Homegrown restaurant review: Fusion Ceviche in JLT Dubai
Chef-owned, homegrown, authentically Peruvian, and quickly gaining a reputation for the best ceviche in Dubai…
Penelope Diaz, a self-taught Peruvian chef, saw her dream come true when she opened Fusion Ceviche in JLT, Dubai less than a year ago.
Chef Penelope’s love for authentic Peruvian cuisine started with cooking from her apartment. She began hosting her neighbours and friends which led to a small catering business in Dubai, and she was eventually able to open Fusion Ceviche, a hole-in-the-wall, unlicensed, authentic Peruvian restaurant in JLT.
It’s easy to lose yourself in JLT’s foodie scene, with a diverse range of cuisines available on every corner from casual local restaurants to more upscale dining options. Still, there are some standout gems worth seeking out…
Is Fusion Ceviche just another Peruvian restaurant in Dubai?
On a Friday lunchtime, the restaurant is bustling with a mix of regulars, first-timers, groups, and solo diners. The colourful decor, featuring Peruvian flags, postcards, cookbooks, patterned tiles, and a neon sign that reads the tiger milk effect creates a lively South American atmosphere.
The space is not large, seating around 20 or so inside and a further six outside. Chef Penelope can be found at the centre of it all, greeting both familiar and new faces while preparing the renowned ceviches behind the bar.
We sit at the corner of the bar, immediately met with a bowl of cancha (toasted Peruvian corn), and offered a glass of chicha morada, a refreshing fruity drink homemade using purple corn – to which we obliged.
To begin, we settled on a selection of ceviches: clásico (Dhs85), salmon (Dhs90), scallops (Dhs100), and tuna (Dhs90). Chef Penelope makes sure to check on the spice tolerance of all the guests before preparing to order, but we are told that true Peruvian ceviche should have a bit of spice.
The clásico was delicious: citrusy raw seabass with tiger milk, sweet potato, and crunchy corn with a unique after-kick of spice. I could have easily ordered seconds. In a shallower bowl, the scallop ceviche was another explosion of flavours with aji amarillo tiger milk dressing, smoked chimichurri, crushed corn, and avocado. The dish was sweet, creamy, fruity, and incredibly fresh – scallops don’t get any better than this.
Other notable ceviches included the salmon with mango, avocado, crunchy corn, and tiger milk, as well as the tuna with its distinctive crunchy wontons.
For mains, we ordered the pulpo anticuchero (Dhs100) and we would do so again. The dish was full of colour and textures with tender octopus cooked perfectly, crispy potato, smoke chimichurri, and huacatay sauce. For dessert, we tried the coconut tres leches (Dhs45) which was a delightful end to an excellent meal.
Fusion Ceviche is not to be messed with…The menu maintained an exceptionally high standard dish after dish, the thoughtful service made us feel immediately at ease, and the hole-in-the-wall venue oozes authenticity and character. You won’t regret a single second of it.
Fusion Ceviche, Cluster Q (opposite The Park), JLT, Dubai. @fusioncevichedxb
Images: What’s On/Social