Thursday 6 February 2014

Ceviche: Get down with the Peruvians my gluten free friends

How much do you know about Peru beyond Machu Picchu? Well it's a hell of a lot easier to hike to the wonderful Peruvian restaurant Ceviche in Soho, and you'll come away with a similar sense of wonder and euphoria. Though that may be the four Pisco sours I had talking (and I haven't actually been to Machu Picchu).

Pisco sours, a revelation! Indeed, there's a whole Pisco cocktail menu. If you like booze you will like Pisco. I need to find out more about it, and I did just google it, but you know what? I feel like it would be much much better, journalistically speaking, to go back to Ceviche and hear all about Pisco from the bartender's mouth while I try a few more cocktails. I mean, the things I do for you guys.

Quinoa salad

FOOD. Most Peruvian food is naturally gluten free. The primary grains in Peru are a veritable gluten free hit list; Quinoa, Amaranth, Corn.

The quinoa salad is a must have; white quinoa, avocado, tomato, butter beans, coriander and an awesome lime and chilli vinaigrette. Light and delicious.

Don Ceviche

Ceviche itself, if you haven't had it before, is somewhere between Japanese sashimi and Italian fish carpaccio, but with a whole lot of lime juice and south American joy thrown in. I love the Don Ceviche: raw seabass with amarillo chilli tiger's milk. The tiger's milk is a mix of various acidic ingredients that part cook the fish.

Drunk scallops
The Drunk Scallops are happy little things, thinly sliced and dancing around on the plate with more lime and coriander, little pops of pomegranite seeds and a cheeky punch of pisco.

Fish and avocado on a potato cake
For those of you who aren't quite as obsessed with variants on raw fish, there are plenty of cooked dishes. There are "Anitcuchos" which are grilled skewers of various meats - chicken wings, chorizo and octopus with a black quinoa salad. There are also serious mains, such as a beef fillet, but I was just too excited and greedy to try as many of the smaller sharing plates as I could.

The atmosphere in this packed Soho venue is cool and chaotic, lively but laid back. I would recommend booking, or you can sidle up early to the unreserved bar seats at the front.

Have a happy trip to falling in love with Peruvian food my dears! I'm off to get onto that Pisco research for you now.

Gluten Free Knowledge: ★★★★
Gluten Free Range: ★★★
Taste: ★★★★
Atmosphere: ★★★

Verdict: The perfect light, flavourful and fun food for a gluten free foodie.