Taste The Four Corners Of The World At Amber
It might sound pompous to name yourself after an ancient Middle-Eastern trade route, but there is nothing affected about Amber. The restaurant, whose name is derived from the Amber Road, promises a “warm, generous spirit”; and doesn’t fall short.
The dinner menu offers a fruitful array of Middle-Eastern plates, with European influences; perfect for sharing. Feeling hungry, we order a selection of eight plates. Perhaps hungry is an understatement.
Dishes are served as and when they are ready, which is ideal if you are ordering numerous plates. We start off with the grilled aubergine. Served with chilli maple labneh (Middle-Eastern soft cheese) and chimchuri (South American herb sauce), the grilled aubergine offers a hit of fragrant flavours.
Our next dish, lentil kofte, is equally flavoursome. It delivers a gentle kick of heat, which is offset by the refreshing pomegranate seeds.
Our final vegetarian plate is the beetroot salad. The pickled beets are paired with a creamy goat’s cheese mousse and toasted chilli peanuts. It’s a piquant twist on a classic combination.
We tackle the ceviche next. The salgam cured sea-bass, served with fennel, coriander and orange, is wonderfully flaky and light.
For our meat plate, we settle on the crispy chicken thighs. Served with chilli mayo and pickled Sharon fruit (or persimmon), the breaded thighs are succulent, and dare we say wholesome — there is not a trace of grease on our napkins.
We also order the chorizo pide. Stuffed with caramelised onions, cherry tomatoes and smoked apple wood, the chorizo flatbread is rich and filling. The dough is satisfyingly crispy on the outside, and comfortingly stodgy on the inside. We would have eaten it on its own.
For our side dishes — because we are clearly famished at this point — we try the house fried potato and the hummus salsa. The fried potato is served in bite-size chunks with a side of mayo. The potato, while crunchy, is borderline charred; we are not overly enthused. By contrast, we shovel the house hummus into our mouths. It's exquisite.
Pudding is babka, a sweet yeast cake originating from Eastern Europe. The warm pastry is dotted with pistachio and almonds and topped with vanilla ice cream. It is a decadent finish to an indulgent evening.
Leaving the restaurant, stuffed to the brim, we feel as though we have been on a gastronomic journey to far-flung corners of the world. The Amber Road is a befitting inspiration.
Amber, Aldgate East, E1 8QH
Last Updated 01 March 2018