The Picasso Restaurant at Crown Apartemento Hotel in Airport Residential area could not have been better name. The dishes bussed out from the kitchen are nothing short of the best culinary artworks in the capital. I am not sure I can adequately express the joy I felt to discover this phenomenon restaurant.
My night began at a rooftop restaurant that will not be named (this is a tale for another edition) and after the appalling service, the waitress who couldn’t seem to remember what drinks were available and the horrible seat I was given looking into the bathroom, why the door was left open I still struggle to comprehend, the Picasso restaurant held more value than ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’.
On a Friday night, the restaurant setup of iron wrought chairs, wooden panel floors and large windows creates the perfect balance of privacy and an involvement with the jazz band playing by the poolside. This classy and comfortable metro destination features some wonderful pasta, great steak and brilliant poultry dishes but is definitely best known for some of the best seafood in the city.
The service was commendable. Barely seconds after we had chosen and sat down at a table, my ‘eager beaver’ (blame my dinner date for this name) waiter zipped out from his corner with a drink and food menu. As I flipped though the menu spoiled for choice, ‘eager beaver’ interjected with a very chirpy “I think Madam will enjoy our Sangria. It is very popular!” Needless to say, that caught my attention. Of course I picked up the challenge ready to try the ‘oh so famous’ sangria. In the waiter’s defence … WOW!! Delicious!! Sweet, very fruity and tasty. One glass of Picasso’s sangria is not enough. It is strong though, so if you are driving, be smart about how many glasses you have…but yes, I can understand why this is popular with the ladies.
Excited to get my grub on and try as many things as possible, we ordered golden fried prawns off he tapas menu. Although at a point, I wasn’t sure if the kitchen staff had gone out to catch the prawns given the extremely long wait for food, my wait was not in vain. The prawns had been battered with perfection and fried to a golden crispy rightness without drying out the prawns. I was torn between another plate of the savoury goodness I had enjoyed and moving on to another dish with hopes of falling deeper into culinary ecstasy.
Although I desperately wanted to try the paella, ‘eager beaver’ advised that it would be a long wait. Given the wait to get my prawns and that was without a warning, I was not brave enough to find out just how long a ‘long wait’ would be. (I’ll be back though; I’ve heard amazing raves about the paella)
Always a fan of seafood, I settled on the spicy grilled seafood with braised rice and my date ordered the polo pollo with fried rice. As we sat waiting for our food, I marvelled at the melodic jazz notes that teased their way across the room and gave warmth to the near empty restaurant. At last, the food came out and I was ready to belt out the famous Etta James number but my mouth was so busy salivating over the succulent aroma that I was afraid it would revolt if I did anything but allow it to revel in its agenda. With every bite of food, I was in awe of rich flavours, the masterful use of spices and the chef’s ability to cook.
I can think of no better name for the restaurant. The food was amazing and thumbs up to the chef for not being stingy with portions. Picasso a master in art would be proud to be associated with the works of a culinary master.