A Cevicheria

A Cevicheria - 1After a small travel around the globe and an immense success with his O Talho, many wondered what Kiko Martins would show in a new project, maybe this time more serious and complex, a bit like José Avilliez when he opened Belcanto after the success of his Cantinho. But Kiko though differently and decided to “Eat the World” again, bringing a Cevicheria to Lisbon, inspired by his trip to Latin America and the worldwide success of the Peruvian cuisine and Chefs like Gastón Acurio or Virgilio Martínez.

A Cevicheria - 3Known as Chef Kiko, here he shows once again the will to make a stand in the capital’s gastronomic panorama, with out of the box ideas and a unique capacity of making them work in the real world. The conception of the entire project quite shows all that capacity, from the space choice, in the most wanted Príncipe Real, with the capacity for no more than 26/28 people, the huge shutters that give a unique natural light to the decoration, where the white interior makes us feel that light even more, it is possible to eat at the counter, which occupies most of the space, while we entertain ourselves observing the cooks preparing the dishes, and of course the Octopus that is certainly one of Lisbon’s new attractions. No one stays indifferent to this octopus that occupies a great part of the ceiling and serves almost as the only decorating element; it is photographed by clients and observed by passers. A genius marketing move.

A Cevicheria - 2But on to what really matters, the food, the menu is divided in main courses and desserts, with a series of ceviches and some hot dishes, besides a Tasting menu (6 dishes – 35€). We went a bit past lunch time, in order to avoid lines (the restaurant works between half past noon to midnight and doesn’t take reservations) and we chose to share some dishes.

A Cevicheria - 5couvert

Along with a super correct Pisco Sour (Peruvian cocktail with a basis of pisco, lime juice, egg white, sugar syrup and angostura) came the couvert (2,5€), a good butter with cuttlefish ink and a nice tomato, ricotta and olive dip. In terms of bread, some light toasts of wheat and of corn bread made in the restaurant, also accompanied with some good Canchas, a kind of bigger corn grains slightly toasted with salt, like the ones eaten in the Andes region for thousands of years. Very good.

A Cevicheria - 7“Pure” Ceviche, croaker, onion, leche de tigre, wakame seaweed and sweet potato (11,80€)
The fish changes on a daily basis, always using white fishes with good capacity to endure the citric seasoning, like the grouper, the pomfret or the croaker that we were served. The sweet potato appears in two textures, crunchy and in a light puree that is almost a foam, an interesting detail that not only gives new texture, but also some substance to the dish. High note to the seasoning of the Leche de Tigre, robust enough, and to the introduction of the seaweed. Very nice.

A Cevicheria - 9Quinoto do Mar, Quinoa, prawn, pomfret, cockle, mussels, seaweed and oyster foam (13,60€)
It was for sure the most memorable moment of the meal. Quinoa cooked like a risotto, but without the heaviness from the cheese and the butter, cooked in a broth similar to a shellfish stew, accompanied by some inhabitants of the sea and a piece of pomfret nicely sealed with a crunchy skin. But it’s not the quinoa, the shellfish or the textures that stay engraved in our minds, but the combination of the broth with the seaweed, the shellfish and the brilliant oyster foam, every bite is like a dive in this ocean of a dish!

A Cevicheria - 10Dulce de Leche and Piña Colada, Pie stuffed with dulce de leche, coconut cream and caramelized pineapple with rum (6,30€)
In Latin America when the subject is sweets, they’re really sweet and with Cíntia at the table there was no way to escape the dulce the leche, for my sins! At the table it revealed to be the expected, a beautiful dessert that takes us to another latitude. A well accomplished pie, sweet without being doughy, but in fact really sweet, like the expected; accompanying very well was the cream, giving it some lightness but it would benefit from a sorbet, of pineapple or piña colada. Needless to say that for Cíntia it was perfect!

A Cevicheria - 4Accompanying our meal we had Pisco Sour (7,5€), Gin and Tonic (9,50€) and a good lemonade (3€). As to the wine list, it is short, with some fresher and proper options for the presented dishes.

The service is one of Kiko Martins signatures, that same Chef Kiko from TV, informal, relaxed with a professionalism well above the positioning of the restaurant, I have eaten in restaurants with the famous Michelin star where the dishes weren’t this well presented. Also a note to the good looks of the entire team, from the “room” to the kitchen, the bar to the counter, everything with that “je ne sais quoi” that transports us to a cosmopolitan environment in which chefs are rock stars and magazine covers. We could be in London or New York, but no, it was really Lisbon.

A Cevicheria - 8Final Remarks
A Cevicheria is another project, well thought and accomplished by Kiko Martins, who after the success of his project with meat, shows us his boldness with the fish. It is a Cevicheria with a classic basis, a unique environment, from the room to the soundtrack that takes us away from Portugal for a few moments. The food, while not being as bold as in some other Peruvian projects arising in Europe, shows remarkable quality and some dishes are quite hard to forget, like that Quinoto do Mar. It is a space where everything works nicely, from the food to the service, passing through the marketeer Octopus and certainly for the long waiting lines every Friday and Saturday. Now we just have to wait for our return to Lisbon and taste the rest of the menu.

A Cevicheria
Rua D.Pedro V, 129 Lisbon

Versão Portuguesa 

Text: João Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses

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