London Food Review : New menu at Chicama

I blogged about Chicama nearly a year ago (you can read about it here). But they have recently launched their new lunch menu so I thought it was time for a revisit.

We visited Chicama at Monday lunchtime, so it was nicely quiet and we were seated straightaway.

From the Starters Section, the first dish we tried was the Popped Corn Monkfish Cheeks, Aji Amarillo Mayo (£9). These little morsels of joy were very delicious. The outside was puffed and crunchy, hiding inside the meaty flesh of the fish. The mayo had a comforting, full-bodied heat to it coming from the ají amarillo (a kind of chilli).

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Second to arrive was the Courgette and Cornmeal Beignets, Herb Mayo and Chilli Jam (£8). They were dense and textured, quite robust and went well with the little spherical pearls of mayo and piquant jam.

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Chicama is a fish and seafood restaurant, so it was only befitting that we try the majority of the dishes from this section.

We started with the Sea Bass Ceviche, Soy Tiger’s Milk, Wakame, Spring Onion and Sesame (£13). This was a festival of flavours – fresh, fragrant, tangy, spicy, herby with a flavoursome broth tying it all together. The citrus cured flesh of the fish was so lip-smackingly good, we licked the bowl clean at the end!

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The Blackened Octopus, Confit Potato, Sundried Tomato and Cauliflower (£15) was bold, gutsy, full of sharp flavours, dense textures and a touch of smoke. I personally love octopus and this was up there with some of my favourite versions from other restaurants.

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Last to arrive was the Grilled Sea Bream Fillet, Torched Courgette, Pickled Fennel, Jalapeño, Shiso (£12). The two delicate fillets of fish with crispy skins, topped with charred baby courgettes, was absolutely divine. I wasn’t expecting much from this dish and it pleasantly surprised me the most.

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Strong support came from a side order of Charred Sweet Potato, Sesame (£4), which was a great way to add some body to the rest of the spread. The smoky and sweet flavours of the flame-blistered carbs mixed well with the nuttiness of the sesame, creating a wholesome dish.

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But the winner of the day was undisputedly the Black Rice (£5) – creamy, dense, almost caviar-like consistency and absolutely mouthwatering. I would definitely order heaps of it and hope they don’t ever take it off the menu.

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It is great to know that, one year on, Chicama is still going strong. The service and the food is pretty good which is heartening to know, considering the shelf life of restaurants can be short in the hugely competitive London restaurant scene.

Location : Chicama, 383 King’s Road, SW10 0LP, London 

More information can be found here.

N.B. All opinions and photographs are mine. I review anonymously and pay for my food.

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