If you thought the concept, French Asian, is intriguing, wait till you taste the menu created by Chef Olivier Jean. As promised, we are here with the details about the menu curated by him. I, like an unsatiated glutton tasted both the five course menus – veg and non-veg. Well… just knowing that he has been working at it for three days was enough to pique my interest.
First, let’s look at the vegetarian fare. Chef Olivier has ensured that the vegetarians don’t feel neglected. The amuses bouches was a tiny daikon pillow with ratatouille, safran and parmesan accompanied by a thin crispy tiny sandwich with cheese and herbs. Need I tell you that the small offerings had flavours that made you wonder despite the size. Trick is savour, don’t gulp.
Black Forest | Pic: Shruti Pandit
The appetizer was a treat. Beetroot tartare – beetroot juliennes mildly cooked mixed with similarly cut pink and green apple and the beetroot reduction, fresh herbs. Served topped with a wasabi sorbet, it freshens your palate. Following course is a cheese lovers delight. A perfectly steamed Gruyere Souffle is served on the bed of green asparagus velouté, topped with black truffle shavings. “The truffle and cheese are straight from Geneva,” informs Olivier. The textures of souffle, truffles and asparagus complement each other perfectly.
Now for the main – Morels! Indian mushrooms are used to create a risotto kind of dish with farro wheat that uses turmeric has black garlic for added flavour. Cooked to the right consistency, the rice is served with green asparagus and microgreens as dressing elements. The surprise element here is the consommé that comes along and is poured over on the table. The consommé is a Barolo vinegar reduction and adds zing to the rice.
Island Fragrance | Pic: Shruti Pandit
Let us now talk about the non-vegetarian menu. The amuse bouches is a treat to the eyes as well. The Langoustine Cromesquis (lobster balls for the uninitiated) has Indian puffed rice in it and is presented on a bed of puffed rice. The other stars include a daikon pillow with ratatouille and a thin layered crispy sandwich with ham and cheese, which are served on a long black stone plate. I am still wondering how they managed to fill in the tiny things with such amazing flavours. Again… savour, don’t gulp because it is tiny.
The non-veg appetiser is a titillating experience right from the view. And if you hear Chef Olivier explain how he has created the lobster jelly base and the miniscule green dots, you are totally floored. The Imperial Caviar is a base of lobster jelly – all parts of lobster separately cooked, the reduction of the broth mixed at a pre-decided temperature and time, then cooked again, cooled before you add the gelatin and let it set. Well… the process doesn’t end there. The center of the jelly is later cut, filled with cooked crab meat and caviar. Now comes the interesting part – the jelly is decorated with tiny cream cheese dots, which are later topped with green dots. These green dots are of a herbs reduction that uses all parts of the herbs – it’s a long process which Olivier has explained in the video. Trust me, I have never met anyone who goes through so much effort for nine teeny-weeny dots. Result of the entire ensemble is an explosion of flavours on the palate. Each ingredient makes its presence felt.
Spring Lamb Loin | Pic: Shruti Pandit
Next is Turbot fish (French fish) that’s steamed along with a lemon and pepper sauce with just a little chicory that leaves you wondering what’s that different taste. Finished with Japanese pearls that look like our sabudana (sago), it is accompanied by endives that are dressed with lemon and pepper zest. Subtle flavours that complement each other is the trick that wins you. Savour it bit by bit so that the fish and condiments can dance on your palate.
Mains is Spring Lamb Loin. Rack of New Zealand lamb is deboned, and cooked as per your desire with a chilli and herbs crust. It is accompanying millefeuille that charmed me. Millefeuille literally means thousand layers. Though this doesn’t have thousand layers, there are enough layers of varied vegetables – Indian and imported – compiled and cooked delicately that makes your palate marvel at the sheer expanse of tastes. They also serve the Robuchon Mashed Potato, which is a foodie's dream. The signature recipe is delectable enough to bowl over even a non-potato person like me. The texture, the taste just overwhelms you.
Beetroot Tartare | Pic: Shruti Pandit
The next courses were common for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The palate cleanser Island Fragrance is the fusion I was waiting for. Olivier has used our very own Roohafza to make a delicious granita that’s topped with fresh pineapple-lime yogurt with pineapple and lime small pieces, finished with coconut foam with poppy seeds. Nothing gets more French Asian than this. Such a perfect summer cooler with a great zest.
The dessert is a mushroom shaped mousse called Black Forest. Dark chocolate cremeux that has an incredible cherry flavour thanks to cherry reduction used in it, resting on a white mousse that’s flavoured with kirsch is a picture perfect to look at and absolutely satiating end to the meal.
Imperial Caviar | Pic: Shruti Pandit
However, this is not the end. Some Swiss chocolates with Olivier special Lemon Pavlova and Pear and Vanilla Tartelletes are served as Mignardises to complete the experience.
The courses are paired with Argentinian and Spanish wines with a VS cognac to end.
Trust me, you will not regret the pricing as you will thoroughly enjoy the entire experience, which I suggest should be endeavored slowly, reveling in the process. Just go for it!
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