From famed chef Gastón Acurio is ChiCha, a second story nuevo Peruvian paying homage to the Cusco Valley and the foodstuff grown, farmed and raised in it.
It’s a handsome space, dark wood floors, and a tall cantilevered white ceiling. A bar holds down the fort at one end, an open kitchen the other.
A huge menu awaits you and be it beef, pork, hen, veal, seafood or cuy you’ll be covered. Those in the mood for pasta or pizza with Peruvian flair you’re in luck as well.
The Monster’s call is the Super Saltado La Mar, sautéed trout, fish and prawns with orange, aji peppers and scallop sauce, served on “tacu tacu.” For the uninitiated “tacu tacu” is a mixture of beans and rice that’s fried, a vestige of Peru’s slave past where Black Africans introduced their own cooking into the Peruvian culture.
A glass of chicha morada to wash it all down. The drink is wonderfully refreshing after a day hiking up and down the steep streets of Cusco whose elevation of over 11,000 feet can take your breath away.
Warm bread with vegetable dipping sauce and herb and peppered butter starts you off. Addictive.
The deconstructed saltado is a marvel, with hints of Chinese flavors in the soy based sauce. Given the population of Chinese descent in Peru and the number of Chaufa restaurants this makes sense.
Why go? If Acurio is behind it you should be eating it.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
Calle Plaza Regocijo 261-2 piso, Cusco, Peru