During my stay at the Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur, I had an opportunity to dine at Aziamendi 88. This is a pop-up restaurant by 3 Michelin Star Chef Eneko Atxa.
The 88 in Aziamendi 88 stands for the number of days the restaurant will be up. It opened on July 22, and will serve its final meal on October 31.
The promotion for Aziamendi 88 a bit misleading. While Chef Eneko is a 3 Michelin Star chef, he is not doing the cooking at Aziamendi 88. Instead, he sent his protÃ©gÃ© Chef de Cuisine Alex Burger, from Aziamendi, Phuket to lead the pop-up restaurant.
Since we were doing lunch, we decided to sample the five course lunch menu, with one wine pairing shared between me and my wife. If you’re feeling hungry, Aziamendi 88 does offer an eight course lunch menu.
The Truffled Egg
The truffled egg is signature opener at Aziamendi, Phuket. I’m not sure how it’s made, or how Chef Burger got the truffles inside the egg yolk without breaking it. The dish is designed to be consumed in one bite, releasing a stream of flavors that will leave you wondering, “What the hell did I just ate?”
If the truffled egg was a crazy dish, the garden takes craziness to a whole new level. Designed to look like a garden with veggies growing from it, the dish is made with “edible soil.” I’ll leave it up to your imagination on the taste. The garden was paired with a glass of 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, 60 Drop Marlborough, New Zealand.
Grilled Tuna, Fried Eggs, Garlic Cream and Flowers
Things started resembling food again by the third dish. While the tuna looked like a tuna, I would have never guessed the two balls on the side were fried eggs. I think this is also the first time I ate flowers. My wife found the tuna to have too much salt. However, the glass of 2012 Torrontes, â€œCriosâ€ Dominio Del Plata, Mendoza, Argentina helped balanced it out a bit.
Lamb Shoulder with Salad
Normally, I’m not a big fan of lamb because I find the taste to be too gamey. However, this lamb shoulder was done exceptionally well. The glass of 2009 Esprit de Pavie, Bordeaux, France matched it perfectly too.
Strawberries and Roses
When I was told dessert was strawberries and roses, I was thinking, “Great! More flowers to eat!” Turns out, the roses just referred to the color of the strawberry dessert. The white base the dessert sat on was a marshmallow. The wine pairing was a glass of 2013 Moscato d’Asti, JD Vajra, Piedmont, Italy. It was a very sweet ice wine.
The five course lunch cost RM198 per person. Add in one wine pairing, plus a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling mineral water, and lunch for two came to RM500. The works out to around $130USD.
Overall, Aziamendi 88 was a unique and positive experience. Let’s face it, it’s not everyday you have to pay money to eat dirt! If you wish to try it, you have until October 31 to do so. Or you can go to the real Aziamendi restaurant in Thailand, and try it anytime you want. Reservations are recommended, of course.