Restaurant reviews

Restaurant review: El Colorao de Chucuito

Jason Retz

Take view of the blue waters dotted with fisherman as you enjoy an unforgettable meal (served by an equally unforgettable host) in Callao.

Restaurant review: El Colorao de Chucuito

Tuna muchame and a glass of fine pisco (Photo: Joseph Diaz/Living in Peru)

If you live in Lima, or did a little too much research before coming here, you’ll find a lot of negativity towards Callao. It’s usually the setting for your joke when it incurs theft. The place where, if you grew up there, made you stone cold. These rumors have given Callao somewhat of a bad rapport, even making people (such as this writer) want to avoid it. But when the opportunity arrived to review a couple of venues (such as my last review of La Cochera de la Abuela), I figured nothing was going to happen if I stayed in my comfort zone and took it on. I realized in my first visit that Callao has something that Lima lost some time ago: the sense of assurance that comes with familiarity.

Callao is large. This time I went to the other side of Callao, Chucuito, where blue waters and artisanal fishermen can be seen in a placid show of wills, against a backdrop of the shipping port with a plethora of multi-colored freights. Right on the water there’s a restaurant called El Colorao de Chucuito which boasts quite the reputation.

colorao
(Photo: Joseph Diaz/Living in Peru)

Reservations have to be made at least two days in advance. The chef is also a very picky man. Andres Angeles only makes the dishes he feels like making, and also charges you what he feels like charging. Though there are no set prices, it ranges from S/ 30-45 per dish. Just be sure to let him know how many people he’s making the dish for. He works alone in his kitchen. Completely alone. He only uses merlin, with the exception of his spectacular tuna muchame, served on a soda cracker and paired off with a stunning artisanal pisco quebranta he gets from a friend in Ica.

ceviche
(Photo: Joseph Diaz/Living in Peru)

His ceviche though is something else, something completely unique. Peruvian ceviche has its basic standard texture and flavor to it. It’s supposed to be fresh, light, crisp in taste with a smooth texture from the fish counterbalanced by the crunch in the onion. Yet, his ceviche is “warm” in sensation. It gives me that same satisfying feeling from eating a bowl of mashed potatoes or risotto. Comfort food. Temperature wise, it’s cold. It’s acidity is well thought out yet it doesn’t put a strain on the palate. The “sauce,” if you will, is thick and creamy and the taste of the fish is so fresh and lacks the undesired potency of a fishy taste. It’s a completely unique and delicious ceviche.

rice
jason
(Photos: Jason Diaz/Living in Peru)

His other dishes have their own stories. Just ask him about it and he’ll gladly tell you, with a pisco in hand. The chef loves to talk to his clients and make them feel welcome, as if everyone was his friend. He’s one of those people you just can’t not like, and his food speaks in the same tongue he does. He doesn’t have any traditional culinary training but he does have the taste buds brought down to him by his ancestors, something very criollo in essence. It’s an experience to go to his restaurant. Watch the sun fall on the bay, feel the pisco crawl it’s way up your neck, embrace the salt of the muchame and listen to Andres “el Colorado” Angeles tell you his story about that time he met the most amazing woman in the Moulin Rouge.

El Colorado de Chucuito
Malecon Figueredo 671, Chucuito, Callao
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Telephone: (01) 453-6325

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