Friday, December 08, 2017

Amara Hotel Spreading Festive Cheers!

Amara Hotel with the new executive head chef, Chef Charles, has came out with a unique and intriguing festive menu for this season. Chef Charles inserts a local twist to the Christmas menu and let's see how it turns out.

We highlight a few dishes available on the buffet line served in their Element restaurant. 

One of the main highlights got to be charcoal grilled Tajima beef with foie gras. Chef Charles wanted to fully bring out the quality in the cut by using charcoal grill and to instill that smokiness into an authentic grill item. He concedes that it will take a longer time, but his stand is not to compromise on the food so that customers are satisfied. The use of foie gras is to let the flavour of the fatty liver get infused into the grilled bovine which he says is "exceptional" and "out of this world". We agree. And definitely not a dish to miss.

While the prawn cocktail and crab salad looks like an ordinary item on any buffet line, this particular one stands out for us.

Fresh crab, nicely marinated with a hint of citrus shouts freshness and decadence. While the prawn is normal hotel grade, the crab salad steals all the attention. Eat it on toast and this is crab heaven.

We have to admit. When we were at the buffet line and we saw this mushroom and broccoli dish, we went "Wah, wedding dinner sia." We had to eat our words. The mushrooms are painstakingly soaked and braised before being deployed on the line. Flavourful, soft and an absolute delight to munch into. And yes we are saying this. Do NOT miss this one. Absolutely ordinary but absolutely outstanding.

Some of the other notable items are your roasted chicken and salted egg yolk crayfish. 

And of course... the turkey. As quoted by Amara Hotel "Locally inspired adaptation is the Peranakan roasted turkey, stuffed with aromatic herbs and infused for 72 hours before roasting. Doused in buah keluak sauce, the turkey is slow-roasted to perfection which results to a rich golden brown crisp on the outside; yet moist and robust flavour on the inside" For us, this was a hit and miss. The turkey was done well. Moist on the inside and crispy on the outside as advertised. We are just not too sure about the buah keluak sauce.

Moving on to desserts!

Three variations of logcakes were available. All three were good in their own ways. The champagne lychee, chocolate and cempadak were all very good and can stand on their own. And yes cempadak. Sounds weird but Chef Charles managed to strike a (very good) balance between unique and tasty.

The macaroons were generally very good. Our favourite is the blueberry one and coconut one. While yes, they are suppose to be sweet, we love the both for the special flavours and being just on point for sugar level. Gotta manage the calorie intake in this season right?

Overall, it was a pleasant dining experience with generally more hits than misses. To weave in local inspirations into a Christmas spread is never going to be easy and we think Chef Charles did a more than decent job. He also shared with us some surprises for children dining in and his concepts for future dining and banquet. For an executive chef just took over barely 2 months into the job, we are feeling excited for him and wish him all the best! 

(Refer to Amara Hotel for their festive menu.)

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