Peruvians are extremely passionate about their food and culture. This month, Farah Baig discovered the true pride that they take in their cuisine at the Kingdom’s most exciting pop-up restaurant, Inti at Four Seasons, located at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay.
With a multicultural flavour profile and numerous indigenous products, Peruvian cuisine is quite special. So just the thought of experiencing Bahrain’s first authentic Peruvian dining experience was truly exhilarating.
Located in the dazzling firelit surroundings of the Hotel’s Azure pool, Inti at Four Seasons is a new nightly pop-up led by Peruvian Chef Yovani Guevara. As part of our experience, we were to dine on the degustation menu and a selection of vegetarian menu items on request.
True Nikkei cuisine in the form of a colourful selection of ceviche was the opening act for the evening. The unique platter featured the freshest of seabass, one served traditionally cold in a leche de tigre marinade of lime and quintessentially Peruvian aji peppers and the other grilled, aside from a mushroom ceviche. Slices of torched sweet potato and the pungent flavour of red onion further elevated the ceviche.
Next, we savoured the Salmon Tiradito – a kaleidoscope of colours, textures and flavours. The thinly sliced salmon, heat of the Aji peppers, fresh diced carrots and delicate crunch of grains offered surprising layers of flavour with spicy, sweet and tangy notes teasing our tastebuds in waves. Unlike ceviche, tiradito is sauced immediately before service, as opposed to marinated.
A colourful bowl of Salmon followed beautifully combining fresh salmon roe, salmon tartar, smooth mashed potato and avocado. The smoothness of every ingredient presented full bodied flavours which worked well with the crisp seabass skin. It was at this point in our experience that we were able to truly appreciate the attention to detail and finesse of their plating as every dish was a work of art.
Moving to the mains, the Anticucho Carne featured delicious skewers of tangy beef tenderloin served with a side of Peru’s choclo, large kernels of corn which were ever so slightly spicy – the perfect accompaniment for a protein like beef. These were embellished with more of the delectable Aji sauce.
Interestingly enough, Peru is known internationally for being the world’s largest producer of the nutritious grain quinoa. Through Chef Yovani’s innovation, this ingredient was innovatively incorporated in the menu. As part of our mains, we enjoyed a sumptuous bowl of quinoa with decadent cheese, cherry tomatoes and asparagus. This was followed by a wholesome rice dish laden with calamari, scallops, prawns and an assortment of fresh vegetables.
Ending our meal in a universal fashion, we tucked into the tres leche. Most people are quite familiar with this dessert but what made Inti’s approach to it so unique was the surprising element of crisp quinoa and tangy mango sorbet – just delightful. Melt-in-your-mouth luquma with dulce de leche, a dollop of ice cream and fresh fruit was a sensational finish to the evening’s dining adventure.
Needless to say, Four Seasons’ impeccable service and Chef Yovani’s visionary approach to using Peruvian ingredients made this degustation experience one to remember.
Inti at Four Seasons is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 7pm to midnight. For more information, call 17 115-500.