Bowled over by Crudo
Crudo Cevicheria is London's first build-your-own Ceviche bowl restaurant. Opening in Fitzrovia in 2019 to much success, they recently opened a second restaurant at the new Bower commercial quarter next to Old Street tube station in Shoreditch, which we visited for lunch.
Just off the bustling Old Street junction and down a set of steps you'll find this casual eaterie, thankfully provided shade by the Bower itself as it was a super hot day - not that there was any danger of burning up with the selection of cool cocktails and beer on offer - look out for the lemonade stall and happy hour £6 cocktails. If that doesn't draw you in the food will.
Inside it's a neat, bijou space with most tables outside, which is where we sat.
Being so small the kitchen is not far away so you can also watch your food being prepared.
Food and Drink menus are below.
The menu is split into four: para picar (snacks); ceviches; tiraditos; and signature ceviche bowls, with a wide variety of dishes on offer with smaller items and not just filling bowls. You can also make up your own bowl combination but being true foodie explorers we decided to sample items from all four sections.
The drinks selection covers the sort of citrusy cocktails we would expect plus a good mix of wine and local IPA and Saison beers courtesy of Kernel and Partizan Brewing, so drinks that should be a good match for fish cured with lemon or lime.
Guacamole & chips (no, not that sort of chips!) are available mild or spicy, either made from plantain or corn tortilla. We had mild tortilla chips with avocado dip. Totally fresh with chunky pieces in amongst the smooth scoopable avocado. We accompanied this with the Kernel Pils Galaxy, which is dry and acidic with a mild lemongrass flavour and a rum lemonade cocktail that was refreshing and far too easy to drink!
Sea bass Traditos below, comprising Inca berry, leche de Tigre, grapefruit, physalis, red onion and coriander. Slices of tender sea bass bathed in flavour. This looked and tasted elegant if that makes sense. Mouthsize bites of citrusy sea bass with pops of sweetness.
Next, Salmon ceviche - salmon with Ponzu leche de tigre, spring onion, edamame, sesame seed, nori seaweed so think flavours of Japan and not too dissimilar from something you'd get in a sushi restaurant. This was also fresh and zingy.
A special on our visit was Pastel de choclo - which is a Peruvian cornbread. Mrs Foodie has a bit of a special love for sweetcorn, so this was an interesting piece. Moist and not like the usual dry cornbread, this was moreish indeed and one we'll have to try and make at home. If you get some, remember to dip it into the leche de tigre.
This is one you mustn't miss, the Clasico signature ceviche bowl - Seabass cubes marinated with our traditional Leche de Tigre dressing (lime, ginger and coriander). A base of mixed quinoa, roasted sweet potato, avocado, plantain crips and house toasted Peruvian corn. Lots of crunch in this one, saltiness and more fresh citrusy fish.
That's a lot of food between two but of course, there is always space for dessert! A choice of ice cream filled mochi was available. Flavours on our visit included Coconut, Yuzu and Passion Fruit. All three were light, sweet, smooth with tropical flavours from afar.
Crudo is a compact approachable Cevicheria that does what it does very well. All the food not only looked great, but importantly it was fresh and full of flavour. The dishes on offer are also not just tasty but healthy too - ok, so it's difficult to hold back and not partake in a few cocktails or beers but there's fruit in cocktails and vitamins in beer, right? Staff were also friendly and helpful. The only negative is that there isn't a toilet beside the restaurant so you need to use one that is upstairs in the main building.
If you love ceviche and sushi and are in the area make sure to pay Crudo a visit as it would be crude not to!
It's right next to Old Street station but we travelled by bus - the 43, 135, 205 and 214 stop on City Road a mere two minute walk away.
+ Welcoming staff
+ Fresh, flavoursome food that is tasty and healthy
+ Great cocktails and well thought out beer and wine selection
+ Good location, easy to get to
- The toilet is a bit of a walk away inside the main building
211C Old Street
Tues - Wed: 12:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thurs - Sat 12:00 am - 10:00 pm
Book at Eat Crudo
Disabled access is from Baldwin Street as you need to descend steps from the main road (Old Street). Toilets are not easily accessed though - staff may be able to advise of an alternative, suitable toilet.
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Disclaimer: our meal was gifted in exchange for publicising the new Old Street restaurant.