Jose Garces Peruvian/Cantonese fusion restaurant Chifa delivered a solid dinner for our party of 6 on a recent Saturday Night. As with most other Garces locales Chifa offers a smart tapas menu featuring several salads, soups, and finger foody dishes. Cantonese/Asian and Peruvian/Latin cuisines are both distinct, yet share several qualities. At Chifa the convergence of the two styles is done well with fine results.
There were several highlights we found amongst our dishes. Personal favorites from the small plates included the Pork Belly Bao Buns, Thai Beef Salad, and the Smoked Shrimp Spring Rolls. Prior to the arrival of these appetizers we were brought an excellent Peruvian inspired bread course - sort of thick tortillas(gluten free) - tasty, cheesy airy - definitely not filling. .
We had several seafood dishes. The Oysters (cooked in lemongrass/Thai basil) were very good while the Ceviches at our table were found to be good, but not great - I am not sure but this just may be a seasonal issue.
From the entree side of the menu we picked up the Chinese 5-Spice Pork which was served with small flour tortillas and a fun array of dips/accompaniments. In a memorable display the tender pork was deftly fork pulled tableside by our server. Tableside finishes were popular at Chifa and were also conducted for two soup/ramen dishes that received favorable reviews fron the Phungo crew.
We concluded our meal with desserts including a Lemon Mousse/Meringue and Flourless Chocolate Torte which were both very good as well.
Chifa Recomends 2-3 dishes per person. We would recomend closer to the 2 end, especially if one of the dishes is an entree such as the 5-spice pork. This should be enough for many diners, and it allows room for dessert which is definitely worthwhile at Chifa.
I understand that the tapas centered offerings at Chifa are designed to come out as prepared and served hot/fresh, but I had trouble with the sequencing of some of the dishes. We received our savory dishes early or mid-meal. While sides like the Chiufas (A fried Rice Dish) and Swiss Chard came out at the meals conclusion. Beyond that service was generally good and efficient at Chifa. We did have a bit of a lull getting our dessert and check.
I also have a bit of a complaint with the downstairs lavatory which has the sinks separed from Water Closets. This is fine but I didn't care for the sinks being in vew of a part of the dining area.
Overall Chifa gets a thumbs up from team Phungo, and it is a place I would return too. However, I should note that the Iron Chef has many other options in the city. Many of which I have yet to visit and I would likely consider them over Chifa just to expand my experience in the city.
Vittles - Food was very good with several highlights - I particularly liked the smoked shrimp and the 5-Spice Pork. Home Run
Service - Servers were knowledgeable, efficient, other than the notes above on the side dishes coming towards the meals conclusion I was happy with the service - Double.
Atmosphere - Chifa is typical of a the hipper center city restaruant scene. no complaints, no flashes - solid single.
Drinks - Good if unspectacular beer menu - somewhat better wine selections. Solid Single.
Value - Double - We were in the middle of a big night out with several drinks - Dinner including Tax and Tip ran about $75 per person. Not unusual for a celebration dinner in the city, but not cheap either.
Overall - Double - Chifa is a good restaraunt and a nice choice from the Jose Garces canon