Recently we have found a new restaurant in Cusco and it has inspired me to create a Dining category on my blog, with this being my first post. Generally we prefer to dine at local restaurants, with menu restaurants being my favorite. While Kanka is at the moment a primarily local restaurant, I don’t imagine it will stay that way for long. The location is conveniently located about mid-way between Cusco and Saqsaywaman at Av. Argentina Urb. Guadalupe A-11, their position on the side of the hill offers an excellent view over the City and there are several small tables on the balcony that provide an excellent view.
We have been watching as they were working on the restaurant, and on a recent trip into Cusco we noticed that they were open and stopped to check it out. As the restaurant is new they are still working on the menu, with plans of adding a few more dishes, but currently they have a good variety of local dishes like Trucha al Horno (oven roasted trout), Lechon al Horno (oven roasted pork), Cuy (guinea pig), and a typical plate of Cusco called Chiriuchu which is basically a sampler plate containing Cuy, (guinea pig), sausage, chicken, and many other items.
Considering our town is famous for its lechon, I had to try the Lechon at Kanka. I must say that while a little different in flavor, it was still very good, it was tender and juicy and the side dishes paired with it complimented the lechon well. My wife had the Lomo Saltado which she said was very tender and well-seasoned, and likely one of the better ones that she has tasted. Two of the other dishes that were tried in our group were the Milaneza de Pollo and the Trucha al Horno, both of which looked wonderful and our friends reported that these plates were excellent as well.
Pricing was also good especially if you take into account the portion size and food quality. The Cuy was probably one of the cheapest I have seen in Cusco, especially at a nice quality restaurant, with a whole Cuy meal going for S/.45.00 Soles and the average in Cusco being about S/.60.00 Soles. The remainder of the dishes on the menu averaged about S/.25.00 Soles, appetizers about S/.15.00 Soles and drinks ran from S/.2.50 Soles for a soda, up to S/.8.00 Soles for a Pisco Sour.
The drinks were excellent as well, we tried the Pisco Sours as well as something they called a Lucuma Cocktail. The bartender did great job on these drinks and we were told that he had previously worked for the Hotel Monistario and has received awards for his pisco sours, we weren’t surprised by this.
Overall I think the combination of the good quality food, good service, reasonable prices and location make this a good choice for a nice dinner when in Cusco and while it won’t replace our local menu restaurants for regular meals, I can definitely see us dining there several times a month from now on.
For those wondering at the time of this posting the exchange rate is $1.00 USD equals S/3.14 PEN