September 5, 2019

Enfin, Envol!

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So it finally happened.  I finally accepted an invitation from PR8.  After jokingly telling him to fuck off numerous times this year, and being constantly reminded that he has yet to use his quota of free meals - I suggested to Gastronaut that we could go check out L'Envol together.  Both of us are known for the occasional bouts of bitchiness and not giving a flying fuck about offending chefs - and my friend had just been called a "cunt" by an asshole chef - so this could be a real interesting evening!

My first taste of Olivier Elzer's cuisine came when he first arrived in Hong Kong 10 years ago.  He's had a few different gigs since then, and gradually developed a repertoire of dishes which earned him a following.  We've been kinda waiting for the St. Regis Hong Kong to open, as it seemed to have taken a while.  And I waited an extra long time before deciding to come for dinner, having heard mixed reviews from people who came during the early stages.  Finally, more than 4 months later, I got the "all clear" from PR8.

First, a glass of Champagne from a producer I like very much.

Françoise Bedel Entre Ciel et Terre - I believe the base vintage was 2010?  Nice and ripe, lovely on the palate.

We started with a series of nibbles:

Breakfast radish dipped in black garlic butter.  This looks kinda familiar...

"Toast" with garlic and chive dip

Gamberoni carpaccio

Tomato water jelly with Bigorre ham - pretty nice.

We were treated to the Signature menu, and right off the bat Olivier came over with a tray bearing a selection of caviar tins - from La Maison Nordique, Kaviari, and Petrossian.  I sighed and rolled my eyes a little.  I guess in this day and age, more and more chefs feel that they need to respond to the demands of unsophisticated diners - who want to see caviar and truffle on the menu whenever they pay for an expensive meal.

Champagne butter and caviar/seaweed butter - ...aaaand the caviar shows up in the butter.

Le Kristal Kaviari : Brittany razor clams "à la marinière", pressed Kristal caviar cream - so we've got little chunks of razor clams alternating with Kaviari's Kristal oscietra caviar, but there is a layer of gray-colored cream at the bottom made with pressed caviar.  I was surprised at the level of acidity in that cream which, come to think of it, helped balanced out the salt in caviar.

Le foie gras de canard : duck foie gras terrine, mackerel and Jerusalem artichoke - the foie gras terrine was encased with a chunk of grilled mackerel that was kinda smoky.  We've got a variation of Jerusalem artichoke with slices, brunoise, crispy chips, and purée.  Then there's the gelée made with Jerusalem artichoke and mackerel broth.  Lots of dill here to provide fragrance.  A pretty interesting dish.

2015 Domaine de la Taille aux Loups Montlouis-sur-Loire Clos de Mosny - the nose was a bit steely underneath the ripeness, a bit floral and perfumed.  Acidity was high.

La langoustine de Loctudy : Brittany langoustine, pomegranate, hibiscus emulsion and avocado - the giant langoustine was roasted on the half shell.  It was very tender, kinda soft but not quite mushy.  The hibiscus and pomegranate emulsion was very fruity and interesting.  Topped with feuille de brick that has been sprinkled with hibiscus and pomegranate powder, along with avocado and pomegranate gel and avocado cubes.

2017 Gilles Berlioz El Hem - sweet nose of tropical stone fruits, flinty.

Olivier brought out a pan to show us what was inside - Dover sole.  Just look at that thickness!

Le sole meunière : sole fish cooked in brown sugar, beetroot and ginger seasoning - the iconic sole meunière, but this one came topped with a crust of minced garlic, ginger, and parsley.  I jokingly wondered whether we were having sole or garlic bread.  The girolles were in season, and we also had a sauce made with mushrooms as well as the fish head.  The texture of the sole was quite something... pretty dense, soft but there was a firmness to it that fought back against any pressure.

2013 Pierre Boisson Meursault - leaner with more acidity.  Some toasty oak, which got much heavier later.

Le sevruga Petrossian : seared wagyu beef tenderloin, beef marrow with sevruga caviar and blinis - alors, more caviar.  The grain-fed, grass-finished A3 wagyu was decent.  We've also got sevruga from Petrossian sitting on bone marrow croquettes sitting on blinis.  I suppose this is just a more refined version of what I get at Neighborhood...

2001 Kalin Bourgogne Côte de Beaune "Les Pierres Blanches" - nice and sweet fruit in the nose, very fragrant, more feminine than expected, with leather notes underneath.  A beautiful wine.

I was so, so full today... so I skipped the cheese course entirely.  But it looked pretty impressive, and there was a good selection.

Le fruit de la passion : creamy passionfruit and crispy yuzu, Alphonso mango sorbet - white chocolate with a passion fruit mousse center, surrounded by vanilla chantilly, medallions of mango, and yuzu chocolate chips.  Topped with Alphonso mango sorbet.  Totally tropical summer.  Totally awesome.

Of course, can't forget them bling-bling gold foil...

2013 Domaine de Souch - lots of botrytis with a little plastic.

The mignardises were coffee meringue, pistachio tart with red berries compote, and chocolate rocher.

I was so, so full... but pretty happy.  I'm particularly glad that other than the radishes, we weren't treated to the old dishes from Olivier's days at Seasons.  Many thanks to Olivier and the team, and also PR8. Oh, and I was happy to see Ken, who had disappeared from Caprice but resurfaced here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog!
Your honesty is just amazing.

Keep up the good work, sir!


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