SquareMeal Review of
The team behind Marylebone’s hit South American joint, Pachamama, have headed to Chelsea to open this seafood-led take on their popular Peruvian-style cooking. Chicama is a modern space – copper-pipe and rough-wood clad, and boosted by pulsating energy from the frenetic open kitchen. The South American-inspired wines and cocktails match perfectly with the neighbourhood’s Sloaney drinking culture, and we loved our rhubarb-flavoured Pisco and Champagne Spritz brushed in cinnamon spices. The meat-free menu is based on the daily catch from Cornish day-boats, souped-up by coastal Peruvian flavours. Sharing plates arrive when ready, loaded with South American spice and zing: witness a decent salmon ceviche, drenched in a zesty coconut milk, with mango and red quinoa. Other hits include thin slivers of tuna on a creamy jalapeño and avocado sauce, topped with crunchy fried leeks, and the star of the show – soft, gooey cubes of crispy-coated tapioca marshmallow. As at Pachamama, the charcoal-fired Josper grill forms a big part of the appeal. Barbecue fans should bag a ringside seat to watch the never-ending roster of fish hit the coals. We chose a John Dory, which came expertly grilled, filleted and full of flame-licked flavour, alongside a smoky ají panca salsa. For dessert, the sweet-potato tart might sound like a strange choice, but think of it as a particularly sweet pumpkin pie and you won’t be far off. Blessed with a gorgeous terrace off the King’s Road, and proficient South American service, Chicama is already attracting Sloaney locals in numbers – and rightly so.