Peruvian & Columbian Food.
The ambiance may not be there but the atmosphere is 5 star. Feels like you have entered a cafe in some one horse town in countryside Peru. Small overhead fan in slow motion, religious articles hanging on the wall. While waiting for our food we watched 2 groups of locals eating and conversing in their native tongue. This was a treat in it's self, like being in a movie from the fifties. On to the food. We had Papa Huancaina, Lomo Saltado, Aji de Gallina, and Empanadas Queso. The hit of the meal was the Empanadas Queso. Cheese inside a deep fried pastry. Coming back for sure.
Had dinner here twice already, and was impressed with the food quality. I have never had peruvian food before, and don't remember the names of all the food I had here. Most things were impressive, like a beef on top of french fries dish, which tastes much better than it sounds. I also had some deep fried potato dish, and a chicken on rice dish, very tastey! I had their seafood ceviche which I didn't like so much, but I have never had one before so i don't know what it was suppose to taste like.
The owner is friendly, but since there is only one server, its sometimes hard to get service.
Looking forward to going back again.
After reading such rave reviews, I was dying to try El Inka. I was finally able to yesterday, and boy, was it a treat!
I went straight after work (about 4:30pm) to pick-up some take out. Too bad they don't have any take-out menus so that one could call ahead to order. I arrived and was the only one there and was guided to a duotanged menu. There wasn't really an order to the menu, just random pictures and descriptions.
I had a hard time deciding since I was new to the cuisine. I finally decided on the Aji de Gallina (a rice dish with shredded chicken in a creamy sauce), a Peruvian Tamal and a chicken empanada.
I waited about 15-20 minutes for them to prepare my meals - during which I enjoyed a soap opera blaring on the television above. When my order was done, the lady asked about me and how I came to discover her restaurant. It made me feel very welcome and I appreciated it. My bill came out to $20 including tax and tip.
I darted home as fast as I could as the delightful aroma filled me up with anticipation of dinnertime. I under-estimated the chicken dish. I thought, How good could a chicken dish with cream sauce be?? All I can say is, "WOW". The combination of the chicken, the sauce and the potatoes lining the dish was wonderful.
The tamal was a little different than what I'm used to. Instead of a crumbly corn meal mixture, it tasted more like polenta - which is also yummy in my books! My boyfriend said the empanada was delicious, I tasted it and agreed. Very flavourful.
My only complaint is that when they say that a dish has olives and egg, they mean a slice of hard-boiled egg and one black olive - one. I only wished there was more.
As for the ambiance, it's not much, but it does give off a homey feel and adds to the experience of home-cooked meals.
I definitely recommend El Inka and can't wait myself to go back. I'm salivating just thinking of it!
The story is apparently this: Place used to be run by Columbians, it was bought out by Peruvians who were instructed on how to keep up the Columbian food. And according to a local Columbian here, this is authentic stuff. We've had Columbian before, in a town far, far away (much too far for a return visit). This is no where near as "classy", but the food is at least as good. We were the only non-Spanish speaking people in the place.
I'm giving it 4 stars until we find a better Peruvian/Columbian place in town, but it is most certainly NOT a fine diner! Drive by too fast and you'll miss this little gem which looks like the average tiny diner on some obscure side-street.
Owner is super nice and friendly. Looks like a total family run restaurant, his kids help out and take the orders sometimes.
Food is definitely unique (it is NOT Mexican!), fresh and tasty. The big fried tilapia dish was wonderful. The seafood cerviche, also recommended. Sure, presentation loses marks, but taste is wonderful. I recall having similar about 1/4 the size in a tiny martini glass for the same price in some fancy restaurants.
Biggest surprise of the night was a special the owner brought out for us to try. Not on the menu, but it was so tasty we ordered a dish. BBQ beef heart. Yup. Wouldn't have guessed it. You have to ask for it special, and it's only available on weekends, but this is a must try.
There's still a few other interesting things to go back and try. We had a good experience, it is worth a repeat if we can find the time.
I used to come here at least once a month.....couple days ago....I visited this place and realized that the ownership has changed and I don't like it anymore.
Everything is the same on the menu but the taste is different.
The free spicy sauce they used to give us is wate rdown now.
The purple corn juice is water down as well.
My favorite dish - Aji gallima is so watery ...I don't like it at all !!!! Why ???
But the seco still taste okay...
This is what I would affectionately call a great hole-in-the-wall kind of place. i.e., you don't come for the ambiance (there's always a TV playing too loud here), but you do come for the great tasting food. They recently changed ownership here, and while I liked the food before, I think it's even better now. Plus the portions are extremely generous. The "arroz con pollo" for $10 has got to be the best taste to price ratio around. Also try the papa a la huancaina as an appetizer. The sauce is ridiculously tasty. My wife is a big fan of the ceviche, the tamales, and the aji de gallina. This place is a definite craving satsifier for anyone who likes Peruvian food, and will create these cravings in those who haven't tried it!
We went to El Inka tonight and it didn't disappoint. The tamal, papa rellena yuca, and chicha morada were all good.
We love the hot sauce. The owner said it's very expensive hot sauce - the chill pepper costs $9 a pound!
We have been in search of good Peruvian restaurant since Mira Sol on Main was long gone. El Inka is an unpretentious restaurant in a residential neighbourhood in Burnaby that's worth supporting.
Despues de 4 anos de vivir en canada tubimos la oportunidad de conocer este restaurante, con sus propietarios y su comida. cuando nos dirigiamos al restaurante le dije a mi esposa " Amor, no te imagines que la comida del restaurante va a ser tan buena como la que nos comiamos en Colombia, asi que no te hagas muchas ilusiones" tampoco yo me queria hacer muchas ilusiones pues no creia que "El Inka Deli" iba a llenar las expectativas, y pues estaba equivocado, la comida fue expectacularmente buena, nos comimos una bandeja paisa cada uno y a demas nos cupo un caldo de gallina. Como seria de bueno que volvimos al dia siguiente a repetir lo mismo ya que vivimos en Victoria y solo teniamos dos dias para estar en Vancouver.
A la persona que hace un comentario de que los platos no valen lo mismo que valen en Peru, lo invito si va a comprar diamantes que se meta a los huecos de kilometros de profundidad para que le salgan mas baratos, o si quiere un pedazo de carne, que vaya y lo coja directamente del toro, que asi de pronto le sale mas baratico. De verdad que a veces no se entiende como alguien pueda hacer esa clase de comentarios, por si el fulano no ha caido en cuenta estamos en Canada y se gasta en dolares, y si quiere pagar mas barato bien pueda vayase a Peru que seguramente que alla le saldra mas economico.
The taste of the food this place serve is so original, as same as the one you can eat in Latin American, and for the same reason I recommend it. no doubt is the best Latin American food I've tried since I came to Canada... also the service is outstanding since the guy who served is very inviting with the way he helped. this time I went with my husband and sister, so we tried to order different varieties of food, and over all was good specially with the spicy sauce... so good...
I am from Colombia and I was looking for a Latin American restaurant in the Vancouver Area. I read all the reviews about El Inka Deli and I thought it was worth a try... Well it was amazing!
I am not a fan of spicy/hot food, but their ceviche is the best!! .. you can also ask them to make it mild... you can still feel all the flavors!!
For those that don't like seafood, the Lomo Saltado is the best option.
And if you are not that hungry.. the CHEESE EMPANADAS!!
In general, the Peruvian food is great and they also have Colombian food.
After reading good reviews went here and found it very hard to comment. Before I say anything I must say- I've been in Peru, and never found their cuisine as a very good one. I don't eat ceviche or other fish- so I might missed the main idea..
It was mid0 week lunch time- alll except 2 were latin Americans so- I guess that says something about the oriniality of the place. The manager is a very nice guy so the service was good.
The chilean empanadas were good, so was the yuca ( don't remember the name)- but the portion was very small.
we took pollo frito ( fried chicken)- never to take again- there was hardly any chicken on the bones- there was crust around the bones- but hardly any chicken.
the lomo saltado was better- but again- it's not that cheap that they need to use the worst pieces of beef. the corn juice was good...
so in general it's not a bad place- a better selection of meat/chicken would have improve the place.
If i'll ever come again- only if I'm in the area and interested in an empanada....
I am in a constant search of Peruvian Restaurants across Canada, despite the fact that I go to visit my family there once or twice a year.
I heard about this small restaurant in Vancouver, and couldn`t wait to try it out.
During my 2-weeks stay there, I went 3 times...and not once I came out dissapointed!!
Lomo Saltado, Ceviche, Escabeche de Pescado, Seco de Carne, and Tamales were my choice.
I am originally from Chiclayo, and I pride myself as an excellent cook.
Well, my Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Arnao, they offer outstanding Peruvian dishes.
In this restaurant nothing comes from a microwave, but the results are worth the 15 min wait: Generous portions, a true Peruvian taste, and reasonable prices, fresh ingredients... a combination to succeed!!
I recently discovered this little restaurant in Burnaby. Finally a place that although is very modest, it actually has good peruvian food. Service not bad but quite busy in the weekend so be ready to wait for your order. Again very modest not at all fancy, a place to go for the food not the ambiance unlike the Baru restaurant on Alma Ave. but it has a little tv and you can watch Peruvian tv or perhaps Colombian TV. I will be going back for sure but maybe during the week, I had a couple of dishes and they were delicious. I am almost certain that this is the only restaurant with peruvian food in the lower mainland. I recommend it.
Too bad it closes early at 8:00 pm each day, otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd go there more often. I just tried it out yesterday after reading the good reviews on this website, and the review don't lie. The food is a good price for the portion size, food was fresh, the servers were friendly (even though we walked in at 7:30 and stayed there up to 8:45) but unfortunately we didn't get to try dessert. Good stuff, can't go wrong here.
A warm, friendly family run this business. The food is quite good and the portions were heaping. It's the best Peruvian/South American Food in Vancouver since Mirasol closed down. Mirasol had better ambience and the prices were much better. I can't believe that they have Arepas. That's very Colombian/Venezuelan. The great thing is that they make everything themselves and will proudly tell you so. You can order Tamales for Christmas and the New Year. They're not like Mexican Tamales...they're way better. The Ceviche and Anticucho are fantastic. In Peru, Ceviche can be a meal not just an appy. The Aji de Gallina and the Arroz con Pollo are just ok and could actually use some more meat. The Mondongo was not bad too. The Bistec O Lo Pobre and the Sancocho were nice. The Seco is the best plate item. You can't go wrong with this place.
This city has just become a better place to live in. After having been in Peru, I always missed their cuisine, which ignored by most people who think they know good cuisine, is actually one of the best of the world.
I will go as far as saying that Peru holds the best cuisine in all of latin america with mexico only trailing behind because their simple tortilla based comfort food satisfies most junk food hungry north americans.
Anyhow, been to Peru, their food ranks as high as italian and french or thai. This restaurant is the only peruvian one ever here (there was one lame attempt at peruvian cuisine in the past but wasn't done right so it quickly went out of business) Peru food is popular all over the world, specially the U.S. You'll find a peru restaurant in odd places like costa rica or germany even but never here in canada. Finally!!!
The seafood will be hard to duplicate. Tried their peruvian ceviche. As good as it gets in Canada. It's like going to Bolivia and trying to cook up some lobster. It will never be the same. However, tried their other dishes. I will keep on going back at least once a month. Just ask the owner what he recommends for the day.
I recommend aji de gallina, lomo saltado, their ceviche of course, arroz con pollo is a safe choice,. However, you need to drop your north america mentality and go for the unusual and definitely eat the bull's heart.
"Anticucho". A real warrior eats the bull heart. So damn tasty. I kept thinking about it for days. Now that I can't remember the flavour i must go back. Best BBQ meat hands down. Have a bite of that, follow it with a bite of potato with their homemade hot sauce (very spicy careful).
Only real food lovers must visit this place, the rest should stick to boston's pizza or spaghetti factory.
I have been several times and the food is delightful. I have been to Peru and this is almost as great as being there. The cebiche is great, lots of flavor. The aji de gallina is great, the ajiaco is filling, the papa de huancaina are hands down my favourite! Causa rellenos are great too. I have had many other dishes here and I have had no complaints. The hot sauce on the tables is OUT OF THIS WORLD good! Anyone who enjoys great homestyle cooking - no matter what your background - will love this. It is a feeling of home, wherever that may be. It may seem a tad pricey, but this is excellent food. The service is great, run by a husband and wife team. The area is not really "sought after" but if the food is this good, who cares?!?
Highly, highly recommended! They also play latin soaps on TV :) I don't know what they are saying, but it definetly adds to the expereince ;)
A friend of mine told me about El Inka Deli. Since I was born in Peru, I was eager to try it right away. The place was very homey and the owner greeted us at the restaurant. He was very personal and friendly. It was like being in Lima all over again. The attention was very good. The place is not big so it gets crowded on weekends. My wife and I had high expectations, being both from Lima, we expected the best.
As an avid cook at home, I always want to try dishes I cannot make. These dishes were
Cebiche de pescado (raw white fish marinated in lime juice), Seco de Carne (Beef Stew),
Peruvian Tamale, Anticucho de Corazon (Bbq pieces of beef heart) and Papa with Huancaina sauce.
First, the Cebiche was very good although the portion size was too small for the amount of money paid. Luckily the fish was not marinated too long; we liked the fish raw in the center (that is how it is eaten in Peru nowadays like sashimi). The fish must be very fresh.
The beef in the Seco de Carne is marinated in a beer sauce and then cooked in cilantro sauce. It came with white beans puree and Creole sauce (sliced red onion marinated with lime juice). We enjoyed this dish a lot although the pieces of beef were a little chewy; the white beans puree was excellent. It was one of the best I ever tasted.
We also tried some tamale. They were excellent too and good value for the price.
Then we tried the Papa with Huancaina sauce. Huancaina sauce is made with a yellow chili (called aji mirasol) and queso fresco, plus a few extra secret ingredients. This dish was good and worth trying.
Lastly we tried the Anticuchos. They are pieces of beef heart marinated in a vinegar and panca chili mixture overnight and then grilled. We had high expectations for this dish, but we were not impressed when we tried them. There were a bit chewy and need it some salt too. I forgot to tell them that we like them medium inside. Not too cooked and not too raw. Medium is just right.
Overall, The Inka Deli is a nice place to try authentic homey Peruvian food with a personal and friendly service.
Inca Deli deserves a 3 star rating because I know what Peruvian food is supposed to taste like and they have a lot still to improve on.
Food was great. My girlfriend is from Peru and is introducing me to all things Peruvian cooking, so we've been scouring the city for restaurants and stores. We've been to this restaurant twice now, and the was very good. I've been having cravings for more papa de huancaina. While I'll eat most anything, my girlfriend is a rather picky eater, so the fact that she really enjoyed the food is good evidence that it's worthwhile going in for a visit. She was also happy to note that all the dishes we had were quite authentic and made properly.
The menu is comprised of mostly Peruvian food with a couple pages of Columbian dishes at the back. I'd list all the dishes we've tried, but I have trouble with remembering names and I don't speak Spanish so I won't. Suffice to say, everything we had was very good and certainly worth the drive and money. The only thing I didn't like too much was the chanfainita, but thats not on the menu and was given to me to try by the very hospitable owner and chef.
The owner is a very nice guy, however his English is not the best and it can be hard to understand him. Luckily for me my girlfriend was there to translate and I am trying to learn Spanish so he was nice enough to submit to my poor pronunciation. The place itself is very plain, and the decor is quite blah. While this mayprevent it from becoming a destination hotspot (that and it's location), I couldn't have cared less. I was there for the food and service, and both were splendid.
Just typing this review is making me want to go back again, I won't be happy until I've tried most of the things on the menu.
when el hambre hits, try this little place in Burnaby. El Inka may single-handedly build a Latin community in an otherwise unremarkable neighbourhood. Too many small businesses outside the already 'vibrant' parts of this city fail, not due to any intrinsic fault, but just because there aren't enough people willing to step outside their comfort zones and lend them patronage. Do your part! The food is great! If El Inka goes down, I'll sacrifice myself to the Sun God!