08 February 2014
First visit today at lunch which saw us enter a close to empty dining room and leave at a point where leaving or visiting the WC was a serious exercise. The tables are so close together that it might be better to go expecting to eat at communal tables for six- for that is the real effect,- with waiters having real difficulty delivering food and drink to tables; and this having a knock-on effect on service.
The food we ate today was variable. We chose seven dishes from across the menu to try a good cross section of food. Some of it- skewers of octopus and chorizo, and the creamy muticoloured quinoa, were very tasty. On the other hand our Dom Ceviche was more sour than we'd expect or liked. Just to be clear, neither of us are strangers to- or dislike- ceviche, but this one and to a lesser extent the artichoke ceviche we ordered alongside, just seemed unnecessarily powerful and crude. And then there was the third category, occupied by our confit of duck with green rice. Frankly this was simply lacking in flavour and was by some distance the least enjoyable confit duck I've ever eaten.
The service merits comment. It started off really well but as the place filled up it got slower and slower. This isn't (in my opinion at least) because they haven't got enough waitstaff. It is because the kitchen can't really cope with a packed restaurant and the fact that the waiters have to work very hard to get the food to the diner makes the issue worse. So the service wasn't great but it isn't the waiters' fault, and the people who served us were consistently helpful and cheerful.
Our seven small plates (1 nibble), one cocktail, one coffee, no wine, cost £81 in a restaurant that made me think of Café Rouge. My advice would be , if you enjoy Peruvian food, to spend a little more and get a lot better at Lima , where we've eaten several times , and always with great success. The experience at Ceviche was interesting, but nothing happened today to encourage me to return.