– How does the history of the Chifa Union begin?
My dad emigrated because of the Chinese Revolution. His idea was to disembark in San Francisco, where his family was also waiting for him, but by mistake he continued to Peru and disembarked in the port of Callao. Once in Lima, he meets his friend Vicente Yion, who already owned the chifa, so he invited him to work in his restaurant, over the years my dad managed to become the owner of the place and thus would begin a family legacy that my brothers and we we have continued.
– Has your father always been linked to the kitchen?
He already cooked in China, but when he arrived in Peru he found that there are a series of mixtures that can be mixed, so he began to merge Cantonese food with Peruvian food and they liked it a lot.
– How did the name chifa Unión come about?
Because the chifa is located on Unión de Barranco street and it has become easier for the public to call it that. The least known as the Unión de Barranco chifa, but in reality the official name is Chung Yion.
– What are the flagship dishes of the chifa Unión?
There are dishes that identify chifa, such as Fun Kin Kay, which are chicken and prawn wraps, with pork, duck, mushrooms, yuyo, and Chinese vegetables. Then we have another like the grilled Kay Ten or the Chung Yion soup, which is a special soup that has pork, wontons stuffed with vegetables, shrimp, quail egg, it is a very filling soup and people like it. In total we have about 15 special dishes and the rest are noodles with different meats, rice dishes and soups, making a total of 70 dishes.
– What is the secret to having so many audiences?
Our father has left us a great legacy in cooking and seasoning, it has that exact point that has not been lost over the years. But do you know what happens? That we still make firewood meat as it was done in the old days. Today there are very few chifas that make that old flavor. In addition, many personalities have visited us and consider us one of the best.
– What has it meant to leave Barranco and have a branch in a new district?
The first location is in Barranco and on November 20 of this year we are celebrating our 100th anniversary, but the visitors to Parque de la Amistad have shown us that we are also welcome in other places and that is if we stick with the quality, quantity and prices comfortable, we will never lack public. Now, we have always had this concern of opening a branch, but it is complicated because since we are several brothers, some say no, but in reality the capacity of the chifa is no longer enough, especially on weekends. Not one more person enters. And so we received the invitation from the mayor of Surco and we accepted it immediately.
– How has been the reception of the public in the Parque de la Amistad?
We have had a good reception. We have eight dishes in this new location, but if the public requires that the dishes we make in Barranco be made, we can do it. From this pilot plan we have received other proposals such as being in a shopping center and in the Parque de las Aguas, but we are evaluating everything. 10 years ago we had a store in New Jersey, we worked for five years, but the brother in charge got sick and everything changed.
– What are you preparing to celebrate 100 years?
We are preparing something special, we are going to bring the Chinese dragon and we will have many activities. We are talking with the municipality of Barranco to have the municipal park and have the party because Chifa Unión is already an institution in the district.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.