That is the way I like it!
That is the way I like it!
It must have Color! Aroma! Taste! Texture! Music! The right Ambiance to enjoy with all of my 5 senses!
Así me gusta -Usando todos mis 5 sentidos!
It is one of those very rare times I had Sunday off. After my last article – Life: a Greek Meze (www.livebypassions.com/Life-a-Greek-Meze) – I really did not have a clue on my next one! So I decided to get my inspiration from a very dear friend who is also in his spare time, a lover of photography, food & wine and what I call: Un Bon Viveur! I packed my things and off I went to Athens! The big City! I had not seen Andrea P. Vasiliadis (www.facebook.com/andreas.vasiliadis.16 & www.instagram.com/avolutioner/) since the beginning of December 2016 and it was wonderful to meet again.
We wanted to have a coffee first, just to synchronize our energies after such a long time. And what better way to do so, but by starting with a cold cappuccino with a view to the Acropolis from the terrace of Electra Metropolis Athens Hotel – www.electrahotels.gr/en/athens/electra-metropolis-athens/
Acropolis: the Sanctuary of Philosophy – of Perfect Symmetry – of Wisdom… The ideal warm up to listen to each other’s official news before getting to the deeper subjects of Life. A bit like an aperitif before going to the main meal: it opens your appetite by neutralizing your palate and prepares you discretely for your Lunch or Dinner.
Andrea had been telling me about his last trip in Mexico and his description on how he sensed the country mesmerized me!
– OK Andrea! Now I am virtually starving! Where shall we go for lunch? I asked
– How about a new Mexican restaurant in Pireus (a region by the sea in Attica) that just opened? he replied
– Que bien! Vamos! Time to taste all the fantastic experiences you just described me from your trip to Mexico! “Como se llama el lugar?”
– Che Cocina y Barra Sudamericana – www.cherestaurant.gr
– Dios Mio … even the name sounds “seductive”! I exclaimed
And yes… When I taste the food of a country, I feel like I am tasting their culture & history.
The first thing I loved at the entrance was the chair: White and bamboo! Pure & Natural! The restaurant’s space reminded of a beach bar. No matter where our eyes fell, there was always something to see.
What appears to be their Mascot, their Lucky Charm, is a huge wall painting of an impressive Latin American Woman. Her gaze speaks to me: “Se no te encanta, no me importa! Porque… Para mi: Así me gusta! Y si no estás satisfecho, puedes salir! Vaya!” She is imposing just like the food we were about to taste!
We were greeted by a very energetic waiter called Niko who had an artistic “N” tattooed on the right side of his back neck. He was incredibly self – confident, with a great sense of humour and guess what… IMPOSING! I loved the way he proposed us our meal, either by agreeing or categorically disagreeing about our choices, because his determination gave personality to the restaurant’s space and made our whole experience unique! Congratulations!
Our Degustation started with a Tropical salad – with mango, papaya, wild banana chips, fresh unsalted cheese & red grapefruit sauce. The Tropical fruit had a invigorating perfume in the palate. The cheese enriched the body of each bite, while the black pepper gave spiciness to add character to its taste! It was as if I was having a sweet exotic Bonbon that once melting in my mouth with smoothness, cracked into a brilliant delectable firework!
They reminded me of Ballerinas! So elegantly placed on the plate, ready to perform. Oh but…. They were much more than that! If Eden had a flavour, this would be it! Once I approached one to my mouth, its captivating aroma tickled my nostrils…
And once it touched my teeth, the crispiness of the tortilla made the most perfect sound, the marinated shrimp gave the lightness of iodine, the grilled avocado divulged a soft barbecue scent before revealing its velvet fineness, while the black rice enveloped the whole of the Burrito’s essence with a robust texture! It had everything in balance: sound – crispiness – lightness – softness – body – sapor!!
How could I not close my eyes…
We had 2 main courses that we shared of course! En la cateogoria “los platos fuertes”, Niko (our excellent waiter) insisted we tried the Black Cod – made with honey miso, Mexican corn, mango & mezcal sauce, boiled yucca with pecans and black garlic.
Out of this world! Colours were the freshly cut onions, cucumber and diced tomatoes! Their acidity gave an exhilarating freshness to the dish. The Yucca, which resembles to a sweet potato, gave a smooth creamy consistency & spiciness to the fish, the pecans added a burst of rich buttery pungency, and as for the cod itself: A caramelized gourmet delicacy… Una tierna y apasionada historia de amor!
The meat was softer than a marshmallow itself! It dissolved in my mouth like a chocolate coulis… An imperial Bee Nectar… Its garnishment was composed of baked potatoes, beet roots, baby carrots and yellow peas, giving to the recipe a potent structure and to my taste buds an exquisite feeling of warm delight.
After our last drop of wine…
A meal is never complete without a dessert! “Un Tesoro Precioso”. I am not very fond of pastries but after such delicious food, we simply had to finish with one!
I opted for the “Arroz con Leche de Coco” – Coconut milk rice pudding with grilled pineapple, meringues, lime, mango gel, basil syrup and with mango sorbet.
Indescribable! A crunchy al dente rice just like a beautifully toned figure, a coconut perfume to remind you it is summer, charcoal pineapples to feel the bronzing golden tan on the skin, a mango sorbet in the form of a sunset to chill you from the heat, and a meringue to give the perfect body curves…
I married it to an espresso while Andrea continued with a Margarita
Our conversation by then, after five hours of pure bliss that virtually seduced all of our 5 senses, had encompassed all of the meal’s “architecture & art”! Not only did each plate inspire us to talk about different events of our lives, but it also gave savouriness & vivacity in our intonation and in the level of deepness for each subject we chose to discuss. A scrumptious and fascinating Journey with a long aftertaste that shall remain unforgettable!
And this is Passion! A chef with an incredibly exhilarating imagination, a personnel that gave character with its humour & personality with their professionalism, and food that had it all in balance… A precious meal with a precious friend at the right timing that we both acknowledged and treasured! It is moments that give a priceless worth in our state of being… Live through these simple Passions of taste! Of Company! Allow time to Stop! Smile! And admit at the end of the day the words: Vivre… J’Adore..!
A very warm thank you to Andrea for his inspiration, fantastic company and help in my photo shoot; respect to the bar tender of Electra Metropolis Athens Hotel for his design in our coffee; and of course, a very big thank you to CHE chef, CHE team, to Niko our Unique waiter & to the Owners for their inspiration to travel us into their Latin American World of Taste & Sensations!