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Chicha Artful Peruvian cuisine

Monday, November 14 2022
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Opening Times

Wednesday to Sunday: 6:00pm - midnight

Address

Chicha
Friedelstraße 34
12047 Berlin-Neukölln
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Contact

...
030 62731010
.www.chicha-berlin.de
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If you are already familiar with Peruvian cuisine, the term chicha will undoubtedly make you sit up and take notice. If images of the drink Chicha Morada made from purple corn and seasonal fruits come to mind, you are right, but there is so much more behind the term. The Chicha restaurant in Neukölln is named after a Peruvian cultural movement offering its own joie de vivre with bright colours and cumbia.

We receive a correspondingly warm welcome during our visit. Owner Robert Peveling-Oberhag founded the restaurant seven years ago. Chicha was the first restaurant for him, who wanted to venture into something completely different after years as a banker. He decided to take the radical step of opening a restaurant based on his passion for South America rather than on gastronomic experience.

Seven years later, his success has proven him right, thanks in no small part to his collaboration with chef Simòn. As chance sometimes goes, the half-Peruvian chef Simòn Limòn, also known from "Caravan of the Kitchen" with Tim Mälzer, was one of the first guests on the day of the soft opening. His outspoken suggestions for improvement caught the attention of Robert, who hired him six months later. A good move because Simòn's sophisticated, upscale Peruvian dishes have since earned the restaurant a mention in the Guide Michelin and a 14-point Gault-Millau toque.

We are allowed to convince ourselves directly of Simòn's kitchen skills. The obligatory pisco sour with its wonderfully "stinging" foam is accompanied by a fine starter: Angler fish cheeks in tiger's milk and confit duck with coriander sauce. Tiger milk is one of the classic ingredients of Peruvian cuisine and forms the broth of ceviche. This sauce from our recipe runs like a thread through today's menu.

Chicha_Grilled_Octopus_Maximilian_Zeh
Chicha_Ceviche_Maximilian_Zeh

And so it continues with ceviche. The cold dish of pickled fish is light and refreshing, served with sea asparagus and sweet potato puree. The whole thing is attractively presented with flowers and fish skin chips on a scallop shell. It is skilfully underlined by a glass of Czech Orange Wines, a fruity natural wine.

The view through the open, wide space is appealing. There are always small details in keeping with the Chicha movement that gives it its name, whose origins lie in the offerings of market and food stalls painted with cheap, fluorescent colours, giving rise to a cheerful, colourful art. Yet nothing is overloaded. The play of simple furnishings offset with loving details makes us sit here relaxed.

The five-course menu, which Chicha has only had for a few weeks, continues briskly. Eagle fish alita, Argentinian red shrimp with blue crisps, tamal with soy meat and grilled octopus on seafood salad, the dishes read as delightful as they taste and make us quickly go into raptures.

Peruvian cuisine is strongly influenced by geography and culture, as the country combines coast, mountains and jungle, as well as indigenous cuisine with that of Spanish, Chinese and Japanese immigrants. This creates a whole that is just as colourful and diverse as the chicha movement - and this can be clearly felt and tasted in the Chicha.

Berlin
Chicha – Artful Peruvian cuisine
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