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  1. Hedone

    Had an awesome lunch here today, sitting 15 feet from Alain Ducasse and his head chef, both of whom were mopping up the sauces with bits of bread and generally scraping the enamel off the plates. Mikael's constant new dishes make this place very special - today I had the new oyster with watercress gelee - Mikael sous-vides the oyster - which I thought would've been a crime, but apparently not - which gives it the texture of a barely-set custard. With the gelee and watercress, absolutely marvellous. Also new, the excellent crab with cauliflower. The jammy dodger to start with (I think he should do a selection, with Oreos - squid ink sablees filled a mornay cream, anyone?) ETA: forgot to mention the great carpaccio of marbled, sika deer, served with mushrooms and bone marrow (I believe). Perfect. I had some very mimor quibbles with the bread when he first opened - probably more minor than the quibbles He had - but it has reached a three-course meal level. Half a loaf of bread and a large hunk of that butter and leave me alone, I'm entirely content. For a main, the pigeon. The leg was fantastic, moist and fattier than usual, the breast pornographically pink, sitting on the pistachio salsa verde with the offal sauce. I've had this five or six times and this was the best. For dessert, Chloe the pattissier made her carrot dish which was completely marvelous - a shell filled with a carrot mousse, what I took to be an orange and carrot sorbet, sitting on some grated carrot. Sounds dreadful, but everything was in balance and it made for fantastic eating. I'm lucky this place is so near, and with the correct application of compromising photographs, I can just slip into the bar without causing too much of a fuss.
  2. Hedone

    It's Hugo, having discovered a time machine 25 years from now, decided to return to a time when Hedone wasn't a chain of hamburger and fried squid outlets.
  3. Hedone

  4. Hedone

    I've had several astonishing meals here now. Disclosure, I'm also a friend (from egullet days) of Mikael. Went in for another few dishes last night and had an amazing meal, though I'm not sure why I was actually amazed. Things have been refined. Nothing is static. Actually had three perfect dishes. Haven't gotten over them today. One of Mikael's signatures (ridiculous to say signature after such a short time open, but still) is his flans (horrible word indicating divine set savoury custard). The umami flan with nori coulis has somehow gotten deeper in flavour. Mikael often juxtaposes elements with very different seasoning - one element seasoning another only in the mouth. He's made the umami flan bolder, I think with a touch of acid. I've had it now four or five times and last night was the boldest still. Wonderful. With the nori, perfect. We argue about bread texture. I like a crispier crust, he likes it a little softer. Last night was great for me. Maybe too much for him. And the new raisin bread for cheese was beautiful. A nice lingering flavour without going over-long. Anyway, the bread has almost reached that place where I can't stop eating it. Not quite there, but close. I had too much. The slow cooked egg with chanterelles and slivers of (forgive my Norman - FUCKING) peach was another perfect plate of food. A mix of butter and vinegar. The acidity of the peach. The savoriness of the astonishing mushrooms. The use of arugula to pepper the flavours. Just amazing. Having trouble not thinking about it even now. Then the pigeon, another perfect dish. I don't know about people here, but I'm beginning to get a little weary of large lumps of well cooked protein and jus as an end to savoury courses. This pigeon came with a parsley/pistachio salsa verde that was beautifully seasoned and acidic, with the offal sauce that was much lighter than I was expecting, and a very indulgent new puree of smoked potatoes. It just made an unexpectedly subtle, complex, perfect mouthful of food. Blissful. Obviously I'm biased, but I don't think any of you should go. Ever. BTW, the bar is now open - or at least is occasionally. Has a kind of ALC. Very nice to sit and eat and watch them cook. Not for you, for me. You'd hate it. Rubbish experience.
  5. I've had scallops at L'Ambroisie three times here's one of them, served with black truffle and jerusalem artichoke puree - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mobyp/1108440...57594095692807/ There the cooking style is different. My impression is that they are steamed through, rather than the graded cooking of most restaurants. The awsome quality of the scallops always shone through, despite the boldness of the other flavours.
  6. Hey Aaron, nice review. I'm glad I got to share your meal. About those scallops, (and this may be a conversation to be had amongst the terminally anal, of which I undoubtedly count myself) but I don't think those scallops were overcooked - the texture of the raw scallops were far more structured, more plastic-y, rather than the rubberyness of Scottish and Maine scallops. It is also because of the extreme freshness. I think this came across in the cooked versions too. I thought they were amongst the best scallops I've had, perhaps second only to the Ambroisie versions (which probably came from the same waters). Most highly regarded Scotts scallops have an aftertaste that I can't stand. These were by contrast, extremely cleanly flavoured. That said, many chefs undercook their scallops. They sear each side and have a raw wedge in the middle. Scallops, unlike tuna, can take a little more variation in heat.
  7. Er ... is this actually possible? This particular combinations isn't something I would complain about, were it to - er - present itself to me, as it were.
  8. The Terrine Topic

    served with pickled figs. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3180/298397..._d4a9ca22ab.jpg
  9. The Terrine Topic

    This worked out well, although the tube of foie collapsed slightly in the cooking. It enabled me to add a game bird gelee (pigeon, grouse, partridge, woodcock) which was great. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3034/297694..._5ff8abdcdb.jpg ETA: again adapted Culnary Bears gibier farce (posted above somewhere), substituting some chx livers for pigeon and a little foie. Also I approximated a quatre epice with some nutmeg, cloves and a little ginger. Also his pastry recipe: pastry : 570g bread flour 45g milk powder 7g baking powder 15g salt 100g lard (I used duck fat) 75g butter 2 eggs tbsp vinegar 250g milk Put dry ingredients in food processor, blitz, add fats, blitz to rub in, add eggs and vinegar, blitz for a few seconds to combine. Add milk slowly until dough forms - you may need a little more. Roll out pastry to 4mm thick and line terrine. Line with backfat. Fill with mix, fold fatback over, place pastry rectangle on top and tuck in. Eggwash and cut vents. Cook in 150C oven for an hour and fifteen minutes. If you're using a probe, it should be about 72C internally.
  10. The Terrine Topic

    p.s. Ian - where's the croute in the serving picture?
  11. The Terrine Topic

    Take a spoon full of the stock, place on small plate, put plate in fridge. After several minutes, when cold, examine to see if stock has begun to gel or if it's still just thin and runny. Add experience plus gelatinous things to your stocks like pig trotters and you'll get there in no time.
  12. The Terrine Topic

    That looks really great. I'm trying to do the same thing today (althoguh I still haven't got a stupid mold) except with a torchon of foie down the middle.
  13. The Terrine Topic

    My understanding is that the Troisgros boys first started using sous vide (I mean that they were literally the first non-industrial commercial kitchen to use it) as a way of controlling fat loss from their foie terrines.
  14. A very nice meal here today. Highlights of mackerel with a cucumber cream, suckling pig, and both nettle and fresh almond soups. Pictures here