Peruvian Food Review: Canchita at 9 Dempsey Road, Singapore 247698

I think I've found a good Peruvian restaurant in Singapore, finally, but it's also pricey. That's the caveat here when I am recommending Canchita at Dempsey to people who enjoy ceviche (raw fish marinated with citrus) and pisco sours. However, price aside, we did enjoy the food and drinks very much when we visited before the 2nd Heightened Alert (I think) in July. The place's nestled at the foot of Dempsey Hill, just before Siri House. Canchita means popcorn, FYI!

Love the plants and Bali-nese vibes of the decor inside. There's some outdoor seating but no thanks! We also have a semi-open kitchen but am glad there isn't any cooking smell. 

Here's the one-page menu. I like how its quite curated, and has 7 types of ceviche available. We all giggled at the plural rice. Oh but reading the menu did give me flashbacks to the time I travelled to Peru (Lima, the coast, and Machu Picchu). I remember their markets vividly! The food was undoubtedly the most interesting in South America as it varies from the coast to the mountains inland), and had Chinese  influence from the 18 and 19 century which created a cuisine hybrid called 'chifa'. Chaufa is the Peruvian-Chinese chow fan, and did remind me of home! 

There's also a cocktail menu, $22 cocktails and $18 wine are the norm now aren't they?

We started with Ceviche Mixto (S$28) because we're getting a separate octopus dish. This one had mixed fish with fried calamari. It was delish with the mix of textures and very very appetising. Fish was undoubtedly very fresh too. 4/5

We also got 4 tacos (they come in 2s) for the 4 of us. The Chicken and Pork Taco Mexicano (S$18) are supposedly a signature. They were generous with the fillings and we enjoyed them very much indeed, especially with the side of chilli! Super good dish if you're not very hungry, to go with some drinks. 4/5

Then from the Charcoal section, we had their Octopus a la brasa (S$32). I know they are smart creatures, but when done well, they are delicious as well :X The grilled octopus, lima beans, avocado 'parrillera' sauce, parsley mayo was a party in our mouths!

The octopus was tender yet firm to the bite. I'm glad! 4/5

For the main, we didn't want to try the Lomo Saltado (beef) because there's a good chance it would be tough. So we went with the Pescado Palmito (S$34) which was seabass with crispy skin, 'Çhilcano' reduction, Amazon salad, gosseberries and hearts of palm. I liked the heart of palm but overall I thought the dish wasn't very Peruvian at all? Just felt like it was a dish of fish. Nicely cooked yes, but not distinctive or memorable. 3.5/5

We added Potato fries (S$9). Did you know Peru is the country for potatoes with more than 3800 varieties? Civilisations were founded on potatoes. These were great too - they were gigantic and fluffy with a mild potato taste.

On to dessert last! 

I couldn't leave without trying the Alfajores (S$14) despite it being more than $5 a piece (it was like $2 each there). I was obsessed with it when I first tried it in Peru. They are butter cookies with dulce de leche in between. Here they also added pineapple compote. Dulce de leche is boiled condensed milk, which gives you this insanely tasty and sweet caramel. This one was decent! 3.5/5

We also shared some Arroz con leches (S$14) which is Peruvian rice pudding with raisins and coconut. It was ok - I mean, again not super distinctive but was sweet and comforting, rounding up the entire meal. If you're full already, this can be skipped. 3/5

Glad to have these folks with me on these food adventures! We might not get the chance to travel but our tastebuds definitely took a trip around the world. 

Like I said before, I would recommend Canchita Peruvian Restaurant if you're hankering for some classic Peruvian dishes like the ceviche, or really good Mexican tacos. Be prepared to shell out for the food though but at least I can say it is worth it since Peru is so super far away.

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CANCHITA Peruvian Restaurant
9A-B Dempsey Rd, Singapore 247698
11.30am-3pm, 5.30-10.30pm Wed to Fridays
Brunch 11.30am-3.30pm and 5.30-10.30pm Sat and Sundays
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (as of March 2022)
Reserve on Sevenrooms or call 62327895

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