Javier Wong, the chef owner of Chez Wong in Lima, is one of the most legendary chefs in Peru. His restaurant isn’t fancy, far from it. It’s in one room of his house, in the rough and tumble district of La Victoria not far from a line of auto repair garages. There’s no menu. He serves a ceviche, always using Pacific sole; enormous ones.
Recently there has been some debate about the spelling of ceviche. In Peru, ceviche is generally spelled either cebiche or ceviche. Cebiche with a B is more typical in Lima, though with a V is more common nationally and especially internationally. Some think it should be spelled with an S, as Seviche. I don’t. Here’s why.
It’s Sunday, and after a night out in Lima, Peru, you’ve found yourself in a cevichería. It’s more, you discover, than a mere place to order ceviche. It’s a cultural institution where lime juice abounds, and the events and misadventures from the previous night are discussed, reenacted and celebrated. Here’s your primer.