Che Resto Bar – Infused with Latin Flavour
Marvin Rivas’s Che Resto Bar on Dundas is a big-ticket entry into downtown London’s dining scene. This is Latin-American cooking that personifies its origins but also highlights its potential. The menu has a distinct Peruvian flavour, influenced by Chef German Nunez’s heritage.
Nuevo Latino cuisine is the rage right now, and Che is the ideal place to experience it. More than a restaurant, the bar/lounge area is a dominant feature and a prime focal point. The resto bar concept is about social interaction and Che has a great vibe. Rivas delivers the resto bar experience with panache: luxe surroundings, welcoming ambience, great cuisine, interesting wines and exotic cocktails.
Try a signature capirinha (Brazil s national drink) or Cuba’s ubiquitous highball, a thirst-quenching mojito, or a pisco sour with lime juice, sugar, egg white and sparkling wine.
A well-designed resto bar demands an in-depth understanding of how restaurants flow. Che does this with aplomb, featuring exposed brick walls, a long bar with a granite countertop, and a perfect coign of vantage, as well as immense Maskros light fixtures that project decorative patterns on the walls and ceilings. Step up into the dining room, which, like the bar, has high ceilings and large picture windows that allow lots of natural light.
Peruvians claim ceviche as their own and, at Che, Chef Nunez presents his signature repertoire of ceviche creations in a contemporary manner. Ceviche, is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chilli peppers, and is known as the epitome of fusion.
At Che, leche de tigre is the star ingredient in the Peruvian way of ceviche. Elevated by creativity and brilliant flavour combinations such as: fresh tuna in tamarind leche de tigre (citrus, chili and salt based emulsion that is purported to be both an aphrodisiac and a hangover cure), avocado, jicama, Peruvian corn and yam; or try their delectable wild salmon in a passion fruit leche de tigre, jicama, Peruvian corn and yam mixture. Nunez and his culinary team add a fiery splash of Incan peppers (aji) to the kitchen’s signature citrus marinated salmon, octopus and tuna ceviche. These dishes are the hands-down winners. There is a lot to be interested in after the ceviche.
Similar to ceviche but subtler in taste and presentation (think shashimi), taridito is a cold appetizer made with thin slices of citrus-marinated fish. The tender octopus tiraditos with an earthy black olive sauce is a knockout, as are the fresh tuna tiraditos with mango and leche de tigre cream sauce. When these dishes are served with a side of confetti of hot peppers (optional) the taste is deliciously volcanic.
Che’s signature Huancaina Salad is perfection: a medley of sliced Yukon gold potatoes, ripe avocado, red onion, olives, eggs served cold, are almost hidden under a blanket of cheese sauce that is scented with lime, and turned bright yellow by aji amarillo, a spicy chili pepper that gives the sauces a delicious surprise.
Rustic made from scratch empañadas are beef, pork or chicken with onions, olives, raisins, eggs and peppers, and served with salsa casceria. Chimichurri is a traditional Latin American sauce with minced parsley, bursting with aromatics. Here chef’s version is a garlicky revelation on cooked-to-perfection (Angus) rib eye steak with crisp yucca fries in mojo with pico de gallo. On another occasion we were impressed by a shared dish of paella, fragrant saffron rice with onions, peppers, chorizo sausage, tender chicken, and redolent with calamari, mussels and prawns.
Che is an authentic resto bar experience in an upscale but casual setting where people can revel in camaraderie, great food and drink, and not break the bank.
225 Dundas Street (at Clarence)
Lunch: Monday to Friday 1130 -3
Dinner: Monday to Wednesday 5-10
Thursday to Saturday 5 -11