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“Dining at Chifa is a celebration of the best of two worlds!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chifa - CLOSED

Chifa
707 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (City Center East)
215-925-5555
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Price range: $31 - $75
Cuisines: Chinese, Peruvian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Large groups, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: City Center East
Cross street: 7th Street
Wynnewood, PA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Dining at Chifa is a celebration of the best of two worlds!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

Many people know that, in the last half of the nineteenth century, Chinese workers came to the U.S. to help build our railroads. What I didn’t know until recently was that Chinese workers were hired in both North and South America. Those who came to Peru fused their cooking with native dishes to create a new type of cuisine. It is on that tradition that Chifa has built a wonderful Asian fusion menu. When my wife and I went to Chifa the first time, we didn’t know much about the dishes shown. We felt that a sample of different dishes was the safest way to go, so we ordered a tasting menu. That was the right move! Every dish that came out was unique and tasty. We have continued that tradition every time we have gone there.

Last night, we started with a Peruvian ceviche, with kampachi (a fish much like tuna), leche de tigre, sweet potato mote, rocoto (Peruvian chili pepper) aioli and pickled onions. Delightful! The next ceviche was made with tuna, garlic, lemongrass, soy-yuzo (which one website defined as “bonito, citrus, and mirin rice wine”) and sesame. Again, a combination of flavors different from what I had known, but it was a delight to the tastebuds and to the eyes.

The chef combined dishes from other Latin and other Asian cultures into the menu as well. The duck taco had kimchi (from Korea) and radish combined with the duck confit and flour tortillas. There were interesting plays on expectations. It would be hard to imagine a Latin wonton, but the aji di galina wonton combined braised chicken, walnuts and purple olives in a way which surprised and delighted the senses. Rounding out the dinner was a braised beef short rib and taro puff, Chifa chicken, humita and (not for the faint of heart) spicy Chinese eggplant.

Chifa surprises and delights even in what might be seen as less important items. The bread is fresh-baked and comes with a choice of sauces. The sangria was not just a wine with whatever was left over of the fruit salad. Our sangria contained many ingredients. Two stand out in my mind. One was the Peruvian purple corn. The other is the Peruvian brandy added to the sangria—Pisco Porto`n. It was so distinctive that I requested to see the bottle. Taking a sip, I was impressed—brandy usually doesn’t have a kick like that while being incredibly tasty. Dessert and coffee were tasty and the coffee was strong.

We have been there a half dozen times. We save it for special occasions because we always want the tasting menu—and we are both too old to eat that much food very often. Those disciplined enough to order items off of the menu won’t have that problem. We also enjoy the excellent service and the surprise and delight of discovering new dishes. We will be back again soon!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 reviews from our community

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    46
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    3
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Chifa is awesome!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

We went here because it a restaurant from Jose Garcias, plus the Peruvian/Chinese fusion sounded good. We were not disappointed. Booth was cozy and comfortable, service was fast and friendly. Food was amazing! We ordered several dishes to share and they came out at the right pace. The pork belly buns were to die for. Octopus was delicious, but the best was the shredded pork with lettuce and wraps with at least 6 sauces. Highly recommended.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
“Hold The Salt - Please! Maybe Just An Off Night...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

We are big fans of Jose Garces. We visit Amada at least once every two weeks. We really like the Garces Trading Company. Tinto was a spot we liked but the food started to get a little too salty.

Unfortunately, that was our experience at Chifa as well.

The meal started off well with a nice Spanish red wine made from Grenache. Full bodies and would hold up well with the dishes we ordered. First up was the Solterito salad – really nice salad of bibb lettuce with edamame, tomato and plantain chips.

The pork belly bao buns were tasty – we both felt the buns had too soft of a texture and would have liked something a little crunchier. We started to taste the salt.


Next came the braised short rib and taro puff. The beef was quite good. But as soon as we dipped the beef into the shredded carrot and sweet chili mixture on the plate, we both recoiled. Way too much salt. We continued to eat the beef and left the mixture on the plate.

Finally, we had the duck taco. Very nice duck confit and the tortillas were delicious. But again, too much salt in the dish.

Given it is a Garces restaurant, we’ll probably give it a try again one day in the future, figuring it was just an off night. But that likely won’t be anytime soon.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Horsham, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Wonderful dinner at Chifa”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

We went with family to celebrate my husband's birthday at the end of April.
This was our first time and the restaurant is located on Chestnut Street.
The type of cuisine is Peruvian/Cantonese fusion served as small plates.
We enjoyed very the pork belly buns, chicken wings, crab salad, fried rice and lobster noodles.
For dessert we had the coconut cake and chocolate cake. Both were unique and excellent.
I would return when I am in the city again sometime.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Philadelphia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

Celebrated bday party 6 of us. Service was awesome. Get one of the round booths great time. Every dish we really enjoyed.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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