AMANYARA – TURKS & CAICOS
Northwest Point, Providenciales
Date Dined: May 2014
Located in one of the more secluded parts of Providenciales, Amanyara is a spectacular resort that we saved for the last night of our vacation as the “grand finale”. The resort embraces the pristine untouched beauty of the island and the architecture is very understated using mostly simple lines of wood and stone to allow the surrounding natural elements to shine. It has the grace and symmetry of a structure one might find in the Far East.
After a seemingly endless (25 minute) drive through narrow, sandy dirt roads and lush greenery, the first view upon entering the resport is absolutely breathtaking. A reflection pond surrounded by mahogany trees, and some artistically planted in the water itself, allows the main central bar to reflect a perfect mirror image.
I chose to arrive at sunset to capture what would surely be a dramatic setting. No matter which direction you turned the view was gorgeous. After wandering around the property we settled in for cocktails by the infinity pool. The waiter asked if I liked mojitos, to which I promptly replied “yes, of course,” to which he responded, “well, here we make ours with champagne.” I knew that this was going to be an experience and a meal to remember.
As we enjoyed our cocktails the sky gradually changed colors making for endless panoramic photo opportunities. We were then given the choice for dinner to sit either on the ocean cliff- side, the beautiful air-conditioned dining room or on the romantic, glowing reflection pond. We chose to sit on the terrace overlooking the ocean lit only by the blazing torches lining the terrace.
What followed next was one of the best meals I have had in a long time. We started with an amuse bouche of melon with cured ham and a hint of yuzu. The combination was magnificent. Refreshing, tangy, salty.
We then had the artichoke salad with crispy salsify, sunchokes, morel mushrooms and truffle mayonnaise. Fresh crisp vegetables mixed with some cooked vegetables highlighted by the truffle.
Our second appetizer was a seared scallop with palm heart, wild galangal (blue ginger) and Thai peso. The scallops were perfectly tender with bright flavors of ginger and garlic.
Typically I prefer appetizers to entrees but here the mains really stole the show. We chose the Kaeng Luang which was a beautifully tender swordfish in a sweet and slightly spicy yellow curry with palm heart, cherry tomato and chayote topped with basil. The curry had layers upon layers of flavor and meaty swordfish was able to stand up to the bold sauce. I sopped up every last bit with jasmine rice.
I couldn’t decide which fish I liked better between the swordfish and the Japanese inspired braised black cod with pickled baby vegetables. The cod was so deeply marinated that the sweet miso flavors permeated the entire fish. It was so tender that is flaked apart at the lightest touch of a fork. I never wanted it to end.
For dessert the waiter recommended the almond ice cream “rocks” with fresh berries, vanilla yogurt and honey tea. These were little cakes of ice cream coated in a crunchy crust. Almost like a mini ice cream éclair with almonds.
The house made coffee ice cream was a bit of a cop out in terms of dessert selection but was absolutely delicious nonetheless.
If you are traveling to Turks & Caicos I highly recommend working a visit to the Amanyara resort into your schedule. The service, food and scenery are spectacular and well worth the trip. Amanyara is on m EPIC Picks list for one of the best meals I have had.