Ceviche vs Lima - Peruvian cuisine

The small plate dining restaurant Ceviche was perhaps the first to introduce Peruvian food to the mainstream in London. The cappuccino like pisco sours, the citrus soaked ceviches in many variations freshly made at the ceviche bar and the delicious corn cakes. Now with another Peruvian restaurant opened last week at Fitzrovia how will Lima compare to Ceviche?  Read on to find out!

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Round 1 - The vibe

Cevichebusy and buzzing at both the restaurant and the ceviche bar. You can order any number of dishes to share or sit at the bar to watch how ceviches are made from scratch. It’s exciting all the time and 100% Soho. It can be hard to book and is normally quite noisy. 

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Limalike a modern British restaurant, standard 3 course for each person. Bright lights in a white dining room with large mirrors showing every pimple on my face type of brightness (maybe it’s better for dinner..!) and there is extra noise from the semi-open kitchen. It’s also a very casual restaurant but is quite expensive to be this casual. 

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—————————————-WINNER - CEVICHE ——————————————

Round 2 - The food

Cevichetons of options, the ceviche section alone has over 7 varieties. Because it’s small plate dining, lots of dishes can be ordered to get a good understanding of Peruvian food. The signature dish ceviche is much stronger than the one at Lima, with stronger acidic flavours (some dislike it, but I love it). I’m also a huge fan of Peruvian corn cake which is not available in Lima.

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Limastandard 3 course menu with about 15 dishes in total to choose from. The dish ceviche tasted rather bland and the main course of lamb was dry. Overall it’s too similar to the dishes at Gastropubs than distinctively Peruvian. 

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—————————————-WINNER - CEVICHE ——————————————

Round 3 - The pisco sour

Ceviche - more than a third of the pisco sour is frothed egg white, tasted like an extra creamy cappuccino. Since there is no other drink like this in London, it was pretty memorable plus delicious to drink. The restaurant has a lengthy list of different flavoured pisco sours to choose from, menu can be found here.

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Lima -the texture is not as creamy as Ceviche because the creamed layer was only about 1/8th of the drink and a bit flat but flavour was quite similar.

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—————————————-WINNER - CEVICHE ——————————————

Round 4 - The cost

Ceviche - each person is recommended to order 3 to 7 dishes because the sizes are small. With this in mind, our last visit billed about £31pp with two pisco sours. It’s cheaper than Lima and for the same price, you can eat more dishes. 

Lima - dishes are not shared and it’s the traditional 3 courses per person. With about £38pp and only 1 pisco sour ordered, it’s more expensive than Ceviche. 

—————————————-WINNER - CEVICHE ——————————————

Summary

Cevichethis great Soho restaurant has done amazingly well at introducing Peruvian dishes to London. Authenticity aside, Londoners now know a drink can be made with egg white and frothed up to a cappuccino texture and still taste amazing. The small dining theme suits Soho really well and the restaurant itself is well decorated to give that trendy yet foreign atmosphere. The food is very good, especially the Peruvian corn cakes and strong acidic flavour of ceviches. But if these don’t suit you, the extensive menu will surely have something to offer. 
Lima this new restaurant is too similar to a modern British restaurant/gastropub and the short menu doesn’t give that foreign vibe either. You can understand most of the menu well apart from the few unusual Peruvian ingredients in some dishes. The flavours are not as distinctive and some dishes certainly require refinement. It’s also a casual restaurant but with a heavy price tag close to £40 a person you may think twice about giving someone who wants a casual dinner a recommendation. £40pp is too expensive to fill the casual dining mark, but the theme doesn’t suit a high end fine dining style either. 
Overall: 
—————————————-WINNER - CEVICHE ——————————————

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