Inka opened in Canberra in March and it's already on the way to It-restaurant status. Now its team, which includes a former Zuma London chef and a New York City designer, is marching on Sydney.
First stop is the mega MLC development at Martin Place, where they've signed to open a 90-seat Japanese restaurant, with a Sydney Inka to follow elsewhere.
The Japanese restaurant, to be named Kazan (the Japanese word for volcano), will open at MLC in October, on the same level as Aalia, a Middle Eastern restaurant backed by restaurateur George Nahas and Nour's Ibby Moubadder.
Kazan and Inka co-owners Kiehyon Yoo, Adam Elchakak and Sunny Matharu have engaged New York-based designer Patricia Barbis. "We'll work around the volcano theme," Elchakak says. "It's a round tenancy." The ceiling will use kumiko, a traditional Japanese woodworking technique featuring ornate geometric patterns.
Group executive chef Michael Muir will oversee the menu. "Michael was overseas for years and worked at Zuma in London and Istanbul [he also has Rockpool on his CV]," says Elchakak. "He came back to Australia because of the pandemic."
The team are scouting Sydney sites for the local branch of Inka too, which features Nikkei cuisine, a blend of Peruvian and Japanese.
"We're looking in the city and outer city," says Elchakak. "When I see the right site, I'll know."