March 18, 2024

B's detour day 5: truffle all the way

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It's all Hairy Legs' fault.

While he was in Macau 4 days ago for the Michelin Guide ceremony, he stopped by Robuchon au Dôme for a meal, and Chef Julien Tongourien made him Oncle Joël's signature black truffle tart. Now, this is not something you see often, because 1) it's gotta be during truffle season, 2) the quality of the truffles must be sufficiently high to ensure enough pieces can be cut in the same shape, and 3) the food cost for this is so high that most of the L'Ateliers around the world simply can't make it work economically.

But this is au Dôme in the Grand Lisboa Macau, and if anyone could do it, it would be Julien. I quickly asked for a table for lunch today, and inquired whether it would be possible to have the truffle tart. I was happy that the answer to both questions were in the positive, and looked forward to getting my friends their first experience with it. I had prepped them beforehand about the whole series of chariots that would be pushed in front of us, and that's something that is not often seen outside of France and Europe.

The weather is completely crap today, and there is almost zero visibility from the windows, so I was perfectly happy being seated in the private room.

For lunch service, one can still choose among the 3-, 4-, or 5-course menu in addition to the full tasting menu, so we all opted for 4 courses since we also would have the extra course of the truffle tart. In fact, I was surprised my friend didn't choose the 3-course lunch. As for me, all of my choices today included black truffle... because it just felt like that kind of day.

As management very kindly provided us with a bottle of Champagne, there was no need to push the Champagne trolley to our table. This was a shame, because I really enjoy seeing the sight of that trolley.

Our first order today would be from the bread trolley. Paul pushed this into the room, and I gotta say this is still very beautiful to behold.

I chose this spinach roll to start.

Comté roll was nice, too.

You can't have bread without butter, so Paul came with the butter trolley. Sadly, it's still Pamplie... but I'll live.

Salé for me, as usual.

Our amuse bouche today was white asparagus panna cotta topped with some caviar from Sologne, with white asparagus velouté, itty bitty croûtons, and tiny dots of lobster oil, turmeroic oil, and chive oil along with chopped chives. Carta musica on the side. Not the first time I've had this here, and it was totally delish.

Le foie gras: black truffle with Roseval potato caparccio, foie gras rolls and parmesan cheese shavings - the potato slices came topped with pâté de foie gras which have been shaved and rolled up, accompanied by shaved Parmesan, radish, black truffle, and served with truffle sauce and piment d'espelette. I dish I'm familiar with and happy to enjoy always.

La fine tarte: friande aux oignons confits et lard fumé paysan - BABY, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR! LA PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE. Something I am only having for the second time, with the last being more than 6 years ago. There were 25 (near) perfectly round slices of truffle which have been cooked today, while the last one I had came with 21 slices.

Underneath the thin slices of truffle we had a thin layer of very fine chiffonade of onions and lardon, as well as incredibly finely-diced truffle. Just look at that knife skill.

All of this was held together with a very thin layer of puff pastry. So delicate in terms of construction, but of course each bite simply flooded one's mouth with the fragrance of truffles. What a treat!

Le soupe: truffle soup with chicken consommé and small cheese ravioli - just like the tart we just had, at the bottom of the bowl there were onions and lardon. The little ravioli came stuffed with Comté, with a sprinkle of finely-diced truffle all over. A few sprigs of micro parsley and a good pour of chicken consommé complete the dish. So satisfying.

Le pigeon de Bretagne: Brittany pigeon and foie gras duo with bacon and black truffle coulis - I guess this is the pigeon version of the Rossini... Served with black truffle coulis and pigeon jus.

The rolls came with foie gras with the pigeon, wrapped first in bacon and then with cabbage. So delicious. So happy.

The signature Robuchon mashed potatoes, which would never taste like this without so much butter.

There was also a small salade verte on the side. Feeling very healthy...

With our main courses done, it was time for the cheese trolley to make its appearance. I chose just three.

Brillat-Savarin - difficult to resist this "triple cream ice cream".

Mimolette, 24 months - very nice. How I wish they had some Hoegaarden to go along with this!

Comté, 30 months - still somewhat soft and not too dry, and the salt crystals haven't appeared yet.

I took a slice of Chestnut bread with the cheese because I love it so much.

Trolley number 4 today was the dessert trolley. We were pretty full by this point...

Mont Blanc - I've always love this dessert since childhood, but today I took some because my friends can see Mont Blanc from their home. This came with cassis in the middle.

Millefeuille - the trolley came in with a whole piece that was freshly made, so we had to take some. Simply wonderful.

Coffee religieuse - yum. The coffee flavors really lingered on my tongue for a long time.

I don't always ask for the ice cream trolley, but I figured my friends need to see it.

Mandarin sorbet - really nice and refreshing, with bits of frozen mandarins inside.

Number six and last was the mignardises trolley. We were beyond full, but I took a few pieces since Easter is coming up.

Madeleines - baked à la minute.

This was the "Easter set".

The bunny came with lemon, yuzu, and peppermint inside.

The chicken came with mango, cheese, and coconut.

Green apple inside, with a four-leaf clover on top.

Chocolate egg.

It turns out that both bottles of wine - the latter of which I had chosen yesterday and asked Jeffrey to reserve for me - came compliments of management. Such an unbelievable treat.

Krug Grande Cuvée, 171ème Édition, ID 322033 - really nice and toasty on the nose. Good acidity on the palate as expected for this edition, but later on this softened up a little.

2003 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d'Ampuis - served a little more than 1 hour after opening without devanting. The nose was very open now, and showing beautiful notes of leather, grilled meats, smoke, and blackcurrant. Very happy with this.

We were stuffed to the brim, but so, soooo happy. We had just enough time to go back to the Grand Lisboa Palace for my friends to quickly clean up, check out, and head to Hong Kong International Airport for their flights out. I think this was a fitting finale for the Swiss gentleman after traveling in Asia for a month and eating Asia cuisine everyday. I hope this is an experience they will remember for some time to come. As usual, I am very grateful for the hospitality of my friends in the different Lisboa hotels.

But I wonder... was this meal "too French"?

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