This Down To Earth Peruvian Restaurant Is A Hidden Gem In The DIFC And Will Fill You To The Brim
A couple of weeks ago I visited Ceviche restaurant on a Friday evening. The restaurant is situated in DIFC in the the Emirates Financial Towers so being the weekend, it was fairly quiet, however I'm sure during the week it is a buzzy place full of lunchtime and after work goers.
The staff were very helpful and friendly and the chef took the time to come out and explain the food to us and make recommendations based on our taste. This was a nice touch as I had not eaten Ceviche before and wasn't even sure what it was... I can now tell you that it is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of Latin America.
Dishes are typically made from a combination of fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers. As dishes are not cooked with heat, they are all made fresh and you can really taste this freshness in the burst of flavours.
You wouldn't expect to find a 'hidden gem' in this part of town
A true 'down to earth, hidden gem' restaurant is hard to find with all the glitz and glamour of Dubai...however this little gem has succeeded in creating just that.
The meal takes you on a bit of a journey through Peru, outlined below (and as we know all good journeys end in dessert).
But here it is...
Onto the dining experience...
Alcohol is not on the menu so we started off with some traditional Peruvian non-alcoholic drinks - a Chichi Morado and a Ceviche Mixto. I am normally one for a glass of grape with dinner but these drinks were wonderfully refreshing and accompanied the food beautifully.
To start, we obviously had the Ceviche Clasiche (you have to with a name like that)...
and we also decided to go for something we hadn't heard of so went for the Tiradito de Aji Amarillo. The key to these dishes is the simplicity - meaning you are able to taste the freshness of each ingredient, your taste buds will thank you. Ceviche use local fish when possible, adding to the whole fresh experience.
For mains we took the chefs recommendation...
...and ordered a Pulpo Anticuchero, which is a grilled Octopus dish and is one of Ceviche's signature dishes. It didn't disappoint and I would highly recommend trying it if you go. My previous octopus experience in the UK was not a good one (cold, slippery, wet) but my faith in the dish has been restored after this treat! The octopus is cooked with a deliciously subtle spicy kick, which works to compliment the smoky flavour of the dish.
We also had a an Aji de Gallina, which is a chicken dish. I didn't need any convincing that I like chicken but this was another revelation for the taste buds.
Despite having minimal room left, we went on to try a couple of deserts...
...as they just sounded too good to miss. We ordered a Suspirio a la Limena and a Semisfera de Lucema. Unlike many desert experiences that I have had in Dubai, where a monster pudding has finished me off and rendered me a wheezing mess on the drive home, these deserts managed to satisfy my sweet tooth and finish off the meal just as it began, with a satisfyingly fresh feel.
The overall feel of the restaurant is very basic but there is one clear focus and this is on really great food and in particular, really great Ceviche. I have since learned that Huariques are hole-in-the-wall type restaurants located in side streets in Peru and this is what the venue has tried (and succeeded) to encapsulate. They are apparently traditionally easy to miss, unless you are a local in the know. I am delighted that I can now claim to be one of these 'in the know' folks and I will happily point you in the direction of this delightful Peruvian experience so that you can get your hands on some first class Ceviche.
Overall, if you like no fuss and good Ceviche, this is the place for you. Located at 117 Sheikh Zayed Rd - Dubai, open from 11:30AM–10PM Sun to Wed, and to 11pm on Thur and Fri, call to reserve. 04 326 6333. Approx. 200 AED per person.