After a little navigating and some assistance from a kind security guard, we found ourselves at the restaurant’s doorsteps located in the heart of the national gallery. Service was prompt, attentive and friendly. The waiting staff knew when we needed help (for example, with the WIFI) and even noted my preferred cutlery arrangement.
Even our bread crumb mess was turned into an understanding exchange of giggles. Diners can choose between a vegetarian or regular degustation, with the additional option of wine pairing and an extra appetizer/ main lobster meal.
First up was an assortment of miniature appetizers, starting from edamame tartelettes to gruyere filled breadsticks to salsa canapes. Tartelettes were a refreshing option to start with as their mild taste allowed us to transition smoothly to the stronger tasting cheesy breadsticks.
I was expecting a crunch from the breadsticks but was pleasantly surprised to note that it had a softer texture which I preferred. Canapes were faultless and each piece had a plump sized prawn flesh underneath the hill of dressed vegetables.
Next up was a delectable bowl of what appears to be chawanmushi (steamed Japanese egg) infused with mushroom tea and a small side of mushroom brioche. Loved every spoonful of this airy concoction and would love to have the recipe for it. Truly one of the best steamed egg dishes I have had and one that I daresay, salivate, over from the mere thought of it.
Olive bread, sourdough and truffle croissant – A brilliant combination of bread, each with their own unique texture and flavour profile. The sister had seconds of the truffle croissant whilst I chose the olive bread.
It had a slightly salty exterior but interior wise, it was pillowy soft and filled with a nice aroma of olives. Personally, I did not think butter and olive oil were needed in this case!
Marukyo uni – spot prawn tartare, mussel cloud and caviar, served with a side of uni canapes. A very fancy dish that champions milder, sweet tasting seafood flavours that work harmoniously together. Every single ingredient was neatly and symmetrically presented on the plate.
Trondheim bay scallop – horseradish cream, dill mayonnaise, scallops and rice and seaweed crackers. Albeit simple and a no brainer flavour combination, I loved every single bite of this dish be it from the soft scallop texture to the addition of small pickles to the fragrant cream dolloped onto the scallop medley.
Faultless once more.
Heirloom beetroot variation – basically beetroot done many ways. A brilliant play on the many textures of beetroot paired with cheese, one might even consider becoming a vegetarian after tasting this dish. The sister’s favourite dish for the night.
Rosemary smoked organic egg – another clever play on visuals and on soft textures. I have a newfound interest in soft/creamy types of food now.
Bouillon paysan – foie gras, abalone and shitake dosed in broth. I was slightly dubious about the foie gras having had an unpleasant experience once but thankfully, the amount used in the dish was not overwhelming.
In fact, most of the ingredients here had been sliced to be similar in size and shape, making it easy for pairing on a spoon.
BBQ king – squid, saffron, fish and prawn. Simple but I fancied this a lot being that each individual flavour had been showcased well. I do like the sauce served here as it was fragrant and flavourful, quite possibly from a good dose of saffron.
Kampot pepper crusted pigeon – served with bessenay cherry, pickled onion and black garlic. The sister and I were curious about this small box that has been making its way around the dinner tables and when it came to ours, we realized it was the next meal.
Kudos for having it smoked and texture wise, it was could be easily sliced with the knife.
Yuzu tart – the prettiest tart I have seen and one that has a few layers of flavour over it starting from shiso to basil, yuzu curd and lastly, a buttery biscuit. My taste buds were instantly awakened by the strong aroma of yuzu and basil that was evident even before I took a spoon of it. Another winner in my books and one that I would love to have the recipe for.
Petit fours – a simple treat to end the night. Little ice cream balls followed by canelé, tarts and Japanese melon. Whilst not as mind blowing as the previous dishes, I do agree that it was a good way to cap off our night. Simplicity enjoyed slowly over a cup of coffee or tea and one that also helped to bring our elevated spirits (from all the yummy food!) back to earth.
Would I visit again should time permit? You bet I would ;)