Whether you spell it ceviche, cebiche, or seviche, there is no denying that this marinated fresh raw fish dish – often loaded with bright, tart, and tangy tropical flavours – has the makings of a perfect summer meal.
Paired with a cocktail or crisp glass of wine, it’s the perfect patio-friendly dish you’ll want to savour all season long… which is exactly what we found ourselves doing when out on the town in search of Vancouver’s best ceviche spots…
Blue Water Café
Yaletown is home to one of our favourite fine dining spots, Blue Water Café, where there is no shortage of some of the freshest and most interesting seafood in Vancouver. We sat at the sushi bar where we received impeccable service and sampled Chef Frank Pabst’s ceviches, which included scallop, lime, cilantro, and chick peas in one bowl, and clams, mussels, and scallops in another atop ice to keep it uber fresh. If we hadn’t consulted our server, who then expertly paired these dishes with the Deep Cove Smooth Criminal Nitro Stout, we would have missed out on this amazing combo.
YEW Seafood + Bar
Lunch (or dinner) should begin with something light, and at our last lunch at YEW we found another candidate for our ceviche quest with the halibut ceviche. Served with crushed avocado, ginger, and chunks of citrus fruit, the dish’s best showcase is the amazingly fresh halibut. Also try their sidestripe shrimp version if it’s available. Beverage pairing? The Stingray with tequila, jalapeno, pineapple, and basil.
At 261 Powell Street, just east of Main, Cuchillo’s Chef Stuart Irving has four ceviches to choose from, along with a variety of other share plates such as tacos and ensaladas. We dove into the Albacore tuna served with double smoked bacon asada, but the steelhead trout, octopus with sardines and chorizo, and sidestrip shrimp with diver scallops are next on our hit list. Be sure to sip the Agua Fresca with watermelon, honeydew, strawberry, and chili, or add a splash of cachaca and Cointreau for the adult version.
Follow Broadway west to another Latin treasure, Baru Restaurant at 2535 Alma Street, and order yourself a Grilled Pineapple Mojito or two and dive into either their Baru or Ecuadorian Red Ceviche. The former comes with shrimp and halibut with avocado, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro, and the latter with scallop, shrimp, and octopus in roasted red pepper and smoked tomato mojo. The dishes come with the most delightful crushed plantain chips, and while you’re there don’t miss the empanadas.
If you’re going with team Peru as the originators of ceviche, then you are going to want to check out Chicha at 136 East Broadway. During the Inca Empire, fish were marinated with chichi, a fermented beverage, but the chefs here use citrus fruit and aji Amarillo (chili peppers) to accent their fine ceviches. Choose either the local whitefish or the seasonal seafood version and you’ll get some fine fish along with corn on the cob and sweet potato. Drink of choice? Earl Grey Pisco Sour.
What are some of your favourite ceviche joints in Vancouver? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.