I recently won a Twitter-based competition to join Martin Morales from Ceviche in Soho for a masterclass and pop up Supperclub in Suffolk.
Ceviche is a Peruvian kitchen based in London’s Soho, having previously been an underground supperclub whilst Martin worked with the likes of Steve Jobs at ITunes in his day job at the time. I knew of him back when it was early days for “The Secluded Tea Party” myself, however I had never gotten the chance to visit… until now!
When opening it’s doors just over a year ago, Ceviche had a mission and clear idea of what their new restaurant should be: it had to be fuss free, neither stuffy nor fine dining, but offering exciting cooking with flair and using the best locally sourced ingredients, led by some key ingredients from Peru. Above all, it had to capture the essence of Peru.
So off I skipped, having never dined with one of the forerunners of underground dining, very excitedly I must add, to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk Coast for the opening night of their sold out pop up Supperclub tour. It’s actually a sponsored event in which the Ceviche team have been planning for months and is the first of its kind, as it’s going to be touring around the UK, partnering with many different venues as they go, 10 venues across 3 countries in fact…all within the space of 2 weeks, wow!
So a day in Aldeburgh was just the ticket, it was quiet there due to summer holidays being only weeks away, I enjoyed turning the beach into my make shift office during my working hours, with the sound of the water lapping on the stones relaxing me into some of my best work in weeks, I was one proud baking tutor!
In fact I enjoyed a small bag of chips on the beach for an early lunch, ducking from the seagulls as I walked, followed by a pot of Darjeeling at The Cragg Sisters Tearoom later that afternoon as a treat – I love this place, I really do!
I was to join Martin and some fellow workshoppers for a “Don Ceviche” (their signature dish) Cooking Masterclass early that evening at the Dean Fryer fish Company, a small beach hut on Crag Path, situated literally on the beach. It was the perfect location for a lesson in fish, something I’m personally petrified of and have never taken part in before. The sun even came out to play for a stunning view of the sea from our workbench, it was a wonderful experience.
What an honour it was, Martin led the 1 hour workshop, where 10 of us chopped, diced, sliced and peeled our way through this spicy fish recipe. What was very exciting was that this dish (using freshly caught seabass from the fish hut itself) was “cold cooked” in the “tiger’s milk marinade” and it tasted divine! In fact, we were lucky enough to enjoy this dish twice, as it was on the menu for the supperclub that evening too, double whammy!
We came away with lots of inspiration from this cooking lesson and a recipe card to re-create it at home later on, of which mine has lots of scribbled notes on, naturally.
After the cooking lesson, we hopped over the road (quite literally hopping over the stones, then crossing the road ; ) to The White Lion Hotel for the pop up Supperclub at 7:30pm, where we joined the eating guests for the rest of the event.
I must say, the hotel didn’t look much from the outside, a lick of paint would do it the world of good, however, once inside, well it was a different story altogether, a gorgeous hotel with a room to make all supperclubs proud, host to 2 extremely long and candlelit communal tables to dine at.
The menu was as follows:
A glass of Pisco Sour (a Peruvian Cocktail made from a grape-based spirit)
or a Cusquena premium beer
Don Ceviche: Fresh seabass ceviche in Amarillo chilli tiger’s milk, limo chilli, sweet potato & red onions
Arroz con Pato: Confit of duck leg in coriander and dark beer rice with amarillo chilli & choclo corn
Ensalada de Quinoa (V): White quinoa, tomatoes, avocado, butter beans and coriander with lime & limo chilli vinaigrette
Chocolate y café Enamorados: Machu Picchu chocolate & coffee mousse pots
Each dish was truly delicious, but the stand out dish for me was the duck, of which Martin mentioned when I asked him, was marinaded and then the juices were transferred to the beer rice, to make it the most delicious duck dish I’ve ever eaten. This one dish alone is worth me buying the book, I want to make it for my friends this weekend, it’s definitely a winner!
There was an entirely different menu for vegetarian guests, all dishes made according to their needs, but along the same lines, so nobody was or would be excluded, which I loved.
We were joined on our table by two peruvian ladies who had travelled from Stowmarket for the supperclub, they had been licking their lips and giving their seal of approval throughout the whole evening, so if it was good enough for them…
As I was dining alone and had a 2 hour drive ahead of me to get home again, I had to say my goodbyes fairly quickly after eating and use my caffeine kick from the dessert to fuel my homeward journey, a dark chocolate pudding is always a hit for me, this was small, but plenty as it packed a punch.
I’m not a huge fish fan, however I had heard nothing but great things about Ceviche, so there wasn’t a chance in hell that I was missing this opportunity, it was fantastic and I’m thrilled to have been invited, even more so to have gone along.
Next time I’m in London, I’m heading straight to their restaurant to try out some more of their Peruvian inspired food, I cannot wait!
If you have an iPhone, to celebrate the Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen on Tour, they’ve launched a free Ceviche App, where you can access a whole load of fun information relating to the tour. Download it from here: bandapp.com/CevichePeruvianKitchen
You can see all my photos from this awe-inspiring day on my Facebook photo album, here.
I’ve not been paid or bribed to write this blog post, it’s simply a venue worthy of the support.
These are of course my own personal views, sometimes a venue may have a very good day or a very bad day, so I can only comment on my own experiences at the time of visiting, if I don’t go regularly. I hold no responsibility for a bad experience after my ratings!
It’s also nature of the beast that places do close down or sell out, so if I am not aware of it, I may continue to recommend a venue. It’s well worth calling ahead for any Afternoon Tea or menu that requires booking as common courtesy and checking the finer details directly with the venue to book if necessary.