The financial centre has got tongues wagging when it comes to what’s hot and what’s not. The continued talk of the town appears to be Amazónico with its jungle-clad exterior and yellow parasols peeking above the rooftop of the DIFC pavilion. So naturally, FACT’s David Tapley couldn’t resist the temptation…
Amazónico recently reopened in Dubai following a successful first year of operations and a summer revamp. Much fanfare surrounds the brand, which has branches in Madrid and London, offering a concept that takes diners on a sensory journey along the Amazon River and across Latin America.
Having recently been awarded ‘best Latin American restaurant’ at the FACT Dining Awards Dubai 2021, Amazónico contuses to charm Dubai diners, that is, if you can get a reservation. The multi-level venue is open from lunch until late and makes quite the impression from the moment you enter, as if the natural environment of the rainforest has been transported into the very heart of Dubai. The ground floor features a well-stocked bar that materialises from a wall of vegetation like some long-forgotten ruin while also providing the ideal place for a pre or post-dinner drink. A spiral staircase winds seductively upwards into the main dining room, where supportive columns have been designed to resemble trees and a canopy of foliage hangs from above. A glass show kitchen is home to plenty of activity and is buzzing on the evening that we dine. Still, for the ultimate party vibe, we’d suggest heading to the rooftop where the mixology is as impressive as the glassware and you can drink from a vessel shaped like a monkey’s head.
Amazónico fully commits to its jungle theme and the atmosphere is exciting and vibrant. The food reflects this feeling too, using traditional ingredients and modern techniques to transport guests to South America, dishes like the Vieras y Tamarindo (Hokkaido scallops, tamarillo and tamarind ponzu) or the Lomo Tataki (prime beef tenderloin, jalapeño, yellow chilli, grated truffle) providing the restaurant with a distinct talking point.
Our meal begins with the Guacamole con Erizo (AED 85), in which the avocado is stuffed with sea urchin before being mixed at the table. The smooth mix is beautifully complemented by crisp green plantain chips, though the flavour of the sea urchin is extremely subtle and at times difficult to detect. Next, the Hamachi tiradito (AED 86) is a pleasant surprise. With the dish prevalent on so many menus throughout the city, the tropical take presented at Amazónico is memorable and delicious thanks to thin slices of yellowtail marinated in passion fruit.
The Japanese Peruvian approach to Nikkei cuisine is apparent in the sushi selection, which boasts an impressive Atun Picante (AED 98), spicy tuna tartar with green apple. Yet, it’s the vegetarian Amazónico Maki (AED 62) that will have us coming back again. A blend of mango, avocado, coconut and cacao nibs work seamlessly to create a tropical feeling that refreshes the palate with each and every bite.
For main courses, guests can choose from fish, wok-fried specialities or charcoal-grilled meats. With ten meat options available, the Brazilian style Picanha (AED 210) captured our attention. Cooked to a beautiful medium-rare temperature, the meat was both tender and beautifully seasoned, accompanied by an array of side dishes, including Mazorca (grilled corn) and Espárragos y Ajo Negro (broccolini asparagus with a black garlic sauce).
Desserts include the Piña Rostizada (AED 48), a roasted caramel glazed pineapple with corn cake and coconut sorbet. However, it was the chocolate al motezuma (AED 58) that firmly had our hearts. This must-order dish combines an oozing hot chocolate fondant with a scoop of pistachio ice cream.
Amazónico continues to offer diners an impressive and memorable experience that stands out in a saturated marketplace, thanks to a winning combination of great food, innovative drinks, striking decor and a lively atmosphere. Start your South American journey and book a table now.
GO: Visit https://amazonicorestaurant.com/dubai/ for reservations and more information.