Picada Brings Latin (And Gluten-Free) Flair To Soho’s Restaurant Scene
Down Elgin Street’s lively lunchtime rush, there’s an electrifying Latin soundtrack currently pulsating Shakira towards Peel Street. As if luring ravenous bystanders inside their abode to the upbeat rhythm of salsa and merengue, it is Picada’s entire gluten-free lunch and dinner menu that will have patrons swiveling their hips in sheer delight. Green Queen cha-chaed (okay, we’ll stop now) our way over for a gourmet gluten-free lunch with a Latino twist.
Picada is committed to gluten-free Hong Kongers. They have worked hard to be a haven for those who need to avoid gluten at all times through staff training, kitchen practices and an entire menu that is free from gluten. Below, we share our meal highlights.
Hands down, their chicken tacos is one of the best we’ve had in the city (and this high praise from an LA native no less). Made with maize flour, this gluten-free corn tortilla has a thin, crunchy texture that lets the rest of the food stand in the spotlight. The diced chicken anticucho (cut meat, similar to Mediterranean shish kebab) is expertly grilled with lettuce, sweet potato, coriander, and homemade pico de Gallo spread together in a light and creamy chipotle aioli. A generous serving of fluffy guacamole tops off this appetizer for a bold and piquant taste.
Mixed Corn Salad
Another highlight of Picada’s appetizers is their Mixed Corn Salad, which blends a variety of kernels from sweet, baby and traditional Peruvian corn (known as choclo) with sprinkles of mint, and an ají amarillo sauce that is ubiquitous in Peruvian cuisine. A secret Picada recipe, this bright yellow chili is made with olive oil, feta cheese, diced tomatoes and hints of zesty lime juice. The unique fruitiness of the ají amarillo offers a full-bodied dressing that beautifully compliments the sweetness of the corn along with the crunchiness of toasted Peruvian choclo kernels.
Aroz Con Pato Criollo
A traditional Colombian dish with a Chinese influence, the name of this main literally translates to ‘rice with duck mix.’ Packed with incredible flavors (and an even better presentation), the fragrant aroma and vibrant green from the perfectly al dente rice comes from the freshness of the coriander. Chalaquita, a classic Peruvian salsa, is a blast of tiny squares intermixed with tomatoes, corn and peppers. Thinly-sliced purple onions adorn the rice, and then there’s the heaping mound of juicy, thick-cut smoked duck breast, resulting in a near flawless blend of Latin American and Asian cuisine.
For dessert, we are presented with a standard South American confection: Alfajores. A traditional Christmas cookie from Spain, Picada’s unconventional take on alfajores is gluten-free made from corn flour. Rich, gooey melt-in-your-mouth caramel is sandwiched by a smooth and crumbly cookie, the adjoining jam is crisp and slightly tart, and the whole thing is dusted with icing sugar for an extra sweet touch. An indulgent and delicious ending to a top-notch meal. Can you tell we loved it?
Currently in Soho for only a few more weeks, Picada will be moving to an expansive two-story location on Wyndham Street in Lan Kwai Fong come March 25.
16 Elgin Street, Soho, +852 2526 7538. Open daily from 12:00PM – 12:00AM. Click here to make a reservation.
All images courtesy of Green Queen.