A TASTE OF PERU
APPRECIATE SEAFOOD AT ITS BEST IN THE INCAN WAY…
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.
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.