Inca’s the latest addition to the Stanley Street dining precinct. Having opening 22 years ago initiated by cravings of food from their native Peru. This place was first peruvian restaurant in Australia. Many meals later, Blanca, her two sons, Pablo & Marco and daughter, Laura continue the tradition relocating from Newtown to Darlinghurst. They bring old favourites from their popular menu such as the ceviche and meat dishes with big plans to evolve and continue to share the food story of Peru with new items.
The restaurant is a large space with three areas suitable for private dining, a fancier section with table cloths and wine glasses or a casual setting at the front if the restaurant. There is seating at the bar and a courtyard – ideal for casual after work drinks!
It would also be suitable for group functions as it is quite a big space. The walls are decorated with interlocking stone and throughout the space are ornaments similar to the ones you would see in the Inca temples of Peru. The space gets a lot of fresh air, natural light and a nice place to sit on a Sunday afternoon,
as we did.
The menu prices are on the mid-upper scale and focus on ceviche and meat dishes. The most popular are their ceviche. Ceviche (depending on your point of view) has its origins in Peru. We tried the scallop and king prawn ceviche, which were
served on canape spoons, followed by the ceviche classico of orange roughy fillet. Both signature dishes are macerated in lime juice and seasoned with flavours of chilli, coriander, garlic, sweet potato and dried corn. A light vibrant starter with the citrus
absorbed into the fresh seafood and the crunch from the dried corn.
They also make some great cocktails – we started with a delicious Pisco Sour and a Passionfruit sour. Using real fruit pulp, this was a great start to our meal. Like you would in South America – we fill the break between courses with a cocktail and so we got a Pina Colada and a Blue Lagoon. They were both well-made. The Blue Lagoon was my favourite of the day.
For mains we had the Adobo a la arequpena stacked pork eye fillets in a golden turmeric coloured chilli paste and served on sweet potato. Great flavour balance, not too spicy. Sitting atop potato, it was beautifully presented. We
also had the Seco a la nortena lamb eye fillets cooked in coriander and red chilli served with Cassava chips (which are a nice change from the usual) and beans. The chilli sauce served with the cassava chips was mild and creamy and very more-ish
For desserts, there are a daily selection of home made Peruvian desserts which we sampled; some fig and quinoa balls with raspberry coulis. We and ended happily with our espresso martinis of two versions: The Tia Maria and Kaluah
A great place to sample Peruvian foods or a few drinks after work. The staff are part of a family business and you can tell they love their work. They are so hospitable and certainly make you feel part of the family.
Definitely a summer destination for locals and workers on the east side.
Co-written with contributor: @randomdindins