Dim Sum and Ceviche: Brunch at China Chilcano

In my restaurant research for DC, I noticed that Jose Andres has a lot of restaurants in DC. After my amazing experience at Zaytinya, I was eager to try China Chilcano.

China Chilcano is very unique, it’s a Chinese-Peruvian fusion restaurant. Their menu offers a nice mix of both Chinese and Peruvian dishes and I really appreciate the creativity and thought they put in their dishes. Plus they have dim sum.

This is the Dorado siu mai, with pork, shrimp, jicama, shitake mushroom, peanut, poached quail eggs and gold leaf. It is served with a black vinegar sauce. It’s gorgeous, non? In all the dim sum restaurants I ate at in Richmond, I have never had dim sum with gold leaf on top. This is definitely special and so pretty. This siu mai is far from traditional though. Usually, siu mai is made with either shrimp or pork and glutinous rice and is quite oily and filling. The Dorado tastes much lighter, probably due to the shitake mushroom and jicama, and has a nice balance of soft and crunchy texture. I especially adore the poached quail eggs. They were soft poached so the runny yolk adds an incredible richness to the siu mai without being too overwhelming. The sharp black vinegar sauce also cuts through all the heaviness too.

The Ceviche clasico la mar. After having ceviche for brunch here, I wonder why I don’t have ceviche for brunch more often.  The red snapper was tangy and fresh, with the pungent red onion and cilantro, it was perfect for the summer heat. I wish I had more.

The Tam Tam, noodles with spicy pork, peanut and aji panca. This is a gorgeous bowl of noodles. The spicy pork and peanuts was meaty and nutty with a kick. However, perhaps my expectation was too high, but the menu said it was hand-cut, so I was expecting to see chewy, thick, knife-cut noodles. The noodles they had were much softer than I expected. While it holds the sauce well, I was expecting something different. Still, this was a great bowl of noodles.

Raspadilla de Chicha Morada, or shaved purple corn ice with lemongrass menjar blanco and pineapple. Shaved. Purple. Corn. Ice!! I saw this on the dessert menu and I was sold. And look at that color! I have never seen a more vibrant bowl of shaved ice. It’s not in the picture, but actually underneath that gorgeous purple mountain of shaved ice is lemongrass caramel. The caramel was quite sweet, but mixed with the shaved ice, it wasn’t nauseating and I liked the surprise at the bottom.

The food at China Chilcano was great, very creative and unique. But I wished the waiters here were as attentive as the waiters at Zaytinya.


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