Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Third Time's the Charm

It's funny how we have so many sayings about numbers in life, like "two's a party, three's a crowd", "sweet sixteen", "sixth sense", and the likes.

But these aren't just a play on words - sometimes, they actually carry predictive meaning.

On our last night at the resort, we decided to have our last dinner at Amber. The first two times, if you recall, ended not-so-spectacularly. So we thought that third time has got to be the charm, and decided to venture again into the unknown space of fine dining.

We decided to sit on the outside terrace this time overlooking the cenote, because I'd noticed that couples outside tend to be louder than the elderly couples inside. Or perhaps it's because of these round balls of decorations that make it more festive.

We noticed a lot of new face that evening. I noticed that the tourist turnover rate at the hotel is about a week. By Friday of every week there tends to be more and more new faces, like our fresh, untanned faces a Friday ago when we'd first arrived there. Sitting beside us was a couple from Montreal who probably have a few drinks too many before coming in. 

Amber's menu pretty much remains consistent throughout the week, with daily specials now and then. They usually put the daily specials at the beginning of the menus so you can see right away what is new and different.

Our waiter was ironically the same waiter who'd served us earlier that day at Ceviche when we grabbed some late-afternoon snacks. He told us that they change shifts in the afternoon, working at multiple locations around the resort. 

By now we'd recognized all the service people's faces, and it was kind of sad to think that we'd leave their warm tutelage soon. 


After perusing the drinks menu, we settled and this and this:


Yea I know what you're thinking, "Boring!" Trust me, we'd get booze if we could, because the entire drink menu is dedicated to the fine art of well, getting drunk. But we decided to be good-two-shoes and drink "healthier" options instead. I got the guavapple drink and Hubby his usual lemon water. Speaking of lemon water, I like how the waiters come around with a plate of lemons, limes and cucumber to ask you which one you'd like in your drink.

The meal started with some seared tuna croquette, which was dainty yet refreshing. I was worried that the tuna was raw, but when we bit into it (yea I know, I probably should have asked first), it was surprisingly warm. 

Since this was the last dinner here, Hubby told me to go without reservations and order whatever I wanted. I got this red bell pepper cream soup as my appetizer.

Red Bell Pepper Cream Soup
It was pretty creamy, so much so that I couldn't finish it. I had to dip my entire bread in it to dampen the flavor. Hubby chided me for being picky with my food, so I had to shove more of it into my mouth.

Surprisingly, the more spoonfuls I ate, the less heavy it became. I managed to finish all of it, albeit with some help of course.

Hubby on the other hand got the endives salad with grapefruits, which was surprisingly light but flavorful.

For my main, I got the shrimp breaded with coconuts with a side or rice served in a cute dim sum basket with a plantain chip. Not sure why I didn't get this earlier, because not only did it look positively charming, it was delicious as well. Here's a closer look at that dim sum basket of rice-y goodness:

I really couldn't get how they managed to make the shrimp so crispy yet tender. It was the perfect combination in terms of texture and taste. I actually managed to polish off the whole thing.

Hubby got the beef flank sad with chimichurri, beet puree, and grilled eggplant. I'm not sure why he didn't get it earlier either, because this was so flavorful and tender, even though he'd ordered it well-done.

I also liked the pieces of eggplant and carrot on the side, because this time it was actually grilled to an edible state, unlike last time when it was still semi-raw.

We thought we'd go all out with dessert as well. I got the chocolate torino with carmel sauce and vanilla ice cream, while hubby got passion fruit gelee.

While the passionfruit looked positively radiant in its presentation, it was devoid of much flavor, putting it on the bland side. Again, the only "good" part was the fig.

The chocolate torino on the other hand was overwhelmingly sweet, but it worked with a cup of dark Americano. The ice cream? Nothing but divine.

So after that long and filling meal, we lingered around, listening to the laughter and watching the (obese) chef cook up a storm with the guests who were pouring in (it was around 9pm already, but hey they operate on vacation-time there).

You know it funny how we remember things - our memories have a place not only in our minds, but also in our heart. I know I'll remember this meal for a long time to come.

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