Ceviche at Chez Wong in Lima

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One of the highlights of my recent trip to Peru was ceviche at Chez Wong, a kind of cult ceviche shop that exemplifies the fused cuisine of Lima. The influence of Chinese and Japanese cooking is strong there, and shows up in ceviche, a dish of Spanish origin with obvious similarities to sushi.

The restaurant, which is adjacent to Wong’s home in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood in Lima, is about as unadorned as it gets. Wong, with his chef’s outfit and shades on, prepares the ceviche in the back, and two servers run the food. There’s no menu, just a ceviche dish (most often flatfish — sole, flounder, or tonguefish), and a stir-fry after that.

On my visit, both dishes were unbelievable. The ceviche included flounder, squid, and red onion, and seemed first cured with salt in the Peruvian way, yielding a deeply flavorful, umami-laden taste. The stir-fry was fish with cantaloupe, greens, and wood-ear mushrooms. Can’t wait to get back there.