June 1, 2011

Lisboa tour: the Kitchen

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A mere 3½ hours after we finished lunch, KC and I were back at it again.  Dinner tonight was at the Kitchen inside the Grand Lisboa.  KC was pretty excited about this meal, as he loves steaks and hasn't tried this place before.  The menu has been preset for us.  I had no expectations for this meal, other than the steaks.

I didn't have any interest in the antipasti buffet, as I really wasn't that hungry.  Our amuse bouche was a small serving of escargot.  Not exactly filled to the brim with the garlic and parsley butter, but tasty enough nonetheless.

Avocado with crabmeat au gratin - I'm normally not a fan of avocado, so I found this a little rich...  Reasonably tasty, though.

Crepe parmentiere with salmon and caviar, saffron cream sauce - seemingly lighter, but actually less interesting in terms of taste.  The "crêpe" was more like a thin breakfast pancake or a small blini.

Lobster bisque - a little shocked when this showed up in front of me, as I wasn't expecting this big cheese puff.  The taste of the soup itself was pretty full-on, but the chunks of lobster inside were completely overcooked.

Cappuccino of wild mushroom - I had a spoonful of this, and thought it was pretty decent.

Kagoshima (鹿児島) A3 sirloin, medium-rare - this was very nice... the marbling made the meat very tender and succulent, as the fat melted under the heat.  The execution was perfect.  The outside was a little bit more charred than what I'm used to, but I guess that's what you gotta do to get the right flavors...

The raw beef aging in the fridge...

USDA Prime sirloin, medium-rare - clearly not as fatty as the Japanese beef, but pretty tasty nonetheless.

The raw hunk of beef in the fridge.

Kagoshima (鹿児島) A4 sirloin, medium - KC asked for medium on the Japanese beef as he felt it is actually better.  On a well-marbled hunk of beef, having it medium results in the meat having a little more bite.  On top of that it also means more of the fat has melted under the heat, making the meat even more tasty.  I think he's got a point there...

The raw meat.

We asked for vegetables on the side, which made for a welcome change from chewy chunks of marbled, fatty beef...

Cheese cake with marmalade brûlée - interesting... There was enough cheese flavor without being ultra-dense like New York cheesecake.  The candied petals were interesting.  The brûlée on top, though, seemed determined to stay in one piece... and KC quickly regretted his decision to try a small piece as it wrapped itself around one of his tooth and refused to let go.

Black forest cake - an interesting take on the original, replacing layers of cake with layers of mousse to make it lighter.  The cherries and cherry jelly were particularly yummy.

Each serving comes in a rather thin slice, because the whole thing is just too massive and tall...

I wasn't gonna pass up another opportunity to drink a good bottle of wine while I'm still in the Lisboa, so I browsed through the wine list on the iPad again.  I was asked to pick something Italian, and after narrowing down to 2 choices, both of them were rejected by Roberto the sommelier - who suggested a third bottle that I was already thinking about...

1997 Casanova di Neri Cerretalto - mint and red fruits on the nose, with dried herbs, smoke and coffee.  Pretty smooth on the palate.  The wine was much better after 2 hours in the decanter, showing potpourri on the nose.  Acidity on the palate dropped off and the wine became sweeter.  A pretty good wine, but unfortunately no "wow" factor.

A very nice and relaxing evening.  Many thanks to the Lisboa for the treat, and I know where I can go for some very good steak that's done right!

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