March 21, 2019

A rare Selfie

Pin It

PR8 has been pinging me again. Écriture is doing a 4-hands collaboration with Selfie, the restaurant in Moscow under the White Rabbit Group, and he wanted me to join the media tasting during lunch.

I do need to go back to Écriture to visit my knife, and I was curious about the kind of Russian cuisine that's been getting a lot of attention in the last few years, but these days I no longer have the luxury to take 3-hour lunches on weekdays.  PR8 promised, multiple times, that he would get the chefs to do a short menu to accommodate me, but of course I never believed him for one second.  Not when Maxime's in the kitchen.

I got so annoyed in the end by the pestering that I just decided to ping Maxime and asked for a table for dinner.  I don't need the freebie lunch, and I'll pay for dinner myself (for two, actually) just so I could tell PR8 to please STFU.  I also decided to rope in Mr. and Mrs. Birdiegolf as collateral damage.  They know I normally only call them when there's good stuff around... and they also know (or think they know) that the mythical "Peter menu" does exist in certain locations...

It was hot during the day, but tonight there was a very nice, comfortable breeze coming through our table by the balcony.  That made the experience that much nicer.

First we have the tater tots as usual, with a little caviar on top.  Every restaurant has its signature amuse bouche, and this is obviously the signature here at Écriture.

Someone told me that the team from Selfie brought their own chicken from western Russia in a suitcase... so that they could serve us some crispy chicken skin.  Unfortunately the humidity of the season got to it a little bit.  There was some cream of mushroom on top.  A cup of mushroom soup on the side.

King crab and almond milk, topped with corn - the almond cream was pretty sweet and tasty.  Just a little surprised it came in a paper cup.

I was initially surprised by how strong the king crab meat tasted, as there was almost a hint of pungency to it.  But it was still a nice and tasty treat.

Seaweed bonbon, sea grapes, and vodka - this was surprisingly sweet.

Purple potato, cream of haddock, and pickled ginger - somehow this just tasted very Japanese... maybe because of the combination of ginger and spring onions.

Hello, baby... I've missed you!

Uni and caviar, by Écriture - ET VOILA!  Black gold that's topped with... gold foil!!!! Whooohooo!!!  Judging by the size of the tart that other people are getting, I'm thinking that we're getting about twice as much as other people...

The "royal schrencki" caviar farmed in China came on top of some Hokkaido sea urchin.  That beurre noisette sauce came with some lovely acidity, and balanced well with the sweetness of sea urchin and the salt from the caviar.

Cauliflower, sheep cheese and black truffle, by Selfie - the cauliflower apparently came from western Russia and was shaved into wafers and served raw.  Loved the crunch.  The sheep cheese was a little pungent but very good.  They also grated some French black truffle on top to provide a striking visual contrast... and also the wonderful perfume.

Shrinp and coffee - yes, it did say "shrinp" on my menu.  The Japanese sweet shrimp (甘海老) was served raw and came in an emulsion which was a mix of delicious shellfish sauce and coffee, with some tarragon oil.  The crispy prawn heads were so, sooo delicious.  I would do this again.  And again.

Bamboo mille feuille and first green pea, by Écriture - all I see is a sea of hazelnut foam and shavings of black truffle...

Hidden underneath was a block of bamboo millefeuille.  The thin layers of bamboo shoots were compressed together and cooked a la plancha.  Nice and crunchy here.  Hidden underneath the foam was also a bunch of beautiful sweet peas, diced truffle, and chopped chives.  For me, this was an absolutely beautiful dish.

Murmansk Halibut, peeded apple and fermented kohlrabi, by Selfie - the baked halibut was so tender and so succulent... just beautiful.  Served with a purée of Jerusalem artichoke and cauliflower that made it sweet, and topped with discs of fermented kohlrabi.  Hidden underneath the espuma made of halibut, shrimp, and beurre noisette were diced apple that seemed pickled (but I still dunno what "peeded" apple is).  A very nice dish.

This Japanese black abalone was brought in front of us, so we knew what was coming next.

Kuro awabi, by Écriture - a signature dish of Écriture, the abalone was simmered with kombu (昆布), daikon (大根) radish, and sake.  Served on top of some eggplant caviar, grapefruit for acidity,  and garnished with slices of cured Galician beef which was obviously aged and delivered strong flavors.  The abalone liver sauce was made with some ponzu (ポン酢) and tasted kinda like miso.
Pigeon, Jerusalem artichoke, pine cones and grated lingonberries, by Selfie - we were told that the pigeon came from Brittany, but they didn't tell us about the little baby pine cones or the dried lingonberry powder on top.

This, my friends, was fucking good!

White mushrooms - koumiss and black chanterelles, by Selfie - a mixture of koumiss, made from mare's milk, and sheep's milk cream. This was kinda sweet.  Topped with mushroom ice cream and some trompettes de la mort that seemed a little sweet and kinda different.  This was OK.

Chocolate tare souffle, by Écriture - I guess this must have been self-explanatory because nobody did.  Very tasty, though, because... how could it not be?

Japanese melon - probably the blandest Japanese melon I have ever had.

Paris-Brest - the shape was kinda funny, and came with sliced black truffle in the middle.  But will you just look at that golden hazelnut powder?  Bling-bling!  Damned if I didn't nearly choke on it...

There is always plenty of alcohol when the Birdiegolfs are around, and we were pretty civilized with just four bottles tonight...

1998 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs La Réserve, dégorgée en juillet 2016 - very toasty, fragrant, and nutty.

2013 Peter Michael Chardonnay Mon Plaisir - overripe and bitter on the palate.  Not happy about this.

2012 Botanica Pinot Noir - very fragrant and elegant, with ripe fruit but not jammy.  Some spices here, and almost a little bubblegum.

1986 Cos d'Estournel - served 2 hours after opening.  Classic, aged claret.  Very soft and smoky, slightly medicinal/brett, grassy, leather, stewed black fruits, and matured wood on the nose..  Pretty decent and not bad at all.

I was very, very happy with dinner tonight.  Aside from the usual bling-bling, there were quite a few moments of magic.  What's more, Mrs. Birdiegolf said that this was the best collaboration dinner they had ever been to.  That made me very happy.

When I walked over to the kitchen to tell Maxime about this, the first thing he said to me was "No chicken wings tonight!  Only at lunch!"  Sheesh!  Do I look like a hungry ghost or something???

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map