Fusion food has come a long way. It was once an Antipodean derived byword for some great (read Peter Gordon of Providores fame) and some truly atrocious (crocodile pizza - yes it really existed) food. But fusion has shaken of its mid-nineties pretensions to become a clearly defined, mostly excellent, dining genre. In recent years my eyes have been opened, and my mouth has been watered by Japanese-Brazilian and Irish-Argentinean food fusions
Amaru in St Katherine's Dock takes fusion in a Japanese- Peruvian direction. The brainchild of the team behind Bravas Tapas - restaurateur Bal Thind and chef Victor Garvey, Amaru is very much a Nikkei eatery and takeout joint, so it’s not a place for romance. Victor wanted the interior to be reminiscent of an izakaya, the Japanese equivalent to a gastropub. And while it doesn’t look like any gastropub I’ve been to, its clean lines, light brown wood interiors, and ample outside space, work well in its waterside location.
The menu features salads, ceviches and tiraditos Signature dishes include prawn ceviche with coconut, mango, Rocoto pepper and red onion, and toasted sesame crusted tuna with avocado, spicy sesame dressing, truffle and umeboshi plum. Among the many dishes we tried, included the sesame crusted tuna which was heavenly and a green tea tiramisu for dessert which was intriguingly good. The latter wasn't one for the traditionalist and missed that coffee kick - but it was a nice dessert nevertheless. The overall food presentation was beautiful, and the service and ambiance was relaxed and charming.
I happen to be going through a Japanese and Korean food phase, and the Northerner and I have long delighted in Peruvian food. So I admit that when I read about Amaru I was both unsure as to how this would work, and nervous that it might disappoint. I needn’t have worried. Amaru’s beautifully presented, wonderfully flavoured food, will provide a delightful alternative to local office workers and wandering tourists that are tired of the chain sushi joints. Amaru confirms that fusion has indeed come a long way.
From * to *****
Serving and pouring ****
Dining and tasting **** 1/2
Schmoozing and boozing **
St Katherine Docks
T: 0207 702 4765