Thursday, February 19, 2009

Love conquerors all

Everyone wants to make a quick buck! In our age of marketing this means that every commercial opportunity is exploited where vaguely possible. Valentines Day falls right in the middle of this arena, along with Christmas and New Year. On these festive occasions restaurants will place a minimum 20% mark up! Well at least the ones worth dining at… I guess it is fair though; after all they end up having to work and therefore can’t celebrate along with the rest of us?

Valentines Day has become particularly commercial (at least Christmas and New Year are public holidays and therefore overtime charge is justified). However, true love is something worth celebrating, and love does conqueror all, even the credit card! Or maybe it is just because I am a Pisces…

After a booking made at Jardine’s four months prior, our appetites were thoroughly whetted with the arrival of the Saint Valentines Day menu a few days beforehand. Scrolling down the page I was jolted out of my dreamy state by the price. Nonetheless, so enticing was the menu that any consideration of cancelling was soon dispelled. We just had to go! With all the hype and excitement, were we doomed to be left disappointed?

Right from the beginning the meal was a fantastic experience! Service was warm and efficient and we were soon seated and sipping on a glass of Drappier Brut Rosè champagne. The amuse bouche was served in an emptied boiled egg shell and comprising oyster foam on top and inside smoked salmon scrambled egg with a poached West Coast oyster.

For starters Sash had seared scallops with roasted candy striped beetroot, steamed scallop mousse and port reduction while I decided on the duck confit stuffed brioche with seared foie gras, preserved apricot and caramelized parsnip purée. Sash was left somewhat disappointed – the scallops were prepared to perfection but lacked seasoning. Later we heard similar complaints from other tables. I on the other hand was rapturous – this was possibly the best single dish I have ever had. The combination of confit duck, creamy foie gras and purée was astounding…

For mains Sash had baked cob with crayfish mousse, roasted baby fennel and bouibaisse, and I had aged chalmar fillet with celeriac tart titan, braised savoy cabbage with pancetta, bone marrow, wild truffle jus and cauliflower purée. To put it simply, both were incredible! In particular the slight charred taste of bone marrow infused with the truffle jus and coupled with the celeriac tart titan added an entirely new dimension to the fillet – carnivorous bliss!

Dessert was a dark chocolate soufflé flambé which was delicious and very light thankfully given the preceding rich food. Finally to round off the meal, a selection of chocolate truffles, dark chocolate fudge and raspberry macaroons was served.

Well I can undoubtedly say that we did not leave disappointed. Barring the scallops each dish was carefully composed, with each ingredient perfectly complimenting the others. To say that it was worth every cent would be an understatement.


  1. Hey Streaker, Didn't take you for the snobby connessoir type. hehe. Eat less climb more you fat bastard!!!

  2. Gee thanks anonymous, although you aren't exactly going to get fat on degustation type tasting menus :)