November 23, 2012

Lisboa tour 2012: Robuchon au Dôme

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It was a year and a half ago that I made a trip to Macau with KC, at the invitation of Hotel Lisboa.  Well, here we are again, together with Lemon Tea, for another 4 meals over 2 days…

Upon our arrival we were greeted by the PR, and escorted up to the top of the Grand Lisboa for our lunch at Robuchon au Dôme.  I haven't been here since Robuchon moved from its old location, so this was the first time for me to check out the interior and the view…

With our experience last year and knowing what's to come over the next 2 days, we decided to take it easy and did not pick the heaviest menu.  To be honest there is no need to do so, as all the stuff that gets wheeled around on carts are enough to fill you up…  Just like last time, we ended up sharing different dishes as much as possible.

Our amuse bouche was cold pumpkin cream, with île flottante, pumpkin seeds, shredded ham and ginger gelée.

I had done a lot of homework by going through the entire wine list last night, and picked out a few bottles that I wanted to drink over this weekend.  I quickly settled on the 1995 Bruno Paillard Nec Plus Ultra, which was aged for 11 years before being disgorged in 2006.  This was an absolutely beautiful wine!  Showing caramelized, oxidized (the way I like it) nose with sugarcane, salty, mineral, preserved plum (話梅) notes, along with marmalade later.  I'd be happy to drink a bottle of this any day...

Le crabe: fresh crabmeat refreshed with cucumber jelly and spiced avocado, crunchy Piquillos tart - yum!  Very refreshing indeed!  The little domes of piquillos were really tasty, as were the cucumber jelly and avocado mousse.  Worked very, very well with the crab.

Les moules de Bouchots: French mussels «marinières» with touch of cream and leek fondant perfumed with saffron - pretty good, although there was a tiny bit of sand in some of them…

Les crustacés: shellfish bisque spiced with Espelette pepper with scallop quenelle and crispy head - the fragrance of the shellfish hit me even before my bowl arrived.  I've always loved how piment d'Espelette is able to pick up the flavors in a shellfish/seafood bisque, and I was not disappointed.  The texture of the quenelle was bouncy like panna cotta, and the little prawns in the bisque were pretty fresh and yummy.

Unfortunately, the heads had gotten a little soggy by the time I got to them…

Les grosses pâtes: pasta shell stuffed with lobster and ceps in Chateau Chalon broth with winkles and wild asparagus - this was definitely very yum, especially with the fragrance of Château Chalon, made more interesting with a mix of cèpes and winkles.

La tête de veau: crispy boneless veal head with aromatic garnish "ravigote" and black truffle - didn't I just have another version of this a few days ago?!  Very delish, but oh-so-sinful…  You definitely need the garnish of capers, onions…etc. to provide the acidity for cutting through the fat…

Le lièvre: jugged hare shoulder with chestnut, pumpkin, and crosne under a light celery puree - 'tis the season for bunnies, and I'd never pass up an opportunity to have hare.  This is similar to the way Robuchon does duck confit - where the meat is shredded.  Of course making it à la royale is de rigeur and have the blood, liver…etc. in the sauce.

The winter vegetables at the bottom interestingly include crosnes, which I've only had a few times.

Of course, one must not forget the world-famous Robuchon mash

2007 de la Janasse Terre d'Argile - this Côte-du-Rhône Villages was chosen by Mathieu to go with my lièvre.   Showed nose of blueberries, mint, pine, potpourri, very ripe and almost jammy fruit.  Not bad.

You can't come here without having some cheese, so I eagerly picked out a select few:

Brillat-Savarin fermier - I've had this triple-cream product a couple of times at Caprice, and it was heavenly.  Nutty, bitter, acidic and reasonably salty.  Melts in your mouth.

Pouligny-Saint-Pierre - acidic, pronounced "goaty" favor.  Made from unpasteurized goat's milk.

Selles-sur-cher - a bit smokey and savory.

36-month Mimolette - good, intense flavors, salty, with a little citrus notes.

Époisses de Bourgogne - from Berthaut.  Acidic, almost a little fermented, nutty, bitter, savory.

Pretty full, but really can't resist the dessert trolley.  I ended up picking 2 simple items:

Millefeuille - this was a pretty big version, and even the piece I got was pretty decent in size.  Very delicious.  The cream showed pronounced vanilla favors, and the pastry was so light and crispy… almost ethereal.

Caramel chocolate tart - really nice caramel flavors, with a little orange mixed in with the chocolate, and crushed walnuts.

Time to finish up with a cup of coffee, but the real reason for ordering coffee here is so that we could get ourselves a pitcher of the caramel sauce.  KC and I both wrote about how we were blown away by this last year, when we found out this tasty concoction was made with nothing less than Louis Treize…  I decided to just drink spoonfuls of it… as dropping it into my cup of coffee would just be wasting this heavenly liquid.

Finally, I nibbled on a little pistachio financier with black sesame…

…and a madeleine that was OK.

Just like last year, I left the restaurant completely stuffed, and just a little drunk… but what a wonderful meal it had been!

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