Say hello to China Chilcano, José Andrés’ newest D.C. restaurant

José Andrés' ThinkFoodGroup will mark the next phase of its ever-expanding Penn Quarter restaurant empire with the opening of his latest restaurant, China Chilcano.

The 158-seat restaurant, which features a cuisine that fuses Peruvian, Chinese and Japanese influences, is at 418 Seventh St. NW, just across the street from the Mexican-themed Oyamel and down the block from the chef's flagship, Jaleo. It was scheduled to to open for dinner Monday.

Those who are uninitiated would be forgiven for scratching their heads at the prospect of Peruvian-Chinese-Japanese fusion cuisine, but the menu's roots go back more than two centuries, when Peru began to see a significant influx of Chinese and Japanese immigrants.

The Chinese immigrants began applying their cooking techniques to Peruvian ingredients. Dishes such as chaufa — a fried rice made with Peruvian produce — were born. The Chinese-Peruvian cuisine is known as "chifa," and in Peru, it's considered as Peruvian as traditional native dishes, according to Ruben Garcia, director of culinary creativity for ThinkFoodGroup. The Japanese version of the fusion cuisine is called nikkei, and that's what leads the sushi and sashimi items that share billing with classic Peruvian ceviches on the raw bar.

Andrés became obsessed with the idea of opening a Peruvian restaurant pulling from this style after speaking at a culinary conference in Peru in 2013. The restaurant has been in the works for more than a year.

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