Last month, my friend and I tried Inti Restaurant for lunch. Inti is one of two Peruvian restaurants that has opened earlier this summer in Calgary. Interestingly, both Peruvian restaurants are located in the Sunridge area in northeast Calgary. Inti is located in the Interpacific Business Park,which is a strip mall a couple of blocks off Barlow Trail and 32 Ave NE. I had tried Peruvian food for the first time last year at Andina Restaurant in Portland, Oregon and loved it so I was really looking forward to being able to have Peruvian food regularly here in Calgary.
I started off with a glass of the Chicha Morada ($3.00), which is a Peruvian beverage made from purple corn. The corn is typically boiled with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar. This beverage was worth trying as it was not like anything I’ve ever tasted before. However, I would say that it’s definitely an acquired taste and I’m not sure I’ve acquired the taste for it yet. I typically like fruity beverages and found this Chicha Morada to be quite sweet and I wasn’t used to the clove and cinnamon spices in my fruity beverage.
From Mondays to Thursdays, Inti has a Lunch Special for 2 ($15.99) which includes 1/2 marinated rotisserie chicken, a choice of french fries, garlic rice, colorado rice, or yuca frita, and a garden salad. We chose the yuca frita, which are basically cassava fries, as we were in the mood for something different. The rotisserie chicken was moist, juicy, tender, and flavourful. The spices used in the marinade reminded me of Mediterranean flavours. I later found out from our server that the chicken is marinated in beer when I asked if it was gluten-free. I liked that the yuca frita was crispy, toothsome and not that greasy at all. They went perfectly with the side of salsa rocoto.
For the salad, we had a choice of lime dressing or ranch dressing. We chose the lime dressing. The salad consisted of lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumber slices, diced tomato, and scallions. I was actually surprised at how generous the salad portion was. The lime dressing was tangy and refreshing.
Our meal also came with a choice of the spicy or mild Aji Inti sauces for dipping with our rotisserie chicken. The Aji Inti sauces were basically a house made aji amarillo chili sauce. We chose one of each as we wanted to see what they were like. Interestingly, the spicy version wasn’t that spicy at all. I actually preferred the spicy version as I found it to be more flavourful.
When it comes to rotisserie chicken, Inti definitely beats places like Swiss Chalet. For a similar price point, the food at Inti is fresh and tasty. I can’t wait to go back to try some of their other dishes, such the Chicharrón, which is crispy fried marinated pork belly, and their ceviche.
#208, 3132 26 Street NE