AYA Restaurant | Street Art Gallery is a temple for the senses, with Peruvian fusion cuisine, international beats and eclectic global street art bringing a new level of modern street culture to Seminyak, Bali
AYA restaurant, the brainchild of owners Juanjo Suárez and Rafael Sanchez, offers a refreshing combination of Peruvian – Asian gastronomy. Renowned Chef Marco Cuevas’ incredible Peruvian cuisine draws inspiration from the streets and is paired with visual stimulation and international beats in the heart of bustling Seminyak.
“We decided to merge everything we love most into AYA,” said owner Rafael Sanchez. “We have created a fine dining experience delivered in a fun, affordable way in a modern, authentically urban setting. AYA is a haven for freedom and the arts and we look to inspire and educate our guests in the virtues of Peruvian gastronomy and modern culture. Our venue is a temple for the senses, with amazing food and drinks in a space that showcases creative minds from all over the world.”
The interiors of AYA are by Helen Milne, who has created an eclectic and surprising space that perfectly captures a vibrant, social street atmosphere. With a carefully curated selection of street artwork, AYA is both a restaurant and gallery and with many tactile surfaces and finishes, is a space that awakens all the senses. Artworks include a huge mural by renowned London artist D*Face, sets of Banksy, Space Invader, Jan Kaleb and many others. Camino Ardiente Hacia la Luz is a beautiful mosaic inspired by Maximo Laura Camino, the award winning Peruvian tapestry weaver. All artworks are for sale and there will be a rotation of pieces ensuring the collection is ever changing and surprising.
AYA’s open kitchen has a serene and relaxed atmosphere that juxtaposes with the vibrant art of the interior, with tiles made from recycled glass, melted and remolded to suggest fish scales that reflect the predominance of AYA’s signature raw fish dishes, or ceviche. The cooking hood is the same cool, green hue, created by tapping copper to create an intricate texture and finished with an acid rinse. The restaurant has prominent pillars throughout, covered in wood hand-carved by a whole village in Jepara (Java) whilst industrial copper light installations and a chain lamp constructed from motorcycle chains point to the hand carved gold nugget bar, where gorgeous, hand carved tiles in a Peruvian design lead towards the surprising bathrooms. The external signage is laser cut brass using a design by Indonesian street artist Gentusuria. All elements used to create the interiors were locally made in Indonesia.
Chef Marco Cueva’s menu is a truly unique showcase of Peruvian cuisine coupled with locally sourced fresh ingredients. There are influences from the indigenous Inca population and elements introduced by Asian immigrants, with a focus on Peruvian-Japanese (Nikkei) and Peruvian-Chinese (Chifa) fusion. Chef Marco brings his love of Peruvian street food alive with the addition of fresh, Balinese produce sourced from local growers that gives an Indonesian twist. The food is casual and designed to be shared and is served on eccentric, bespoke handmade ceramics gorgeously crafted specifically for Chef Marco’s creations. The welcoming atmosphere extends to the chefs being more than happy to describe the dishes and their provenance and the open kitchen where the creation of all the dishes is on display for guests to enjoy.
Guests can sit at the Ceviche Bar and enjoy the great beats, stunning art and top-shelf people watching on AYA Street with a selection of cocktails accompanied by nibbles and tapas. The selection of cocktails ranges from traditional Pisco-based temptations through to contemporary creations and classic favorites. (Photos: Reiinaldo Arvin)