Flambé Sambuca Shrimp at the Diamante Restaurant in Yellowknife, N.W.T
I had this little appetizer at Diamante during a layover in Yellowknife back before it closed its doors.. It was described on the menu as ‘Tiger shrimp flambéed in Sambuca and finished with honey lemon cream sauce’ and it sounded very interesting. Sadly, though the concept was promising, the execution was not.
Sambuca, if you haven’t had it, is an Italian anise-flavoured liqueur along the lines of Pernod, or Ouzo. I wasn’t really sure if would like the strong anise flavour of Sambuca with delicate seafood, but I was definitely curious to see what it would be like. As it happened, though, I needn’t have worried as, for the life of me, I couldn’t detect even a hint of the liqueur anywhere in the dish.
Sadly, the above deficiency wasn’t compensated for in the rest of the execution. First, the 8 or 9 Tiger shrimp I was promised turned out to be the very small (and generally tasteless) variety one usually finds in supermarket ‘Shrimp Rings’ destined to be consumed with horse-radish based cocktail sauces.
The butter-based sauce in this particular offering was creamy in texture but it did not seem as though any actual cream was used. It had honey, though, to the point of being almost cloyingly sweet, and while this may have been balanced by the advertised lemon, this also did not seem to be included save for a small section of whole lemon sitting in the sauce. Overall, I am glad I tried this dish as it gave me some inspiration to try the basic idea myself, but, on the whole it was pretty much a disappointment.