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Fresh Peruvian Eats Near Forest Hill

Kay Pacha in Forest Hill

Peruvian cuisine is one of the hottest new dining trends to emerge in recent years. For those renting apartments in the Forest Hill neighbourhood, one of Toronto’s newest Peruvian fine dining eateries isn’t far. Kay Pacha is located just south of Forest Hill’s apartments for rent and is a great spot for those new to Peruvian dining.

The Atmosphere

With full windows on its street front, Kay Pacha feels bright, open and inviting. At the same time, dark wood ceiling fixtures, green leather banquette seating and a rich marble bar give the restaurant an upscale feel. It’s a great spot for a romantic date night but we also spotted a small group celebrating a birthday and a family dining here as well, so the environment here is welcoming for all.

Elias Salazar, who hails from Peru, is the chef behind the restaurant. Salazar made a name for himself while putting Peruvian cuisine on the city’s radar hosting pop-up food events. But with Kay Pacha, Salazar has a permanent spot to serve up creations inspired by his home country. The name of the restaurant is derived from Quechua, an Indigenous Peruvian language,  meaning ‘this earth’.

The Food

Before diving in to a meal at Kay Pacha, you should know that Peruvian food is actually an eclectic mix of five cuisines. There’s chifa (Chinese-Peruvian), Amazonian, Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) and Italian-Peruvian as well as raw dishes like ceviche. Depending on your tastes, you could try a bit of all five at Kay Pacha or just stick to the ones you’re most curious about.

We started our meal with the Yuca Frita which are fries made out of cassava, a root vegetable popular in Peru. More like nuggets than traditional fries, the frita were perfectly crispy on the outside while the cassava interior was smooth and creamy, complemented by a grated cheese garnish.

Next off, we tried a selection from the Anticuchos section. These grilled skewers are an iconic element of Peruvian street food and Kay Pacha’s chicken rendition is moist and covered in a sweet barbecue sauce. For our mains, the gnocchi huancaina was a fun Peruvian twist on the Italian classic served with creamy potato and roast mushrooms while the Nikkei sauce on the Miami ribs added a nice hit of Asian flavour to our meal.

The Neighbourhood

St. Clair West already has a great reputation for its dining scene and it’s only growing stronger by the day. A mix of trendy new bars and eateries (like Kay Pacha) operate alongside longstanding neighbourhood favourites and holes-in-the-wall, giving the community a unique personality. With dedicated streetcar lanes running along St. Clair, it’s easy to get around the neighbourhood by public transit. Get yourself to St. Clair Station on the Yonge line or St. Clair West station on the University line and hop on the streetcar westbound to reach Kay Pacha and explore this neighbourhood in greater detail. Other St. Clair West hotspots to visit include Leah’s Bakery (known for its biscotti), fresh popsicles and soft-serve from Bar Ape and Indian fine dining at Pukka. With a multitude of Toronto apartment rentals around St. Clair West and Forest Hill, you can soon be a regular at these delicious eateries.

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