Chifa Peru Restaurant on Main Street
By Leandria Hercules – Staff Writer
Interested in trying a new cuisine? China Peru is a new restaurant which specializes in Chifa cuisine. Chifa cuisine is a fusion between Chinese and Peruvian food. There is a variety of dishes from chicken to seafood. Chifa Peru is located on 301 N Main Ave.
“Chifa means a Peruvian Chinese mix. … It is a blend of Chinese and Peruvian food,” Marguerite Knealon, a server for the establishment, explained in an interview at the restaurant.
The inside of Chifa Peru is spacious and clean, the walls are the shade of pumpkins and have two statement photos, one of Peru and one of the Great Wall of China. On the right side is a dessert display case and on the left is a bar.
Appetizers include half pollo a la brasa, a roasted half-chicken with french fries and a side salad, and the wantan frito, a tablespoon of pork and chicken mixture fried in a wonton wrapper with a sweet and sour, tamarind-based sauce on the side. The tamarind sauce has a slightly sweetened acidity which cuts through the savory flavor of the wonton. The half pollo a la brasa is well seasoned and moist. It comes with a light aji verde that has a subtle spice to it. The salad is crisp and fresh and comes lightly-dressed with a spiced ranch.
Drinks include chicha morada, a juiced, purple corn drink that tastes like plum juice. It’s intensely sweet and has a rich purple shade.
For entrees, the menu includes tallarin con camarones, noodles with shrimp, and arroz chaufa de especial, fried rice with pork, shrimp, and chicken. Portions are large enough to share and still have leftovers. The con camarones is light for being a noodle dish. The sauce has a subtle but addicting flavor and the dish is topped with well-cooked (but not mushy) vegetables. The shrimp complements the noodle dish. The arroz chaufa de especial tastes fresh from the wok, moist with some crisped pieces of rice. All of the meat is tender and the sauce integrates itself well into the dish; it is slightly salty but rich in flavor.
For dessert, there’s ice cream – a scoop of lucuma and cheriyoma. The lucuma is a fruit from Peru, the menu explains. The ice cream is made with its powder, evaporated milk and heavy cream. The cheriyoma is a tropical fruit often called the ice cream fruit because of its creamy, luscious texture, according to the menu. The dessert is delicate and refreshing, with a sweet, powdery taste. The ice cream also comes with two miniature cream filled wafers, which give the dessert a nice crunch element.
Lee Hu, the manager of the establishment, said Chifa Peru’s most ordered items are the whole pollo a la brasa (whole chicken with salad and fries), ceviche mixto (Peruvian styled fish, octopus and calamari salad tossed with onions and fresh lime juice), jalea de mariscos (calamari, shrimp, fish, mussels, yucca, potatoes, onions, and tomatoes), tostones (fried plantains) and yucas fritas (yucca fries).
“The most popular dish is our chicken, Peruvian style with a special green sauce. We also have parrilladas, ceviche mixto is a very popular item and we also have jalea de mariscos. We also have fried calamari, this is a very popular item,” said Hu.
Hu recommends for somebody who has never been to order an appetizer such as the maduros or tostones, the ceviche mixto or ceviche de pescado.
Chifa Peru tends to be busiest during lunch on weekdays and weekends.
“It’s a little busier on Friday evening and Saturday evening,” said Knealon.
“We open from Monday to Thursday 11:30 to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday we open from 11:30 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:00 p.m,” said Hu.