February 11, 2014

The cat with white whiskers

Pin It

Tigger spent his birthday out of town, and as it turned out I wasn't the first to take him out for a belated birthday dinner.  It's a big one this year and he was kind enough to treat me when I turned four handle, so of course I had to make sure we went somewhere we would all enjoy.  Out of pure selfishness, though, I passed up Tigger's first choice and chose Amber for the occasion.  After making the reservation, I pinged Chef Richard to let him know that we were coming for this very special occasion.  He was away but left instructions for the team, so we were in good hands...

It's still the season for black truffles from Périgord, so we picked the "Platinum Menu" and went for it. But first, the classic series of canapés...

Pita bread with pumpkin purée, black truffle coulis and sunflower seeds - ummm... these look more like pumpkin seeds to me...

Foie gras lollipops - with beetroot chips and brioche.

Watermelon with sangria and blood orange peel

Jamón ibérico croquetas

The amuse bouche was North Sea crab rolls topped with watermelon and palm heart, with tomato compote and dots of sardine cream and dill.  Very nice combination, and I especially liked the sardine cream.

Ebisu oyster with foie gras, croûton, Sauternes gelée and marmalade of apple - something extra that the kitchen sent out.  Very light and interesting blend of flavors.

Kumamoto Queen scallop, marinated with cider vinegar and served raw, curdled cream, Granny Smith apple and black winter truffle - wonderful scallop from Normandy.  The slices of black truffle were almost as thick as the slices of scallop themselves... The acidity of the vinegar and Granny Smith worked wonders.

There was also a little brioche on the side with another thick slice of black truffle, and some truffle butter.  Guess who inhaled that in half a second?

Taiyouran egg, stuffed with black winter truffle coulis, croutons and cappuccino of poultry broth - this was served without the broth, revealing the beautiful egg yolk in its full glory.

Then a hot, rich broth filled the bowl - which was exactly what I needed on this cold winter night.  There were big chunks of black truffles, and later on in the evening I would find myself burping up the wonderful perfume of truffles...

Line caught turbot, maco artichoke purée, black winter truffle coins and veal bone marrow - interesting that the chef decided to give us a little bit of wing on the side.  Love it that there were medallions of bone marrow here.  There's plenty of artichoke here - between pan-fried artichoke and artichoke purée... and even the sauce is made with artichoke and truffle.

Brittany abalone, oxtail chips with tomato provençal - another extra from the kitchen, and this was one of the highlights of the meal.  The abalone was very, very nicely done, and the "chips" made with oxtail braised in red wine was just really interesting.  And the tomato provençal initially sounded like a weird combination with the abalone, but together with the oxtail and all it just worked.

Mieral poularde, breast roasted with black truffles under the skin, young leeks and potatoes - the chicken was moist and tender, but regrettably, this has never been my favorite way to eat chicken... This was too fancy, and I prefer them nicely roasted in a more homey sort of way.  But there was plenty of black truffle to make up for the chicken's shortcomings...

Leg braised in a black winter truffle 'parmentier' and 'jus gras' - another winter warmer here, with heavier and stronger flavors.

Carnerolli rice pudding with Bourbon vanilla ice-cream and table-side shaved black winter truffle - I had this at another fantastic lunch last year, and was very happy to have it again.  Yup, this was gone in no time.

The petits fours tonight looked a little different...

A special occasion requires a special bottle of wine, and I am most fortunate to be able to call on the MNSC boys for help when there are gaps in my collection.  I am grateful to Curry for his willing to spare a bottle from his cellar.

R and L Legras Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (bottled for the Landmark Mandarin Oriental) - nice and easy to drink.  A little caramelized, yeasty, and later light toasty notes emerged.  This was a generous gift from Chef Richard.

1974 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet - pretty toasty and oaky nose, almost nutty and chocolatey.  But this was a mature wine so it was a little softer and not as in-your-face.  Very soft and velvety on the palate, and the finish was a little short.  Still a beautiful wine.

This was a very good evening, and I'm glad to be able to share a few more special moments with my good friends Mr. and Mrs. Tigger.  But I was a little disappointed that Richard and Sébastien didn't follow through on their promise to charge me double...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map