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Culinary Journeys With Aman

June 15, 2015 Luxury Hotels No Comments Email Email

Aman offers a unique sense of place in each of its resorts, embracing the local culture and celebrating its traditions.

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This includes the cuisine of every Aman kitchen – equally adept at introducing authentic local fare alongside international dishes to its guests. Aman Tokyo’s new restaurant, The Café by Aman, exemplifies this selective eclecticism with a seasonal menu showcasing fresh local produce in dishes ranging from Japanese to Mediterranean.

Whether taking full-immersion cooking lessons with executive chefs, scouring local markets for home-grown ingredients, climbing mountains for rare mushrooms, or learning how to cook centuries-old recipes in the homes of locals, Aman has something to satisfy the discerning palate of every culinary traveller.

Aman Tokyo, Japan Launch of The Café by Aman

Aman Tokyo has announced the launch of The Café by Aman, its new café concept situated on the ground floor of The Otemachi Tower. Located in the heart of Tokyo’s vibrant business district, The Café by Aman is a peaceful oasis offering tranquil green views through the Otemachi Forest – a 3,600-square-metre, manmade forest at the base of Aman Tokyo. Flooded with natural light through its floor-to-ceiling windows, the café provides both indoor and outdoor seating and is open for lunch and dinner. Utilising only the freshest local produce, the seasonal menu focuses on Mediterranean-inspired fare including Iberian hams as well as Japanese meats and fresh seafood. The signature Afternoon Tea incorporates Japan’s Bento concept with delicate pastries served in customised wooden boxes. The Café by Aman is the only restaurant in Tokyo to serve fresh seasonal still and sparkling sakes (ginjo, junmai ginjo, namazake) poured from unique sake vats which were created by long established sake brewery, Masumi, named after a Japanese family that has been producing sake for over 350 years and who also blend and produce Aman Tokyo’s signature sake.

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Amanbagh, India

Ajabgarh Cooking Lessons and Private Gwaadi Dining

Tucked away in Rajasthan’s rugged Aravalli hills, Amanbagh is a verdant garden estate of palm, fruit and eucalyptus trees. The resort offers Indian cuisine cooking lessons in a traditional Ajabgarh styled gwaadi (village hut), built to replicate a local home with mud walls and a straw roof within the resort’s beautiful grounds. After picking fresh produce from the 2 acre organic gardens of the hotel, guests cook with Amanbagh’s chefs over a chulha (local mud stove), then dine on their creations. Many of Amanbagh’s chefs come from nearby villages and have brought with them recipes passed down through the generations from ancestors who once cooked for Mughal hunting parties. The gwaadi is also a particularly romantic setting for private dining in the warm evenings, surrounded by nature with flower-strewn pathways and softly glowing lanterns.

Amanoi, Vietnam

Vietnamese Cooking Classes Executive chef Danny and his Vietnamese team introduce guests to the food culture of Vietnam with hands-on lessons in the kitchens of the resort.Guests learn how to create Bánh xèo, a savoury fried Vietnamese pancake, Bò lá lốt, minced beef fillet infused with Vietnamese spices and wrapped in betel leaf, as well as the signature dish of Vietnamese cuisine, fresh rice paper and vegetable hand rolls.


Amankila, Bali A Culinary Journey through East Bali Set on the east coast of Bali beneath towering Mount Agung, Amankila’s Cooking School offers the same panoramic views of the Lombok Strait as the resort itself. Guests can now embark on a culinary journey with Amankila’s experienced guides beginning at Black Sands Kusamba where, across from Karangasem’s famous Bat Cave Temple, the Balinese have produced natural sea salt for hundreds of years. A visit to the village of Manggis, famed for its exotic mangosteen fruit orchards follows and the journey continues into the clouds of Mount Agung, to Amankila’s organic farm situated near the Temple of Pasar Agung. After descending through rice terraces and local farming communities to Jasri Beach, guests can enjoy an organic chocolate tasting in a breezy coconut plantation. The journey concludes with a visit to Amankila’s free-range duck farm, which is completely chemical and hormone free. Cooking classes at Amankila, which begin with a chef’s tour of Klungklung Market, offer a hands-on approach providing insight into how Indonesian spice pastes are blended and prepared. Amandari, Bali Cooking Lessons and Organic Produce Perched high above the Ayung River Gorge near Bali’s cultural centre of Ubud, Amandari’s open-air teak restaurant serves a Balinese Feast which includes a selection of smoked duck, babi guling (suckling pig), lawa (long bean salad) and ayam sambal matah (spiced chicken).

Guests can learn to make a number of these and other dishes in unique cooking classes, held in a local family’s home after a visit to the morning market. Amandari is surrounded by rice paddies and farming communities committed to organic farming principles. The resort sources organic chicken, duck, pork and vegetables from farms nearby.

Amanpuri, Thailand

New Beach Club Restaurant and Thai Cooking Lessons

Overlooking the Andaman Sea from a private peninsula on Phuket’s west coast, Amanpuri encapsulates the beachside Thai idyll. A sweep of stone steps leads from the main swimming pool and its surrounding restaurants to a white-sand beach and the resort’s newly renovated Beach Club. As well as a 20m lap pool, a cocktail bar and lounge, The Beach Club now includes a dining area serving an extensive menu of Mediterranean dishes and woodfired fare for lunch and dinner. Specialties include authentic pizzas, char grilled seafood and whole roasted fish and meat. For those who would like to try their hand at Thai cooking, Amanpuri is offering cooking classes with Mae Naree, the resort’s Executive Chef. Held in the recently opened Lounge, located adjacent to the Italian restaurant and featuring a cheese drawer and walk-in wine room, with its panoramic sea views, the classes guide guests through Thai cuisine’s key ingredients and include the preparation of four dishes. These can be enjoyed afterwards with a glass of authentic Thai wine in The Restaurant.

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Amankora, Bhutan

Matsutake Season and Bhutanese Cooking Classes Revered in Japan, the pine (matsu) mushroom (take) is the most anticipated of autumn flavours. Lending its pungent, cinnamon-spice aroma to any preparation, its unique flavour is sought after by gastronomes worldwide. This matsutake season in Bhutan, which will run throughout August, Amankora will play host to renowned Japanese chef Tsutomu Oba. A professional sushi chef and the owner of boutique sushi restaurant Sushi Kokoro in Kagurazaka, Tokyo, Chef Oba will prepare exclusive sushi and matsutake mushroom gastronomy for guests at the Amankora Thimphu lodge from 13 to 15 August. Set in the upper reaches of the Motithang area, this sixteensuite lodge is close to the capital’s many attractions. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit Geneka Village to witness the harvesting of matsutake mushrooms and learn more about this special ingredient. Those visiting Amankora Punakha can take part in unique Bhutanese cooking classes in the lodge’s farmhouse kitchen. They will create their own menu from a list of popular national dishes and enjoy their creations after making them in the lodge’s atmospheric courtyard.

Amangalla, Sri Lanka

Cooking in the Rice Paddies and Roti Dinner Amangalla resides within the walls of the UNESCO-protected Galle Fort on Sri Lanka’s south coast, a short distance from picturesque villages and rice paddies inland. It is here near the village of Yatagala that the resort has built a traditional Sri Lankan kitchen and a thatched-roof, open-sided ambalama pavilion for traditional cooking lessons or romantic private dining. An engaging experience come rain or shine, the cooking lessons begin with shopping for fresh ingredients in the various markets of Galle town. After a short drive inland, participants join Lalitha, a local village lady from Yatagala, who leads the class in making Sri Lankan dishes in traditional clay pots including devilled prawns, dhal, eggplant moju, chicken curry, a variety of sambols and more. Guests can also enjoy private dining in this peaceful setting – particularly romantic at sunset. For a thoroughly authentic experience, Amangalla can arrange private dinner serving Roti, traditional Sri Lankan street food. Served in the ambalama lit by candles and flaming torches, the dinner incorporates flat-bread made from wheat flour which can be infused with flavours ranging from coconut to chili.

Amanjiwo, Central Java

Borobudur Breakfasts and Candlelit Dinners

Amanjiwo’s regal entrance pavilion offers views across the Kedu Plain to distant volcanoes, its stone pillars framing the 9th century Buddhist sanctuary of Borobudur. Just a few minutes drive from the resort, Borobudur is a UNESCO-protected monument boasting more than 2,600 remarkable stone relief panels and over 500 Buddha statues.

Mysterious and beautiful in the pre-dawn hush, Borobudur is best viewed at sunrise, after which guests can enjoy a picnic breakfast atop Dagi Hill or at the convergence of two rivers nearby in the gardens of a private art gallery. Another private dining option is dinner hosted in a private home at a local village, only available to Amanjiwo guests. Candles line the pathway to a local villager Pak Bilal’s home welcoming dining room, where a multicourse, home-cooked Indonesian feast is served.

Amansara, Cambodia

Traditional Khmer Kitchen and Private Dining

Situated just 10 minutes’ drive from the entrance to Angkor, Amansara is an intimate retreat from which to explore the heritage and history of Ancient Khmer civilization. Within the World Heritage Site overlooking the 10th century royal reservoir of Srah Srang is Amansara’s traditional village house and Khmer kitchen. Here, after a shopping expedition to the local market, guests can gather fresh herbs, chilies and salad items from the garden before learning to cook several Khmer dishes in the rustic stilted house. Afterwards guests can relax with a chilled glass of wine or frosty Angkor beer on the verandah and savour the fruits of their labour. The Khmer village house is also a romantic setting for private dinners at sunset to the accompaniment of live classical roneat ek music.

Amanusa, Bali

Jimbaran Seafood Market & Cooking Class

With stunning views overlooking the Indian Ocean, Amanusa presents a truly local and hands-on Balinese culinary journey, with its Executive Chef. Departing after an early morning breakfast, guests will travel with the chef to the well-known Jimbaran seafood market, situated on the shores of Jimbaran Bay. Whilst viewing the array of the mornings freshly caught seafood, they will select their own preference of seafood directly from the market sellers. Arriving back at Amanusa to iced Chrysanthemum tea, culinary enthusiasts will then have a hands-on lesson in the outdoor cooking school, set under the shade of the resort’s frangipani trees where they will be taught the Southern Balinese method of preparing and cooking the seafood purchased at the market. Chefs will then speak about the cuisine styles and culinary history from the local areas whilst guests enjoy their creations. 

Amantaka, Laos

Morning Cooking Classes

Laotian cuisine is a blend of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese with local influences strongly emphasized in fresh herbs and salads. Guests can delve into the culinary experience of Laotian food with a visit to the morning market, just a short walk from Amantaka. They will be escorted by the hotel’s executive chef who will guide guests through the stalls of kai pan (freshwater nori), cheo bong (dried chillies) and the array of vegetables, spices and meats on display.

Following the market tour, guests are taken to the hotel’s entirely organic farm, The Living Land Company, located in Phongyan village. The Living Land Company employs farmers from local villages with underprivileged backgrounds, supports the education of the farmers’ children and assists the local community in improvements to the village infrastructure. Upon returning to Amantaka, guests will take part in a cooking lesson in the open air kitchen of the hotel, led by the executive chef who will teach the basic elements of Laotian cuisine. Starting with the Laotian staple of sticky rice, and then moving on to green papaya salad through to aromatic pork curry, guests are given a comprehensive understanding of the delicious cuisine.

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