A unique hybrid of Peruvian and Chinese cuisine
Even in the melting pot that is the United States, there can't be many restaurants with a menu offering both ceviche and dim sum. A unique hybrid of Peruvian and Cantonese cuisine, Chifa restaurant in Philadelphia finds its roots in a style of cuisine that resulted from Chinese immigration to Peru in the late 1800s, when traditional Cantonese recipes were adapted to incorporate local ingredients. According to the restaurant's website, chifa is the phonetic pronunciation of the Chinese character that represents this shared cuisine. In Peru, the word chifa means Chinese food, as well as the restaurant where it is served.
At this Chifa, the plates are small and served to the entire table to encourage sharing. Highlights from their current menu include the very popular yuca fries with spicy mayo and cilantro chimichurri (a thick herb sauce with origins in Argentina), the mushroom broth with udon noodles (both pictured above), and a red curry with coconut and crab meat. If you're in the mood to try a little of everything, consider the chef's tasting menu for a never-ending, multi-course meal.
From the drinks menu, I always order a Pisco sour, the national drink of Peru, and not an easy cocktail to find in Philly. Mmmm. Muy delicioso!
Iron chef Jose Garces is legendary in Philadelphia for his innovative Latin-themed restaurants. Besides Chifa, those include Amada, Tinto, and Distrito, and more recently the much sought after Guapos Tacos traveling food truck.