Flavors overpower size and decor at Uchu
Fairly new to the suburbs of Plymouth, the restaurant Uchu is easily overlooked because of its well-hidden location amongst the much larger storefronts that surround it. What this Peruvian style restaurant lacks in size it makes up for in powerful flavors and excellent service.
Uchu’s interior decor is minimal with only a few red and gold paintings on the walls and small wooden booths. The food speaks louder than it’s surroundings at this largely unadorned restaurant. Uchu, which is an Incan word for “chile,” mixes in Incan flavors of Peru to their foods and drinks, as well as the South African and Asian influences that came to Peru.
The staff is very attentive and enthusiastic about the food they serve; each customer is offered a sample of the drink Chicha, a cold drink from Peru made from purple corn that compliments the spicy taste of the meals. The small amount of Chicha given is enough to last the whole meal, but full cups of the drink are also offered. Uchu’s extensive menu features both lunch and dinner entrees, and the waiters are very knowledgeable about the menu as well as the Peruvian culture.
Though a bit expensive at $12.95, passing up on the appetizers is not a wise choice because Uchu serves some of the best Ceviche––marinated raw fish or seafood––in the area. Ceviche Mariscos is made up of shrimp, calamari, and full octopus marinated in lime juice, cilantro, and onions. Mariscos has a very strong lime taste, but the seafood tastes fresh and is presented in an attractive manor. Uchu takes the leftover lime juice from the appetizer and pours it into a glass, calling it “Leche de Tigre”––customers are encouraged to try this spicy blend.
Tallarin Saltado exemplifies the restaurant’s Asian influences––perfectly grilled steak squares are combined with Asian noodles, grilled tomatoes and onions and are doused in a subtle Asian soy sauce. Chaufo de Pollo––another great Asian inspired entree––features fried rice mixed with chicken and complimented with a small taste of lime, leaving a hint of Peruvian flavor. The chef at Uchu cooks the rice to a non-sticky perfection and evenly mixes the chicken into the rice so that it does not dominate the meal.
One of the best parts of Uchu is their petite desserts. Suspiro a la Limena––a sweet caramel pudding that is topped off with a marshmallow-like substance––is always a crowd favorite. Arroz con Leche is another favorite with its sweet cinnamon taste.