Chakana review: 'I tried Peruvian cuisine from a Michelin chef and was treated to music from the Andes'

A trailblazer of Peruvian cuisine in the UK has established his latest restaurant in Hackney's ultra-trendy Broadway Market.
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The sound of pan flutes welcomed us to a late-launch event for one of east London's newest culinary destinations last week, taking me back to a brief visit to Peru 15 years ago.

Chakana, listed in the Michelin guide, is Birmingham's centre of Peruvian haute cuisine and six months ago chef Robert Ortiz brought the restaurant and bar to Broadway Market in Hackney.

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Robert is no stranger to the capital , having trained at the Landmark Hotel and the Four Seasons, and earned Lima its Michelin Star in 2013 – the first Peruvian restaurant in Europe to be recognised by the guide.

Last Thursday my guest and I (and a frenzy of food influencers) were treated to a seven-course sampling menu.

The evening began with a delicious pisco sour (and then maybe another). I don't often drink cocktails but this Peruvian example, made with the grape-based pisco spirit, had just the right balance.

Robert gave a demonstration of how to prepare a traditional ceviche, bream with a 'tiger's milk' citrus sauce. The lime-cured fish is perhaps not for everyone, but for me the refreshing flavour mix is a winner.

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One aspect of Peruvian cuisine is 'nikkei' which has its origins in a fusion with Japanese food dating back to the 19th century. In this case we enjoyed a flavoursome kind of tuna slider.

Popular in many parts of South America are empanadas, a close cousin of the Cornish pasty. I've always been a fan and this locro (Peruvian pumpkin) example didn't disappoint.

Robert Ortiz is the chef behind Broadway Market's Peruvian restaurant, Chakana. Robert Ortiz is the chef behind Broadway Market's Peruvian restaurant, Chakana.
Robert Ortiz is the chef behind Broadway Market's Peruvian restaurant, Chakana.

From the main menu were a rich, creamy and spicy aji de gallina (chicken stew) as well as a nice piece of beef pachamanca (baked) on corn cake.

More from the sea came in the form of squid with potato cooked in squid ink - again, not for everyone but if you like the taste, this is exactly what you want - and a nice piece of squid.

Chakana's roast hake Amazonia.Chakana's roast hake Amazonia.
Chakana's roast hake Amazonia.

Chef Robert Ortiz

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Chakana's Robert Ortiz said: “Bringing the vibrant culture and cuisine of my home country of Peru here to the UK has always been a passion of mine. After creating a successful concept which has fostered a lovely community in Birmingham, we chose London as our next location so that we could really take the Chakana brand to the next level and spread further awareness of a country which will always be so close to my heart.

“It’s been a really exciting few months since our launch, and we’re so pleased with how well our new London site has been received. Hackney is a fantastic location, with a brilliant community that’s brimming with creativity, making it the perfect location for us.”

Chakana - tasting menu

As well as the a la carte selection, a tasting menu is coming to Chakana soon at £75pp, with a £65 vegetarian option. While it will vary, this is a sample Peruvian Experience tasting menu from the Birmingham restaurant.


  • Tuna makky - rocoto chilli, rice, sesame seeds
  • Cusco corn cake - fresh rocoto, coriander oil


  • Sea bream ceviche - sweet potato, tiger's milk, canchita corn
  • Crab causa - red potato, tamarillo sauce
  • Hand-dived Orkney scallop tiradito - Andean chillies, achiote oil, tiger's milk variety
  • Corn bread - avocado and seaweed butter
  • Andean pot stew - cashew nuts, braised lettuce, huancaina
  • Confit suckling pig - yuca root, chocolate, charapita chilli
  • Amazonian chocolate mousse - guava fruit, beetroot crisps

Petit fours

  • Golosinas

Chakana, Broadway Market - address and bookings

Chakana is at 41 Broadway Market, E8 4PH. Reservations can be made now online.