In 1975, Chifa was opened by a Chinese woman who emigrated from Hong Kong to Lima, Peru with her family. Wendy Leon, better known as @popowendy, started Chifa restaurant by bringing Cantonese cuisine to a ripe Peruvian customer. Wendy’s husband, Ricardo Jose Leon was Chinese Peruvian and his large Peruvian family base helped settle the young Leon family into Lima. Through her time in Lima, Wendy not only introduced people to her style of Cantonese food, she also learned how to cook Peruvian food from Ricardo’s family.
Over four decades later, Chifa will reopen in Eagle Rock, California, a place familiar to the Leon family. The family grew up in Highland Park, which is adjacent to Eagle Rock, from the mid 70s to 80s, so it is exciting for them to come back to the neighborhood and introduce the family’s cuisine.
The newly formed Chifa is a partnership between Wendy Leon, siblings Ricardina (“Rica”) & Humberto Leon, and Ricardina’s husband, John Liu.
John has really taken a lot of Wendy’s quintessential home cooked Cantonese and Peruvian dishes and gave them all a modern twist. He is the only one she will share the kitchen with. In modernizing Chifa, which is how Peruvians refer to all Chinese restaurants in Lima. The Leon family has always had a very simple way of bringing Chinese food to the table and he's always experimented with those recipes. In addition to the traditional Cantonese and Peruvian dishes, John’s father, who was raised in Taipei, Taiwan, has had a Beef noodle soup that he evolved over many decades.
Thus sharing some of those family traditions with people is something they have always wanted to do.
In sum, Chifa will present traditional Cantonese and Taiwanese dishes like Si Yao Chicken, “3 Day” Beef Noodle Soup and, vegan versions of Mapo Tofu and Dan Dan Noodle. These Chinese recipes will be served along with classic Peruvian dishes like Lomo Saltado, Polla a la Brasa, Anticucho and Tiradito.
The family invites you into their "home" to enjoy these family staple dishes that have been shared throughout generations.