Upon entering the cave like nook, we were instantly greeted by two eager employees, questioning our seating preference. Considering the pleasantly warm environment we'd just escaped (approximately 101F), we chose to stay indoors.
As our eyes adjusted from the blaring sun, we were able to begin appreciating the cozy den. With gently flowing water gardens, dimly lit candles, and low hanging mini lights above each table, the romanticism is undeniable. Small, neatly set tables, a humble bar, and our equally sized waitress were no indication of the portions we were about to ingest.
Our dining experience commenced with a complimentary bowl of popped corn kernels. These tiny, crunchy, addictive, poppers were slightly salted and accompanied by a small bowl of spicy cream sauce. We weren't sure as to the purpose of this accessory, but gladly topped our kernels with the creamy concoction. Later, we'd learn to dab a bit of it atop our entrees as well.
We chose to start with fried sweet plantains-a favorite-and Chimu nailed it. Tender and piping hot, the generous portion arrived in an ordinary, round white plate. No garnish. No fancy layout. Simple and delicious. The moist, luscious bites disappeared within minutes. With the extremely attentive and speedy service, our main dishes were not too far behind. Picande de Mariscos, a diced potato stew with seafood, was cradled in a massive square bowl. Is there a bottom to this thing (I thought to myself while whiffing the flavorful aroma)? Aside from potatoes, the gigantic portion carried shrimp, baby octopus, calamari, soft shell crab, clams, mussels, Peruvian cheese, and veggies. Unlike any 'mixed seafood' entree I've seen. This dish was loaded with seafood! The flavorful broth, with its hints of red peppers, tomatoes, and coconut, was extremely flavorful and made me crave dipping bread (for soaking up the goodies).
My companion's entree of choice was Milanesa de Carne, Peruvian style basil spaghetti with flank steak. The green pasta came out, supporting an extremely generous portion of steak (overall, four friends could have enjoyed splitting our entire meal). With refreshing hints of fresh basil, the pasta lacked flavor (a bit of salt would have helped), however the steak's profile was the opposite. Draped in a sweet and buttery red wine sauce, the endless piece of meat was a success.
We'll be back Chimu, we'll be back. Especially for the famous Papa Rellena (mashed potato stuffed with beef, black olives, and egg), as well as a multitude of other authentic favorites we couldnt cram into our stomachs this time.
482 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211