Oct 3, 2012

J'Ador Amador

Amador Restaurant located at the Park Rotana in Abu Dhabi is a hidden gem.  The brainchild of Michelin starred chef Juan Amador, this restaurant flaunting "Avant Guarde" cuisine is truly something special. 
To begin we were presented with 2 Amuse Bouche.  The first was this colorful display below which emulated the taste of an oyster.  Interesting compilation of ingredients complete with unusual tastes and textures, I can honestly say, I've never tasted anything like it before...... 

"Oyster" Cucumber Gellie, seaweed brittle, foam
The second amuse bouche was the fillet of sardine below served with a crispy garlic breadcrumb crust  frozen gazpacho quenelle and a touch of herb oil.  At first bite this dish didn't work for me.  The stark contrast of the chilled gazpacho against the sardine was too extreme and didn't allow the natural flavors of the sardine to shine.  However, once the gazpacho melted, the flavors began to meld, and the dish harmoniously came together.    

Sardine with a chilled citrus gazpacho
Having already enjoyed two amuse bouche, we decided to share just one starter, and as it came to the table we were impressed with presentation immediatley.  This flawless dish with colorful components did have the wow factor.  Underneath the gellie, was the perfectly seared scallop nestled warmly ontop of the parsely puree. Packed with elegent flavors and a pristine presentation, these chefs were not messing around!

Scallops with a parsley puree and gellie
Next up, we had another touch of elegance with this gorgeous carmelized Black Cod.  Now, Black Cod has grown in popularity over the years after first being introduced by Chef Nobu.  However, from Okku, to Zuma, Caramel, and even Teatro at the Park Rotana have perfected their own recipes always with a touch of sweet miso.  The crispy exterior and tender inside was well balanced and really took an alternative approach to the many other black cod dishes I've tried in the UAE. The carmelized chicken livers that lay atop the cod, weren't really complimenting the dish, but I enjoyed them anyways as a little added bonus to this already tasty dish.  

Black Cod with chicken livers
As a palette cleanser, we were served this Pomegranate Sorbet garnished with gold flakes and a champage sauce, it could have served as a dessert as it was so sweet.  Aside from the sauce, the sorbet was divine, and did the trick cleaning our pallettes for what was to come next. 
Our last course was the lightest yet most substantial order of steak I had ever seen.  A delicate cut of Kobe Beef Loin cooked to a beautiful medium temperature topped with a steak tartar, japanese radish, yuzu foam, and sesame teriyaki sauce.  I still haven't figured out how this or the black cod fit into avant guarde european cuisine, but the flavors and execution were spot on.  Menu's in Dubai are overwhelmed with Wagyu beef, but very few actually honor the original king of  beef....KOBE!  I was just happy to see it on the menu, and even happier that it had been prepared so well. 

Kobe Beef with a sesame teriyaki sauce with steak tartar, yuzu foam
After we finished our meal, we wanted to skip the dessert, but after the chef insisted we try their signature Spiced Milk with Beet Root Custard, our curiosities had been piqued, and we couldn't resist a taste.  A vegetable I am not usually fond of, I never thought I would eat beet root in dessert form, but i guess it just makes sense.  Beet root is a naturally sweet vegetable, and Amador has extracted that sweetness combined it with spiced milk in a gorgeous silky custard like form I've never tasted before.  Even the color was attractive, clearly an extension of the natural beet coloring. 

Spiced Milk with Beet Root Custard
Just to show off, Chef also sent out the lovely little macaroon below with a wasabi white chocolate filling, just lovely!  And to finish we couldn't leave without trying the cotton candy dusted with beet root powder.....simply genius!!!!!!!

Beet Root Macarons with a wasabi and white chocolate filling

The meal at Amador was one of the most meticulously prepared meals I've had since Gourmet Abu Dhabi last year.  A Michelin Star chef right here in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi preparing his culinary masterpieces is too good to be true, but it IS!

A restaurant that needs a little more foot traffic could do very well in the coming year as we see the tourism and events in this part of town growing exponentially. Looking forward to returning for more delicious meals at this landmark restaurant in the UAE, especially for that beet root dessert! 

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