May 7, 2011

An offally long lunch

Pin It

I got together with a few friends for a very special lunch today.  A couple of VIP friends had set up a very special menu with Chef David Goodridge at Gaddi's, featuring a series of offal dishes.  I haven't been a fan of Gaddi's in recent years, and my sole visit in the last 10 years didn't exactly endear me to the place.  This was a good chance to check out the food and service at this Hong Kong classic.

We were set up in the private room overlooking the hotel entrance, and with the multi-course menu I fully expected lunch to last for 5 hours or so.  With a few VIPs among us, service was naturally top-notch.  It turned out to be a very enjoyable afternoon...

Colchester oyster with rosé Champagne, pink grapefruit and Oscietra caviar - this came in with dry ice... just a little gimmicky.  The foam and sorbet were sweet and slightly bitter, which kinda dominated and balanced the creamy and slightly briny flavors of the oyster.  Very well done.

Marinated goose liver with rhubarb and hazelnuts - another pretty creation, with classic pairing of something acidic to cut down the fatty foie.  I am normally not a fan of rhubarb, but I didn't mind the pickle nor the jelly today.  The strip of sauce made with roast duck skin was interesting, but there wasn't enough of it to really make an impact.

Slow-cooked veal head with gribiche sauce - absolutely loved this cube of tête de veau.  I know it's traditional to use an acidic sauce to cut the fat, but I didn't need to gribiche at all... I prefer to get the full-on flavors, unadulterated.

There was lots of collagen together with the lean meat, which was just awesome...

Gratinated bone marrow, goose liver and herb crust - can I say again how much I loooove bone marrow?  And this is no ordinary bone marrow dish... The marrow has been diced into cubes and mixed in with cubes of foie gras as well as beef cheeks.  The parsley herb crust was interesting in that it tasted very much like the parsley butter one finds in the traditional escargot bourguignon.  Very yummy.

There was also a piece of toast with calf's liver on top.  A little veiny but tasted fine.

Roasted veal sweetbread with new season's garlic combination - the piece of ox tongue on the side which was battered and deep-fried was very good.  The sweetbread was tasty, covered by a thin layer of collagen broth/agar agar combination.  All of this sat in foam made with jus from the pan, which had tons of flavor.  The roast garlic on the side was yummy, too!

Crispy suckling pig with black pudding - the crackling of the suckling pig was scored and looked very pretty.  The meat was tender albeit a little bland, while the crackling was perfectly crunchy but extremely salty.  Guess the two parts taken together would kinda balance out a little...  The black pudding was interesting, as it was a combination of caramelized apple, collagen, blood and other fun bits.

Brittany veal kidney braised in Green Chartreuse-red wine jus - I'm actually not a big fan of kidneys, and as I was getting a little full I decided not to finish this.  There was a single slice of deep-fried elephant garlic on top.

Kinda surprised to find that the center of the kidney was still red... but I guess that was to be expected.

Pyrenean baby lamb organs with potato crust - this is THE dish today... underneath the layer of scalloped potatoes - which were fried in lamb fat - was a smörgåsbord of offal... lamb heart, kidney, liver, sweetbread, belly... Very interesting indeed.  I finished all the offal but left much of the potato as I didn't have much room left.

With the parade of offal behind us, we then moved on to dessert.  Many of us are fans of pastry chef Ludovic Douteau from his days at Caprice, and have missed his presence ever since he decided to move here.  We were therefore very much looking forward to this part of the meal.

Cavaillon melon and Champagne - I remember a dessert made with Cavaillon melon from my birthday meal at Caprice last year, and what we had today was even better.  Love these refreshing melons!

Layers of strawberries with coconut and mascarpone - I protested that the description is wrong, since there was only one layer of strawberries...  And it looks like some of Ludovic's creations from his days at Caprice.  The white chocolate sphere contained some yummy yogurt inside.  Beneath the strawberries and jelly was a thick middle layer of mascarpone which sat on a layer of meringue at the bottom.  It was all so delicious...  Hidden behind everything was actually a strawberry spherification - a little touch of molecular.

There was also a great selection of mignardises...

Knowing this would be a long and relaxing lunch, I decided to bring a couple of bottles of wine.  I had limited myself to two bottles, thinking that this wasn't exactly a drinking crowd.  How wrong I turned out to be...

2003 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard - I didn't like the last bottle I drank of this wine, as it was over-ripe and delivered a bitter finish.  Fortunately the wine drank beautifully today, with notes of grass, flint, lots of toast, citrus and a little whiff of alcohol.  Ripe and sweet on the palate, but pretty well-balanced.

2002 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard - minty, a little sharp, with notes of sour cherries as well as black cherries.  Took a while to open up but was pretty decent.

2003 Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras Cuvée Azalaïs - we took this off the list as we ran out of wine.  Smoky nose with a bit of brett, pine and actually a little savory.

1998 Guiraud - bought off the restaurant's list, too.  Lots of honey, nutty, grapey notes with plastic and medjool dates.  Very lovely.

Some time past 5pm I finally staggered out of the restaurant, with my belly near bursting, head swooning thanks to the abundance of wine...  This was a great meal, and chef David had put more winners on the board than I had expected.  It would be interesting for me to return at a future date and try out their à la carte dishes.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map