Every country has its own obsession. The British have the weather, the Germans have punctuality. In Peru it is food. First question asked to foreigners is usually: which food do you like? And to be fair, in Lima you will find plenty of good food. One dish that comes especially recommended is the ceviche.
In Peru, ceviche is composed of chunks of raw fish, marinated in lime or bitter orange juice (naranja agria), sliced onion, chilli, salt and pepper. Corvina or Cebo (sea bass) was the fish traditionally used. The mixture was traditionally marinated for several hours and served at room temperature with chunks of corn-on-the-cob, and slices of cooked sweet potato. Regional or contemporary variations include garlic, minced Peruvian ají limo, or the Andean chilli rocoto, toasted corn or “cancha” and yuyo (seaweed). A specialty of Trujillo is ceviche prepared from shark (tollo or tojo). Lenguado (sole) is often used in Lima. The modern version of Peruvian ceviche, which is similar to the method used in making Japanese sashimi, consists of fish marinated for a few minutes and served promptly. It was created by the now deceased Peruvian-Japanese chef Dario Matsufuji, during the 1970s. Many Peruvian cevicherías serve a small glass of the marinade (as an appetizer) along with the fish, which is called leche de tigre or leche de pantera. In its classic version, ceviche is a very simple dish consisting of freshly sliced fish (white meat fish is better), freshly squeezed key lime juice, sliced onions, salt and chili (ají, limo, or rocoto).
This is truly a special dish and one of the most interesting innovations comes from restaurant La Onceava in Barranco. Here you can order a Ceviche de Mero Caliente. This is a ceviche made of fish only, but with the additional touch of shortly frying it in a wok. Normally ceviche is served as a cold dish, but this wok-frying adds an amazing new dimension. Just for this dish, La Doceava is worth visiting, although it has many more delicacies on the menu.
The best thing about La Onceava (or La Doceava as it is sometimes called, apparently there is a dispute about the use of the name), is that you can go there directly by taking a Ruta Rcomendable, the OM23 (dark blue line). Get off at Plaza Butters and walk one block to San Ambrosio. In the first block off avenida Jorge Chavez you will find a number of restaurants grouped together. The one in the middle with the most people on the terrace and the green-blue color is La Doecava.
To make it even more enticing to visit La Onceava the high resolution Rutas Recomendables Combi Map now includes a discount voucher that entitles you to a free starter at La Onceava when eating a main course. The starter on offer is “Conchas a la Parmesana”, another delicacy of theirs.