“Ceviche is perfect for this time of year as the warmer weather sees us eating lighter, fresher meals,” says Leandro Legname, the head chef at Bondi eatery Luis Tans.
In collaboration with Tetsuya’s alum Sean Andrews, Legname this month unveiled a revamped menu of fusion South American and pan-Asian cuisine based on his background and extensive experience working in kitchens all over the world. Think said ceviche, a vibrant melange of scallop and salmon tiradito with yuzu juice and chargilled corn, or the new signature dish, a chargilled Tomahawk steak with sesame greens, jasmine rice, chimichurri, and chipotle butter, all of which is designed to share.
Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Legname dove headfirst into the kitchens of London on his arrival at age 19 where, he tells GRAZIA, he “started out as a kitchen hand in one of East London’s favourite new restaurants, [before] I quickly became swept up in the excitement of the industry and inspired by some of the city’s best young chefs.
“As the success of the business grew, so did my opportunities and my skills in pan-Asian cuisine – a modern fusion of Eastern and Oriental dishes. I lived in London for a total of 12 years, and in that time I had the pleasure of cooking for A-listers like Mary McCartney, Sasha Baron Cohen, Chris Martin, Natalie Imbruglia, and Russell Brand.”
For the last four years, Legname has honed the skills he garnered cooking around the world in Sydney. It’s here that he says he’s been given the opportunity to develop his strengths in other styles of cooking, while showcasing his skills with the singular cuisines on which he has made his name. Below, Legname provides GRAZIA with an exclusive recipe for a must-try Spring ceviche, a traditional Peruvian dish of citrus cured seafood, with a unique Japanese twist.
“While ceviche is a traditional Peruvian dish, the soy sauce gives it the Asian influence that works so well and is also popular for Australian tastes. This is a new take on an old recipe of mine – the yuzu juice gives the dish a spin on the flavour, which is where it differs from my original recipe I developed years back, working in London. I think this reflects how well Japanese and Peruvian flavours work together, successfully forming the foundation of our menu at Luis Tans by building on the fusion of different influences.”
Red and yellow cherry tomatoes
Finely sliced red onion
For the dressing:
300ml lemon juice
35g sea salt
100g soy sauce
60g garlic puree
40g finely chopped ginger
20g ground black pepper
600ml olive oil
Whisk everything together, and check for seasoning. Cut the scallops in half, season with salt and pepper, and sear briefly on both sides on a hot pan, cooling immediately. De-vein the prawns and cook for about 20 seconds in boiling salted water, then cut the squid into bite size pieces and cook for 10 seconds in boiling salted water. Plunge the prawns and squid into iced water to stop them cooking. Slice the yellowtail as for sashimi, and keep all the fish in a refrigerator for use later. Wash, and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in half and slice each half at an angle. Cut the onion in half and finely slice and shred the coriander.
To assemble the dish, place 2 prawns, 4 scallop halves, 3 slices of yellowtail and about 5 pieces of squid into a bowl. Add 4 halves of each red and yellow cherry tomatoes, the sliced cucumber, onion and shredded coriander. Season with a little Maldon sea salt and dress the salad. Pile onto a plate with a bamboo leaf, pour a little more dressing over the top and some chive oil, and garnish with a couple of long chives as shown.
Tile and cover image: Supplied