Hey, Foodwala’s…Welcome to another tale of Alfie Foodwala
On this occasion, I was honored to be joined by a brother from another mother, or specifically Ralfie Foodwala, all the way from the metropolis of Dubai.
I have always loved what mother Acqua has provided us, be it Freshwater clams or Wild Alaskan Salmon or prawns from the depths of the Indian Ocean or Scallops from the wild West Coast of Scotland. I loved the diversity and the fragility of the delicate creatures.
I suspect I got the love of Seafood actually from Papa Foodwala, some of my earliest memories is waiting for my dad to pick me up and us going on our next culinary adventure, I can always remember dad impeccably dressed in his Yves St Laurent shirts and his Saville Row suits and we would fire up his Fuji White Jaguar XV12, which he changed annually!! and we would go to his favorite place, The Danish Food Centre on St Vincent Street.
When dad used to walk in it was like the scene from Goodfellas where he would walk through the restaurant and he knew everyone by name and if there was a line waiting to be seated dad, the manager would take dad in through the side entrance and magically an empty table would appear!
I was always mesmerised by this opera, but dad was always humble and down to earth, he would then take me up to the open seafood display and we would choose which fresh fish was going to be our lunch, the display always looked fresh and shiny, the aroma of the fish was like fresh sea air, none of the fishy smells associated with old fish.
It is the enjoyment of having lunch with dad and the love of the enchantment under the sea that brought me and Ralfie to Gamba
We kicked off the proceedings with six Holy Island, Northumberland Oysters, we gingerly topped the fresh quivering mollusks with tobasco and shallots and downed them all in one…. absolutely amazing the tangy salty jelly tasted of fresh pure ocean…deelish!!
Next up was the Seabass Tartre, fresh raw seabass flavoured by goats cheese and tomato and topped with a chilled tomato and basil sorbet, wow!!
what a combination of textures and flavours, the tomato sorbet added a chilled fresh element to the raw seabass, it was absolutely wonderful.
The slivers of Yellowfin Tuna was next up, Yellowfin tuna lends itself perfectly to the Sashimi style if you cook Yellowfin Tuna it becomes like cardboard, so it lets itself perfectly to be eaten raw, the Tuna was firm and flavorsome, the flavour was enhanced with a touch of wasabi and virgin soy sauce.
The Monkfish was firm light and firm and lobster tasting while the seared scallops were sweet and buttery and the accompanying soy jus was a perfect accompaniment.
The Delicious Freshwater Stone Bass fillet was light in texture and cooked to perfection, the accompanying King Prawns were seared and tossed into the greens, the citrus butter sauce was light and delicious.
In conclusion, The fruits of the sea are notoriously difficult to get right, the margin between cooking it just right and overcooking it is minuscule, it is something a chef with talent and nuance can pull off.
the Chef of Gamba has the talent, the journey of flavours and textures was magnificent, the choice of fish, which were away from the usual suspects was a masterstroke, the blend of temperatures was educational, to say the least.
The Service was equally good, friendly yet not overly familiar, elegant yet not stuffy
I loved Gamba, definitely Enchantment under the Sea.