The opening of the new Ceviche bar and restaurant marks the start of a taste revolution in London’s Soho.
Founder and creator of Ceviche, Martin Morales, left a high-flying career as an Executive Director at Disney to follow his dream of opening a Peruvian restaurant in the UK’s capital. His passion for delicious food is fuelled by his proud Peruvian heritage and the menu is therefore brimming with authentic dishes.
In addition to the (marinated fish) ceviches that give the restaurant its name, Ceviche offers a tantalising array of exciting cooked foods, including: braised octopus with Peruvian olive sauce and capers, chicken livers in ají panca chilli anticucho sauce and confit duck in coriander and dark beer rice.
Ceviche is also home to London’s first Pisco bar, which is headed up by mixologist Julian Bayuni. As Peru’s national drink, the Pisco Sour is a delicious combination of Pisco, eggwhite, syrup, bitters and cinnamon, and is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Commenting on restaurant’s innovative menu, Martin Morales, creator and founder of Ceviche, said:
“In our cuisine, we bring together more than 3,000 years of produce and recipes. Through migration, the cuisine of our indigenous ancestors was shaped by culinary influences and ingredients from Spain, Japan, China, West Africa and Italy.
“But we have more than that; a depth and technique to our cuisine that brings together people of all the social groups and races that enjoy and cook our cuisine.”
The restaurant has so far impressed customers and critics alike, with a review for The Times stating: ‘This place is brilliant. The cooking is super-confident, rare and interesting; the look of the room is great and the bar must be fantastic in the evening, the music is lovely, the staff are incredibly sweet. And it’s cheap. I never really want to go anywhere else again’.
Situated on Frith Street in the heart of Soho, the 62-seat restaurant has been created within an 18th century building that was formerly the home of Cafe Emm. Architects Schneider Designers were subsequently tasked with the challenging brief of transforming the site into an authentic Peruvian restaurant.
The project saw main contractor Metz Construction strip out all of the internal fixtures and fittings to create an impressive new restaurant and bar space, with further improvements including the installation of a new state-of-the-art kitchen and toilet facilities. A sustainable approach has been implemented throughout, including the use of reclaimed tabletops from the previous restaurant and the installation of LED lighting.
Work began onsite in December 2011 and the restaurant opened to the public in March 2012.
Dean Sexton, Metz Construction, said:
“Because the building is around 100 years old, it had sadly deteriorated over the years. As there are a lot of restrictions on access and noise within Soho, we did have some challenges – however, this just made things interesting.
“We always enjoy working with new clients, as they are really motivated and enthusiastic – and Ceviche was certainly no exception. As there are plans to build more Ceviche restaurants it was very important that we did a good job, and I’m glad to say that I think we did.”
One of Ceviche’s most striking features is the ceviche bar, which has been designed around the concept of a fish market. The bar can sit 18 people and has incorporated timber slats, corrugated metal and zinc in order to symbolise a fisherman’s boat. Customers will be able to experience their fresh fish being cooked, creating what the designers term ‘a theatre of food’.
Jack Schneider, Managing Director of Schneider Designers, commented:
“Our aim was to evoke the nostalgia of another century by creating a design that reflected the bohemia of Peru. We wanted to create a restaurant where customers could drink, eat good food and spend long nights listening to music.
“It was important to us that the design felt authentic. We didn’t want to simply emulate the Peruvian style; we wanted to create a hidden little treasure in the heart of Soho. As a result, we used a variety of reclaimed materials – including corrugated metal, timber and table tops from the old restaurant – to compose a restaurant that remained loyal to the essence of Peru without feeling too forced.
“We are proud to say that we have developed an excellent working relationship with Ceviche and thoroughly enjoyed working with them throughout the course of the project. In fact, I recently held my daughter’s 18th birthday there!”
Stuart Consultancy Ltd
Stuart Consultancy Ltd is a multi-disciplinary construction and property consultancy with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and leisure sector.
Their clients include: Ceviche, Drake & Morgan, GBK, Wahaca, The Real Greek, Franco Manca, Dishoom & Cote Restaurants.
The majority of their clients have been supported from concept development stage which underlines the practices work ethic of building “long term” relationships with its customers and supply chain.
SCL were involved with the Ceviche project from acquisition to opening, guiding the client through the legal and building processes. The various specialists were managed as “client direct” to optimise construction costs.
Taking design team and client vision and making this a reality merging the practicalities of construction and retaining innovation at an affordable cost is very much the key focus for the company.
Managing Director, Keith Stuart, said:
“We were delighted to work on the new Ceviche brand and are confident that Martin and his team will drive the business successfully forward.
“Many competitor organisations offer project and cost management, I think what makes us different is that we integrate supply chain management and procurement with the cost management process.
“We deal with every element of the construction process and are committed to driving “best value” rather than simply cost reporting.
“Given the diverse experience within the practice we have the ability to tailor our services to suit any client’s needs”.
Dogstar AV Ltd
Dogstar AV Ltd design and install audio visual systems for use in the leisure and retail sectors, supplying many UK-wide high-profile brands, as well as small independent operators.
For Ceviche, Dogstar AV Ltd designed a complete background music system to complement the bespoke dining area.
Dogstar AV Ltd Company Director,Wendy Edwards, said:
“We work closely with our clients to ensure that we meet their individual requirements. We embrace projects large and small and from conception to completion our clients can be assured that their AV requirements are in safe hands.
“We have extensive experience in this sector and have forged great relationships with our suppliers over the years, providing us with the pick of all the best AV brands.
“We are responsive and flexible and pride ourselves on our attention to detail and the personal touch we can give our clients.”
“With the launch of iPlay in 2007 – our own fully licensed hard disk music player – we are able to offer a turnkey service and provide perfectly profiled music too.”