Yet again I had travelled to a far away destination just to eat at a restaurant. This time to experience a restaurant that like no other has showcased and studied the sea. Apointe fits all the criteria of a true top star restaurant. It has a skilled chef, a clear identity and purpose, it uses ingredients of the highest order and it is located off the beaten path. A path I was happy to take.
The menu starts at the lounge where the first couple of snacks are served. The first was goat cheese, sea urchin and sea honey. All cold which naturally takes the sharpness out of everything making for a pleasant and gentle start of the meal.
Shrimp fritter is a local staple and here it had all the same elements but by grilling the “tortilla” instead of deep frying and by adding the parsley as a concentrated juice all flavors were intensified and purified. Just delicious
Sun dried cuttlefish sashimi with its own ink was the last snack in the lounge. A small intense, weird and delicious bite. The texture of the fish was like no other fish I have had before and it just worked.
Inside the restaurant we walked by what looks like an ibérico ham which obviously it wasn’t in an all seafood restaurant. It was big piece of tuna that had been treated just like a ham. Salted and dried by the wind. A super interesting approach but to me it was just a bit too salty as it lacked a bit of the sweet fat to balance out the flavors.
The next dish was going to be the last classic dish on the menu. An oyster vichyssoise and caviar. A combination that always works. It was a bit of a shame that most of the caviar was well hidden
Next up was an ingredient that I had never tried before. Seasnails and even served with it’s insides as well and grilled halophytes. Flavor combinations that were brand new to me and luckily also super delicious. It’s presentation was naturally remarkably as well.
The next dish was classic but at the same time absolutely not. Slightly salted mackerel with cucumber and a “fake” wasabi with the classic flavors but without the heat. The play on both textures and temperatures helped to make it another outstanding dish so full of flavor and contrasts.
To pay proper respect to the mackerel even the skin of the face was served. Crispy and simple.
From contrast to just strait up pure deliciousness in the form of fresh razorclams with an intense razorclam sauce and samphire. Simply just delicious.
The next dish was also very delicious. Sea cucumber with mustard seeds and some kind of honey. It’s rare to get something this sweet as a salty dish but it really worked. Just end to end very delicious.
Next up s seacucumber blood sausage like dish. A dish so rich in flavor. Probably not for everybody but I loved it. It was just too delicious not to love.
To finish of the sea cucumber a small squid had been stuffed with a bit of sea cucumber. A bite side dish with deep fried tentacles providing a great match in textures.
A creative use of an weird ingredients was also up next. A sea anemony served in a dashi like broth. I have no idea where the inspiration came from but I am so glad he decided to cook with that ingredient as it once again was just very delicious and I mean who would have thought?
Moving on to the dessert even here we would find more seafood. To begin with cold squid that was to be dipped in an egg yolk creme and then yuzu snow. I do really love yuzu so I naturally loved this dish as well. The cold squid was a great carrier of flavor and yuzu is a great flavor to carry.
Next dish was however the last seafood dish where grey mullet eggs were served on top of a light cream and a bit of dill for balance. Once again using seafood in a dessert was not just a gimmick but served a purpose. In this case to add just a bit of salt and umami to the otherwise sweet dish.
Our last dish would as the only dish on the menu not use seafood. A Moroccan lemon was cooked by living salt being poured over it. The lemon skin was then served with a rass al hanout crumble and lemon gelato with just a bit of goat cheese for balance. A great dish with just the right amount of salty flavors to balance.
Only people that are a bit insane decides to relocate their 2 Michelin star restaurant to an abandoned tidal wave mill in an industrial area with a view of a waste-dumpsite in a small city of just 80.000 people. Now I am sure it doesn’t happen that often but I think the people that try something like that either fail quickly or initiates a massive change that leads to further success. Angel is definently in the latter. The dump site has been cleared and a number of projects will use some of this beautiful space and inside the mill makes excellent use of the space and it’s history. There are many seafood restaurants out there but none quiete like this. Angels passion for the sea is obvious and through the meal the guest see the ocean through his eyes where the otherwise discarded creatures are turned into masterpieces as that is the way he sees them. One of the ways he sees them is that they need to play a more important part as food to ease the pressure on the ocean where overfishing of the popular species leads to unhealthy declines. By showcasing forgotten species he hopes to bring balance to the natural order.
Philosophy aside the menu is very delicious and super creative as you have to be when you put sea cucumber as a main dish and incorporate octopus and fish eggs into desserts where for the first time I felt that they belonged.