Our best new Toronto Restaurants Countdown: #10, Waska Peruvian Chicken

Waska Peruvian Chicken, led by chef Elias Salazar, is a contemporary Peruvian establishment offering an array of seasonal dishes that spotlight regional specialties.

All of the items on the menu are created using farm-fresh ingredients and imported Peruvian products.

Waska Peruvian’s take on the authentic Peruvian-style “Pollo a la Brasa”.

Born and raised in Callao, Peru, chef Salazar takes inspiration from his culinary roots, namely his grandmother’s teachings, to bring Waska’s flavour-packed dishes to life.

“Tallarin Saltado”, a Peruvian staple dish showcasing the very best of Chinese-Peruvian fusion flavours.

“Peruvian cuisine has many different cultures involved in it and it represents 500 years of culinary evolution,” Salazar says. “Every place in Peru has its own cuisine or version of a dish.”

Anticuchos de corazon grilled skewers in aji panca glaze, served with potatoes, and creole pepper sauce.

Many of the dishes on the menu also incorporate old family recipes.

“My great grandmother, grandmother and mother have all made me the chef I am today,” Salazar says. “I strive to celebrate them through Waska.”

The Lomo Saltado: Top sirloin, red onions, tomatoes, scallion, peruvian peppers and my secret “Chifa” sauce. Served the traditional way with crispy Yukon gold fries and steamed jasmine rice.

Having worked in kitchens in Lima, Toronto, and Montreal, Salazar now knows how to make more than 100 types of Peruvian ceviche, classifying it and any type of seafood as his signature dish.

“Ceviche Mixto” made from Moroccan octopus, Argentinian shrimp, choclo, avocado, cilantro, bibb lettuce, and Rocoto pepper tiger’s milk.

The remainder of the menu offers a host of delicious, traditional Peruvian fare, including tamales, empanadas and quinoa-based dishes, among others.

Waska’s name is an ode to a Quechua word that is commonly used in Peru to tell people that they are tipsy and happy, enjoying themselves amongst friends and family.

Salazar is opening another elevated Peruvian cuisine concept later this summer.

805 Dovercourt Rd.

Article exclusive to TRNTO