Ayllu: A Fusion Delight Beneath the Bustle of London

April 11, 2024

Nestled beneath the vibrant streets of Paddington, just beneath the bustling Smith’s Bar & Grill, lies Allyu—a hidden culinary spot that flawlessly marries the tastes of Peru and Japan in a chic yet relaxed setting.

Recently, my artist pescetarian girlfriend and I enjoyed dining there, and our experience was undeniably delightful.

Upon entering Allyu, we were greeted warmly and immediately at ease in the modern yet relaxed ambience. The décor is simple but incorporates elements from Peruvian and Japanese cultures, setting the stage for an evening of culinary exploration.

We found it fascinating to learn about how the restaurant’s concept was built around the ancient traditions of the Ayllu community of the Inca Empire. The Ayllu was a group of families that lived, worked and shared mealtimes together similar to one large family. In following this Incan tradition, Ayllu is about friends and families sharing incredible food and drinks with their closest friends and loved ones.

They have main dishes such as seabass and black cod, but the concept is sharing platters. The platters can accommodate around 4 to 6 people, depending on size and appetite. The menu can be slightly intimidating initially, but the staff is great at advising, and the choices are excellent.

The standout dish for many would be The Allyu Sushi Platter, which features bluefin tuna. Each piece was meticulously crafted, showcasing the freshness and quality of the ingredients. The softshell crab rolls were particularly memorable, offering a delightful crunch and a burst of flavour with each bite.

Before the sushi, we delved into the Lamb Robata, beautifully cooked over an open flame with a tantalizing Taban Dian and Lime marinade. The tender, succulent lamb skewers were a testament to the chef’s expertise.

However, the Grilled Aubergine stole the show for us. I always appreciate it when something simple is elated brilliantly, and at £6.50, it is very affordable. It was glazed in miso, and the humble vegetable was transformed into a mouth-watering delight, showcasing Allyu’s ability to elevate simple ingredients into extraordinary dishes.

The staff were knowledgeable, attentive, and passionate about the cuisine, ensuring that each dish arrived promptly. We had explanations for each dish as it arrived which was an extra touch that enriched the whole dining experience.

Allyu’s innovative fusion of Peruvian and Japanese flavours truly sets it apart. While initially seemingly disparate, these culinary traditions harmonize seamlessly, creating intriguing and delicious dishes. The flavours are robust yet light, offering a satisfying meal without feeling heavy.

As a photographer, my dinner guest also appreciated each dish’s simple yet stylish presentation. Each plate was artistic, adding to the dining experience.

For those who like entertainment along with their meal, Ayllu hosts a live DJ every Friday and Saturday night. On Saturdays, Samba dancers take to the stage to accompany the music for a fully immersive experience.

In summary, our experience at Allyu was undeniably positive. It’s a bot hidden and easily missed… just off the canal next to Paddington Station. If you’re in London craving a great example of fusion, something tasty, healthy and not too heavy, consider visiting Allyu. There is undoubtedly something for everyone and quite a unique concept in that area.

Some other excellent dishes are beef ribs, mixto ceviche, and tuna with crispy, excellent tacos. 

Ayllu is a Capital A List partner venue. Members can make bookings for Ayllu via the members login.

Peter McSweeney

By Peter McSweeney

Peter is a screenwriter, director and producer. He's the writer and editor for Capital A List covering all things luxury in the restaurants, hotel and bar scene.

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