I could hardly believe it... I had just finished a 2-day eating tour in Macau where I barely felt hungry during my entire stay, and here I am... going to lunch at another fancy restaurant! Truth be told, this lunch with my friends was scheduled before the Macau trip popped up in my schedule, and I wasn't about to cancel. After all, it's been almost 1½ years since I last stepped foot in Amber.
I had maybe a third of the bottle of 1971 Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling leftover from last night, and brought it to share with my friends. I checked with Hervé the sommelier to see if he would let us drink the wine without charging me full corkage, and he was pretty nice about it. We were not charged corkage in the end.
The Bespectacled Froggie came to introduce the dishes from the set lunch menu, and recommended that we take the "chicken from Burgundy". I could see as the Resident Froggie rolled her (very) big, round eyes back and the look of "WTF" appeared on her face. When did Challans get moved to Burgundy, more than 500 km inland?! And the guy was a Froggie! I guess he failed geography as a child...
I wanted something light, and my choices reflected this desire... somewhat.
The two other amuse bouche items were simply laid in front of us without any introductions. I guess we have to play "guess what you're eating"...
two days ago... This was very, very delish. All the different ingredients just seemed to go together for a lovely, creamy mix that I couldn't stop spooning into my waiting mouth. The fact that there were both "regular" and crispy lardons reflects the creative efforts of the chef.
1971 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Extra Long Goldkapsel - I wondered how this wine would taste after being left in the bottle overnight. Nose of petrol and flint, a little faded with honey and apricot notes. Seemingly a little sweeter mid-palate with good acidity compared to last night.
When we were finished with the wine, Hervé took the bottle away and went into the back. As I am in the habit of collecting wine labels, I asked the Bespectacled Froggie to ask Hervé to bring the bottle back to me, and he promptly disappeared. A minute or two later, Mr. Froggie reappeared and went about his business. When Hervé finally came out, I flagged him down and asked about the empty bottle. He had clearly not gotten the message that I wanted the bottle. I was fuming at this point... What kind of service was the Bespectacled Froggie providing?! First he can't even get the origins of the ingredients right, then he completely ignores the request of a customer. Do they still want to keep their stars?!
The petits fours arrived in a shiny, metallic tower with three drawers. We worked our way from top to bottom:
This was a very relaxing and enjoyable meal, despite the poor service. Maybe I'm finally beginning to get Chef Ekkebus' food after all these years...