Found on Peel Street, Chifa is the latest addition to the growing empire of restaurants under the Pirata Group umbrella, and it serves up the unique combination of Peruvian and Chinese cuisine
District: Central, Hong Kong
Cuisine: Peruvian / Chinese
How much: Dumplings range from $60 to $95 (for four pieces), seafood and meats range from $130 to $210
Must Order: Duck Spring Rolls, Tuna Tiradito, Meat & Rice
The Best For: A casual group dinner with friends
Sassy Tip: Hungry, or not sure what to order? Let the experts guide you and opt for Chifa’s Tasting Menu, priced at $320 per person, it includes a selection of the most popular dishes to share. Chifa is still waiting for its liquor licence (hopefully coming mid-June!), so feel free to BYOB, or enjoy some of the tasty mocktails on offer.
Found on Peel Street, Chifa is the latest edition to the growing empire of restaurants under the Pirata Group umbrella. With favourites such as Pici, Tokyolima and MEATS already under its belt, we were more than excited to try out this latest offering.
Venturing into a whole new world of food for the group, Chifa serves up the unique combination of Peruvian and Chinese cuisines. And no, this is not a gimmick, or a new attempt at fusion, but the food that has emerged from the huge community of Chinese migrants in Peru. Using traditional Chinese cooking techniques, but with Peruvian tastes and flavours, the resulting dishes are familiar, but with a twist. As one of the most popular cuisines in Peru, and typically eaten for Sunday lunch with friends and family, this is food to be enjoyed as a group. So round up your friends, and try out some of the delights on offer at Chifa; these dishes are made for sharing.
At a first glance, the menu at Chifa can be a little overwhelming. The small dishes include everything from spring rolls and turnip cake, to ceviche and roasted corn, but there are also plenty of dumplings to tuck into, from the classic har gow and char siu bao, to soft open buns – and that’s just the half of it. Chifa also serves up a range of seafood, meats, rice and noodles, so if you’re not sure where to start, (and you’ve come hungry!), your best bet is to go for the Tasting Menu. Priced at $320 per person, this will include a range of house favourites, with a sampling from each category, so you can leave the decision making to the experts and just focus on the fun part: eating.
Starting out, we enjoyed several plates from the Small Dishes section of the menu, including the Tuna Tiradito ($130), Turnip Cake ($70), Chifa Ceviche ($140) and Duck Spring Rolls ($95). I’m always drawn to the punchy flavours of ceviche, but here the Tiradito stood out against these plates as the star. Fresh and spicy, the Peruvian dish was a true delight and a flavourful start to the meal. The duck spring rolls were also worth going back for. Crispy on the outside and packed full of duck with a rich, sweet sauce, I could have eaten the whole plate.
At this stage, it’s also worth noting that Chifa is still awaiting it’s liquor license. Expected by mid-June, until then diners are welcome to BYOB, or choose from the tasty selection of mocktails on offer. I’m not usually one for a mocktail (isn’t it just overpriced juice?), but the Rain on the Forest ($60), complemented the food beautifully. A light mix of muddled ginger, basil leaves, coconut water, fresh apple juice, coconut milk, jasmine honey syrup and lime juice, it’s a great choice for non-drinkers, or those looking for a night off from booze. When the liquor license does come in, if a splash of gin is added to this one, it’ll also make for a mean cocktail which will be dangerously easy to drink.
But back to the food, we next moved onto a selection of dumplings, tasting the Pillow Rolls ($85 for six), Juanito’s Green Dumplings ($70 for four), and the Char Siu Open Bao ($100 for three). Whilst all three were undoubtedly delicious, as the section of the menu that I was most looking forward to, they weren’t actually my favourite part of the Chifa experience. The flavour was enhanced by dipping the dumplings into the black vinegar (cutely presented in a steamer basket with other condiments), and I would definitely go back to try out the Chifa Spicy Dumplings ($85).
The larger dishes on offer at Chifa are what really stood out to me, and I loved the Lomo Saltado ($190), Peruvian Chicken ($160) and Meat & Rice ($100). All three are more typical dishes of Peruvian cuisine and the flavours were bold and punchy, with just the right amount of spice. The Meat & Rice was especially tasty, with generous chunks of roasted chicken, pinto beans, red chili, black sesame seeds and crispy wontons. It was comforting and savoury, the perfect accompaniment to the hearty meat dishes.
With the soft pink and blue hues of the décor, playful decorative accents and friendly service, Chifa is a cute and casual spot to enjoy with a group of friends. The dishes are perfect for sharing, with tastes and textures to suit all palates – ideal for a fun and lively dinner.
Chifa, G/F, 26 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.chifa.hk
Featured image and image #3 property of Sassy Media Group. All further image courtesy of Chifa.