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China Chilcano in DC- Report

Steve | Feb 22, 201505:02 PM     23

This is the new Jose Andres place down the block from Jaleo that features Chifa cuisine, that of the Chinese in Peru. most of the dishes wind up being a mix of influences.

The short version is that this is a pricey but extraordinary menu. Even a brief visit will uncover some rare gems.

We tried two kinds of dumplings, the Pegao Norteno are seven tiny potstickers all connected together by a large crispy lace disk. A must order. The Jiaozi de la Chacra are wrapped in a stretchy cilantro exterior (made with rice flour or root powder I guess), and filled with a smoky root vegetable mix. All dumplings are tiny bursts of flavor.

Form the "Peruvian to the Bone" menu:

The Sudado de Pescado is a showy display of a clear plastic bag tied up with a gold ribbon. Inside is red snapper fillet, tiny potaotes, cherry tomatoes, and a gravy of aji amarillo. Over half the menu must be yellow from what I saw. A sensational dish.

From the "Chinese Connection" menu:

Tacu tacu was a rice and canary beans dish with oxtail in a red wine sauce. Beautiful flavors and a touch sweet from the use of oyster sauce.

Ceviche:

Not as exciting was the Japanese-inspired ceviche of Jaladito Norteno, which was pieces of hamachi with yet more yellow gravy - quite good but a bit dull compared to the other dishes.

And we ordered two Piqueos, snacks:

Chifles are the perfect cone of delicate plantain chips and lotus root served with a dipping sauce made from sweet potato. A great snack. In the sauce or on the chips was a nice hit of clove which sets this apart. The other snack was Nabu Encurdito, which was a waste of $4. Pickled Daikon that I can get for free as part of a Korean Banchan.

The standards are sky high right now. China Chllcano gets multiple exclamation points.

China Chilcano
Jaleo
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