Dinner @ Chifa, Philadelphia
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: (1) Chifa’s decorative frontage paying homage to the fusion of Cantonese and Peruvian cuisines. (2) Low mood lights. (3) Semi private area for group dinning. (4) Decorative Chinese style inspired vases on the wall. (5) Main group dinning area. (6) Chinese characters for “To Eat” on Chifa’s carpet by the hostess area.
Last Thursday on a sweltering summer afternoon, I was craving for Korean food but found that Miga in Center City had closed permanently. Where to go ? Aha, I remembered a friend asking me about Chifa. So, in the heat, I walked down 8 blocks. And, grateful that Chifa had the AC blasting when I walked in. After perusing the menu, I decided on the tasting menu since I had a wonderful experience at Amada. Same chef owner = Same excellent Tasting Menu, hmm … read on.
By the way, I have to mention that I had chosen the $65pp tasting menu. According to the server, the ingredients are of a higher quality.
Chef’s Tasting Menu – this was what I was served:
Row 1: (L) Bread platter of cheese puff with spicy guava butter. (R) Peruvian Ceviche.
Row 2: (L) Nikkei Ceviche. (R) Thai Beef Salad.
Row 3: (L) Aji de Gallina Wonton. (R) Duck Taco.
Row 4: (L) Pork Belly Bao Bun. (R) BBQ Pork Rib.
Row 5: (L) Mushroom Broth with Udon Noodles. (R) Pulpo.
Row 6: (L) Coconut Panna Cotta. (R) Chocolate Cake with Raspberry compote.
I didn’t appreciate the tasting menu until I wrote this post. It’s really inventive. For example, the ceviche, it’s served Peruvian style – the classic way with cubed seafood then served Japanese “Nikkei” style by slicing the seafood sashimi style. Plus, Aji de Gallina, a classic Peruvian chicken stew served amuse bouche style, fried and encassed in a wonton. My favorite is the pork belly bao bun. The pork belly was cooked latin style characterized by a coating of sweet caramelized goodness on the outside. I have to make a note that the pork belly bao bun was not part of my tasting. The server sensed that I was a bit grouchy when I placed an order of bao bun, 2 buns came with an order. And, this is customer satisfaction at work – she included the order as part of my tasting. Now, I’m happy.
Overall, I would recommend the tasting menu only if you request that one of the dishes be the bao bun. Otherwise, choose a few large plates.
Photos taken using an iPhone 4.