José Andrés, who is probably Washington’s best known and most popular chef, is generally credited with being the man who brought tapas to America. Innovative as ever, he opened a new restaurant called China Chilcano about a year ago, highlighting a cuisine called “Chifa.”
Chifa developed in Peru, where Cantonese immigrants blended Chinese elements with traditional Peruvian ingredients and traditions. Although chifa is still all but unknown in the US, the Chinese-Peruvian blend is now wildly popular in Peru and in its neighboring countries.
My appetizer was Ceviche Clásico La Mar, a combination of red snapper, leche de tigre, sweet potato, red onion, cancha, and cilantro. The waiter gave me a spoon, and encouraged me to taste every drop of the liquid in the bowl. He needn’t have bothered. It was wonderful.
But the main was even better. The menu described Ají de Gallina as “Peru’s most precious dish.” It’s a rich chicken stew that contains a bit of everything: aji amarillo, which is an orange chile, cheese, pecans, rice, potatoes, and spices. This was incredibly good, and a highlight of the week.
From the menu, again: Suspiro Limeña is the iconic dessert of Peru.
Interesting taste and texture. It’s sweetened condensed milk custard topped with a soft and
With China Chilcano, Chef Andrés adds yet another brilliant restaurant to his collection.