Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal: Le Gourmet Restaurant Review

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“Raddy” is back! Raj and I recently returned from our one-week vacation at the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We had a blast with his family and we managed to dine at five of the several à-la-carte restaurants there. Although this resort seems very popular (I have several colleagues who have visited this resort and we met many fellow Torontonians there along with many other Canadians, Americans, Europeans, Asians, and Australians), there were not many recent online reviews of the à-la-carte restaurants and their menus to help us decide which restaurants would best accommodate everyone’s dietary restrictions and preferences. So Raj booked all the dinner reservations blindly prior to the trip, hoping there would be something for everyone on the menus.
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While I was there, I made sure to take pictures of all the menus and of everything I ordered at the à-la-carte restaurants, so I could share them restaurant-by-restaurant on this blog to help future visitors with specific dietary restrictions and preferences decide with which restaurants to book dinner reservations. Let us start with the French restaurant, Le Gourmet

Wonderful ambiance.

Wonderful ambiance.

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Menu for the first two courses.

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The apéritif was lightly sweet and refreshing. It was a great way to prep the palate for all the food that followed. I cannot remember what was in it exactly, but it was alcoholic. There was a non-alcoholic version, which was also sweet and refreshing.

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Like the apéritif, the amuse-bouche was also a pleasant surprise and not on the menu. The salad and sauces were refreshing and tasty, but the gelée was too bland.

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“Fresh Salmon Salad – with a crown of shrimp in a citric vinaigrette, caper mousse and a mango emulsion.” This was not what I was expecting based on the description. I was expecting a bed of leafy greens with either slices of smoked salmon or chunks of freshly cooked salmon. Instead, there were no leafy greens and the salmon tasted like canned salmon flakes mixed with mayonnaise. The salmon and mayonnaise mixture was sandwiched between slices of avocado and then topped with shrimp. I found this “salad” to be too creamy and heavy for a first course.

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“Cream of Almond Soup – with a Serrano ham brunoise.” Raj’s mom and I ordered this, because we have never heard of an almond soup before and we were so curious. It was very tasty and smooth. It almost tasted like a cream of cauliflower soup with fine granules of almond throughout. Although I enjoyed it, I regretted not ordering the Shellfish Bisque soup like Raj did. I tried his and it was way tastier. His bisque tasted like a very flavourful prawn broth with a richer consistency and texture. I made him swap bowls with me for a bit, because his bisque was just that good!

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Main course menu.

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“Garden Vegetable Millefeuille – vegetables layered in thin leaves of pastry with fresh coriander and a smooth tomato coulis.” Once again, Raj’s mom and I ordered the same menu item, because we both were not in the mood for meat that day. We were both very disappointed in this dish, because we were expecting much more pastry for a “millefeuille”, which translates to “a thousand layers” in English. Instead, there were just two small triangular sheets of phyllo. However, the vegetables were perfectly cooked (al dente) and the tomato coulis added a nice touch of tangy sweetness.

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I forgot to take a picture of the separate dessert menu, but I ordered the papaya tart. It was layers of very thin papaya slices, which were lightly soaked in some kind of sweet syrup. The papaya slices were layered over a very thin pie crust and this was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I did not have any of the vanilla ice cream, but the papaya tart was decent.

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My supplementation protocol was very different in Mexico. Instead of vitamin D being my must-have supplement as I was out under the sun so much, digestive enzymes were my must-have supplement with all the delicious food on the resort.

Even though I indulged more than usual at the resort, it was a vacation after all and, as you will see, I kept all my dinners at the à-la-carte restaurants on the lighter side. Digestive enzyme supplements were definitely crucial to surviving this vacation, but at least I got the majority of my vitamin D during this trip via sunlight instead of supplementation. 😛

Stay tuned for the other four à-la-carte restaurant reviews!

XOXO,

Addy

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How to Eat Like a Skinny Socialite at Events…

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In a busy city like Toronto, there are always numerous social events going on. I always find that at such events, the catering is quite calorie-laden (i.e. high-fat and/or high-sugar) for the most part with few to no light options. ‎Last Thursday, Raj and I were invited to a grand opening event and the catering at this event was no exception. There was a cornucopia of indulgent foods and drinks that was served buffet-style. I know some people who would starve themselves the whole day before such events and then overindulge at the event. That is a very unhealthy and ineffective way to enjoy social events without packing on the pounds. So how do skinny socialites do it? If they do it healthily, this is how they do it…

#11. Eat a small meal before you go. Don’t go hungry! There is nothing worse than arriving at an event hungry and wanting to devour everything in sight, especially when most of the food is unhealthy. Going to an event when you are somewhere in between hungry and full helps you determine what foods and/or drinks you truly want to have. For instance, at the event last Thursday, we were greeted at the guestlist check-in with freshly popped popcorn. If I arrived hungry, I would have eaten all the popcorn in that bag without even having checked out how extensive the catering menu would be. On the other hand, since I did not arrive hungry, I did not find the popcorn appealing and I passed on it.

 

 

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2. Check out all the menu items first. Then, pick out a few items that you want to try the most and try a bit of each. The dessert buffet table at the event last Thursday was HUGE! There were cannoli, a variety of mini dessert tarts, cupcakes, macaroons, brownies, a white chocolate and caramel fountain with fresh fruit, mini cupcakes, freshly baked cookies (chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and white chocolate macadamia), chocolate bars, a make-your-own-hot-chocolate station with marshmallows, a variety of macarons, and much more! With my sweet tooth, I had to narrow all that down to just a few items that I wanted to try the most. It was not too hard in this case, because macarons are my favourite dessert! There were four flavours (chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, and passion fruit). I took one of each, ate half of each, and took home the rest in a popcorn bag from the guestlist check-in. The leftover halves were just as delicious the next day! My favourite flavour was definitely the vanilla.

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3. Engage in other festivities, socialize, and/or network. Do not make the event just about the food. Even though I am a huge foodie, I do not make social events revolve around the food. I make sure to engage in all the other festivities going on and converse with great company. At this most recent event, Raj and I had a lot of silly fun in the photo booth, enjoyed all the live performances, and took time to take in all the beautiful decor. The food was only one of several highlights that night.

 

 

#44. Limit yourself to a maximum of two drinks. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, sugary drinks are simply empty calories. The calories that they contain provide minimal to no hydration, vitamins, or minerals. However, if you enjoy drinking at events, feel free to indulge as long as you can keep it at two drinks per day maximum. Also, size DOES matter! For instance, although there was an open bar at the event for white wine, red wine, and Cosmopolitan cocktails, there was more than eight ounces of wine in each wine glass! That is a lot of wine for one serving! A glass of wine should only be around five ounces. I love white wine, but if I had drank that entire glass, I would have reached my daily drink limit with that one glass. Instead, I drank half that glass of white wine and enjoyed a Cosmopolitan after.

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5. Practice mindful eating like the Buddhists do amid all the commotion. At social events, I always see people eating while standing up and while talking and/or listening to multiple people. I, on the other hand, take a timeout from all the mixing and mingling to eat mindfully and to savour every bite. Mindful eating helps you feel satiated with smaller portions and helps prevent bingeing and overeating. For instance, at the oyster bar at the event, I zoned out all the commotion to garnish my oyster and mindfully eat it. As a result, I was satisfied and happy with just two oysters. Mindful eating should definitely be practiced at every meal.

 

I really hope you all found these tips helpful. Although I do not personally know any real skinny socialites like Paris Hilton, I do know that following these tips would definitely be the healthy way to maintain a title like that! Who says you can’t have your cake (or macaron, in my case) and eat it too?

XOXO,

Addy