INFO: Amador, Park Rotana, Abu Dhabi; 02 657 3333, www.rotana.com.
If you like your food to look like a masterpiece while tantalising your tastebuds, then speed on over to one of Amador’s subtly lit tables and get ready for something out of the ordinary. The restaurant and cellar — the first Middle East collaboration between Rotana and three Michelin-starred chef Juan Amador — gets sky-high points for presentation, but the variety of dishes and surprising flavour pairings make their meals more than just nice to look at. We went for the degustation menu, which started with one of Amador’s signatures, the virtual oyster. Meant to be eaten all at once and devoid of actual shellfish, the dish pairs cucumber juice, seaweed caramel, sea foam and an oyster leaf. It may look more like artisanal Jello than an oyster, but it tastes surprisingly close to the real thing.
For our main course, we were encouraged to try the Mieral pigeon, and we’re glad we did. Cooked with purple curry, Arabic spices and a hint of coconut, the meat was just tender enough and the curry added a memorable texture. For dessert, we were most wowed by the kid-in-a-candy-store ending, devouring the trio of pomegranate candy floss and the macaroons. If you’re a classic steak, potatoes and chocolate cake kind of girl, the Spanish-inspired restaurant might be a bit on the adventurous side for you. But if that’s the case, stick to the classics like lamb and John Dory and you’ll still understand how Juan nabbed those three coveted stars.
On The Menu…
SPLURGE vs STEAL
Sole with fennel and chanterelle Dhs175
Tuna Ceviche Dhs70
Kobe-style beef Dhs220
John Dory Dhs145
Assorted Spanish cheese Dhs60
Cheesecake with tahini Dhs45