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La Barra Inka: popular Creole cuisine in Malaga
Food critic

La Barra Inka: popular Creole cuisine in Malaga

Hearty, colourful dishes at affordable prices

Enrique Bellver

Malaga

Monday, 25 March 2024

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From the start, Barra Inka has been popular for offering Creole cuisine with bright, colourful dishes that are visually appealing to diners, hearty in quantity, and at an affordable price. With these elements, Henry Wong has already established three Peruvian cuisine establishments in the city of Malaga since he decided to venture out on his own and leave behind the kitchens of the establishments where he was previously working. I met this chef when he was in the heart of Malaga city at another Peruvian cuisine restaurant. And about three or four years ago, I sensed that his cuisine could succeed among a public not so inclined towards gourmet trends but open to other culinary cultures.

What Henry creates, at least in this establishment, is Creole cuisine. The difference between cuisine originating from Peru, Creole, and the one currently in vogue, 'Nikkei', lies essentially in the way the products are prepared and seasoned before reaching the table. If we want to make an authentic reference to fusion cuisine, I lean towards the Creole, as it involves blending elements of African, Spanish, and pre-Columbian culinary cultures when cooking, leaving aside the 'Nikkei', which is merely a fortuitous fusion created just over a century ago by Japanese immigrants who arrived in Peru. Nevertheless, in La Barra Inka, although I did not try them during my visit, we will find on the menu a certain variety of sushi and some dishes that feature a sauce called 'Nikkei', made with oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, wasabi, and so on.

La Barra Inka

  • Address Calle Santiago 6. Telephone: 615 514 311. Web: labarrainka.es

  • Prices Tiradito: 15€ Trío marino: 22€ Tacu-tacu: 18€

  • Evaluation Food: 7 Restaurant: 6.5 Wine list: 6 Quality: 6.5 / 10

The simplicity of this establishment in terms of space and decoration is more than compensated by a very active, approachable, and genuinely friendly staff, something highly appreciated in these times. The menu provides clear and affordable descriptions of all dishes, organised into sections and cooking styles. However, it's best to let the staff advise you if it's your first visit, although the ceviches with various types of tiger's milk according to customer's taste and the potatoes a la huancaína are some of the dishes that shouldn't be overlooked on your first visit.

Sole in a citrus sauce (lenguado tiridito)

Perhaps this is one of the most visually striking dishes on the entire menu. A smooth, yellow chili sauce delicately covers the thin slices of sole arranged around a perfectly ripe, thinly sliced avocado to enhance its flavour.

Mini causitas

The "causa," a mashed potato dish with yellow chili pepper, is very common in popular Peruvian cuisine. Henry prepares a dish based on small "causas" filled in different ways, with octopus, prawns and tuna.

Trío marino

The sole purpose of this dish, the "trío marino," perhaps lies precisely in its visual appeal and the feeling of abundance in terms of quantity. It consists of rice with fish, crispy deep-fried fish and ceviche. A good three-in-one dish, and not much more.

Tacu-tacu

As stated on the menu, this is indeed one of the most popular dishes of Creole cuisine, as it is a dish of resourcefulness, made with rice and beans and served with sautéed beef or shrimp. Very good indeed.

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