If you can't handle the heat then get outta the kitchen. Literally. One of our favourite dishes in this late summer heat is the simple South American ceviche which has no cooking involved whatsoever. Talk about jumping on the raw food bandwagon.
Whether you pronounce it se-vish or se-vee-shay (sidenote: apparently we’re all wrong and in Spanish it’s actually seh-bee-tche), this cured fish dish is fresh, healthy, and seriously delish. Bursting at the gills with flavour, ceviche is made of citrus-cured fish, onions and chill—the rest is up to the chef’s creative license. And many Auckland chefs are doing just that—playing with fresh favours that complement that simple base perfectly.
Here's our round up of the best ceviches in Auckland.
The raw offering at this new Ponsonby hotspot changes regularly and their most recent ceviche with watermelon, red onion, coriander, lime and chili was so fresh and summery, we couldn’t get enough! This week, the boys Mimi has placed at the helm are serving up a Hawaiian poke with sesame, chives and soy. This Pacific version of ceviche is set to become one of the hottest dishes of 2016 since taking the North American food scene by storm. Fish Fish just made ordering a whole heap easier with their online ordering system live now and a dedicated app on its way! Pick up and take down to Sentinel or home to eat on the deck.
Miss Clawdy's ceviche is much heartier than many others we've tried due to its luscious base of coconut cream. What that does mean is an uber-creamy texture, made even richer with the addition of citrus cream. The accompanying crispy corn chips are ripe for the dunking and help to lighten the dish, while also providing a welcome textural element.
Rosie is synonymous with fresh and interesting flavours, and of course that unfortunate ponytail-gate saga. Rosie's ceviche takes a Mediterranean turn and comes with smoked capsicum oil, a sear of Kermit green bread sauce, and coriander seeds. In true Hip Group style, the plating is inventive and organic, resulting in something awfully pretty and seriously grammable.
Parnell's Woodpecker Hill is best known for their smoky meats and offering an Asian leaning variation on the popular barbeque theme currently running rampant in Auckland. But they certainly know their way around fresh seafood, evidenced by their inventive take on ceviche. Lightly cured kingfish is paired with pomelo and lemongrass for a light, fragrant and perfectly balanced dish with subtle Asian flavours.
Now we all know that Ostro knows their seafood. Well, more specifically Michellin-starred Head Chef Josh Emmett knows his seafood (and his meat—just try Bostwana Butchery and you'll see what we're talking about!). Ostro, with its waterfront location, provides the picture-perfect scene in which to indulge in dishes that let's that fresh produce from the sea shine. Their ceviche is no exception—avocado, red radish, cucumber and meyer lemon is a clash of accessible and familiar flavours, making this is a good entree into the world of ceviche if you're a newbie.
The Japanese know their raw fish, but rarely does their cosine include ceviche style dishes involving natural curing and instead focusses more on truly raw sashimi. Their octopus sashimi ceviche with ginger, available on their a la carte dinner menu successfully manages to bridge this gap. It is a perfect example of Cocoro's stylish and harmonious dishes that takes traditional Japanese fare and modernises the flavours while retain that air of authenticity.
46 & York
This sophisticated Parnell bar is more than just a watering hole—the food is equally fantastic! The game fish ceviche is "meaty" and slightly Pacific with its taro crisps. We wish we'd see more Pacific inspired dishes given the close proximity and large portion of our population who come from the area, so this is a welcome choice by 46 & York. In addition, this dish can be made into a healthy meal when served as a salad. To go with your vodka, lime & soda of course.
Conch Records Kitchen & Bar
Yeah ok, so we said Ostro's ceviche was a good first foray into the world of ceviche if you're new. But if it's traditional you're after you must hit Conch on Ponsonby Road. This ceviche stays true to its Peruvian roots and comes doused in lime juice and is served up with gluten free arepa cornbread. Of course at Conch you can also have your ceviche in a taco if you're into crispier accompaniments.
With all the Tex Mex and dishes smothered in cheese and sour cream dished up in NZ, you may be somewhat shocked when greeted with the real deal at Ellerslie's Mexican Specialities. Their ceviche, only available on Friday nights, is like the rest of their food—rustic and a bit rough around the edges but all the more authentic for it. Not to mention delicious.
Soul Bar & Bistro
While some viaduct restaurants are really better serving as sunshine spots than places of fine food— Soul Bar and Bistro is an exception to the rule. Their food is second-to-none and the location just tops it off. Their trevally ceviche is modern and fresh with whipped avocado, cucumber, green apple, coriander. Best enjoyed with a crisp glass of bubbles. But seriously, that whipped avo though...
Looking for more seafood? Here's 20 Sensational Seafood Dishes You Need In You Life.
Image credit: Fish Fish