I had been wanting to treat myself to a culinary experience at ZEST Restaurant for as long as I can remember, so you can I imagine my excitement, read (EXCITEMENT!!) when the lovely people at ZEST invited me over to theirs' for my birthday!!
Located on the first floor of Hotel Juliani, ZEST is well-known for its exceptional Asian cuisine and unique soothing ambience. Now Asian cuisine is easily my favourite, so I was already looking forward. PLUS over the years ZEST has built a reputation for outstanding Asian and Continental cuisine on our islands, so my expectations for this dining experience were kind of huge!
- one of ZEST's signature dishes; a 48-hour short rib of beef with coconut puree just for MOI -
When the maître d'hôtel welcomed us to our table, I wanted to squeal with delight but tried to keep my cool. Once we had settled, we were given some time to go through the food and wine menus and then introduced to the chef of the night who took his time to go over the signature dishes with us. The more we spoke, the more I wanted to try everything! The chef expertly answered my zillion curiosities and suggested a mix of antipasti to go with our wine (it later turned out that I'm a big fan of the sea urchin and grouper gyoza and the truffle and chicken dim sums!).
- ISIS Chardonnay for Dorianne as we go through the vast number of tempting options on the menu -
- Selection of antipasti, chosen specifically for us by the Chef himself -
There's a live-cooking sushi bar on the restaurant floor, where one can enjoy watching the art of preparing Japanese sushi. We got to try a selection of sushi made with fresh, local seafood. Bubbly me kept on chattering away about the glorious food and the waiters kept me happy by frequently topping up my wine :D It was then time to treat ourselves to the most tasty Red Prawn Carpaccio (also suggested by the chef himself, on my insistence that I wanted to enjoy a dish I will not find elsewhere).
- our exquisite sushi made with fresh, local seafood -
Despite being almost full by the time we finished these yummy dishes, we had only just gotten started! I was about to enjoy one of ZEST's signature dishes; a 48-hour short rib of beef with coconute puree, a dish whose exquisiteness I know will be impossible to forget. The mouth-watering description on the menu had me at rib of beef 'with a black bean emulsion, coconut puree, tomato and spring onion concasse', and I'm so grateful I ordered this for my main dish.
As for dessert? As some you probably know, I'm not usually that keen on desserts. Yet, I knew I couldn't leave this haven of a place without trying one of the many tempting options on our dessert menu. So I opted for the milk chocolate and praline panna cotta with salted popcorn, and the verdict? Delish! So much so that I know I'll have to go back again soon, even if it's just for the dessert!
- MY milk chocolate and praline panna cotta with salted popcorn, YUMMY! -
More photos of this haven, this time captured by photographer Brian Grech.
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