Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Peruvian, South American
Address : 2 Baldwin Street, Shoreditch , London, EC1V 9NU, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.cevicheuk.com/oldst
Opening Times : Mon-Thurs 12pm-10.45pm; Fri 12pm-11.30pm; Sat 11am-11.30pm; Sun 11am-9.30pm
Closest Tube : Moorgate, Barbican
Anybody who has ever visited Peru will attest that it is a land of contrasts. It boasts one of the world‘s largest mountain ranges, one of its driest deserts and some of its wildest and most remote jungle. It also boasts an incredible diversity of peoples, particularly in Lima, where mestizos, Aymara, Quechua, Sephardic Jews, Afro-Peruanos, Chinese and Japanese all exert their influence on the culture and more particularly the cuisine. Martin Morales was one of the first restaurateurs to crack the code and bring smart Peruvian cuisine to London. His third restaurant does a fine job not only of showcasing the more traditional, popular dishes of the country, but updates them so that they outshine their inspirations.
The room resembles traditional bars and eateries in Lima‘s historical centre. Dark Peruvian hardwoods have been brought over to panel the L shaped room, its interior side boasting a busy robata grill where anticuchos (street skewers) are prepared; a rotisserie where golden, perspiring hens perform slow revolutions; and a counter where crafty bartenders shake up pisco-based cocktails. Morales has even hired a team of drinks chemists to develop pisco ‘impostors‘ that resemble other liquors.
We swiftly despatched an Old Fashioned that would hold punches with any traditional bourbon-based concoction. Martin also collaborated with local brewery Hammerton to create a ceviche-specific beer: Somos Libres.Whilst the ceviche, particularly the Don Ceviche, was as good as ever, we enjoyed going to bit more off-piste with the menu and experiencing some of the more regional delicacies. Pollo a la brasa, rotisserie roasted chicken, is something you‘ll find on any street corner in Peru, and it was spectacular here: tender, saline and packed with flavour. Similarly, lomo saltado, steak with chips and onions, was better than anything we‘d tried in Peru, marinated so that it had evinced a special garlic tang. Morales pushes the envelope with dishes like lamb‘s brain fritters with a tomato and rocoto chilli jam as well as the Huevo Criollo, a Peruvian riff on the Scotch egg created with quinoa and sangrecita sausage.Ceviche set a trend and garnered a cult following three years ago. Now, in the wake of its own success, Morales seems to be saying that there‘s much more to Peruvian food than citrus and fish, and he‘s saying it very eloquently.