El Gran Inka is a posh little spot right on Brickell Avenue. It has modern decor, sexy lighting, and friendly staff.
We started off with the Mixed Seafood Ceviche. This fresh and citrusy dish came paired with the traditional fixings - giant kernels of corn and soft sweet potato slices. The fish was fresh, the ocotpus was plump and sweet, and the calamary was thick and chewy. It was a smaller serving than we anticipated but then again things always seem smaller when shared by 3 hungry beasts.
Next up - the Shrimp and Calamari skillet. When I saw it coming I got a bit freaked out since it reminded me of the sizzling fajita mess from Chili's. My post traumatic stress was relieved when I saw the beautiful shrimp and calamari rings tossed in fresh peppers, onions and cilantro.
We then ordered the Tenderloin Grank Inka. I didn't care much for the meat. It wasn't very tasty. The pasta underneath, however, was quite yummy. The sauce - a traditional Peruvian sauce made of basil, cilatro and other aromatics - was extremely flavorful. This dish also had small chunks of white cheese which didn't do much for the dish but didn't ruin it either. They looked like an afterthought and I wasn't very impressed.
This dish was so bland I don't remember the name. I do remember the teeny weenie scallops on a skewer were cold inside. Pretty, but not yummy.
Thankfully dessert was amazing. We ordered the Suspiro Limeno which was out of control. My attempt to keep it healthy during the week failed miserably when I put what was supposed to be "just a bite" in my mouth. The creaminess and tanginess and overpowering sweetness of this dish made it sinfully delicious. The merengue on top was so fluffy and sweet.
I don't remember the name of this dish but I do remember it fondly. Picture an arroz con leche croquette in a bed of sweet berry sauce drizzled in dulce de leche... yep. That's it. I love fried sweet stuff. I am envisioning all of my favorite Hispanic desserts fried and I think I may have the next million dollar idea. And the next great contribution to the obesity crisis in the US.
I wasn't thrilled with the heavier dishes in this meal but I am not ruling out El Gran Inka completely. I would definitely return for their ceviche and the desserts. The place was a tad pricy (it's Brickell, people) and you can get better quality food for a better price at any mom & pop Peruvian place in your area.
El Gran Inka - Brickell (check site for their other locations.)
947 Brickell Avenue
Miami, FL 33131