China Chilcano, Washington DC

Flying back through DC to get my flight to London, I had a few hours to burn and my mother was away on holiday… so I called my friend Patricia up to grab a quick dinner. She brought me to one of her favourite new places, a new Chinese Peruvian restaurant run by Jose Andres.

And what a place it was! We started off with a drink at the bar – I got a regular pisco sour, and it really hit the spot.

The decorations in the restaurant are quite cool, the lights on the ceiling are modelled from the crop signals that you can see from space in Peru…

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Apologies in advance for the pictures, it was pretty dark… we started with a ceviche, the ceviche Nikkei, which has tuna, a soy-cured egg yolk, ponzu sauce, puffed quinoa, avocado, jicama, red onion, cancha, and coriader. Mix the egg in, and you’re ready to go…

The tuna was super fresh, and was delicious in the egg/ ponzu mixture. The rest of the ingredients were nice (the quinoa gave a good crunch) but the dish could have even stood up on its own without them.

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Second, we went for some dumplings… the waiter suggested the dorado dumplings… that seemed a bit excessive, but boy, were we happy we tried them… they were served with slightly cooked quail eggs on top.. and it gave them the creamiest, most amazing texture, on top of the pork, prawn, jicama and mushroom dumpling. Amazing. If we had had any room left, we would have ordered seconds of these.

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Look at that… yum.

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As our final dish, we had the Camaron Saltado of Maestro Wong. This dish was my least favourite, and it was still quite good… but for me, it was just a simple stir-fry, whereas the other dishes were more impressive.

It was shrimp, fermented black bean, wooded mushrooms (SO good), and spring onion, with a little basil. A very nice stir-fry, served with rice, but nothing special.

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And finally, a little dessert, because why not. Pretty stuffed, we picked the lightest thing on the menu, which was also the most interesting (Patricia had tried it before), the raspadilla de chicha morada.
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This was a simple shaved ice dessert, that covered a layer of what tasted like condensed milk (lemongrass flavoured manjar blaco, whatever that is), purple corn flavoured-ice (so interesting, so good, and really nice with a bit of the creamy sauce underneath) and bits of pineapple. It was delicious, and very light, exactly what we needed at the end of our meal.

This place was really great, I’ll definitely be back the next time I’m in DC!

 

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Then, the next morning… sigh. Back at Heathrow. And like always, raining and cold! But how nice to get back to my flat after a great Christmas and New Years!

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