I can happily report that it’s delicious too! The menu is Peruvian inspired with little Japanese twists. Fish and seafood dishes (no meat) feature heavily on the menu though there were some gorgeous vegetarian dishes on offer as well.
Tucked away in a little corner of Chelsea, this is a cool new establishment with 64 covers (ground floor), a nice outdoor area for alfresco dining, and a chef’s table in the basement seating 12.
The interiors are spacious and contemporary (designed by Micaela Philipo), accessories inspired by coastal themes , crockery in soft aqua-pastels, marble table tops and rose gold upholstery.
The ceramic crockery, designed by Caroline Haurie, provides a perfect backdrop to Chicama’s culinary creations. Since dining at Chicama, I have become a fan of her work. Please do check her collection at www. carolinehaurie.com
We were visiting during Chicama’s soft launch, and apart from a few hiccups with their till (that resulted in slightly spooked staff running amok), the evening was generally pretty flawless.
We were welcomed with some house cocktails (lethal) swiftly followed by appetisers.
First up was the Tuna Poke that came with Aji Panca (Peruvian red pepper), Tiger’s Milk (Citrus based Peruvian sauce), Smoked Egg and Crispy Potato. The poke was refreshingly sharp and the acidity of the dish balanced out well with the creaminess of the runny egg yolks. The crispy, fried potato noodles added the all important texture and bite.
The sea bass ceviche was a lively dish, accompanied by coconut yuzu, cucumber, samphire and thin radish slices. The fish was absolutely fresh, and the sour notes matched well with the creamy coconut. The vibrant colours on the dish instantly transported me to a tropical paradise!
For starters, I chose the Confit Sea Bass Rolls with Brown Crab Mayo. Words fail to describe the brilliant execution of this dish. Everything ingredient on the plate was fresh and beautifully stylised.
As you take your first bite, the crispy thin potato nest explodes onto the fragrant fish , while the sauce envelops it all into one tasty morsel.
Husband chose the Mushroom Gyoza with fermented Yuca Ponzu (a kind of a cassava sauce) for his starter.
Having sniggered at him for choosing a relatively safe dish, I had to eat my own words- as the dish surprisingly impressed me (I am not a big fan of mushroom)! The sauce was sweet and sticky, perfectly complimenting the deep, woody, earthy notes of the mushroom filling – definitely a winning dish!
Next to arrive were the mains. I had the Blackened Octopus with Confit Potato, Smoked Cheese and Cauliflower.
Octopus can be dangerously rubbery if overcooked, but this was cooked to perfection and the sauce, oh my god! The smoky flavours coming from the cheese and charred cauliflower elevated the dish to a whole new level.
Husband’s main was the Monkfish Tail. Monkfish is quite a meaty fish, and is not the prettiest of fishes to look at. But this one came pint-sized and sat cutely on a plate, dressed in a luxurious lobster oil chimichurri. Again, a class act!
A side of the milk-fed Aubergine with Plantain Miso and Pecan completed our gastronomic journey. It was one of the best aubergine dishes I have had in a while!
Finally the dessert – Banana and Yuzu Ice Cream served with Torched Meringue and Coconut! I would have preferred my meringue slightly more baked, as I am a fan of texture and it was all too soft and squidgy for me (the little coconut bites were not enough). Nevertheless it was a delicious finale to a glorious meal and Husband was practically licking his plate (and mine too)!
All the dishes we tried that evening at Chicama were stunning in terms of taste and beautifully presented! The service was prompt (at times, too prompt) but overall it was a successful effort by the team so hats off to them!
The dishes in Chicama are refined and inspired, and it won our hearts. We know for sure it will soon become every London foodie’s destination and we wish them all the best!