Friday, April 30, 2010

Joel @ The Lisboa

Some of my fellow foodies were going to Robuchon a Galera for lunch (*** Michelin in the venerable old Lisboa hotel in Macau) and having never been, I decided to take the day off work and hop on the ferry. I was not going to regret it... The place has the tacky extravagance of many places in Macau but yet retains a very pleasant and almost intimate atmosphere. The meal was obviously a feast fit for a king, and we spend some 3.5 hours munching, oooh-ing and aaah-ing over the food. What a nice way to start a long week-end!

Almost as good as the pic on their website ;-)

Leave your belt at the door...

The bread trolley... quite a sight

don't tell my cardiologist...

awesome bread basket - a Robuchon trademark

amuse bouche - caviar, cream and peas panna cotta

Starter: lightly smoked foie gras and top of marinated mushroom (linghzi ?) with virgin olive oil. The foie was just totally delicious (smoked on site...), and the contrast of taste and texture with the thinly sliced mushroom worked particularly well. Each of the dishes we had that day was a such a perfect East-meets-West composition that it would almost make you bounce out of your (otherwise very comfy...) armchair and run into the kitchen to hug the chef...

Soup: white asparagus veloute with caviar and confit egg yolk en croute

this was DE-LI-CIOUS - the creamy yolk (very eggy) and the salted crust complemented the white asparagus veloute very nicely, the caviar added another layer of complexity to both taste and texture - the asparagus was very intense without a touch of bitterness.. brilliantly executed

Main course: braised pork cheek with green olive, gratinated creamy polenta and parmesan... with just a dollop of the famous Robuchon mashed potatoes on the side

OMG that pork cheek was gorgeous... look at that layer of collagen!! The polenta was very creamy and soaked up the juices from the pork. No comments on the mash - which was perfect as usual :-)

Elfette's main: french baby lamb shoulder braised and roasted with spices

I could not resist trying a bit of Elfette's lamb... it was heavenly. My poor unreliable tastebuds detected curry leaves and caraway seeds among the roasting spices (and then, even if it was, that's only 2 of probably many more...). The meat was very tender, flavourful and moist (fat and collagen...) and the subtle richness of the spices made this an even more interesting dish *love*

The dessert trolley - pass the shovel, will you ??

Dessert - Round #1: religieuse au café, baba au rhum.
Of course, I HAD TO eat the religieuse with my fingers... coz that's how it's done!! ;-)
The baba was delicious too - so soaked in aged rum sauce that it was really juicy and the vanilla cream on the top was just perfect... no stomach room left, otherwise I would have ordered a second serving of both!

Dessert - Round #2: ile flottante with pink pralines and berries

The mignardises trolley... they just want to make sure you walk out completely stuffed, so everything comes on trolleys and with some impossible choices to make...

Mignardises: pistachio financier with pistachio cream & sour cherry, chouquette, "mysterious berry" jelly, chocolate marshmallow, gingerbread praline chocolate

Monday, April 12, 2010

With Bare hands (Alain Robert)

Alain Robert (aka the French Spiderman) is one of the most, if not the most, talented rock climber of his generation. He became famous outside of the climbing circles in the mid-90s for his building escalations, which earned him more than a few jail stints. Further to various unfortunate accidents, Alain Robert now has an official 60% disability status (!) and yet his enthusiasm for the sport is still intact. This book is the story of his life (and what a life!), his unwavering determination to overcome even the most difficult routes, and his passion for rock climbing. From early teenage climbs in the Verdon Canyon to the Petronas Towers in KL, you will embark on a detailed journey of each climb, the preparation, the anxiety, the unexpected obstacles and the joy of the final victory, sprinkled with witty observations from the author and quite a few hilarious moments. Alain Robert truly has an original outlook on life, and mainstream he certainly isn’t. One of the stories he recounts in the book is how Loik Le Floch-Prigent (then CEO of Elf Aquitaine, since then jailed for embezzlement) pursued him through the courts for years after Alain scaled the Elf tower in Paris la Defense – how could this guy possibly not be touched by the beauty and poetry of Alain’s endeavours ? A society whose leaders have lost their capacity to dream is doomed… can Spiderman rescue us ?