Remember my Five Restaurant Tour in Victoria a couple of weeks ago?
Tucked away down a little side alley on Kingly Road you’ll find Kingly Court. (And when I say tucked away, I mean I walked past the entrance like 6 times before I finally clocked the HUGE neon sign covered in lights…)
Señor Ceviche started out as a pop-up restaurant a couple of years ago and has recently found a permanent base on the first floor of this fairy-grotto.
It’s a beautiful Christmas-fairy-light-covered courtyard, with fantastic restaurants spread over three floors. Look up as you enter the courtyard and OH HEY there’s a lime green wall shining at you.
Which is kind of super-appropriate because the food they serve is inspired by Peruvian cuisine. (GEDDIT? Because Lima is the capital of Peru! Oh never mind…)
Inside, the decor is just as bright, with crazy neon posters, lots of colour and a fab buzzy atmosphere.
An atmosphere, by the way, that comes from having a totally full restaurant at 6:30pm. On a Wednesday night. Seriously. This place is so popular, that by 7pm ON A WEDNESDAY, the wait for a table was ONE AND A HALF HOURS.
So just make sure you book a table yeah?
We actually didn’t (doh). But cos I was an early bird, I managed to grab a seat at the bar while I waited for the eetapp guys to arrive.
I then also decided to start on the cocktails. (Cos when the barman quite clearly thinks you’ve been stood up by a date, you might as well complete the image and drink alone at the bar right?)
Pisco is a traditional Peruvian spirit. (I know this because Google.)
Combined with vodka, passion fruit puree, lime juice, gomme syrup and a helluva lot of ice (it’s called Señor’s Frozen Sour for a reason), it makes for a deliciously refreshing tipple.
Once Sandra and Jamil arrived, we ordered a couple of nibbly dishes to get the party started.
Fried yucas are a kind of potato-style croquette, made with cassava. They came served with an absolutely DELICIOUS sour cream infused with aji panca, a type of chili pepper from Peru (I know this because Google).
I literally finished off that leftover sour cream on it’s own with a spoon. It was so good.
Then we moved on to the ceviche, which I’d never actually tried before. It’s a (traditionally) seafood-based dish using raw fish cured with citrus juice and spices. So kiiiiind of like a Peruvian sushi… but also kind of NOTHING like sushi.
We ordered the Mercado Mixto, a combination of sea bream and salmon with pisco tiger’s milk, and the Chimbote, a vegetarian-friendly ceviche of fresh veg and passion fruit tiger’s milk.
Both were very light, fragrant and delicious, with super fresh fish in the Mixto.
(Oh and FYI, it’s not actual Tiger’s milk. It’s actually a pretty tasty combination of lime juice, sliced onion, chilis and a bit of fish sauce. It’s the traditional marinade for curing the raw seafood for ceviche.)(I discovered this while trying to find a Google image of someone milking a tiger…)
Now, I sat and analysed the whole of Señor Ceviche’s menu yesterday afternoon. And the one dish I was determined to get my hands on was the Chifa Chicharrones.
These are GLORIOUS cubes of perfectly cooked, salty pork belly, marinaded in soy sauce and served with a delicious aji panco mayo. Sandra and I both agreed that this was the standout dish of the night.
I could have quite happily eaten an entire bucketful of this on my own, it was THAT good.
For our next round of cocktails, I just HAD to try their brand new addition (and I mean brand new, it literally launched yesterday!): the Patuso.
Inspired by the adorable Paddington Bear, this bad boy uses MARMALADE as it’s base. Mixed with pink grapefruit, pisco and bunch of other things I can’t remember, it was fruity, citrus-y and really reaaaally good.
Oh and, best way to top off the night?
A walk round the corner and down Carnaby Street to look at the funky Christmas lights!
I have to admit I liked Señor Ceviche A LOT.
The atmosphere is friendly and the music is fab, but not too loud that you can’t have a conversation.
The menu is DIVINE, with plenty of BBQ meat options for those of you who don’t like seafood. The cocktails are varied and yummy and not too expensive (I mean, they’re standard London prices, so that may seem expensive to some of you!!)
To be honest, I think it’s a pretty awesome date spot!
I feel like we only scratched the surface of this place yesterday, and I’m determined to take Gary back to try out the ribs, beef skewers and Cusco quinoa. (And another round of pork belly. Obviously!)