Colca is serial restaurateur Eduardo Vargas trying the business strategy of "honesty" with this latest restaurant. He's cooking the food of his heritage: Peruvian. It's a nice place. Seating about 150 or so, a central patio area is housed by a cocktail bar on the one side, a private banquet table on the other, and the main dining area in a few larger rooms on the one end. Decor is sort of South American via "Shanghai chic." Mode d'emploi: Cocktails at the bar before and / or after dinner with your sit-down meal the main event. The drinks program has heavy emphasis on Pisco bases, a Peruvian brandy which offers a lighter but rich flavor. The menu breaks down in seafood / shellfish, fish, and meat dishes, with guests mixing and matching lots of sharing options over a few different courses. Busy, busy fusion cuisine. Executed with a lot of style and personality.
Colca serves really great Peruvian food in a fantastic location. It is located in the newish large restaurant/bar compound between Hengshan Rd. and Yongjia Rd in the heart of the old Xuhui district.
The whole compound is done very nicely and there are probably a dozen different restaurants, bars and cafés that all look inviting. The decorations are modern and trendy.
What surprised me most was the proportions are really large. I had a two course lunch and I think it could have been split between two people. The Papa Rellena was great as a starter. It was basically a tasty beef filling wrapped in a mashed potato ball and then fried to a golden perfection. It was the starter, but could have been satisfying in itself for lunch.
For the second dish I ordered the Cod Fish on Josper. It looked really nice on a triangular plate and you could taste the smokiness from the Josper. The dishwashers here probably don’t need to work too hard as we left our plates completely clean.
At 110 RMB for the two courses with a coffee or tea which is a pretty good deal for this level of quality.
The only downside is that it’s not stroller friendly as it’s on the second floor with no elevator
I have been a follower of Eduardo Vargas's culinary exploits over the years, and have to say that each of his themed venues stands the test of time.
I have dined at Colca on at least on dozen occasions, whether that be for a Date night, taking business colleagues, and recommending visitors to Shanghai for someplace authentic to experience, and not once been disappointed by the warmth, the sense of arrival by the waitstaff, followed through to the end upon departure, and of course the array of dishes served and quality.
On this occasion, I had an overseas guest in town, and what better place to bring him than Colca, we were greeted by Angel Abadia and left him to put together a menu for the three of us.
The following dishes were presented
Char Grilled Octopus
A classic Ceviche combination
Grilled Flank steak with Chimichurri
All of the dishes were well balanced in their taste and certainly the presentation
To end with a delightful and delicate flan
A round of Spanish gins to start off with, along with several bottles of Malbec throughout the course of the meal.
Can only recommend Colca, whether that be for an intimate dining experience, along with if one were to go along with a large group.
Whilst to some it may not seem a cheap night out, but certainly, one that won't break the either....fortunately no froth of foam served here.
Fully enjoying the amazing autumn nights we decided to head for a good terrace in the city. Colca not only has a beautiful open outdoor space, but also in my opinion it is the only Peruvian restaurant -with some Spanish twists- that serves authentic and real food with delicate ingredients as you may eat if you go to Peru. Very respectful of the culinary traditions but bringing a sprinkle of modernity to the dishes, I can say the approach is very well achieved.
The place is harmoniously decorated; it is very spacious with a fancy but also autochthonous vibe. You can enjoy dinning inside or outside and they have a very varied cocktail bar as well to enjoy a good pisco.
As many places around the city, if you don’t speak chinese the attention is hard to handle until the English speaking manager (also Spanish in this case) appears and makes you enjoy a relaxed dinner. But once again, we are in a non-speaking country so we can’t blame them about that.
This time I went with my parents who are visiting for the golden week and my partner in crime, four in total. First of all, I really have to highlight that they took care of my mother’s special dietary restriction and quickly adapted to her problem preparing a dish that wasn’t in the menu at all. Being an expat in China, I can say that this is really hard to find. So chapeau for Colca!
Another point goes to the bread zest they serve right away you seat. This is very common in other countries like Italy or South America but not in China. I was missing the beautiful breadbaskets so much that this took me back to a dinner at my home country.
The three left had a tuna tiradito to start, which has a good size for being an entrée and it was perfectly achieved. This dish consists of sashimi pieces of raw fish – tuna in this case- with a spicy - acidic sauce and avocado pieces. Then we had two-octopus brasa and one tuna steak adobo. Definitely all the dishes were tasty and balanced. The tuna steak was delicious, served together with a spicy adobo and vegetables in a sofrito style. The octopus was tender and perfectly grilled (there is nothing worse than a rubbery or hard octopus) with a base of a potato causa, black olives, alioli and chimichurri. We missed the ceviche this time which is also very good, if you go for the first time, it is absolutely a must-try.
Finally, guess what? We made it to the desserts! And not any dessert… it was the best flan I have tried in China so far! Also we had the chocolate mousse that was delicious as well.
Suitable for any occasions like dates, casual gathering with friends or special parties. It`s not cheap but not expensive either, with a budget between 200-300rmb per person you can enjoy an amazing dinner. Totally worth it.
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