the last bite

Tumi's Peruvian-Style Ceviche

By / Photography By Tom Dott | November 21, 2017
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The Nikkei ceviche--sushi grade tuna and avocado adorned with asparagus tempura and a chilled, local oyster is served with Tumi co-owner Daisy Soto mixes a Pisco Sour.

In the early chill of winter 2014, a Peruvian elementary school teacher named Daisy Soto and her chef/husband Jorge Siguencia opened their dream restaurant just off Main Street in Hyannis. Siguencia’s signature ceviches, a dish so honored in Peru that it has its own national holiday (June 28), would highlight the menu, but that highlight was shadowed in nervousness. Selling cold ceviche on Cape Cod in the off-season? When the temperature drops New Englanders want hot, not cold. But their apprehension was misplaced. While many of the hot menu offerings on Tumi’s menu are unique and delicious enough to easily launch numerous Last Bite articles, it’s the nine Peruvian ceviche offerings, made fresh to order, that keep diners fogging up the glass windows waiting to get in. Which of the nine offerings is the favorite—the Mixto (shrimp, octopus and mussels) or the wood-grilled octopus Pulpo? That’s anyone’s call...but since I’m the one writing this article, I proclaim the Nikkei ceviche ($13) one of the tastiest and well-thoughtout appetizers north of Lima. It’s loaded with chunks of sushi grade tuna and avocado marinated in the traditional leche de tigre (tiger’s milk)—a blending of lime, onion, chili peppers, cilantro, salt and pepper—and finished with sesame oil. A single crisp stalk of asparagus tempura adorns the center, and perched atop in the most celebratory manner: a chilled local oyster. Being fans of the more familiar Mexican-style ceviche, my dining partner and I delighted in the Peruvian differences, such as the addition of sweet potato, cancha (toasted corn) and choclo (boiled large-kernel white corn). The amalgamation creates a delightful roller coaster ride for the palate—the creamy decadence of the tuna and avocado, the cerebral familiarity of sweet potato, the crunch of a perfect tempura, they all join the salty brine of the oyster, but it’s the “pop” of the corn that further delights. Keeping it all working together is that bright, fresh leche de tigre that sparkles on your tongue. The dish is the perfect marriage of eclectic meets familiar. But in spite of such culinary triumphs such as the Nikkei, Soto and Siguencia realize that they have their challenges. How many folks on Cape Cod right now are thinking, “I feel like Peruvian food?” So they proudly and tastefully lure you into their culture by offering chewy house-made pastas and breads, beautifully executed Italian dishes, creative sushi rolls (with ceviche blended in) and American twists on Peruvian traditions. In this vein, the Peruvian street food “antiochus” is a great go-to dish if, say, she wants some adventure but he’s dragging his feet. In this dish, the traditional beef heart has been substituted with wood-grilled chicken thighs and grilled potatoes paired with Andean spices, choclo, and rocoto sauce (made with another chile pepper that is a staple of Peruvian cuisine), providing that same eclectic meets familiar sweet spot. If you want a night out you won’t soon forget, go all in and order a Pisco Sour to start, then jump right into the ceviche list. They make for a healthy, light lunch, a palate-priming dinner appetizer, or to kick off the reasonably priced four-course prix fixe menu. Oh, and if you happen to add a Nikkei ceviche to your order, you can thank me by going back a second time.

Tumi Ceviche Bar & Ristorante
592 Main Street, Hyannis
508-534-9289 /
tumiceviche.com
Serving lunch and dinner daily

Article from Edible Cape Cod at http://ediblecapecod.ediblecommunities.com/eat/tumis-peruvian-style-ceviche
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