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Ambassade de L'Ile


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Howard I really love reading your reviews, but this one was extra special. The struggle with the sea urchin was priceless, but the optimistic endurance just to see if you 'had missed anything' is truly valiant. :smile:

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Howard I really love reading your reviews, but this one was extra special. The struggle with the sea urchin was priceless, but the optimistic endurance just to see if you 'had missed anything' is truly valiant. :smile:

sea urchins are tricky, ive eaten them off the rocks ( the french carry little spoons when at the seaside) but they are definitely an acquired taste. Not one I will try too hard with.

S

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The struggle with the sea urchin was priceless, but the optimistic endurance just to see if you 'had missed anything' is truly valiant. :smile:

I can only deduce that it must be an acquired taste. I can't actually ever remember going to a restaurant of this calibre and ever having something that was so vile, to the extent of being almost literally stomach churning. OK, sea urchins inside are a bit like oysters. But then to be stirred up in a (sea) watery scrambled egg, well I'll leave that to your own imaginations.

Cheers, Howard

Edited by howardlong (log)
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The struggle with the sea urchin was priceless, but the optimistic endurance just to see if you 'had missed anything' is truly valiant. :smile:

I can only deduce that it must be an acquired taste. I can't actually ever remember going to a restaurant of this calibre and ever having something that was so vile, to the extent of being almost literally stomach churning. OK, sea urchins inside are a bit like oysters. But then to be stirred up in a (sea) watery scrambled egg, well I'll leave that to your own imaginations.

Cheers, Howard

I tried a very similar dish in Paris, and had the same reaction- glad its not just me!!

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  • 4 weeks later...
The struggle with the sea urchin was priceless, but the optimistic endurance just to see if you 'had missed anything' is truly valiant. :smile:

I can only deduce that it must be an acquired taste. I can't actually ever remember going to a restaurant of this calibre and ever having something that was so vile, to the extent of being almost literally stomach churning. OK, sea urchins inside are a bit like oysters. But then to be stirred up in a (sea) watery scrambled egg, well I'll leave that to your own imaginations.

Cheers, Howard

I tried a very similar dish in Paris, and had the same reaction- glad its not just me!!

Very interesting, these comments. I can hardly think of a foodstuff more polarising than sea urchin. I love them, as does my dad, but my sister and mum can't stand them. That's just one family!

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Very interesting, these comments. I can hardly think of a foodstuff more polarising than sea urchin.

I can. Durian.

I'm very fortunate; I love it. I also love sea urchin, the durian of the sea.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Very interesting, these comments. I can hardly think of a foodstuff more polarising than sea urchin.

I can. Durian.

I'm very fortunate; I love it. I also love sea urchin, the durian of the sea.

It's that I don't like sea urchin per se: it was the way it was presented, stirred up within an egg tartare (sic).

H

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I'm a little perplexed by this sea urchin business. I've had it several times and always found it if not exactly blah then nothing special...shoot me shoot me.

I've had good stuff but it's still left me thinking yes it's fine but not my favourite luxury foodstuff.

by the way, i like durian

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I'm a little perplexed by this sea urchin business. I've had it several times and always found it if not exactly blah then nothing special...shoot me shoot me.

I've had good stuff but it's still left me thinking yes it's fine but not my favourite luxury foodstuff.

by the way, i like durian

No, to be sure dipardoo, I won't shoot you, if you won't shoot me for saying the same of foie gras. But sea urchin, I find utterly sublime.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 2 months later...

I went. I ate. I wrote.

You can read the full post at the ulterior epicure.

Here's an excerpt:

So, where does l’Ambassade de l’Ile go from here?

Well, for starters, it could shape up its service. Again, it’s not a matter of competence or personality – they’ve got both in spades. It’s a matter of confidence and polish. As thoughtful as it is, it needs to be more so.

As for the food, I can’t offer much criticism. My dinner at l’Ambassade de l’Ile was certainly a very good one. I won’t say it was faultless. But I’ll concede that most of my disappointments were due to personal taste and not execution. Another diner may have rejoiced over that mild “Marmite de St. Pierre” or, as my friend did, the “Ouef ‘casse.’” I gravitated towards Ansanay-Alex’s dishes that boasted boldness and spice.

l’Ambassade de l’Ile is certainly a very exciting restaurant to be dining in right now. It’s still largely under-trafficked and the kitchen is quite focused. And, it still has the attention of the proprietor, something which I hope the restaurant will never lose.

I don’t expect l’Ambassade de l’Ile to remain on the fringes for much longer. I suspect the press will soon start to infect the place, and for better, or for worse, expense accounts and trend-setters will launch their invasion. And if, as I predict, it gains a twinkle or two from Bibendum, then the circus might as well show up.

But my imagination is getting way ahead of – well - reality. All you need to know for now is that I had a wonderful meal at l’Ambassade de l’Ile and I commend it to you.

By the way, I didn't have any sea urchin, and don't recall seeing any on the menu.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Oh boy, here comes the circus. Congratulations to l'Ambassade de l'Ile for picking up its first Michelin star.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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which is a nice way of you saying, you don't actually have anything to go by.

Do you?

Perhaps you'd like to explain why you're so down on PRs with some concrete examples. You've made some fairly sweeping statements. I'm guessing you once hired some PR and when it couldn't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse you threw your toys out the pram.

S

Agreed! :laugh:

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Here is the link to my meal at l'Ambassade: Dinner at l'Ambassade de l'Ile

This is an excerpt:

In hindsight, we ate enough for four (and spent just as much), but we did not regret the eating it. There were a couple of dishes that fell short of the mark – l’oeuf, le marmite – that we would not have done wrong not ordering, but the high quality of the other courses and excellence of the very best – le canard à la presse – mean that those were almost forgotten. Desserts seem to have always fallen short of savouries here, however, after this visit, it seems that the sweets can now stand toe-to-toe with them (as well as the afters at London’s other restaurants). This should not surprise as the chef de pâtisserie, Pascal Molinès, is a MOF and former World Pastry Champion.

Ambassade’s style is classic French, but always with a little improvisation. The food here is rich, powerful and often delicious. The flavours are big and bold and that is what I like. There are also all the hallmarks of haute cuisine; indulgent recipes, luxury ingredients and a little theatre too. And the cooking is exciting – something that cannot always be said of other similarly geared restaurants.

Something I have noticed about Ambassade since it opened is its ability to polarise opinions. From what I have seen and heard and read, either one does not like the food here or one really likes it – there does not seem to be a middle ground. Additionally, people’s feelings are often at the more extreme ends of the spectrum; its critics tend to hate it whilst its fans, to love it. I like this too. I want to eat food that elicits some sort of emotional response from me. And that is what one generally gets at Ambassade de l’Ile.

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

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  • 3 months later...

Well, lunch here was an experience that I will certainly not relive anytime soon. The kitchen just didn't convince me enough to be wishing to come back very soon. Some dishes were decent whilst others were absolutely horrible (really!). I don't know, even if I was warned earlier that the place has its ups and downs, I guess that I did expect a little more of the individual dishes.

Has anyone had a similar experience here recently?

Maybe, the plan to change the entire menu each month does put a lot of pressure on the team here?

Also, the food lacked some refinement in the presentation, which would be excused if it could deliver on great flavour, but in this case, it seemed a little poor.

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  • 2 months later...
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