Tasted: Inka Dubai & its charred octopus

Dubai's love for Peruvian restaurants shows no sign of slowing down, with Sofitel Downtown's venue worth pursuing.

Robert Chilton March 6, 2016

Peruvian cuisine continues its dominance of the Dubai restaurant scene with another opening: Inka.

In such a competitive market it’s not easy to stand out from the crowd, and while Inka might be hidden away on the 31st floor of the Sofitel Downtown, it’s got all the ingredients to attract Dubai’s culinary connoisseurs.

A modern and intimate venue, the space is split into two main areas – an upbeat bar and a more relaxed dining room – both of which boast stunning views of the city. 

The food is meant to be shared with lots of little plates creating a roulette wheel of exotic flavours. The pick of the starters is the beetroot and coriander causa (AED 55), a coriander-infused potato cake, served with avocado and roasted beetroot salad. The potato cake was light and fluffy and the freshness of the coriander took the whole dish up a notch.

When it comes to mains, the lomo and tacu tacu (seared fillet steak with spiced lentils, AED 105) is an excellent choice for meat eaters, with the tender beef complemented perfectly by the lightly spiced lentil mix. However, the star has to be the octopus and quinotto nero (grilled octopus on a quinoa risotto, AED 155). The octopus was charred and wonderfully tender, while the creamy risotto was flavoured with white truffle oil and coloured with squid ink. 

If you’ve managed to save some space for dessert then the Peruvian mess (AED 55) comes highly recommended. A riff on the traditional English dessert Eton mess, it was a sticky and unctuous blend of meringue, fresh strawberries, brownie whipped cream and praline ice cream that was served with a fresh and tangy herb granita.

The ancient Inca tribes people from whom the restaurant gets its name would be proud that their cuisine is still gong strong here.