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Food Shop Fun: Exquisite Ambrosia


by lord_of_fantasy

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Welcome to the first ever Food Shop Fun. What is Food Shop Fun, you ask? It is a series of articles in the Neopian Times where I, Josh, review food shops outside of Neopia Central. This week, we will travel into the heart of Altador to taste some of the best delicacies that Exquisite Ambrosia has to offer.

Location:

Exquisite Ambrosia is located just west of the Hall of Heroes and only a few steps away from the Altadorian Archives. Because of this, Finneus the archivist is often seen there on his lunch break. On the downside, the Yurble Janitor often lunches there as well. Not that he isn't a fine guy; it's just that he's quite grumpy and never stops yelling at the chef.

History:

Exquisite Ambrosia was founded far before the disappearance of Altador, but was exclusive to the Twelve Heroes. After the reappearance of Altador, it was reopened by a Skeith named Hermes, son of Gordos the Collector. This time, however, the shop was opened to the public. It is said that Hermes sailed far and wide to find the best recipes. Some say that he traveled as far as Terror Mountain and that he was the first person to set eyes on Moltara. With a chef that's that dedicated, you have to know that the food will be beyond delicious.

Setting:

I had to take a double look the first time I saw the Exquisite Ambrosia. The entire shop is made out of marble except for the roof. This was purple and lined with pure gold. Beautiful windows and sturdy oak doors lined the sides of the building. Altadorian banners that were hanging from the roof swayed gently in the breeze. Stone suns sat atop the store, and magnificent stone sculptures were built around it. There were statues of faeries such as Siyana, Psellia, and Fyora, and, as I walked to the back, I saw a massive statue of King Altador slaying a terrifying reptile. On my way back to the front, I noticed a chimney with huge puffs of smoke gently spiraling out of it.

When I finished soaking in the majesty of it all I opened the oak door, and a beautiful smell floated out to meet me. At the same time, an even more beautiful sight met my eyes. The inside was painted orange and white with amazing shields, swords, tridents, and banners hanging from the walls. Sun shaped tables were set out among the length of the shop. At the very end of the shop, there was set a huge oak counter with a golden top. Inside it was a small kitchen consisting of a stove, a large cauldron, and several barrels. Along the wall behind the stove hung spices, vegetables, herbs, and cooking utensils. As he brought a steaming loaf of bread from the oven, Hermes the cook looked at me, and bellowed a cheerful hello.

Food:

Since Altador is known for its cheeses, I decided to start there. When I cut a wedge of Altadorian Sun Cheese, the smell almost made me pass out, but when I tasted it, my thoughts changed from bad to good. It tasted like sharp cheddar cheese, but "sharper" and, in a way, vaguely spicy. Next I took a bite of the cheese on a Fancy Cheese Platter. The cheese was very creamy, but would have been quite bland if it had not been topped with walnuts and other nuts that are native to Altador. After that, I couldn't resist trying the Feta Cheese Plate. This crumbly cheese was fit for a king, and I don't doubt that King Altador loves it. Then I tasted one ball of each kind of cheese from a nearby Cheese Bowl. It had cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, and Colby Jack. All of these were unbelievably delicious.

Since the many cheeses made me thirsty, I decided to try the Altadorian Nectar. Whoever starting calling it the drink of the gods was right. It was so good that I had to have three more cups.

I wanted to eat the Altador Style Bratwurst, but since Altador is home of the best figs, I also wanted to taste a Fig Sandwich. I settled this by eating half of each. Hubrid the Hot Dog Salesman should be afraid that his hot dog stand will run out of business. The Altador Style Bratwurst was as good as or better than anything I've tasted at his road-side stand. I wasn't a huge fan of the Fig Sandwich, but if you loved figs, I would recommend it.

For dessert, I had a Lemon Sun Cake topped with Chocolate Rose Petal Ice Cream. The ice cream was rich and creamy but with a hint of sweetness at the same time. The cake was very spongy and the icing was fluffy. Altogether, the dessert was very delicious. Finally, after the shopkeeper insisted that I tried some, I ate the famous Altadorian Ambrosia. Even though it didn’t make me immortal as legends say it should, it was the best thing I had tasted all day. And believe me, that is saying something.

Prices:

In anyone’s eyes, from a king to a farmer, the prices were very high. A Flask of Olive Oil was 2500, a Fig Sandwich was 1710, an Altadorian Cobb Salad was 2500, a single cup of Altadorian Nectar was 2219, and almost all the cheeses exceeded 2000 neopoints. Even a single Honey Filled Olive was 534. But, for the quality and size of the products, I suppose the prices are only slightly high.

Interview:

Since it had begun to rain outside, I thought I had some time to talk to Hermes the owner of Exquisite Ambrosia. This is what was said:

Me: Excuse me, Hermes. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

Hermes: Not unless you mind that I bake while I talk.

Me: Of course not. First of all, when was Exquisite Ambrosia opened?

Hermes: Well, it was opened when the Council of the Twelve Heroes was first founded, and only the heroes could get in. After Altador was revived, I reopened it and let anyone in.

Me: You seem so busy baking, Hermes. You hardly ever stop baking bread, making cheese, or brewing nectar. How do you get the ingredients?

Hermes: Mostly I pay Farmer Follies's son to bring in their harvest, but I also have employees that pick the olives, grapes, and figs from a nearby grove. And, the fishermen come in from the docks to sell me their fish.

Me: Is it true that all of the Heroes have dined here before?

Hermes: Of course. No one can stay away from this shop and its delicacies. Of course, Kelland the Thief has only eaten here once. He’s been banned from Exquisite Ambrosia since he stole all my money and took the barrels of nectar with him.

Me: Finally, do you confirm or deny the rumor that you were the first person living above ground to set eyes on the city of Moltara?

Hermes: Yes, how else could I have learned how to make my famous Cheesy Potato Tower?

Conclusion:

I would have to give Exquisite Ambrosia a 9/10. The food was amazing, and the décor was even better on the inside as well as the out. The smells were delicious, and the cook was extremely nice as well as helpful. The only downside was the steep prices. The great food made it well worth the price, but not everybody can pay over 4000 neopoint for one glass of Nectar of the Heroes. But if you save up a few extra neopoints, you could get a large, delicious meal that will have you telling your friends about it for weeks to come.

 
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