We are HUGE fans of the Pachamama group, so when we got wind that Chicama were launching their glorious summer terrace (just in time for the Chelsea Flower Show!) we were making our way over to West London in a shot.
The cosy outdoor area looks out onto a quiet side street but is protected by a glass wall on one side and a retractable roof over head (should the heavens open). Wooden tables are dotted about with blankets on the backs of chairs. Plants cover every available space, in big pots, on shelves, just about anywhere they can squeeze one in. We took a thousand photos so that we could base our own little sun trap on this space – gorgeous.
Plates are a mismatch assortment of pinks and blues, all perfectly complementing each other and making the food look even prettier then you’d think possible. We loved them so much we googled the manufacture and were the proud owners of a similar set before the night was out.
Of course it’s obligatory to start with a Pisco Sour and a few snacks. One of the more unusual that we tried was the tapioca marshmallows. A cube of croquette casing, instead of the rice or mac and cheese it looks like it might contain, they’d used tapioca pearls in a gooey sauce, to be dipped in the spicy splodges of sauce.
Like Pachamama, this is a Peruvian restaurant but unlike it’s Marylebone equivalent, Chicama centres around seafood. Vegetables also make up a large portion of the menu which is great if you’re trying to watch your meat intake (like us!) or are dining with veggie friends. The grilled cauliflower was deliciously charred, served with cooling yoghurt and a sprinkle of almonds. Sea bass ceviche had a slightly Japanese twist (which Peruvian food often does) with soy tiger’s milk, wakame, spring onion and sesame. Even better though was the tuna – red chunks of which were served on a vibrant green avocado jalapeño sauce, topped with crunchy fried leeks, and a zing of lime. Aubergine was unexpectedly served in lightly fried cubes, but delicious, with sour cream, miso and pecans.
The light, vibrant dishes left enough room for us to order dessert – a slice of sweet potato tart with coconut & lime cream which sounds like it was another one of our five a day. That’s what we’re going with anyway.
An absolute winner if you’re looking for a sunny, expertly made pisco sour with delicious snacks a plenty.