A TASTE OF PERU

AP­PRE­CI­ATE SEAFOOD AT ITS BEST IN THE IN­CAN WAY…

Bali & Beyond - - CONTENTS - By Wi­win Wir­widya

Peru­vian cui­sine at Above Eleven Bali

Truth be told, all I know about Peru­vian food is there are var­i­ous types of pota­toes in­cor­po­rated in al­most all of their dishes. That’s all. How­ever, a visit to this new restau­rant in Jim­baran gives me a true per­spec­tive on Peru­vian food. Nes­tled on level eight Moven­pick Re­sort & Spa Jim­baran Bali, the Above Eleven Bali pleased my palate with au­then­tic taste of Peru­vian food, fused with a strong Ja­pa­nese fla­vors.

The restau­rant – hail­ing from Bangkok – em­braces the his­tory of the Ja­pa­nese mi­gra­tion to Peru in the 1800s in their unique de­lec­ta­ble cui­sine. The team be­lieves the Ja­pa­nese twist will boost one’s senses, giv­ing din­ers a new ex­cit­ing culi­nary ad­ven­ture that is rich with fla­vors and tex­ture of the Nikkei cui­sine.

Here, vis­i­tors will dine un­der the sky sur­rounded by a breath­tak­ing view of Jim­baran area. This new hub boasts a rooftop con­cept, tak­ing din­ers to a park-in-the-sky am­biance that is metic­u­lously ar­ranged for a ca­sual yet fine din­ing. A green labyrinth maze will wel­come guests be­fore en­ter­ing the main din­ing area that is dec­o­rated with rus­tic de­sign. For the best din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, I chose to sit in the semi-in­door area in front of the bar dur­ing my visit to the restau­rant.

OCEAN IN A PLATE

The first time I looked at the menu board, I was in awe with its se­lec­tions of fresh seafood – they have ev­ery­thing from salmon, tuna and snap­per to prawn, squid, oc­to­pus and crab. With a lit­tle bit of di­rec­tion from Chef Renzo Vachelli – whose pas­sion is cook­ing his child­hood Peru­vian and var­i­ous fu­sion food –, I fi­nally se­lected the Mango Ce­viche and the must-have Ce­biche. Above Eleven of­fers their catch-of-the-day prawns and deep

fried cala­mari, sided with sweet pota­toes in red chili leche de ti­gre. But for a start, I opted for the salmon sashimi – with­out a doubt, this dish has a whole fresh­ness and ten­der­ness from the first bite to the last.

The Mango Ce­viche – which was my first ce­viche ever – worked as a fresh ap­pe­tizer that pre­pared my palate for my next round. For the Peru­vians, ce­viche is a must-have dish on the din­ner ta­ble. Ce­viche, also known Ce­biche or Se­viche, is a seafood dish pre­pared in a cen­turies-old cook­ing method with­out us­ing any heat but acidic juice of cit­rus such as limes and lemons. The chem­i­cal process be­tween the cit­ric liq­uids and the fish meat makes the meat au­to­mat­i­cally as opaque and firm as a well-cooked fish. The Peru­vians have been us­ing this method for over a cen­tury, since the 1890’s to be ex­act.

JA­PA­NESE TOUCHES

My Peru­vian culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence con­tin­ued as I was still cu­ri­ous about how the restau­rant in­fuses Ja­pa­nese fla­vors in their Peru­vian seafood dishes. With that in mind, I opted to have the Ti­ra­dito Nikkei, Salmon Ar­roz Ne­gro and Oc­to­pus An­tic­uchero.

The Ti­ra­dito Nikkei is a Peru­vianstyle Tuna Sashimi served with fresh Nikkei pas­sion fruit leche de ti­gre. I have to ad­mit, I have never tasted

fish meat at its out­most fresh­ness like this. The leche de ti­gre, or the tiger’s milk, is also in­ter­est­ing – and no, it is not lit­er­ally tiger’s milk. It is ac­tu­ally the Peru­vian term for the cit­rus-based mari­nade that cures the seafood in Ce­viche. It con­tains lime juice, sliced onion, chili, salt and pep­per, and of course a bit of fish juice. The ex­cit­ing part was that leche de ti­gre is be­lieved to be a hang­over cure!

But my awe didn’t end there as the Above Eleven Bali’s Peru­vian dishes con­tin­ued to sur­prise me. The no-heat cook­ing process suc­cess­fully made ev­ery dish so fresh and un­de­ni­ably de­li­cious that I felt I could taste the fresh­ness of the ocean in ev­ery bite. Af­ter tast­ing the leche de ti­gre in more than half of my din­ner, I de­cided to have some­thing that is cooked with heat to close my main cour­ses per­fectly. My choice was the Oc­to­pus An­tic­uchero, a grilled oc­to­pus dish served with crushed pota­toes, onions, olive may­on­naise, chim­i­curri and an­tic­u­cho sauce.

To en­joy this dish, please never let it cool down. En­joy it right away to in­dulge in the freshly warm ooey­gooey tex­ture of the oc­to­pus along with the rich taste of Peru­vian sauce. And for a sweet end­ing, I chose the Mex­i­can sig­na­ture dessert; Chur­ros dipped with choco­late and vanilla sauce. My first Peru­vian-Ja­pa­nese culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence went be­yond amaz­ing, in­deed!

This Peru­vian restau­rant aims to in­tro­duce the vast range of au­then­tic Peru­vian cui­sine to all food lovers from all sides of the world. And thanks to Chef Renzo Vac­chelli’s broad ex­pe­ri­ence in Peru, in­clud­ing some of his years in Ger­many and Eng­land, Above Eleven Bali man­ages to de­liver that vi­sion.

One last tip; don’t for­get to pair your dishes with their de­li­cious drinks. De­signed by Soho Hos­pi­tal­ity, Above Eleven Bali ac­com­mo­dates 258 seats and also serves sig­na­ture cock­tails that are per­fect to ac­com­pany your meal.

Above Eleven Bali Möven­pick Re­sort & Spa Jim­baran Bali Jalan Wana­giri No.1, Jim­baran (0811) 3860-402 www.aboveeleven.com

Dine with a view of Jim­baran’s sky­line.

Chef Renzo Vac­chelli.

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