Escape to Peru at Dempsey Hill’s Canchita

·3-min read

A Mexican-born chef obsessed with Latin America delicacies is bringing Peruvian cuisine to Singapore homes.

Canchita, led by veteran chef Tamara Chavez, recently joined the upscale restaurants of Dempsey Hill to offer delivery of its ceviches – a Peruvian creation of raw fish cooked in a lime marinade called Le Leche de Tigre (Tiger’s Milk) – and more celebrating Latin America’s diverse gastronomy.

Initially meant to welcome diners earlier this month, the restaurant instead will have to stick with delivery due to Singapore’s current ban on dining in. For now, feast from the comfort of home on signature dishes like the Ceviche Peru (S$25) that comes with a selection of fresh fish marinated in Tiger’s Milk and topped with red onions, sweet potato and canchita. Then there’s the Nikkei Tiradito (S$26), a twist made possible by Peru’s Japanese heritage that’s made with sliced fish served in Nikkei tiger’s milk with Japanese cucumber and crispy red quinoa.

Other cold dishes include the Causa Chupe (S$28), a popular Peruvian cold casserole made with potatoes, Peruvian yellow chili salad served with marinated prawns, crustacean Chupe, mayo and crispy shiro ebi.

Yukitas (S$16). Photo: Coconuts
Yukitas (S$16). Photo: Coconuts

The restaurant, fortunately, is more than just made-to-order cold dishes. Other offerings include Yukitas (S$16), which are homemade tapioca croquettes; Octopus a la Brasa (S$32), a chef favorite made with a confit of grilled octopus served with Lima beans, avocado, Argentinian Parrillera sauce and parsley mayonnaise; and the Arroz Con Pato (S$36), a rice dish with homemade duck confit, coriander and dark beer green rice, and a Peruvian corn cider.

Other signatures include the Lomo Saltado (S$42), a Cantonese-Peruvian stir-fried beef tenderloin with tomatoes, onions, crispy green peas and fries, or go for some roasted chicken with their Pollo a la Brasa (S$32 for half and S$42 for whole) ideal for sharing.

For desserts, try popular Peruvian dessert Alfajores (S$14), which is made with butter cookies, Dulce de Leche, and pineapple compote.

Can’t decide? Order a family meal consisting of a ceviche, chicken tacos, Arroz con Mariscos and Tres Leches, a traditional coconut cake, for dessert, that goes from S$72 for two.

Their bar works with Latin American spirits and liquors to concoct classic Peruvian cocktails like the Canchita Negroni (S$22) featuring smoky mezcal, vermouth blanco, East India sherry, aperol and grapefruit bitters; the El Capitan (S$22) is made with pisco quebranta, vermouth and bitters; and the Tamarind Margarita ($22) features tequila blanco with tamarind, citrus and spice.

When times are better and restrictions are lifted hopefully by next month, expect to see the 280sqm-plus (over 3,000 square feet) space split between two spaces located in a corner at Dempsey Hill. The 110-seat space has a full view of the location’s lush greenery with plenty of natural light.

Chavez previously worked at El Mero Mero, Singapore’s first Mexican fine dining restaurant, and headed both Peruvian cevicheria Tono Cevicheria and Spanish restaurant and bar Ola Cocina Del Mar.

Orders can be placed via phone 8028 1994 or online.

The restaurant’s selection of cocktails. Photo: Coconuts
The restaurant’s selection of cocktails. Photo: Coconuts
Tacos de Tamara (S), crispy pork belly tacos. Photo: Coconuts
Tacos de Tamara (S$16), crispy pork belly tacos. Photo: Coconuts
Alfajores (S). Photo: Coconuts
Alfajores (S$14). Photo: Coconuts

FIND IT
Canchita
Block 9A & 9B Dempsey Road, Singapore 247698
Open Tuesday to Thursday: 11:30am to 3:00pm, 5pm to 10:30pm; Friday to Sunday: 8:30am to 10:30pm; closed Monday

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This article, Escape to Peru at Dempsey Hill’s Canchita, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.