Chicha, Cusco

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CUSCO | Chicha is one of the many restaurants owned by famed Peruvian chef Aston Gastón Acurio, and focuses on the regional food of Cusco. It’s about seasonal food and working with local producers to embrace ‘produce, traditions and culture’. In fact, the name ‘Chicha’ comes from a traditional corn-based drink dating back to Inca times.

The restaurant is located just around the corner from Cusco’s main plaza, on the second floor of an old whitewashed house, and visitors are greeted with a vibrant room full of colour and sound, but not too much as to detract from the ability to hold a conversation with dining companions. Timber floors and furniture, along with straw furnishings and traditional artwork on the walls complete the space well.

The menu is arranged traditionally – starters, mains and desserts, and features an assortment of dishes with both familiar ingredients, and produce unlike many those outside of Peru will have seen before. Tequeños, fried bread sticks filled with cheese, pork adobo (a kind of slow braised, tender pork), and served with rocoto sauce is a great starter, as is the alpaca carpaccio topped with borraja flowers, cipriani sauce,
chips and Andean pesto.

For mains, the adventurous eater, or simply the diner who enjoys good food, should try Chicha’s take on cuy, or guinea pig. The thought of eating guinea pig turns many off, but at Chicha it’s served in a less confronting style than at many, more traditional restaurants in Peru. Here it’s done Peking style with purple corn crepes, rocoto hoisin sauce, pickled turnips and carrot. You put everything on top of a crepe before rolling it up, just as you would with Peking duck, and in fact the cuy meat is very similar to duck meat.

If you’re not that adventurous, there are also familiar dishes like burgers, chicken, pizza, and ravioli, all with a local Cusco twist, mainly with the spices and seasonings used.

The dessert menu is quite extensive, and like the rest of the menu incorporates local produce to great effect. The chocolate balloon, for example, is a crunchy broad bean sphere with a clay oven-baked apple filling,
cinnamon foam, dulce de leche ice cream, and toffee sauce with Maras salt.

For drinks its selection of beers and wines from Peru and neighbouring countries.

We really enjoyed our meal at Chicha and were very impressed with the service, especially when hit with a bout of altitude sickness. We’d only flown into Cusco a few hours prior and the staff were on hand with an oxygen mask when one of us started to feel faint.

Chicha

Plaza Regocijo 261
Cusco
Cusco 08000
Peru

Telephone: +51 84 240520
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Mon – Sun: 12:00pm to 10:30pm

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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