A Peruvian Ceviche restaurant, only 300 meters from my living room away has opened its gates to my gluttony.
Of course, on the first day of opening, I had to go in and see for myself. After binge-gorging on Ceviche in Lisbon (six days of endless Ceviche feasting), I thought my passion about raw fish, denaturalized by the pure power of acidic lime juice, would subside. I was wrong.
Perhaps I am disgusting (“voted most likely to be disgusting in 2015”), but I would actually take a bath in Ceviche and not feel ashamed about it. I would pay for that. And this is exactly why CHICHA is my new favorite thing in the neighborhood.
Before my Ceviche and Pisco Sour poetry kills everyone of us, let me tell you more about Chicha. The restaurant opened up in place of a tapas bar (Manuela) on Friedelstraße, one of the most gentrified streets of Berlin and, who would’ve guessed it, incidentally also one of my favorite streets. It has all the good cake, coffee and life-on-the-Canal that hippies hate and that I can barely afford.
Conveniently, Friedelstraße is only a few minutes away from where I live.
The former tapas restaurant just drowned in the noise of the Kiez. I only ever ate at Manuela once and I think that should tell you everything about it.
The good news is: Chicha is also following a tapas concept, although the quality of the served dishes (especially those from the Ceviche bar) is on an entirely different level. Chicha don’t serve regional fish or cater to any of the locavores needs, which is fine, because I wouldn’t want a fish from the Spree. Therefore: expect reflecting prices. That also explains why the tapas structure of the menu is probably what works best for Berlin. Quite like their colleagues and friends from Industry Standard, the management and new restaurant owners of Chicha probably knew that nobody in Berlin was ready to buy big plates (of high quality fish, no less) for even higher prices, so putting the costs into small plates to share seems like the best idea. That’s okay, I guess. I am a big fan of trying everything off the menu. It’s still expensive though.
I’m not the biggest fan of sharing. It’s a major problem for my health and my wallet.
What Nico liked – and what I loved, unexpectedly – were the hearts of beef on a skewer, from the grill. Because if Ceviche isn’t quite your thing (how can you do this to me?), you’ll get to try this. And if that isn’t your thing, then God help us all.
Chicha has only opened, so it’s just fair to say that not every dish was perfected yet. The Tuna, for example, didn’t blow our minds quite as much as the beef hearts. On the other hand, the Causa Pulpo – a Peruvian potato in a mashed state of aggregation – with Octopus was magnificent, and convinced us that Chicha is on the right track.
The Pisco Sour has since become my new favorite beverage. They should know how to make a good drink, though, as this is another thing about Chicha: the Pisco bar. The actual tapas spirit of serving snacks with drinks stays wonderfully intact, although I can’t assure you that a plate of half raw fish is the best basis on a drunk night out.
I don’t think Chicha needs anymore advertising after having successfully popped up on various food related events, such as Markthalle 9 and as mentioned, at Industry Standard. But the restaurant is thoroughly enjoyable. It’s comfortable, very well designed, friendly and elegant without being posh or inadequate to the Kiez. And, of course: Ceviche.