MEET NAMA | The New Culinary Concept By Aman At Amanpuri, Phuket
Nama, a new culinary concept celebrating the tradition of Japanese cuisine, known as washoku, which translates to harmony in food.
Aman has announced the launch of Nama, a new culinary concept celebrating the tradition of Japanese cuisine, known as washoku, which translates to harmony in food. Twelve months in the making, Nama represents the beginning of a new culinary chapter for Aman as it advances further into the world of gastronomy. Over the coming year, Nama will launch at selected Aman destinations, and though the culinary approach remains consistent, the menus at each resort will be shaped according to the produce and fare of each locale.
Nama, the reverse spelling of Aman and the Japanese word for ‘raw’, remains true to the Japanese influences of the brand’s DNA and imbues its values, making it a natural progression for the brand. These values, centred on peace, discretion, authenticity, and intuitive service, place emphasis on the guest experience and naturally translate into the restaurant environment.
Nama is guided by the vision of master chef Keiji Matoba, who with his 21 year career as a professional chef, brings a global perspective, with experience not only in his native Japan, but also in renowned contemporary restaurants around the world. Roland Fasel, Chief Operating Officer of Aman said “Nama is a natural progression for Aman and strengthens the very heart of what we stand for, which is to curate environments and experiences based on family values that are conducive to human exchange and social conviviality.” He adds, “Nama represents the coming together of our talented Aman team to further enhance our guest experience. I very much look forward to setting the framework as we introduce Nama across our collection.”
In a nod to Aman’s two properties in Japan, Aman Tokyo and Amanemu, Nama celebrates washoku with authentic, uncomplicated and elegant dishes that champion locally-sourced produce, allowing the intricate flavours of each ingredient to take centre stage.
The minimalistic and elegant Japanese aesthetic which inspires many aspects of Aman from the design to the architecture and service, is translated to the tables at Nama, influencing not only the menu itself but the presentation of its dishes, bespoke earthenware and staff uniforms, which are structured with simple lines in calming neutral earth tones and natural linens.
Paying homage to one of the oldest ceramic traditions in the world and to showcase the cuisine, bespoke earthenware has been commissioned for Nama including bizen ware known for its raw and unglazed aesthetic, shigaraki ware, which uses 17th century glazing and colouring techniques to produce a distinctive red colour, and oribe ware, invented in Japan in the 16th century, with its vivid patterns and green glazes. These hand-crafted pieces not only embody the Japanese principle of wabi-sabi, which centres on the acceptance and beauty found in imperfection, but also complement Nama’s fresh and flavoursome dishes.
It seemed befitting to inaugurate Nama at Amanpuri, Aman’s first resort, at a time when both the resort and the brand approach their 30th anniversary. Nestled directly on Amanpuri’s scallop-shaped beach, fragranced with the aroma of jasmine blossoms, Nama’s relaxed and informal beach setting inspires its menu of exquisitely crafted sushi and sashimi, appealing to guests and non-residents. The finest quality fish is carefully transported to Phuket from the Japan’s finest markets including Tsukiji in Tokyo, and combined with the daily catches from local waters to create fresh, raw dishes, sharing space on the menu with classic Japanese delicacies. A comprehensive menu of sushi, nigiri sushi and sashimi is available alongside signature dishes such as Kobe Gyu, a Japanese Kobe Wagyu steak grilled directly on the table over charcoal and served with Moshio mineral salt, a seaweed infused salt and the earliest known sea salt – produced by the ancient Japanese nearly 2,500 years ago.
Future Nama destinations will initially include Amanpulo in the Philippines, where produce is sourced from the markets of Japan, thereby allowing fresh sashimi, sushi and chargrilled Wagyu beef to star as Nama highlights. At Amanjena in Morocco, where Nama will launch later this year, the restaurant’s signature dishes will include wild salmon and chicken, prepared on an authentic robata grill which is heated using bincho-tan, a traditional charcoal of Japan dating back to the Edo period.
This new culinary chapter follows on from the recent launch of Aman Wellness, which saw the dual introduction of Group Wellness Retreats and Individual Immersions across the collection in 2016. Together, these concepts further enhance the guest experience at Aman’s collection of intimate hideaways which offer a peaceful gateway to a holistic lifestyle transforming the mind, body and spirit.