Travel News

Destination Dining: Kyushu, Amalfi Coast

Japanese cuisine meets Mediterranean flavours on the Amalfi coast.

By Josephine McKenna
Kyushu

Amalfi seafood and Mediterranean flavours in the form of Japanese-inspired dishes by a Spanish chef are on the menu at Kyūshū, a new restaurant in Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi.

The former 13th-century convent, perched on the side of a cliff above the town of Amalfi, has stunning views across the Gulf of Salerno.

The dégustation menu by chef Julián Mármol features the likes of foie gras nigiri with eggplant, a carpaccio of Amalfi gamberi, marinated anchovies with ginger cream, and calamari filled with provolone and zucchini.

"I try to respect the natural ingredients by using local fresh produce," says Mármol. "The ingredients are important whether you are cooking Mediterranean or Japanese cuisine."

The restaurant's name alludes to the missionary work of Alessandro Valignano, a Jesuit monk from the Kingdom of Naples who helped spread Catholicism in the island of Kyūshū and elsewhere in Japan in the late 16th century.

The convent's ancient cloister and chapel have been restored, and many of the hotel's 53 rooms and suites were once inhabited by Capuchin monks, but otherwise whitewashed walls and all-white furnishings are thoroughly contemporary, providing a stark backdrop to blue skies and ocean 80 metres below the hotel.

Guests can follow the passeggiata of the monks along terraces lined by bougainvillea to the restaurant or an infinity pool with panoramic views, or wander further to a wellness centre on the hotel's top floor for outdoor massages with similar views.

Rooms from $1,000, Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi, Via Annunziatella, 46, Amalfi, ghconventodiamalfi.com