food, writing

Restaurant review: Chimichanga, Peterborough

Exterior of Chimichanga, PeterboroughWith city centre rival Nando’s due to open this summer, I thought it was time to revisit Chimichanga in preparation for a spicy comparison.

Frankly, it was a sad day when Panama Joe’s in Stamford closed a few years back but with Tex-Mex cuisine is currently in fashion, Chimichanga’s arrival in March 2010 was no bad thing adding variety to the city’s eating-out options.
Positioned opposite the now revamped St John’s Church and much improved Cathedral Square outdoor area, the general views and seating has certainly added an impressive view.
It was also a good excuse forward a warming Mexican feast on a damp June day.
It was early on a Sunday evening, so not too busy, which means you’re guaranteed that staff are quick and attentive. We were shown to a cosy booth as the friendly staff explained specials and served us drinks promptly.
I do like the decor, the statues and deep red tiles particularly conjure up, at least in my mind, Aztec and Mayan themes enhanced by a chilled, but up-tempo Latin rhythm soundtrack. A very pleasing and relaxing environment.
For starters my fiance had empanadas with chorizo while I had the nachos, I can’t resist, I should try something else, but it’s a weakness – washed down with a Brahma lager.
The nachos had a nice kick, while the empanadas were like a crispy pasty and not too spicy.
For a main I went for the blackened tuna salad with some changa chips. The tuna wasn’t as tender as a fresh steak, but the salad with roasted peppers, tomatoes and cucumber was fresh and overall it was a lighter dish, the changa chips were more stringy fry than thick potato chip for my taste! It was OK, maybe not one of their strongest dishes, but a good lighter option if you’re in a group but not after anything too spicy.
My fiance went for an old favourite, the chicken Chimichanga: I love the blend of beans, rice, tender chicken, spicy salsa, guacamole and melted cheese all wrapped in the fried tortilla, so naturally welcomed a good forkful. It’s one of those dishes I would love to try in Mexico at some point.
For ‘Pudines’ as the menu offers, we finished by sharing a honeycomb smash cheesecake – we’ve rarely the stamina for a dessert each – which was a light and tasty finale.
It’s a stylish and welcoming place for a quieter meal in a booth or for larger parties at the back, with a selection of wines, cocktails, margheritas and sangria.

7 out of 10

Information: Chimichanga, 6 Church Street, Peterborough, PE1 1XB.
Telephone: 01733 891119. Website – including online booking:
Current lunchtime offer: Two courses £7.95 or three for £9.95

Menu examples:

Portobello mushrooms £4.95
Jalapeno bullets £5.25
Nachos with pico de gallo £3.75
Mexican spring rolls £4.95
Empanadas with chorizo or chicken £5.50
Various appetisers to share from £9.50

Chicken Chimichanga £10.95
Also available with Beef Chilli Con Carne, Prawn, Pork or vegetarian bean chilli filling
Sizzling chicken barbacoa £11.95
Chipotle meatballs £9.50
Chicken fajitas £12.95
Also available with steak, chicken and steak, prawn or Portobello mushroom filling
Grande chicken quesadilla £9.45
Mexican paella £9.95
Blackened tuna with salad £10.95

Honeycomb Smash Cheesecake £4.75
Key lime pie £4.75

Details correct at 05/06/11