November 25, 2020

A strong lunch game

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It's a rare occurrence when one of my friendly neighborhood broker wants to take me to lunch, but as it is getting close to year end, I guess it seemed like a good opportunity to do this kind of thing.  I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that the venue would be Écriture, as it's a restaurant I've always been happy to visit.

I walked past the open kitchen and waved to Maxime, who was surprised to see me.  He remarked that it has been so long since I was here and he no longer remembered when my last visit was.  I, of course, remember very well.  It was exactly a week before we said goodbye to Kuma.

I've only been here for lunch once, and that was when I took a full menu.  So I was a little surprised that the "short" lunch consisted of 5 courses.  That's a lot of food for people who are on the clock.  The restaurant has changed to their game menu, so I decided to choose all the game dishes whenever I could.

It has been much, much too long since I last held this knife with my hand...

Japanese steamed bun, hay panna cotta, lemon gel, quail egg, black truffle - very creamy indeed.

Crispy dough with buckwheat, cauliflower bavarois, nori seaweed, crispy white bait

Crispy potato curl, coriander hummus, edible flowers 

Faisant and galinette, galantine, carcass jelly, lovage cream - like the "monkbread", this was also a "surf-and-turf" combo.  The galantine was made with pheasant and red gurnard, and the texture of both components were fine.  Neither received much seasoning, as the surrounding pheasant jelly delivered plenty of salt on top of the flavors.  The lovage cream at the bottom was surprisingly strong.

Boar agnolotti, parsley root consommé with verbena oil - the agnolotti came pretty al dente, and the boar stuffing inside had a lot of strong herbs.  The consommé was very, very nice with some sweetness on the palate.  I'd take another bowl in a heartbeat.  

White truffle, veal xo, potato purée, bottarga - this was a surprise... and came with Maxime's compliments.  Underneath the dome of potato purée was a pile of shredded veal, surrounded by veal jus.  I could see the bottarga shavings on the potato.  Slurp.

Then we get the white truffle treatment... until we can barely see what's underneath.  Needless to say, the fragrance was pretty amazing.

A good mix in terms of having the creamy and sweet potato purée help tone down the heavier flavors of the veal.  Can't say I got much out of my beloved bottarga, as it easily got overwhelmed by the veal and the white truffle...

French wild duck, grilled on the bone, roasted red meat apple, salmis sauce - I love when wild duck is in season, and this looked very, very good.  We've got some pear on the side - with shaved yuzu (柚子) zest - as well as quince and vanilla purée.

The duck was beautifully executed, and the fatty skin was so, so tasty.  I did tell my fellow diner to chew the duck carefully, and relayed my story about finding birdshot in my duck not so long ago.  Sure enough, he ended up finding a single birdshot in his serving...

These waffle fries were very, very nice.

Persimmon, shave in ribbon and serve it raw with sorbet, calamansi gel and candied walnut - honestly, I didn't get this dessert.  Why was the spiced sponge cake there, hidden underneath the long ribbons of persimmon?  I thought the creaminess didn't "gel" with the acidity of the, well, calamansi gel.

Pear, Opalys white chocolate ganache, nuts feuillantine, Guyot pear sorbet and marmalade, peanut praliné - loved the pear sorbet, and all the crunch around it was very good... especially the peanuts.

Kougin amann

Japanese musk melon 

I didn't expect lunch to last this long, but of course it was really enjoyable, and a luxury to be able to do this right now. Many thanks to Maxime, Marc Antoine and the team... and of course my friendly neighborhood broker for the treat.

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