It had been a while since I had fed my ceviche addiction and a new opening in my neighbourhood was the perfect excuse to feed it. Sipan restaurant has a hugely successful restaurant in the micro centre of BA (Bono was spotted there last week although I am not sure if this is necessarily a sign of quality). They have now opened up a branch underneath the Palermintano Hotel in Palermo Soho. Early reports had said that this was a new rival for the famous Osaka although with a slightly more Peruvian feel, while Osaka is slightly more Japanese centric. I’ve had some great meals in Osaka although it comes with a hefty price tag and I was a little worried that Sipan would leave a hole burning in my pocket.
So after a frightfully modern booking system through twitter we arrived at Sipan at 9 o’clock. More moderness ensued as the lady at the desk checked for our reservation on her IPAD, yes her IPAD! Trendy indeed. Sipan Palermo has only been open a few days to not much fanfare so we were led through a mostly empty restaurant to our seats. Although not full Sipan still gave off a very nice vibe, lots of nice Peruvian artwork mixed with the usual Palermo chic you find in a lot of restaurants in the area.
We settled down to some delicious maracuya pisco sours which were truly amazing and perused the menu. There is quite a lot to pick from: sushi, sashimi, tapas, ceviche, causa, jarea and a few rice dishes. It was only two of us that evening so we couldn’t get really stuck in to the menu and I think you might have a cheaper evening with a few more people. We opted for one of the tasting “boats” that offered a selection of sushi and tasters.
Although we were one of the only tables in the restaurant the boat took about 30 minutes to come. I couldn’t decide whether a fuller restaurant might speed up the service or not but I suppose only time will tell. When it did arrive it certainly looked very impressive.
What we have here is some delicious spoonfuls of scallops and octopus with olives. We also had some decent deep fried prawn with salmon and guacamole and some less good sushi with crab and cream cheese (I am not a fan of cream cheese in sushi and wouldn’t have ordered this if I had been aware that it was included). It was nice enough and well it should be for Arg$250 but didn’t really warrant this enormous price tag.
Next up was the main event, the famous ceviche that apparently even the Peruvian embassy had endorsed, so no pressure then. This ceviche confirmed something I have thought for a long time; no ceviche is worth paying over Arg$60 for. It just doesn’t increase in quality. Yes maybe the quality of the fish might be a little higher but with all the flavouring of the sauce you hardly notice the difference except possibly in texture. The ceviche here was Arg$100 and not worth this price tag. You can find ceviche at half the price and just as good at Chan Chan and Ceviche to name just two.
In many ways I liked Sipan but sadly I think they have seriously over priced the menu. It is a lovely location and I think if you order carefully you might have some really great dishes there at a more reasonable price but we had four cocktails and not that much food and it came out at Arg$600, ouch! By all means go and have a great time but bring a hefty lump of cash with you.