Ambli is a tamarind chutney commonly used as a condiment in Indian cuisine. This chutney can be simple to make but is ultimately a picture of balance. It is a flavor explosion of sour, sweet, and salty with a kick at the end as a cheeky little forget-me-not. It complements a number of savory dishes, elevating them and adding depth of flavor.
And isn’t that what food is all about?
It's finding a flavor combination gem that makes your mouth water every time you think about it. It's making excuses to eat it and constantly looking for that other thing it pairs well with so you can experience it again. This full-contact activity can simply be one of necessity, or it can broaden horizons and take the participant on a journey.
Eating to Truly Live
Food is a fact of life; it must be consumed to sustain survival. But there is eating to survive, and there is eating to truly live.
The owners at Ambli Global Cuisine believe in eating to truly live. To say they are passionate about what they do would be to fall drastically short of an adequate explanation of the life form this space occupies. Owner Pariza Mehta explains this is bigger than a job, bigger than an investment, “We are not owners, we work for Ambli.”
On paper, Mehta and Kelly Morrison manage the customer service end of things. The entire ambiance, the music, the lighting, the personal greetings and even the scent of the warm towels offered at the Chef’s Table are considered.
“Our job is to worry about the details before someone else has to,” Mehta so practically explains. It’s like letting someone into your home; it’s their way of caring for their guests. “Guests come to us to spend their hard-earned money,” she says, and goes on to explain the details are Ambli’s way of honoring the mutual respect of that decision.
Showing Love + Respect
Chef Ricardo Morffin, the third part of the Ambli Global Cuisine trifecta, has the food. He ever so humbly notes, “It’s my way of contributing. I care for you [the guest] with the quality of the product. It’s my way of showing love and respect.” And simply by the way he talks about his relationship with food – the truth of that statement is evident. “I get to cook whatever I want, give it to my guests and watch them enjoy. It brings me joy,” he expresses.
Sixteen years ago, Chef Ricardo came to Denver from Mexico City and started working as a dishwasher overnight in a bakery. He was eager to work and eager to learn. After a while, he was learning to make the bread. This led to more kitchen prep and after a stint in serving realized the kitchen is where he truly longed to be. This experience had him working with different chefs and learning to recognize good and bad habits in the kitchen.
“I don’t mind asking to get the right information,” he states. When asked if he is inspired by a specific food or one he loves to cook, he notes that as a chef, it is his job to like or at least respect all flavors, “Try try, try…my job is to try this or try that and discover something new from all regions and then make them approachable.”
Food is Cultural
Ambli is a restaurant featuring global cuisines – but no fusions can be found here. Food is cultural and in respect to each culture, Ambli offers regional menus. At present, in addition to their everyday dining menu, they are featuring Latin American, Thai and Middle Eastern menus. If a guest chooses one of these menus, they are choosing a pre-set five-course menu of four savory dishes and a dessert. Alcohol pairings are also offered with these pre-set options should the guest be interested.
In addition to the regular dining experience, Ambli will be offering their version of a Chef’s Table experience. This interactive endeavor will be immersive. The team has already considered not only the flavors, but the textures and aromas, as well. Prepare to interact with the others at the table as well as the Ambli team for an evening of storytelling, community building, foodie education and some history.
The two present options for the Chef’s Table experience are The Silk Road on Thursday evenings and Latin Sushi on Wednesday evenings. The Latin Sushi experience will bring to light the commonalities in flavors, spices and techniques between the two cultures. Guests will sample dishes using the same ingredients, but are essentially of two different worlds. The Silk Road experience will delve into the trading route forged between Rome and China during the Han Dynasty and how this route aided in the spread of culture and flavor within the next 1,500 years.
So take a seat, choose a menu and “omakase” as Chef Ricardo says – leave it to me. After all, life is about finding balance; find it at Ambli.