The Gastronome Restaurant Reviews - Akira Back, Calle María Zambrano, Carretera General, TF-47, 2, Km 9, 38687, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Address: Calle María Zambrano, Carretera General, TF-47, 2, Km 9, 38687, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Visit: 19 April 2024

Price: **

Website: https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/tfsrz-the-ritz-carlton-tenerife-abama/dining/

The Review:

Born in Korea and raised in Aspen, Colorado, chef Akira Back blends Japanese and Korean cuisine in a range of creative dishes that are inspired by his adventures, childhood memories, and Korean roots.  He now has 26 restaurants around the globe and more in the development phase.

The Akira Back Tenerife restaurant is located in the former one Michelin starred Kabuki Restaurant space at the luxury Abama Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tenerife.  The spacious, modern restaurant features large windows overlooking the golf course, and a collection of modern art pieces created by Akira´s mother, Ms. Young Hee.

We visited two weeks after the restaurant was opened at the Abama hotel.  The tasting menu had eight courses, plus petit fours for €165 per person.

Stuart Clarke Restaurant ReviewWe started with a signature dish, the AB Tuna Pizza with tuna sashimi, umami aioli, micro shiso, and white truffle oil, on a crispy thin tortilla base.  I very much enjoyed this.  The tuna was extremely fresh and the tortilla base nice and crisp.

Next, the Haru Sashimi was very fresh yellowtail sashimi with yuzu ponzu sauce, orange, agar seaweed, Palmera pepper (from the island La Palma in the Canary Islands archipelago) and salt.

This was followed by the AB Sashimi Platter which was a classic sashimi with very fresh salmon, sea bass, squid and red tuna.  The plate was decorated with hand cut bamboo leaves.  Both the sashimi dishes were wonderfully fresh and tasty.

The slow cooked red king prawn dish had been cured in a seaweed kombu before it was cooked, and was served with black Canary potato puree, caviar, and a nori umami sauce made from Japanese seaweed and butter.  This was excellent and my favourite dish of the night.

The next fish dish was cherne, a local chunky white fish not dissimilar to cod, cooked on a Robata grill and served with a beurre blanc sauce, made with saki instead of wine, with basil dots and lemongrass foam.  The sauce was excellent.

The “Omakase sushi” dish consisted of four different types of nigiri: scallop with a spicy yuzu topping, fatty (chutoro) tuna with banana and almond on top, a local white fish Pargo, a white sea bream, with Japanese radish infused in lemon on top, and salmon with a miso sauce.  These were served with ginger and wasabi.  The phrase “omakase”, literally ‘I leave it up to you’, is used when dining at Japanese restaurants where the customer leaves it up to the chef to select and serve seasonal specialties.  Again, the fish was very fresh and had great flavour.

A great contrast to the fish dishes was the slow cooked beef cheek, with braising jus, pickled mushrooms, cauliflower puree and miso.  The beef was soft and unctuous, with the acid in pickled mushrooms balancing the fatty meat perfectly.

The dessert was a candied yuzu citrus, which consisted of a yuzu curd with orange peel on top, served with a strawberry gelato sitting on a sablés crumble, and meringues.

Finally, two petit fours were served.  These were a sponge cake with cream of raspberry on top, and a chocolate truffle bonbon with hazelnut and Japanese Shichimi spice.

Service was excellent.  Many of the staff and chefs, including the Head Chef, who had worked at the Michelin starred Kabuki restaurant had remained and were now working for AB, and the level of service was very polished.

This was a very enjoyable meal.  I predict that this restaurant will be elevated to one Michelin star when the announcements are made for next year.

The Menu

The Food

 

The People

Akira Back was born in Seoul, Korea, and moved to Aspen, Colorado at15-years-old.  He became a professional snow boarder and began working at a local Japanese restaurant to supplement his income.  He completed his cooking education at the International Culinary School at The Art Institute based in Colorado.

He opened the Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge located inside the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.  Today, his global empire of namesake restaurants are located in Paris, Dubai, Toronto, Singapore, Istanbul, Doha, Marrakech, Dallas, Delray Beach, Bangkok, Seoul, and Riyadh, with new venues planned in London, San Francisco, Boise, Montana, Bali, Jakarta and Florence.  He has recently opened his restaurant at the luxury Abama Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tenerife.

Other restaurants include ABSteak, that is a modern Korean BBQ steakhouse located in Beverly Hills, the cocktail bar ABar, located in Bangkok and opening soon in London, DOSA, his Michelin star concept that is moving from Seoul, Korea to London, and at North Island, Seychelles, at a private luxury resort.

To learn more check out his website at https://www.akiraback.com/about-the-chef

The Restaurant

The open kitchen:

Inside the restaurant:

Outside bar area:

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