Restaurant: El Inka Deli – Review 2
Cuisine: Latin American/Columbian/Peruvian
Last visited: March 13, 2010
Area: Burnaby, BC
Address: 3826 Sunset Street
Price range: $10-20
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Husband and wife team
- Family owned/operated
- Owners from Peru
- Hole in the wall
- Authentic Latin American food
- Specializes in Peruvian/Columbian food
- Extensive menu
- Lots of snack/appetizer items
- Very home style
- Everything made in house/home cooked
- Homemade chorizo/sausage
- Authentic Latin drinks
- Service fantastic! (I want to give a 7/6)
- Ready made to-go items
- Some desserts
- Open lunch and dinner until 8pm
- Accepts Visa, Mastercard
Recommendation: Jalea Mixta, Ceviche - mixed seafood
This is my 2nd review for El Inka Deli – an authentic hole in the wall restaurant located in the middle of nowhere in Burnaby, BC. On this occasion I was joined with Kim, Elaine, Jessica, Anita and Degan. Kim did the honour of ordering for us since he is from Panama. There are some similar dishes but El Inka Deli specializes in Peruvian and Columbian cuisine. The owner does an excellent job giving his personal recommendations and explaining the menu, but with an expert like Kim it made for an even more authentic experience.
Although it is a hole in the wall the prices are not dirt cheap or anything. Since there are no other places serving really authentic Latin American cuisine they’re able to charge what they do. It doesn’t really bother me because at least everything is homemade, but it’s just a heads up so you know what to expect. It also comes with an authentic experience… with Latin American game shows and soap operas playing on a small ghetto tv… playing quite loudly too.
El Inka Deli – 1st review.
On the table
Yuquita (Cassava Root) – 3/6
- Fried yuca (casava). Served with hot sauce $3.50
- The owner recommended it and said it was a very typical Peruvian appetizer.
- I tried this on my 1st visit – for detailed review of them click here.
- Cornmeal dough filled with chicken, egg and olives, wrapped and boiled in banana leaf $4.50
- I really like tamales, but I didn’t think they did a great job here with it – hence the 2/6.
- There wasn’t enough stuffing – I don’t recall any egg and I remember one big black olive in the whole thing.
- The tamal was made of a cornmeal dough and it was mealy in texture. I didn’t mind that though.
- It was stuffed with shredded white meat chicken that was quite juicy, but there was more dough than stuffing.
- It was quite moist, but with no cheese or any distinct spices or chilies so I felt it just a bit boring. I expected it to be much better – one of those things that I bet when they make them at home themselves they’re WAY better.
- Pieces of barbecued beef heart. Served with boiled potatoes and a serving of corn $12.00
- I wouldn’t have normally ordered this and it’s not really for my tastes, but I did try it and I actually DID like it!
- It tastes pretty much like very tender and lean beef. It’s a smooth non-chewy texture and it’s quite thin so it’s easier to eat.
- It was nicely marinated and barbequed and the hindering flavour isn’t gamey – that’s why I liked it.
- This is a big portion for an appetizer. I would definitely order this to share.
- It was served with a boiled potato.
- Marinated fish or mixed seafood (cooked in lemon juice), served with onions, corn and slices of sweet potato
- Pescado (fish only) $12 Mixto (mixed seafood) $14.00
- This has been one of the better ceviche I’ve had in Vancouver. I’ve tried the ceviche trio at Baru Latino, but the one at El Inka Deli is more authentic. It’s a traditional recipe.
- It was very sour with fresh lime and it was actually pretty spicy.
- The mixed seafood ceviche comes with white fish, baby shrimp, squid and octopus. Everything is raw and it’s cooked with the lime. There’s also some red onion, cilantro and tomatoes.
- A tad pricier, but with those ingredients I kind of expect it.
- It was served with some frozen corn and half a boiled yam.
**Jalea Mixta – 5/6
- Lettuce, deep fried cassava (roots) fish and seafood with an onion and tomato topping $16.99
- For more details see my 1st review. Obviously if it was ordered again…it was really good!
- Pork chop, pork, sausage, fried plantain, Fried cassava, corn bread, potato $12.00
- For carnivores – who like pork! This dish was basically different cuts and methods of using pork served on a bed of Latin starches. I liked the variety of the dish and I enjoyed parts of it more than others.
- It’s not the traditional pork chop that you’re used to seeing served at North American restaurants. It was a few pieces of deep fried pork ribs (some with bone and some without). They were really fatty with a thick pork rind and I think the parts were close to the belly. I didn’t really enjoy the pork “chop” parts.
- It’s not a saucy dish. Everything is pretty much fried if not deep fried.
- The corn bread is the round light yellow patty you see in the back. It’s not Southern BBQ cornbread. It’s almost like a pita made of cornmeal – like a cornmeal bread patty.
- I really enjoyed the plantains in there. They were actually a bit sweet and more like pan-fried regular bananas.
- Sausage 1 – Chorizo – 3/6
- I tried the chorizo before because it was in the Bandeja Paisa I ordered last time at El Inka Deli.
- It’s a homemade chorizo but it wasn’t really for my tastes.
- It’s really flavourful, juicy and fatty – the meat is almost coarsely ground up so it makes fore a very hearty, rich and greasy chorizo.
- Sausage 2 – 5/6
- I loved this sausage. I wish I could order it as a side order because I would order it on it’s own.
- It was unlike any sausage I’ve had before. Again it’s homemade.It looks like a baby’s rattle with the ends of the sausage being bigger than the middle of it. The ends were almost dipped in an additional batter and deep fried until very VERY crispy. It reminded me of a panko bread crumb batter – but it wasn’t.
- The sausage was stuffed with what seemed like rice mixed with barley, cous cous, ground pork and chives. I don’t really know what it was but that’s what it tasted like. It was soft, creamy and mealy middle with a nice and crispy outside.
- Great texture and taste!
- Fried fish served with green plantain (patacon), coconut rice and salad $16.99
- I love fish, and I wanted to be a fan of this one… but I wasn’t unfortunately. The reason is because it wasn’t fresh. The fish tasted like dirt – that dead sea taste. It wasn’t spoiled, but just not fresh.
- The fish was tilapia and it was fried very crispy. Although the meat was moist it was just not good.
- There is a similar Thai dish that I DO like very much – Deep Fried Red Snapper.
- The part of this dish I did like was the deep fried green plantain. It was served underneath the fish and was very crispy. It wasn’t as sweet as a regular banana and it was a bit starchier. I just ate it as is and it was enjoyable.
- This was the salad served with the fish. Romain, tomato and avocado…just a salad.
- Pitcher – about 6 small glasses $5.50
- This juice is Peruvian and it’s very aromatic and sweet. It’s non-alcoholic and non-carbonated but it tastes like a cross between mulled wine and Ribena (an Asian berry-like drink).
- It looks and kind of tastes like grape juice mixed with pineapple juice and a squeeze of lemon and lime juice.
- It’s very concentrated and there’s also a hint of cinnamon and clove flavour.
- This was just a sample the owner brought out to show us. It’s pretty much the base of what makes the juice (chicha morada).
- It’s traditionally served with cinnamon on top.
- It was almost like cranberry sauce/jam – very thick, sticky and very sweet. There were also chunks of what seemed like dates and apricots in it. There were also some raisins and cherries.