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The Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea
It was my third day in Jordan and I was promised it was going te be an amazing. The program was heading down to the Dead Sea. I was so excited to experience the Kempinski Hotel down at the lowest point on earth. Calm and serene, I was looking forward to enjoying my day and treat myself to some calmness.
The Kempinski has a selection of restaurants including Akkad, Obelisk an Italian restaurant where I chose to have lunch after a long morning on the road. With a view on the calm waters we sat and waited to be served.
The service was slow for a tourist hotel during low season. There was one waitress handling the orders, jumping from one table to the other while we waited. Thirty minutes passed!
The restaurant enjoys a long bar, a minimalistic decor and a large terrace with a view. The outdoor tables are all set with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pepper mill.
Ashur's menu offers three starters, two soups, three hot starters, two fish plates, two meat plates, three salads, five sandwiches, nine pizzas, five desserts.
We were invited by the hotel to try their Italian food. The food served were not enough nor were they Italian. They served salads to start, a chicken dish and grilled fish; but what is Italian about them. There was no pizza and no pasta so we ordered with extra charge from the main menu.
Two large circular bread loafs landed on our table as we ordered food. A quarter with cherry tomatoes, a quarter with olives and a third with onions. A focaccia with a light sweetness which is not part of Italian habits. Expected to feel more olive oil and more salt in this brioche-kind of bread. Enjoying my minted lemonade, I was counting the seconds to eat.
Lunch is served:
- Three salads to share, the Caesar, green salad and the roquette with Parmesan. All good for now.
- Vitello Tonnato; veal slices topped with tuna sauce served with capers from Lampedusa. Thickly sliced veal which is better cut in thin paper-like sheets the carpaccio way with a thick cream on top. Good quality veal, flavorful tuna cream and the couple capers written about in the menu.
Finally, some good food! Main courses were interesting:
They look good and smell fresh as five plates made it on the table. A huge bowl of Spaghetti with prawns, zucchini and fresh tomato datterino: flavorful but unfortunately over cooked. Then the Philly ciabatta sandwich freshly baked and stuffed with grilled beef tenderloin, caramelized onions and mozzarella cheese. That was a WOW! The freshness of the bread, the tenderness of the meat and the sweetness of the onions: Spot on. Fish filet, just add lemon and enjoy. The fried chicken looked dry but wait until you try it, so juicy and a light crunchy envelope, this one is good to order. Pizza for last, Dolce vita pizza; tomatoes, mozzarella, rocket, bresaola and white truffle oil. As good as it should be, thin and not soggy with real flavors.
The service was so slow, extremely slow service and the season didn't even start yet; but one can't deny that the food was good. Welcoming and smiling, a French waitress or manager tried hard to satisfy the angry customers annoyed by the local staff serving them.
I tried their Tiramisu: A large cup has 10 layers of cake and cream stuffed one on top of the other and decorated with cocoa powder. It was indeed good, so rich, so flavorful, so juicy and lightly creamy. I loved it!
It was now time for swimming!