The Neopian Food Review: Exquisite Ambrosia
Duty has called, Neopia. Have you ever gone to that favorite eatery, whether you prefer Hubert’s Hot Dogs or Kelp, and ordered something sublime? Wouldn’t you have liked to share your joy with the rest of us? That’s where I come in. I’ll eat at a variety of locations around the globe (and on the Space Station) so you can know what to eat when you go out. I’ll tell you what’s good and what you should definitely stay away from. From here on in, Neopia, you can count on me.
All of the food served at Exquisite Ambrosia has one thing in common: it’s fancy, fancy, fancy. Food is served in dishes made of gold and silver. Everything looks absolutely beautiful when it comes out to you. Unfortunately, for some dishes, the beauty stops there. At Exquisite Ambrosia, their motto, spoken by the shopkeeper, is “We only sell the most delectable foods fit for heroes”. I’m here to tell you that that’s not quite true – keep reading and I’ll tell you what’s divine and what’s not worth your time.
Let’s see... what do I start out with here? I guess the first dish that really ‘wowed’ me was the Well Decorated Meat. This meal’s description speaks volumes about everything sold at Exquisite Ambrosia: “You don’t eat anything in Altador without making sure it looks good first”. Served on a lovely mini-pillar, the perfectly cooked slab of meat (I think it may have been ham) is also adorned with many golden chains and leaves. The dish is as pleasing for the eyes as it is for the mouth, and let me tell you, it was very pleasing to my mouth.
Here’s a good question: What food is Altador best known for? No, it’s not slushies from the Altador Cup – it’s figs. Figs are grown fresh in Altador, and it would be a shame for anyone to go to Exquisite Ambrosia and pass up their many fig-inclusive options (and trust me: they’ve got something for everyone). Want something plain? They sell figs by themselves. Need to eat something with your figs? Go for their Fig Ice Cream, Fig Sandwich, Fig Muffin, Figs With Honey Sauce, or Stuffed Figs. My personal favorite was the stuffed figs: they were delicious, but they smelled even better.
If you’re only looking for dessert, Exquisite Ambrosia has great options. I’ve already mentioned the Fig Ice Cream, but they also have a thousand-year-old recipe for Baklava that’s truly amazing. The Walnut Pomegranate Pastry is good, as well as the Lemon Sun Cake. If you’re looking for something light and healthy for you and your pets, try a Fruit Cornucopia.
I also feel that Exquisite Ambrosia needs credit for its attempts to “rejuvenate” its menu after a thousand years of lost business. They added new, more modern family-style dishes, such as Altador Meatloaf, the Altador Dog, and the Altador Cheese Burger. All are good dishes, but I do think that the chefs in Altador should stick to the old stuff: they’ve had lots more time to perfect it.
Other great dishes: Nectar of the Heroes, Altadorian Cobb Salad, Spicy Hummus
I don’t like finding bad things during a meal, but some things jumped right out at me here at Exquisite Ambrosia. The first was the Cheesy Potato Tower. If you just look at it, you can tell why I have a problem with it: it just doesn’t fit with the rest of the eatery. It’s a bunch of potatoes covered in cheese... on an ordinary plate. There’s nothing really fancy about it; you could find something similar in most establishments around Neopia. I’m not sure what the chefs were thinking when they created this dish – well, the idea is fine, but the lack of pristine plating still puzzles me.
While I’m talking about lapses in judgment on the parts of the cooks, I feel the need to bring up one of the biggest failures: the Fruit Cake. Come on now, Exquisite Ambrosia, you should know that people don’t eat fruitcake. Haven’t they heard of those old fruitcake stereotypes? It’s always hard as a rock. It never tastes good. People don’t want to get them as a gift for the holidays. Let me tell you, this fruitcake is just as bad as those nasty holiday fruitcakes. There’s nothing else to say about this. I don’t know why anyone would buy it to begin with.
The Altadorian Nectar is an odd drink to have on the menu. Exquisite Ambrosia also offers “Nectar of the Heroes”. It’s a great drink. The Altadorian Nectar looks the same, smells the same, everything. However, it just isn’t even close to as good. You might ask, “well, why would I buy the Altadorian Nectar if the Nectar of the Heroes is so much better?” I have a really simple answer for you. Don’t buy it. Stick with the Nectar of the Heroes. It has a better name anyway. Who wouldn’t want to drink like a hero of legend?
There is one last dish that I had a major problem with: their Calamari Pita Wrap. Looking at it revolted me. Of course, it was decked out with plenty of gold and silver, but the part that got me was the disgusting pink tentacles sticking out of the top of the cup that it’s served in. They really creeped me out. I couldn’t bring myself to eat it.
Other bad dishes: Chocolate Rose Petal Ice Cream, Altador Omelette, Aubergine and Olive Skewer, Altador Style Bratwurst.
It’s time for the verdict. Out of a possible score of ten, I give Exquisite Ambrosia a 7.5. They’re using the excuse that Altadorians liked their food for the thousand years that they’ve been lost to us, but now that all of Neopia can sample it, it’s not quite cutting it. I guess I can understand. I did give Exquisite Ambrosia a huge bonus for their attention to presenting their food. Someone should do a scientific study on whether well-presented food tastes better than poorly presented food. I’d be interested.
Anyway, Exquisite Ambrosia gets away with a 7.5. Look for my next article, when I review the ever-interesting Tyrannian Foods!