the food delivers. The menu is also simple (16 dishes, all intended for sharing) and well-priced (no dish at more than £12.50) and what was lost in terms of slowness of service was mostly compensated for in terms of the staff’s enthusiasm. Onto the food, and we sampled six dishes, all of them superb. Both are ceviche options were first-class. We opted for the restaurant’s classic take on the dish (namely sea bass with sweet potato puree, red onion and coriander) as well as their special of the day (a prawn variation). The fish in each dish was moist and succulent, its flavour enhanced by the well-paired other ingredients. Despite its name, Señor Ceviche also demonstrated that it can execute well on its meat dishes, and we rated both the decadent sticky pork ribs as well as the flat iron steak. Testament to its success, a second Señor Ceviche is opening in Fitzrovia. On with the Peruvian revolution.