A Molecular Marvel

Sep 19, 2011 No Comments by

Amapola Restaurant, in the heart of the old town of Marbella, is one of those hidden gems. You would never expect to have a restaurant with such talented chefs and diverse cuisine to be located here on the coast. Thankfully Amapola is here to stay and is looking forward to your custom.

Amapola derives its name from the Spanish poppy, which is embossed on the candles and table decorations throughout the restaurant. Its cuisine of international fusion dining is an uplifting and refreshing alternative. The food is seriously comparable to no other.

The restaurant itself is cozy and inviting, covering two levels and an outdoor terrace. The main area of the restaurant is located on the entry floor, with a bar serving wines, beers and cocktails. There is a cocktail menu, but the helpful and creative staff can adapt the drinks to your needs, and can even create new ones for you.

The upper section of the restaurant is a little more intimate; an area perfect for private parties and celebrations. The covered, outdoor terrace is a sheltered sanctuary for those long, summer days and the heaters provide much needed warmth when the weather turns on us during the winter months. Gift vouchers are also available for €15 and €50 for that one-of-a-kind experience present.

The slogan of the restaurant is “the new dining experience”, and this certainly was one meal like no other I have ever experienced. The highly talented chef changes the texture and molecules of his dishes so they challenge your perception of food and the way it should taste. He wouldn’t be out of place in Heston Blumenthal’s kitchen, with his experimental attitude towards food and the avant-garde presentation of each dish. Most of our taste is based on our preconception of what our brain thinks the food is going to taste like, and the chef turns this on its head. What you see on the plate is certainly not what you get!

To start, the traditional tasting dish of olives was presented to us, but exploded in our mouths with a softer than usual texture. This instantly told us that this restaurant was going to be like no other! What followed was a gastronomic feast of 10 courses.
Our helpful bilingual waitress served our first dish of marinated tartar de salmon with aromatic herbs and caviar of capers. The salmon was exquisitely cooked and the caviar of capers tampered with our taste buds. Secondly, smoked squid pie, sausage in a gold bar and garlic alioli. The squid was smoked beautifully and the soft sausage was paté smooth and deliciously rich. The presentation of this dish was one of my favourites, and the gold bar made me feel like royalty.

Next was goats cheese grilled sponge, quince (a descendant of the pear family) and endive salad with orange essence. The sponge was so light (thankfully, as we did have seven more courses to go) and fluffy, and was followed by a melon sorbet with strawberry pulp, a honey cookie and yoghurt ravioli. This was also lovely and light on the palate – we thought this was dessert and dinner was over. Oh, how we were wrong. The next dish showed that if you’re not overly experimental or adventurous, Amapola can cater for you. The veal goulash with homemade pasta and red wine was absolutely superb. The veal was tender and the sauce was to-die-for.
Next was our fish dish; roll of sole baked with crème of peas and black rice. The rice was beautifully decorated with gold spray; another dish fit for royalty. The sole was so soft and refreshing on the palate.

Following on from this were our two meat dishes. One was beef tenderloin in a Calvados sauce, with roasted carrot and potato soufflé. The purple mash was definitely a favourite of mine. The second was a lamb plate that is a specialty at Amapola, which included shoulder of lamb, liver sautéed in onions and shallots, rack of lamb and homemade sausage in chickpea and cream sauce. All the restaurant’s meat is sourced locally from Spain, meaning it is of the freshest quality.

After an amuse-bouche of truffle ice-cream to refresh our palates, we were served our two desserts. Firstly, a chocolate brownie with candied ginger, vanilla ice-cream and mango lace, which was decorated beautifully and reminiscent of a bride’s veil. And, last but not least, gin and tonic ice-cream, which rounded off the meal perfectly.

It’s certain to say that we were pretty full, but very satisfied once we left the restaurant!

Amapola Restaurant and Lounge Bar

C/Ortega y Gasset l. 87
ES-29600 Marbella, Malagá

0034 952 774 650 | www.amapolamarbella.com

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