December 18, 2012

The lunch game

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Ever since we ran into Chef Vincent at the book launch, ILL and I have been talking about going to Caprice for a meal before year end.  It's game season, and where better to get your game meat than from the man who loves promoting it in Hong Kong?

Needless to say, bookings are hard to come by these days.  We had to leverage off our relationships with the restaurant to try to move ourselves up the waiting list.  After turning down several last-minute openings over the last week or so - due to one of us being tied up - we finally managed to meet up with a mutual friend for lunch today.

I knew exactly what I wanted before I walked in.  It meant giving up on the extremely well-priced set lunch, and would end up costing me dearly as far as lunch money goes, but I didn't care.  I want what I want.

The savory canelés with olives and anchovies are always yummy, but I'm getting a little tired of this… Time to serve up something new, please!

The amuse bouche was seafood consommé gelée with a big dollop of bouillabaisse mousse, topped with a little bit of sea urchin.  The diced carrots and leeks added crunch.  The piment d'espelette powder added a touch of flavor, and the mousse was surprisingly a little grainy in texture.

It was strongly suggested that I take the pâté en croûte, and I got no problems with that!  This time around it was made with grouse, pheasant, foie gras and something else which our froggie waiter was unable to tell me. Stuffed with a little wine gelée inside the brioche, and served with trompettes de la mort and more gelée on the side.  Very different textures and flavors - some heavier than others - all in one.

There was also a small serving of young leaves in black truffle vinaigrette.  Not bad.

Grouse paupiette: green cabbage, fondant chestnut and celery in single malt sauce - really nicely done.  Cooked a little rare so it's almost a little bloody, very tender and moist.  Plenty of heavy, gamey flavors here.  Full-on winter.  Wish I could have had a glass of big wine to go with it…

We were pretty full from the big portions, and told them we didn't need any dessert.  Naturally, the kitchen sent us pre-dessert instead…   This was a passion fruit and mango sorbet on a bed of diced pineapple, with melon and meringue on the side.  Not bad… thankfully it was light and refreshing.

I ended up being so full that I couldn't even enjoy the wonderful caramels…  Thank you, Chef Vincent, Jeremy and team.  Will be back again before the year is out for some cheeeeeeeese…

Oh by the way, this being a 3-star restaurant and all, they DO have stool for my bag.  Those restaurants aspiring to have stars should take note.

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