Expect tangy flavours, the freshest ingredients and a relaxed modern setting at ICHU, the newest Peruvian restaurant to open in Central
District: Central, Hong Kong
Cuisine: Contemporary Peruvian
How much: Aperitivos range between $120 to $200, Ceviche and Tiradito range between $90 and $250, Starters, salads and vegetables range between $90 and $140, Meats, fish and seafood range between $180 and $420; Desserts range between $40 and $100
Must Order: Pez Amazonia, Baked sea bass with banana leaf and tamarillo sauce with corn relish
The Best For: A relaxed date night or small groups, dishes are designed for sharing
Sassy Tip: Follow ICHU and stay tuned for the opening of the spacious outdoor terrace overlooking Pottinger Street.
ICHU is another new eatery to recently open in H Queen’s and offers a taste of authentic Peru in a relaxed and modern setting. A collaboration between Bulldozer Group and award winning Chef Virgilio Martinez of Central restaurant Peru, we were excited to give this chic new dining joint a try. On arrival at the restaurant, you first notice the beautiful interior with an earthy feel to it, and it comes as no surprise to hear the venue was carefully designed by award winning Interior designer, Joyce Wang, who took inspiration from the Peruvian landscape. Stone, slate and wood are used throughout the restaurant, with vibrant touches of colour in the tiles, paintings and furniture.
We begin the evening with Massimo, the head mixologist, walking us through the menu, offering cocktail recommendations based on our usual preferences. ICHU’s signature cocktails have been created to celebrate Peru’s distinctive cultural heritage, and symbolise a journey through the country’s diverse landscape; The Coast, The Rainforest, The Mountains and The Desert. I opted for the Amazonia ‘Vida’, a Ginseng-infused gin, with lime, bark based vermouth, spinach and soda ($120). And of course being a lover of the traditional Pisco Sour, I also had to try the ICHU signature version, which did not disappoint, Infused with saffron, lime, eucalyptus and corn syrup ($120). Both cocktails were very refreshing and (almost too) easy to drink. Both were well recommended to pair with the food, offering a well balanced mix of sweet and sour.
Moving on to the food, we were introduced to Korean-born Head Chef, Sang Jeong. A protégé of visionary Chef Virgilio Martinez, Chef Sang worked alongside Martinez for 3 years in Central Restaurant in Lima mastering the art of Peruvian cuisine and we’re already excited to see what he brings to Hong Kong. We began the meal starting with the Tartar de limo con maiz ($140), the delicate and zesty wagyu tartare is served with a sweet corn puree. The Clasico ceviche was next ($150), along with the tri-coloured Quinoa ($140), which had a lovely creamy texture, mixed with goats cheese and Ginger Sofrito. And from the Tiradito section of the menu, we tried the Pargo al rocoto ($160) the freshest thinly sliced raw snapper, served in the shape of sashimi, mixed with celeriac, avocado a spicy aji rocoto sauce.
From the meat section of the menu, we would highly recommend the Costillas De Res ($360), the extremely tender beef short rib melts apart and comes served with a delicious seco sauce. The table favourite had to be the Pez Amazonia ($420), the baked Sea bass is cooked to perfection and served in banana leaf, topped with tomato, corn, red onion, and lime and served with a Amarillo and corn relish (the corn here has to be the best served in Hong Kong).
ICHU offers a selection of 6 Peruvian desserts, all with very unique tastes and mixtures of authentic Peruvian ingredients, incorporating quinoa, goats cheese, and corn used throughout the rest of the menu. Being a large group, we were lucky to sample them all and found that you really can’t go wrong with any of the options available. Dessert is ALWAYS a good idea. We particularly enjoyed the Tres Leche, with vanilla and carrot ($90), and the decadent Amazonia cacao with Suez and lychee ($90). The Quest De Carbra ($100) is also an interesting take on a typical cheesecake, with creamy goats cheese combined with the tart raspberry flavour.
The quality of the ingredients and the freshness of the dishes really stands out at ICHU, and the staff are incredibly knowledgable and full of recommendations with something to suit everyone’s taste. With a menu full of well thought out, meat, fish and veggie dishes, and a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, ICHU is perfect for group dining.
ICHU Peru, 3/F H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road, Central, +852 2477 7717, www.ichu.com.hk