Nestled in Penn Quarter and neighbor to other restaurant greats such as Rasika, The Partisan and Carmine’s, China Chilcano is a celebration of the rich culinary diversity of Peruvian cuisine. Jose Andres’ recent addition to his Think Food Group restaurants specializes in “Chifa” cuisine – a fusion of Chinese, Japanese, and Peruvian cooking traditions. During a recent visit to the District, we decided it was time to join discussions about the forthcoming rise of regional South American gastronomy.
With a decor scheme rich with reds, yellows, blues, and beige, the dining room is a pleasant festival of colors certain to produce smiles as guests feel transported upon entry. The trendy and abstract lighting choices throughout the various dining spaces project a futuristic tea shop appeal, thus enhancing the overall Matchu Picchu meets Hong Kong meets Tokyo experience.
Food & Presentation
The separate drink menu offered a wide variety of libations combining names you’ve seen before alongside more authentic ones with surprising twists. One in particular was the Chicha Morada, a sweet Peruvian beverage made with purple corn. We highly recommend you partake together with your meal
HUANCAINA - A traditional Peruvian potato dish topped with Ají amarillo sauce. The sauce provided a bit of spicy heat with a hint of fruit and we thought the fresh cheese, botija olive and quail eggs added complexity to the overall taste. The presentation, as you can see, was stunning matching the incredible levels of flavor.
LOMO SALTADO - The prime strip steak was cooked a perfect medium rare and served alongside marinated shishito peppers, tomatoes, and shoestring potatoes with rice. While the dish was a remarkable mix of Peruvian and Chinese food, the teriyaki and soy sauce blend made it a bit too salty this particular evening.
TALLERIN ZHEN FE - This was the table favorite! The mix of semi-cold sauce, with hot noodles and fried eggs was delightful. The cilantro and rice flower noodles were so lite and yet still comforting. Again, fantastic presentation!
PONDERACIONES DE KIWICHA (Spiral Cookie) - The cookie was lite and crisp, with just enough powdered sugar to reduce the bitterness of the cocoa. The cool ice cream, paired with chocolate mousse, and caramelized banana was delightfully rich. A splendid choice to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Overall the menu was phenomenal! Every bite was bursting with flavor and we found something unique and/or unexpected within each course. With a ceviche bar, dim sum offerings, vibrant décor and one of the U.S.'s most expansive pisco programs, China Chilcano provides guests with an extraordinary dining experience.
418 7th St. NW
Washington, DC 20004