Winter is usually a regal season – cold, aloof & irrevocably severe.
Any stray thought on the season leaves a slight chill dancing along your spine, and the inclination to snuggle in somewhere cosy. Food is not exempt from the austere graces of winter. We’re in search of something to warm the dark cockles of our hearts after a brush in with grey skies and chilly winds.
…but what if the nature of winter food was re-imagined? What if you could – not wipe from memory, the adoration for food from the hearth – but introduce a dynamism to a Winter Menu?
Say hello to today’s foodie escapade stop: Ceviche Bar.
The stark white Ceviche Bar (sitting high as loft-style spaces tend to) sprouted up recently, in the now-gentrified hipster neighborhood of Woodstock, Cape Town.
The crisp, clean fusion restaurant rooted in Peruvian & South American cooking sensibilities, is on to something made popular in all the lauded culinary cities of the world: making seasonal raw fish – and all its gourmet seafood cohorts – transition more seamlessly, into people’s everyday meals.
Owners Tamryn Bruinders & Chef Dylan Norton are passionate educators on the art of fusion cuisine, and the nuanced way they’ve rebirthed their favorite dishes with South African flair.
Now let me tell you how easy this Winter Menu went down…
I began with Loaded Hummus, a dish comprised of mange tout, petit pois, buckwheat, hummus, anchovies, trout roe and spring onion.
It tasted like a palate cleanser and a teaser of more boisterous flavors to come. It’s not hearty enough to be a home snack, but the hummus – expected to be strong, and leave an everlasting aftertaste – was a fresh and polished hors d’oeuvre.
My favorite dish of the entire taste adventure, was the Cold Broth with Kingklip Sashimi (whispered to be the gold standard of fish) and vermicelli noodles.
I was really wierded out by the thin noodles, but once I got over their slender forms, I embraced the cold dish as soul food. This Latin American dish really is something that can warm you, thanks to the perfect balance of: seasoning and garnish, the lightness of the fish, and the noodles weighted density.
You can very rarely go wrong with Oysters
A diner either enjoys or abhors the texture & taste of oysters…and I, myself, have taught myself to enjoy the seafood delicacy.
Ceviche Bar’s dressed oysters come beautifully plated, and treated with a Ceviche secret you’ll have to make an order to find out about.
Next to the bar’s Winter Menu, was: Spiced Pilaf; some Spiced Quinoa, and Veggies with Charred Broccoli Ceviche – all visually familiar, and predictably filling.
Probably the Coup de gras of this particular Winter Menu, is the calpaccio -like way Chef Dylan makes their Tiradito. The lime-cured salmon, resting on a bed of Julienne cucumber, is nearly tasteless (a marker of the fish’s freshness), and everything else lends to the dish’s immaculate finish.
Should you dare, try the Salmon Tiradito, with Chef Dylan’s homemade chili ‘No Chill’ paste.
You can thank me later.
Ceviche Bar is building their Winter Menu with meticulous focus, to ensure every dish is mastered and quality-laden…which explains the few desserts offered on their menu.
I cant wait to return to the Woodstock restaurant above a stark-lit clothing store, serving a simple, single dessert.
A solid dining option for the day time & night.
Don’t rush the experience.
Enjoy the light and minimalist nature of the restaurant, and the complexity of its Peruvian/ South American cuisine fusion.
I’m really liking this spot guys, and especially because you’ll get a food education from the unflappable foodie owners. The seafood meal is likely to leave you content and rejuvenated – a rare result from Cape Town’s sometimes hearty food experiences.
It get’s an 8/10
What about the health nuts & vegetarians?
This is a low-key Nirvana for you.
2 Breakfast options & 7 lunch choices – 2 being Vegan as f*%k!
Ceviche Bar is healthy in its ingredient choices(we’re talking organic produce like lime, shiitake mushrooms, capers and more), and varied in nutritious options.
However, please do consult their menu for a true idea of how accommodating they are for vegetarians.
What of the drinks & booze?
BYOB – Bring your own booze!
…or drink water.
Ceviche Bar get’s an all-round 8/10.
Breakfast: Monday – Friday: 09:00 – 12:00| Lunch: Monday to Friday – 12:00 – 16:30