A couple of days ago, I wanted to double-check my booking, but couldn't find the confirmation email in my mailbox. It was sent by a booking service, and a keyword search in my mailbox didn't return any hits because I hadn't typed in the accent above the letter "e"... So I decided to call the restaurant and confirm it over the phone. The first person who answered the phone - with a more "Asian" accent - couldn't find my reservation. This sent me into panic mode. Shit! Was I dreaming that I had booked the table online? Did something go wrong in the final steps of booking? Where would I get a table for this birthday dinner on such short notice?!
I decided to make another booking for a later date through the restaurant's website, and got a confirmation email right away. Using the address of the sender, I managed to find the original confirmation email for this meal, then called the restaurant again. Thankfully, the person who picked up the phone this time - with a more "Western" accent - found my reservation almost immediately. Crisis averted!
We ended up ordering one portion of each of the 4 snacks for each of us - except for My Favorite Cousin who refused to eat "Bambi" - then shared the rest of the courses.
Smoked ice cream - our server came to pour the hot fudge onto the candy dome, melting it to reveal the contents underneath.
So we've got some smoked ice cream, tar syrup (we eat tar?!), and some cocoa nibs and nuts for the crunch. Pretty tasty, and the cloves in the salted fudge was really nice.
I brought a bottle of Aussie shiraz in honor of my Aussie cousin, and ordered a bottle of rosé Champagne that I love. They ended up waiving the corkage for the bottle I brought.
This was a very good dinner. I was very much relieved that the dishes we had weren't swamped in acidity, like the scallop prepared by Björn Frantzén at the Michelin Gala in Macau last year or many of the dishes I had at Noma Tokyo. The main dishes were also warm and hearty, which was great. There were no fails tonight, and I pretty much liked every single dish we had.
If I had to pick a bone, it would be with the service. Not that the staff weren't friendly or incompetent, but I had some issues with the introductions to the dishes. I understand that the dishes are complex and there were many different components, but the staff seemed intent on reciting all the ingredients as quickly as possible - that it all turned into one big blur. Taking literally a few more seconds and slowing it down would make things much easier to understand.
Well, guess what? I have myself another reservation for next month. Let's see how many new dishes they come up with by then. The good thing is that even if they don't, I'd be happy to eat pretty much anything we had tonight as an encore performance.