Señor Ceviche and The Deep-fried Brownie (London)

This was a special day because I met my eating buddy (one of them anyway), J, and made a new eating buddy, W – hi guys!!!! – and we ate up a storm.

I love Kingly Court, but when I go there I usually just bypass my splendiferous surroundings and hike up to Camellia’s (see post here) for tea because they do some amazing scones. (Oh just a head’s up – they’re moving locations soon!) Anyway, I’ve never felt compelled to eat anything else in Kingly Court because I’ve tried pretty much everything there. The last time I went there specifically to try something new being when we went to Whyte & Brown (see post here). But today I can say that I’ve finally, finally gotten around to trying 2 other places: Señor Ceviche, and STAX – though I promise the latter was just for desserts hehe.

Remember how I spoke about Peruvian food being 2014’s “next big thing” when I last went to Lima (see post here)? Señor Ceviche is one such restaurant, but probably with a much more relaxed atmosphere. But! Cannot! Relax! Because! Must! Eat!

But first, some libation and lubrication.

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I got some drink called the Mancora Surf Club, which had elderflower and apple in it. I liked it because it wasn’t too sweet, which is something I always fear when I’m ordering cocktails, but I do really think it could’ve been a lot stronger. Having said that, I’m on antibiotics now, so apparently I shouldn’t even be drinking anyway? Hmm. BUT CLAPS FOR COLOURFUL STRAWS!!!!!

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Unfortunately, as I am ill, I didn’t get to try the other drinks as I didn’t want to spread my germies to my friendlings.

The food menu is very much based on a sharing plates concept, which is great because there was so much I wanted to try!

Chifa Chicharonnes (£5) - slow cooked, crispy pork belly with sweet soy sauce

Chifa Chicharonnes (£5) – slow cooked, crispy pork belly with sweet soy sauce

 

I find it difficult not to order pork belly when it’s on the menu, particularly when it is described as “slow cooked”, and “crispy”, with a “sweet soy sauce”. You might as well call it ‘Steph’s pork belly’. (Get it? That pork belly has my name on it??) Anyway, luckily this did not disappoint. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than when a pork belly dish belly flops. After all, when you order pork belly, it signifies that you’re going the whole hog, so when it’s not done well, it just leaves a sow-er taste in your mouth. HAHAHA.

But dad jokes aside, this was good! The meat was juicy and tender from having been slow cooked, the skin itself  was quite crisp, and the sticky glaze made it very moreish. It wasn’t perfect by any means – glaze was on the sweet side, skin could’ve been crisper – but we liked it.

And of course, we had to order some of their ceviche dishes to try!

Señor Ceviche (£8) - sea bream ceviche with ahi amarillo tiger’s milk, avocado & tempura baby squid

Señor Ceviche (£8) – sea bream ceviche with ahi amarillo tiger’s milk, avocado & tempura baby squid

 

Obviously you should always order an eponymous dish. This was very fresh-tasting and zingy, perhaps almost a bit too tart if you had too much of the tiger’s milk (i.e. the creamy liquid that the fish was marinated and cooked in). For a dish with such strong flavours, I think it could’ve benefitted from a little more salt. The tempura baby squid didn’t really taste of anything.

Mr Miyagi (£7.50) - salmon tiradito with Nikkei tiger’s milk, pomegranate, purple shiso & crispy salmon skin

Mr Miyagi (£7.50) – salmon tiradito with Nikkei tiger’s milk, pomegranate, purple shiso & crispy salmon skin

 

I didn’t want another sea bream ceviche so we went with salmon instead, not least because this one in particular had some Japanese flavours going on (which we all love). WAIT. WE WERE SUPPOSED TO GET CRISPY SALMON SKIN?! WE DID NOT GET CRISPY SALMON SKIN. THAT IS GOING TO KEEP ME UP ALL NIGHT.

Of course, much as I love seafood, we had to have some meats too, and I personally think the meats is where this restaurant excels.

Flat Iron Anticucho (£8) - beef skewers with ahi rocotto anticucho sauce & ahi limo chimichurri

Flat Iron Anticucho (£8) – beef skewers with ahi rocotto anticucho sauce & ahi limo chimichurri

I had been told that I had to order this and it really was very tender and flavourful. Would definitely order it again.

Can you have too many pictures of meat?

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No, you cannot.

Pachamanca Pork Rib (£8) - 12 hour cooked belly rib in a sticky aji amarillo BBQ sauce

Pachamanca Pork Rib (£8) – 12 hour cooked belly rib in a sticky aji amarillo BBQ sauce

 

Nor can you can ever have too much pork belly so we had to get this! If you be a little porkling like us, do try this as well! There’s quite a lot of fat but FAT IS FLAVOR, ergo, FAT IS YOUR FRIEND. I was given the honours of eating off the bone (invalid’s perks) – thank you guys :’) – which is always the best part!

Super Chicken (£8.50) - marinated & chargrilled chicken served with ahi rocotto mayonnaise

Super Chicken (£8.50) – marinated & chargrilled chicken served with ahi rocotto mayonnaise

 

My friends had told me that this was good so I had to try it! And it was definitely quite super. It tasted just like Pizza Hut’s Sweet & Spicy Drumlets – which I LOVE LOVE LOVE but unfortch they don’t sell them here in the UK :’( :’( – but probably a little better because this had the great charred flavour you can only get from a good grilling. And is there anything better than mayo? The answer is: Mayo. (Mei-you. 没有。)

Patatas Fritas with Huancaina & Tomato Fondue (£4) - fries covered in spicy Peruvian cheese sauce & tomato fondue

Patatas Fritas with Huancaina & Tomato Fondue (£4) – fries covered in spicy Peruvian cheese sauce & tomato fondue

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An entire mound of cheese fries for £4 YAY YAY YAY. So ok. I had been very eggcited about this one but I really think they could have afforded to have been more assertive with the flavours, and also SPAM THE MELTY CHEESE. Because they’re just your standard fries otherwise.

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Overall, I think I’ll gladly come back again. I’m a bit on the fence about the ceviches but I would happily recommend all the meat dishes. If you’re after something slightly different, this Peruvian place is a good shout, particularly if you are looking for a more casual experience than Lima.

 

SENOR CEVICHE

Kingly Court

London W1B 5PW

 

Unfortunately, we weren’t feeling any of their desserts, so we moved swiftly on to STAX because there was a dessert there that was calling out to me.

“The Dough-Bro” (£5.75) - deep fried brownie, vanilla ice-cream, butterscotch sauce

“The Dough-Bro” (£5.75) – deep fried brownie, vanilla ice-cream, butterscotch sauce

 

Now. I have deep-fried many a thing in my life (pound cake, cheesecake, Magnum – you name it, I’ve probably fried it). But I’ve never deep-fried a brownie. I can’t think why though? I think probably because brownies are something I eat almost solely for the texture, so it’s never really occurred to me to mess with the texture. (It is for this reason that I boycott hot brownies.)

Gorgeous, perfectly formed cakes, pastries and puddings are all well and good, but I’m always in the mood for something trashy, and this, my friends, is trashy as trashy gets.

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So remember what I said about messing with the texture? See, because they deep-fried the brownie, once you hack away at the batter, the insides just became a molten pool of chocolate. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it no longer has the texture of a brownie. But would I still eat it? Without a doubt. I think we all really liked this, though I would say that it would’ve perhaps been better if it the brownie and the ice-cream were served separately. That way the ice-cream wouldn’t have melted as quickly, and the batter wouldn’t have turned so soggy.

I didn’t try anything else on the STAX menu because we’d had grand plans to eat at Bao (I LOVE MY FRIENDS). But the fried chicken and waffles looked good, so I may have to return to try that next time.

 

STAX Diner

Kingly Court

London W1B 5PW

 

You know how when you’ve had good food, you feel like such a winner? So everything seemed to be going our way… BUT THEN THE MOTHER OF ALL DISASTERS STRUCK! BAO WAS CLOSED!!!!!!!!!!!! I felt my world crumbling down around me as I was hit momentarily by yet another case of SBBS (Steph’s Blue Balls Syndrome), which is a thing.

Hunger. Strife. Turmoil.

(First world problems.)

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