Veteran chef Shelome Bouvette (interview) of Davie’s popular Lolita’s South of the Border Cantina has paired up with her old sous chef Allison Flook and friend Kumiko Umeno to open a new modern Peruvian-themed restaurant off Main and Broadway (the old Dhaba spot at 136 East Broadway across the street from Chutney Villa).
The all girl affair will be called “Chicha”, a term used all over South America for a home-made fermented (or non-fermented) drink. In Peru, the term also refers to things that are informal, popular, and cheap, which sounds pretty bang on for the concept. It’s a small space, just 40-50 seats with a large and long bar offering some 15 +/- stools. The drinks list is being designed by Mamie Taylor’s co-owner Ron Oliver. Chicha takes over a liquor license that allows good times until 2am on weekends.
Peruvian cuisine is really hot right now, with restaurants representing its flavours opening up in the world’s cuisine capitals. It’s multi-cultural — anchored by Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and indigenous flavours, methods and traditions — so it sounds right up Vancouver’s alley. Bouvette and Flook are going to plate all starters (no entrees), and we can anticipate a lot of ceviches, yucca relleno, stews, quinoa, potato, paella, fried rice, and more.
They get the keys on April 1st and hope to have it open at some point in May.