It was my birthday dinner. I took this opportunity to the new restaurant that has been shaking the island of Okinawa. Restaurant Ardor.
I heard it’s a spanish-italian-french cuisine. Popular local chefs and patissier has come together, under the promotion by the owner of the famous pizzeria Bacar in Naha, to open this restaurant a month ago.
Very artistic hallway led to the open kitchen.
These counter seats have been recommended, but we couldn’t book them this day.
Right in the center is a bathtub, where foods are stored on ice.
You can talk to the staff and pick what you like to be cooked for you. YuYu was locked on white asparagus in its season now.
The dinner course is available from JPY5400. And I heard it’s very good.
But we figured we can try it anytime. Today we are 4 of us. Let’s go for a la carte.
Fancy table setting.
They serve carbonated water for free. Just in a weird glass. Had a little trouble in fitting my lips to it.
Blessing from my work team.
Right in the center of the kitchen is the firewood grill.
Starting off with corn soup.
Octopus and potato salad.
Nothing so special so far.
This was very good. White asparagus with clam white wine sauce.
Here it comes! The firewood grilled whole flounder.
I actually chose this place for this fish today. It’s very popular in Basque region of Spain, the gastronomy capital. But we didn’t have a chance to get it when we traveled there. Then I saw all the pictures and drooled over them when this chef team went to Basque and and had tasting of this fish at several restaurants.
Never had a whole flounder before. They are not local to Okinawa, unfortunately.
Very juicy, fluffy chunk of meat.
You can order one of several sauces but we decided to stay with a simple one.
It was grilled and seasoned perfectly. Crusty skin carries the pleasant fume of firewood. Mildly salted, fluffy juicy inside. Garlic lemon butter in olive oil. Impressive.
Another firewood grilled pork shoulder. This was grilled to perfection too. The local pork shoulder was filled with flavor.
By looking at the finish, I think they use sous vide. The outside is seared to perfect crust and the inside is cooked through evenly.
Got a couple of desserts. The patissier has got the skills.
As my honest overall impression, the foods are great. No question about it. Chefs and patissier have skills and they use fine ingredients.
But there’s something we didn’t feel completely comfortable with. I can’t explain it well, but I think we missed certain things that we would expect from a restaurant of this class. We were not so thrilled as other people say about this restaurant.
I don’t know. It’s a new restaurant. They must have small bumps and glitches to fix in the operation. I really hope they will overcome the opening frenzies and become a leading restaurant in Okinawa.