YOU have to hand it to Hongkong for being a world class city in terms of its gastronomic offerings. To add a feather to its cap, Virgilio Martinez Véliz, the celebrated chef behind the award-winning Central restaurant in Lima, Peru, has launched ICHU Peru in H Queen’s. Located in the heart of Hong Kong, ICHU serves contemporary Peruvian cuisine in a modern, bistro-style setting.
“Our intention is to replicate the atmosphere of Lima’s local cevicherias,” explains Martinez. “We want to honour Peru’s no-fuss dining culture where the atmosphere is relaxed, the dishes are shared and the recipes highlight fresh ingredients and traditional flavours.”
Although the mood is relaxed and casual, the menu reflects Chef Martinez’s sophisticated knowledge of Peruvian cuisine. Appetisers include Pargo al Rocoto featuring thinly-sliced snapper with celeriac, avocado and aji rocoto, and Ceviche Clásico, a punchy dish comprising snapper, choclo, red onion and sweet potato. Signature starters include Palta Quemada, a light combination of charred avocado, aji limo, tomato and cassava, or the flavourful Tartar de Lomo con Maiz using premium wagyu beef striploin and a combination of corn, carob molasses and scallions. Another must-try dish is Pez Amazonia with sea bass infused with the smoky aroma of ashed leaves.
To ensure presentation standards remain high and dishes retain their authentic flavours, Martinez has relocated resident Chef Sang Jeong from his Central team to Hong Kong. The Korean-born chef has worked alongside Martinez at Central for over three years and collaborated on many of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
Under the expert guidance of mixologist Massimo Petovello, ICHU’s drinks pair perfectly with the traditional Peruvian flavours. In keeping with ICHU’s Latin American roots, the selection includes premium spirits and wines from South American vineyards. The cocktail menu is inspired by the varying landscapes of Peru, and is divided into four sections: La Sierra, Costa de Mar, Amazonia and Costa del Desierto. The selection includes the Ichu Pisco Sour, a unique take on the classic South American cocktail with saffron and eucalyptus, and El Milagro, a combination of mescal, amaretto orgeat, amontillado and purple popcorn.
ICHU is a collaboration between Virgilio Martinez and Bulldozer Group, a Dubai-based hospitality company that has successfully opened brands with other celebrated restaurateurs. Designed by award-winning designer Joyce Wang, the space reflects Peru’s changing altitudes and comprises distinct sections. Beyond the open kitchen and dining room, guests can dine at a separate bar or retreat to the spacious outdoor terrace with views overlooking Pottinger and Stanley Streets.
During the soft-opening period, the restaurant will be open daily for dinner from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Reservations can be made via email@example.com or by contacting +852 2477 7717 and is located at the 3rd floor H Queen's 80 Queens Road, Central.
Follow me on twitter@missheiding, instagram @missheiding