New treetop restaurant Nest unveiled at PER AQUUM Niyama
PER AQUUM Niyama Maldives in Dhaalu Atoll has unveiled their latest contribution to the world of haute cuisine in the Maldives. Nest, a restaurant that is nestled among the resort’s foliage and treetops is being described as ‘one of the wildest culinary journeys to be found in the Maldives’ and has already been shortlisted for international design awards including ‘Sexiest Design’ at LE Miami.
Design: Exploring the Surreal
The restaurant is located at the heart of the resort, amongst the island’s native jungle flora. Built beneath the branches of the island’s banyan trees, guests walk a wooden pathway that winds through the forest trunks. To reach the the restaurant, guests must then ascend spiralled stairs and cross bridges flanked by bamboo rails.
Conceptualised and brought to life by Singapore-based design firm Poole Associates, the multi-level tree house unfurls as a labyrinth of wooden paths, dining pods immersed in jungle greenery and thatched huts. Tables are nestled amongst the dense foliage on the forest floor or on platforms elevated six metres up in the treetops.
Dining huts, one housing a teppan table, shelter guests beneath cavernous rooftops. From within, guests gaze up at a dramatic vaulted ceiling that soars high above in a steep dome of latticed beams and bamboo. At table level, accents of red lacquer and woven green furnishings merge oriental influences and an island aesthetic.
Nest begins each party’s meal with welcome nibbles that elevate Southeast Asia’s local-loved snacks such as spicy sambal dips, and nut savouries kicked up a notch with crispy celery and kaffir lime leaves. Then delve into a selection of Asian regional fare from the groundbreaking menu.
Chef Jayadi Suwito explains, “My goal for this menu was to push and tease. Guests will find dishes from Asia’s most celebrated cuisines like Thai, Cantonese, Japanese – but they will also get a chance to discover lesser known culinary traditions with must-try sensational dishes from places like Cambodia, Indonesia and Myanmar.”
The raw ingredients comprise freshly caught and flown-in harvests as well as seasonal produce from the chef’s own island garden. Highlighted just-picked greens and other cultivars include mint, sweet basil, eggplants, cucumber, chilies and morning glory.
For a theatrical meal, the teppanyaki stage is the most desired table in the house. Guests may also go communal in typical Asian style with hot pot dining. Soon-to-launch highlights include the Korean grill and soju experience as well as Black Ivory coffee, the world’s most expensive roast.
With such varied cuisines spanning the East, Nest has built a team of specialists to capture and re-imagine the intricacies of each tradition. The restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine, Jayadi, leads the brigade. Born on Indonesia’s exotic island of Lombok, he possesses nearly two decades of expertise gained in Asia’s finest kitchens. A trio of right-hand men lend their own genius and head up the restaurant’s Teppanyaki, Chinese and Thai offerings. To round out the artisanal cadre, a Sake master replaces the expected Sommelier position and curates an inspiring collection of Asian spirits.
Nest at PER AQUUM Niyama is open daily from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. First-priority reservations go to PER AQUUM guests, but outside parties are welcome to contact the resort to secure a table and glimpse life on ‘Nature’s Playground’.
Other dining options at PER AQUUM Niyama include Tribal, the innovative African dining experience, fine dining at Edge, which is only accessible by boat, Subsix, the underwater playground and BLU, the laid-back beachfront restaurant where Miami meets the Mediterranean.