An Attractive Peruvian Spot in Chelsea
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Seafood, South American
Address : 383 King's Rd, Chelsea, London, SW10 0LP, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.chicamalondon.com
Opening Times : Mon-Sat: 6pm–11pm, Sun: 6pm–10pm
Closest Tube : Fulham Broadway, South Kensington
Chicama is named for a chilled-out beach on Peru's southern coast, where a seemingly endless Pacific rip curl breaks along the shore, which is actually quite an apt metaphor for Peruvian food in London. The wave continues to sweep across the capital, and the latest neighbourhood to succumb to the surf is Chelsea, which now plays host to the excellent Chicama, a nouveau Peruvian eatery launched by the team behind Pachamama. The 60 cover restaurant on King's Road is a great ambassador for the cuisine to West London.
We popped in on a Thursday evening and were pleasantly taken in by the buzzy yet relaxed vibe. The interior featuers exposed brass fixtures and industrial accents playing off classic tiling and mid-century modern pendant lighting, a baby blue colour palette, marble tables and an open plan kitchen where you can overlook the chefs preparing all of the dishes. Globe artichokes were boiled simply and served alongside a toothsome brown crab mayo dipping sauce. Chunky, meaty monkfish cheeks were dusted in breadcrumbs and accompanied by a piquant ají amarillo mayo. A sea bream ceviche bathed cubes of the fish in white tiger's milk, along with grilled peach, radish, basil and slices of jalapeno. Fried aubergine was slice thickly and slow-cooked, then covered with a thick, sweet plantain miso and dusted with pecans.
For our main we split the whole grilled seabass. Barbecued simply, it was filleted at the table then served with a variety of Peruvian sauces, including a creamy avocado jalapeno puree; a sweet/sour mango and ají limo; and a sharp smoked ají panca horseradish. On the side we enjoyed a sweet potato charred until the skin was crispy and dusted with sesame along with black steamed rice mixed with spring onion. For dessert we enjoyed banana and yuzu ice cream with a gooey torched meringue and coconut - kind of like a deconstructed banoffee pie, as well as a Piura Porcelana Chocolate which was the best thing ever. The bitter, rich and creamy dark chocolate mousse was rimmed with crushed chocolate cookies and was utterly irresistible. All in, Chicama is an excellent new arrival on the King's Road, and certain to win over West London with its Peruvian wiles.