Ocean Club is often hailed as the ultimate beachside setting for those wishing to blend the best of the beach life with fantastic drinks, DJ-spun music, live entertainment, and of course, great food.
AMAÏ restaurant, perched upon a wooden deck with mesmerising views of the Mediterranean Sea, offering a welcome coolness of pristine white sail shades, boasts a distinctly different feel to the fun poolside atmosphere.
Here, it’s all about travelling with the palate from country to country (think Morocco, Belgium, Italy, or France) while sipping on top national and world wines.
At the helm of the complex choreography that gives rise to dishes as artistically presented as they are tasty is Andrea Nygren, a Swedish Chef trained in his home country but with international experience.
Andreas has worked as Executive Chef of la Casita de La Heredia in Benahavís, and has been a private Chef for a Russian family. The place where he really put his organisational skills to the test, however, was undoubtedly ‘on the sea’; Andreas headed the kitchens at both Seabourne and Silversea, creating dishes to please discerning diners from over 70 different nationalities.
This year’s menu at AMAÏ reveals this penchant for dazzling the palate with world-famous recipes and ingredients. The wide array of colours and flavours enjoyed by everyone at my table on my recent visit to the restaurant was testimony to the international nature of the menu.
For starters, some chose sushi dishes, which include classics such as the California roll (with fresh King crab meat, cucumber, avocado and tobiko) while others opted for more nouvelle delights such as the Sushi Pizza (featuring a refreshing blend of salmon, avocado, cream cheese, panko, and salmon caviar).
Another companion ordered the ‘King’ Pil: a visionary take on the classic pil-pil dish featuring jumbo shrimp, roasted garlic and confit cherry tomatoes. I opted for a starter you’d be hard pressed to find in the south of Spain: the Alaska king crab tartar with red caviar – smooth and creamy and served with light-as-air crisp bread.
Our dishes were beautifully accompanied by quite a fantastic choice of wine for this time of the year: a New Zealand Marlborough County – the Clos Henri-Bourgeois Estate Sauvignon, intensely refreshing with concentrated bright fruit flavours and just a hint of minerality.
The mains also hit the spot, and the contrast between dishes was evident, bearing in mind there were seven at the table. One diner opted for the wagyu burger, mile-high and featuring raclette cheese, bacon, and of course, fries served Belgian style.
Another chose the beef tartar, made to the traditional Belgian recipe with classic condiments.
Some of the most colourful choices included the Thai Beef Salad (featuring beef tenderloin, bok choy, coriander, chilli, mango and more traditional ingredients)and the Spicy Octopus Salad (served with sea asparagus, wakame, and daikon, as well as a veritable bouquet of edible flowers that made this dish extremely Instagrammable).
Some classic options came our way as well; everything from a sizeable Margherita pizza to a generous Rib Eye served with crisp potatoes.
The menu contains a tempting range of selections which merits repeat visits. In addition to generously sized dishes, there are sharing plates which include a Mezze Oriental (think kibbe, marinated chicken, falafel, lavash bread, hummus and more), Kobe Beef Fajitas, and more.
One thing you must do when visiting AMAÏ is to leave room for dessert. The Chef’s creative takes on classics include the Upside Down Cheesecake, the Wild Berry Mess (a mascarpone-based delight), and the Ocean Club Mango Misu (an ideal sweet end to a meal in the height of the summer).
Make your next visit a nice, long lunch capped off by a cocktail and enjoyment of the live entertainment (on the day of our visits, elegant dancers grooved away to the DJ’s sounds).
For this is the perfect spot to celebrate the Mediterranean way of life alongside those you wish you had more free time to spend with.
Words Marisa Cutillas Photography Kevin Horn
Avda. Lola Flores s/n, Puerto Banús. Tel: 952 908 137.