I haven't been to many French restaurants, but we all know that there's some sophistication in preparation, presentation and flavors in French cuisine. And this particular meal easily satisfied every one of those characteristics of French food. Now, before going on, I will preface that I am partially biased to the owner of this restaurant, but as you see these pictures yourself, you'll want to try it too. And from the looks of it, it can easily be replicated in your own home too!
Starting with the first course, broiled oysters and salmon caviar. This dish took me by surprise in terms of taste and simplicity. The oysters were shucked by Siddharth himself and broiled on a bed of salt. With one shot, the oysters slid out of their shell, accompanied by the warm and salty liquor, minimal chewing. And to top the saltiness of the oyster was the burst of flavor from the salmon caviar.
|Adding caviar is always a good idea!|
On to the third (and most hearty) course of the night, lamb shank with country vegetables. I can feel myself transporting to the countrysides of France. The lamb was tender, juicy and fell right off the bone. Obviously, lamb has its own distinctive flavor, but the cumin and coriander spices helped dull the gamey taste. Don't get me wrong, I love lamb meat, but if cooked too long, the gamey taste overpowers everything. Chef Siddharth made his signature beef gravy with wine to compliment the meat. And the vegetables? Deliciously and simply sauteed in butter with the greens still attached. Very French, very rustic.
As a side, Chef Sid made a potato gratin, but not your ordinary gratin with cream. This was a mixture of slices of celery root and potatoes in layers with large handfuls of gruyere cheese and homemade tomato sauce in the middle. This was the first time I ever ate celery root and I absolutely loved it. It has the same texture as a parsnip but have the bitterness of celery. This was fantastic with the gruyere cheese melting between the layers. It can be described as a lasagna but with potatoes and celery root - YUM.
And then, came the dessert... espresso creme brulee! Creme brulee is probably one of my favorite desserts, probably because of the candied layer on top of the custard. I've had many traditional creme brulees, but never an espresso flavored one. The espresso flavor was authentic and strong. You could even see the coffee grinds within the custard. I hope this is isn't insulting the chef, but it tasted just like a coffee pudding, it was that rich and creamy. The brulee was a simple brown sugar mixture that bruleed quite well, a thick layer of candy that was asking to be broken by my spoon!
|Coffee Creme brulee|
|Check it out, it's still bubbling!|