Who’s your Papi? New drinks plus superb value at Beijing’s Peruvian restaurant

By Jim Boyce | Peruvian restaurant Pachapapi has a half-price maki and nigiri night and it’s as good a deal as you can find in our fair city. Think 10 pieces of aromatic, flavorful textural pleasure. Times two. For just 68 kuai.

Let me repeat. You can order both the Maki Acevichado (photo one), with fried shrimp, tuna and avocado, and the Maki Picante (photo two), with sea bass, salmon and sesame seeds, for just 68 kuai. Tuesdays from 6 PM. There are other options, too.

Like the weightier Pacha Maki, with fried shrimp, fried squid and quinoa, and Maki De Lomo, with beef tenderloin, arugula, red pepper and onion. Just bring friends and try them all.

We also had Tiradito de Aji Amarillo (above) with sea bass, “tiger’s milk”, chili and coriander (68 kuai). This dish will vibrate your senses, with the tiger’s milk a piquant potion of aji amarillo chilies, citrus juice, ginger, garlic and more.

These are all on Pachapapi’s revised and beautifully designed menus along with lots of appetizers, ceviches, soups, mains and desserts. The drinks menu has also been updated, with the expected, like sours and chilcanos, and a modest range of classic cocktails, beers and wines. Plus a “pacha shot”, which is actually two shots, one of Pisco and one of the “tiger’s milk” described above.

There are also a pair of intriguing baijiu-inspired cocktails among the house specialties.

The first is the fruity refreshing El Brujo. It uses several of Pachapapi’s berry “shrubs”– syrups made with sugar, vinegar and fruit. These are blended with erguotou, a light aroma baijiu ubiquitous in Beijing, and blood orange soda from Bundaberg, for a nice effervescence. The baijiu is evident here but nicely tamed by the fruit flavors.

The second is called Alpa-Chino, far more pungent, and a tribute to the Chinese of Peru. (According to the menu, the first immigrants arrived in 1849 and now “1 of every 10 Peruvians has Chinese ancestors!”). This too uses erguotou but adds Pisco for balance. Then gives it a kick with Thai lemongrass and fresh lime juice. The baijiu is less evident but this is nevertheless a tasty drink. If you’re only having one, go for the El Brujo, but why not just have that second drink and another round of rolls?

Pachapapi is in the Jinshang Building on Xindong Road, the same one that houses Boxing Cat, Q Mex Taqueria and Bottega. Here’s the map:

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