Upscale, global-inspired, conscious cuisine is on the menu at sleek, breezy Wayku in Wynwood.
Their motto is: Connected, updated, and aware of all the changes happening. Wayku aims to serve up dishes with a signature twist, using the finest techniques and ingredients available.
As a culinary and cocktail experience, Wayku delivers touches of nomadic cuisine.
The food has a decidedly adult palate, with riffs on Asian fusion, perfectly grilled meats, imaginative drinks, and divine desserts – think chocolate mousse in raspberry soup.
Seating is elegant and breezy, with covered semi-outdoor patio tables for balmy nights and padded booths and tables inside. Walls are a dark grey with unusual lighting fixtures and colorful flag-like fabrics on the ceiling.
We opted to sit at a booth along the front window facing the bar to take in all the action. A refreshing drink – the Wayku Spritz – had prosecco, Campari, and dragonfruit juice topped with a small purple orchid, sweet and sparkly.
The cocktail menu was designed by mixologist Mona Gallosi, whose life in bebidas started more than 20 years ago when she moved from hometown Rio Negro to Buenos Aires. There she created her own brand as a gastronomic businesswoman and an entrepreneur. She began her career as a bartender and mixologist at upscale bars and restaurants. There, she discovered her passion for mixes and simplicity, using only a few quality ingredients to create superior drinks.
Her goal was that most people at a bar or lounge could understand a cocktail’s language based on flavors, textures, and aromas. In her latest project, she has built a space for events, labs, and experiences called Puente G, where she transfers her experiences and highlights of her “around the world trip” into drinks and aromas, constantly adding new flavors and delights.
On to the food – starting with Tuna Tataki – the seared slices came on a bed of avocado with mango and black tulle chips, large enough for two.
The Bao Buns – those spongy wrappers for delicious fillings that absorb some of the sauce – had shitake mushrooms, purple kale, pistachios, and ginger teriyaki dressing. Yummy and light with multiple flavors.
The main course was outstanding – Grilled Rack of Lamb with a green herb crust, grilled artichokes, and small baby potatoes amusingly circling the edges of the plate. Cooked to medium-rare perfection, the juicy guilty pleasure chops were generous, and the artichokes were amazingly al dente and flavorful.
On to dessert: A Chocolate Triffle with raspberry soup, chocolate cream, cashew praline, blueberries, cherries, and meringue. Densely sweet and rich, the mousse paired wonderfully with the tangy “soup”, dotted with berries and nuts.
The man responsible for all this wonder is Chef Matteo Gritti of Milan, Italy. Both a chef and DJ, Gritti is a curious and experimental figure.
“We seek to involve all those who do not consume classic signature cuisine; that is why we offer dishes with “well known” ingredients, but with a fresh and innovative twist,” he says.
When he was 23 years old, Matteo opened his first restaurant in Buenos Aires. A few years later he started working in restaurants in Italy, learning how to manage Michelin Star restaurant kitchens.
In 2012 Matteo founded a record label — Cueva Records, where he produces and edits artists from the international scene, only in vinyl record format, old school style. The label produces parties such as Peacock Society, Konzept, Aribau & Friends.
Through the years, Matteo has shared booths with international DJs and artists, including Nina Kraviz, Loco Dice, Paul Kalkbrenner, Dubfire, Matador, Dixon, Blond:hish, Cuartero, and Barem, among others.
In addition to his success with music, his rhythm in the kitchen and passion for authentic taste set a higher standard for worldwide emerging chefs.
His inspiration comes from the world of art, music, and slow food.
In a time where food fusion genres are intertwined and re-imagined, it’s hard to pigeonhole his style. His creations shift and change with the seasons, and it all boils down to what works and tastes right.
Matteo has developed strong ties with his suppliers, all of which share the same values and help him in his mission as a chef.
As part of the team at Wayku, he brings with him a revolutionary concept of cuisine: modern and borderless, like today’s world.
Matteo’s powerful but simple dishes, with a signature twist such as offbeat fruits, preparation styles, and presentation. He uses techniques and ingredients gleaned from global influences and exotic locales.
With elegant dining like Wayku, Wynwood is growing into a dining destination, more than the street art that has made it a must-visit neighborhood.
Online at www.waykurestaurants.com