He is the chef showing the world there’s more to Peruvian food than ceviche. If the world didn’t try his food at Central in Lima, they would have seen him on last year’s Chef’s Table series on Netflix.
Now, Virgilio Martinez is bringing his home country’s bounty to Hong Kong.
ICHU Peru opens its doors on the third floor of the glitzy H Queen’s tower this July. This will be Martinez’ first restaurant in Asia.
“With ICHU, we want to showcase dishes that reflect casual Peruvian dining. It also has to be accessible,” says Martinez.
“We are amazed by the culinary scene of Hong Kong and the freshness and quality of ingredients available. This became the decision for us to start in Hong Kong,” shares Martinez.
Helming the kitchen here is chef Sang Jeong. The Korea-born is Martinez’ head chef and right-hand man back at Central. Menus are still in the works, but you won’t find yet another platter of raw fish cured in fresh citrus juice masquerading as Peru’s national dish.
The Peruvian-style dishes at ICHU will be kept casual, but the produce will be exotic. Think piranha from the jungle rivers of the Amazon. Or edible clay, used to balance out dishes that have gone way off tangy.
“I’m excited to create an informal, friendly atmosphere where we can take Hong Kong diners out of their comfort zone and offer them dishes they probably haven’t tasted before,” says Martinez.
“We want guests to feel as though they have been to Peru and experienced local comfort food.”