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  • Enrique Balestrini

Four Hands Dinner at Infini.

For my final fine dining review of the year here is another triumph for Infini. The Four Hands Dinner with Chef Daisuke Itagaki and Urvin Croes gave the word unforgettable a new meaning.


Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

One of the greatest things about the culinary world is its capacity to never stop surprising you. There's always something new to try, a new iteration, a new fusion, a new experience, and that is the reason I love what I do.


Infini, did justice to its name, proving the possibilities are infinite. The Four Hands Dinner with Chef Daisuke Itagaki will remain a subject of conversation among culinary enthusiasts for a long time for the excellence that was displayed by both teams, Infini and Shimogamo.


When both chefs linked up in Arizona, it became inevitable that one day they would collaborate in something of epic proportions, being Aruba (and Infini) of course, the perfect frame to execute this collab.


So the day arrived.


Chef Daisuke presents an Oyster, but not any oyster that you would get on a seafood tower. This is a special one. The way the chef preserved the salinity and freshness of the oyster was truly beautiful, with a touch of caviar on top because why not? Immediately I knew it was going to be unbeatable.


Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Elevating the experience, champagne was abundantly poured to all diners.


Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Appetizers made an appearance. Kéru by Chef Urvin and Tarabagani Chawanmushi by Chef Daisuke.


A kale macaron, with tuna tataki and passion fruit. I feel there's a wave of savory macarons coming.

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

The Chawanmushi, an egg custard was made with king crab, savory but keeping the sweetness that crab has. The black little fish on top was a cracker made with fishbone powder!

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Now onto serious business. The Hotate (Scallops) Aguachile. Probably the most perfectly cooked scallops I've ever had. The mushroom combination was unexpected and even the mushroom-shaped crackers on top made my tablemates gasp.

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Tsukune, another unknown word to me consisted of a chicken sausage on a skewer, grilled right then and there, with Chef Urvin fanning the coals. Hints of mysterious spices and that charred taste we all love from grilled foods hit the palate with force. Truffle shavings on top 'cause why the F not?

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Bread won't be served to start service at Infini. Bread will be a course on its own. T2 Pan Sourdough Boutique made a special Japanese-inspired blend for this occasion.


Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Plated on the table right in front of you. the next course was a song of textures. A delicate piece of steamed turbot, a ball of sushi rice, all singing on the tastiest Nitsuke sauce made with ginger, soy sauce, and Mirin. A rice cracker and Furikake on top.


Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Right before the Beef course, a giant piece of equipment was brought into the room. Turned out to be an ice shaver and what was told blew everybody's minds. Ice, flown in from Japan, was going to be shaved and dressed with yuzu lemon as a palate cleanser. How that was even possible, well that's the magic these two chefs worked to accomplish the unthinkable.


It only lasted a few seconds in your mouth, all the effort for a couple of seconds of unforgettable taste. Imagine they saying: Yes, we are going to source ice from Japan and get this insane piece of equipment just to give our diners a few seconds of bliss. Madness.

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

When I thought they had exhausted all the wow factors, the chef started to cut into these charred doughs like opening an Egyptian sarcophagus. The tenderloin was cooked inside at the perfect doneness.


Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Then plated impeccably, the tenderloin and local mushrooms from Farmacurefungi hit the tables. When at some point you think, another tenderloin? Haven't we had enough tenderloins on the menus? well, this one was worth the push. I am not a fan of wasabi so I did not dare to touch the powder next to it.


Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Finally, we got our desserts. A Yuzu lemon cloud cheesecake, miso ice cream, a meringue stick, and a black sesame sweet bread, probably I am missing more details but it was glorious. The pastry chefs at Infini and Chef Urvin are making desserts on another level.


Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

When I thought everything was said and done, they presented us with a goodie bag to take home with two pastry specialties from Infini and Shimogamo, and the full menu printed on fine paper.



Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Four Hands Dinner at Infini Aruba. Urvin Croes Daisuke Itagaki

Stunning.


The wine and sake pairings, curated by Mika Otomo, Chef Daisuke's wife, were super interesting but what won me over was her personality, simply dazzling!


I have to say that from all the times I have had the fortune to sit at Infini's table, this has been their best service yet. I have raved time and time again about them, and to witness how they reach even a higher level is so spectacular. Every detail of the service, every glass, and the way they orchestrate the cooking and plating without overwhelming the diners is a well-choreographed waltz I would gladly watch time and time again.


Please enjoy this gallery with more pics from that night.



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