Restaurants, Travel

El China Rises and Performs, Good Chifa in Cuzco’s Colonial Core

Tallarín Saltado (Photo: Brayan Coraza Morveli)

Some restaurants open with a bang and then slowly decline, others grow day by day into quality and value. Cuzco’s La China, a year after its opening, is a combination of both. It opened with flash and spin, yet its food was not up to pretension of its menu nor its claims. Now, it has kept some of the zing, toned down other parts, reworked its menu and is a good value of Chinese Peruvian food in Cuzco’s colonial core.

Located on Santa Teresa Street, three blocks from the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco’s main square, La China has an excellent location for convenience and charm. After you climb the flight of stairs to its sanctuary, you feel like you have entered a world of calls and beauty. There is a carefully crafted, calmness to La China, even when an electric guitarist is performing covers of early rock standards.

Inside La China (Photo: Wayra)
Inside La China (Photo: Wayra)

After its opening, La China found itself panned, albeit reluctantly, in its Cuzco Eats Review. A year later it is important for us to recognize that review is no longer true. In terms of quality of food and skill of cooking and presentation, La China is up to its now slightly reduced panache.

Because of our bad review, I was loathe to go back to La China, when my friends suggested it. However, I am glad I did. It is wonderful to see a place that had such promise, and yet committed an almost suicide, revive and reform to become and excellent place for good Chinese food in Cuzco.

The food is beautifully crafted and presented and it tastes wonderful. It is fresh, bold when required and subtle when that is needed. While improvements can still be made, such as to make the Siu Mai taste less like filling in undercooked wonton wrappers, the restaurant is a good choice for Peruvian Chinese, or Chifa as it is called locally. It is worlds above the next closest places.

Chaufa de Pollo (Photo: Wayra)
Chaufa de Pollo (Photo: Wayra)

La China has kept the well-performing dishes of its original menu and has added a larger menu of Peruvian classics. But these are not your ordinary, neighborhood Chifa versions, rather they have been dissected, rethought, and presented beautifully. They even have the family combo dishes that are Peruvian favorites.

The service, in the four times or so I have been back recently, the service has been stellar.

With great pleasure, I recommend La China to you, for its food, its drinks, its service, and its soothing and joyful presence.

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