If you like what you see in this post, be quick about it - you can eat it all with 50% off the food bill like we did, if you can snag a table by 31st July!
On a hot summer's day (finally! only took until the depths of July, well done London), is there anything better than a glass of rosé and sharing fresh and flavourful dishes with friends? Chicama is the definition of a perfect summertime hangout, with its airy interiors and light, colourful menu. We had the doors thrown open and it was glorious.
As the soft launch preview menu is a little smaller than their regular one, and we were four hungry people, we managed to order the entire menu except for one dish. I'm not sure I've ever managed that before!
For efficiency's sake, I'll list all the items we had and put a * on my favourites.
- Popped-corn monkfish cheeks, aji amarillo mayo
- Crispy confit seabass rolls, brown crab mayo
- Charred asparagus (smoked avocado cream, cancha)
- Milk-fed aubergine (plaintain miso, pecans)*
- Cauliflower (smoked burrata, pine nut salt)*
- Tuna poke (aji panca Tiger's Milk, smoked egg, crispy potato)
- Seabass ceviche (coconut yuzu, cucumber, samphire, radish)*
- Salmon tiradito (aji rocoto Tiger's Milk, asparagus, crispy wild rice)*
- Scallops (charred mushroom steak, apple miso, plaintain)*
- Blackened octopus (confit potato, smoked cheese, cauliflower)
- Whole grilled seabass with black rice, lobster oil chimchurri and fermented sweet potato sauce)
- Sweet potato tart*
- Whipped chocolate, peanuts and blackberries
I particularly enjoyed the milk-fed aubergine which is inventive and moreish, and the cauliflower was full of interesting flavour. The grilled seabass was a little underwhelming, but I liked all the other dishes, which is no easy feat. Dessert was limited, and the whipped chocolate seemed like a glorified chocolate mousse, but the sweet potato tart was strangely addictive and verging on savoury - like a cross between pumpkin pie, custard and cheesecake?!
Although at full price, it all adds up to a substantial bill (with 50% off food, we each paid just over £30 for all of this, including the bottle of wine), if you can make it during the soft launch it's well worth it. Chicama is a sister restaurant of Pachamama, which I think I prefer as they have meat on the menu and more variety in general, but Chicama is a great choice for pescatarians and vegetarians. I like the peaceful corner of Chelsea that it's located in, and I wouldn't mind going there for that aubergine alone...
Check online for any tables left during the soft launch or give them a call!