Chicha is a Peruvian restaurant in Berlin which started out doing street food and now has a bricks-and-morter restaurant in Kreuzberg.

We were surprised when it was expected we would have a reservation…

Next thing that happened (after a wait to order) was a lengthy conversation between the waiter and couple next to us, who were seated after us. Having finally chosen a menu for them, he turned to us.

We ordered cautiously and the waiter responded aggressively. One pisco sour to share. The waiter “Why not two? We’ve sold 33,000 of them.” Neither of us had tried this cocktail before, so we weren’t sure it would be to our taste. We awkwardly explained this to the waiter, and were indeed later grateful we hadn’t ordered two.

The house ceviche €12.50 was a tiny portion, not well trimmed, and salted beyond delicacy. (“Authentic” Peruvian ceviche is an overwhelming mountain on a large plate, accompanied by boiled potates and sweet corn on the cob). The only thing nice about their ceviche was the thrifty innovation of sprinking corn nuts on top. (Fresh sweet corn is very expensive in Berlin.)

The porridge of sweet potato with a stale walnut and flavorless cheese was hard to eat.

The fried yucca was fried yucca, but hardly matched the rave reviews of the former menu item, yucca balls with cheese inside.

We fled to Zola for a pizza, glad we hadn’t ordered more and resentful about dropping €31 on, well, not much.