It turned out the Chef was out of town today but I had made this booking several weeks ago and he took extreme care to ensure we would be given a real taste of Cepage, and left instructions for the food that would be served, sparing us the impossible task of choosing between dozens of tantalizing dishes on the menu. This came as a surprise, as we had not let the restaurant know this was a special occasion, and we felt really spoilt that such great pains had been taken to make this lunch a memorable experience (we even thought at some point it was a case of mistaken identity...). I had been absolutely amazed the first time I ate here, today I was just blown away. The meal was absolutely perfect up to the tiniest details, from the service to the wonderful flavour pairings and utterly faultless execution of the dishes, to the amazing plating and the unbelievably knowledgeable dining room staff.
I rarely walk out of a restaurant in such a state of contented bliss, and I happily admit my fault-finding can sometimes be exhausting - I just could not find anything to latch on today. Agent T and I were positively impressed by how knowledgeable the dining room staff was - starred chefs sometimes get completely let down by their client-facing staff, but at Cepage it is obvious that the dining room staff have a passion for fine food and a keen interest in the details. This alone is rare enough to deserve praise.
Another point that deserves praise is the unbelievably arty plating of the dishes. The Chef favours white plates, on which ephemeral designs are hand-painted, and the balanced and minimalist visual composition of the dishes, with its emphasis on certain lines and forms, reminds me of ikebana. Discreet Oriental influences are also present in the flavour pairings, and underneath the personality of this incredibly talented Chef, which shines in every dish, one can feel the spirit of his mentor (and my hero...) is still a source of inspiration.
|Starting off with a drop of bubbly - Egly Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru|
Surreal golden colour and crisp and floral on the palate. Excellent.
|The bread basket is one of the best in town, on par levels with Caprice and L'Atelier|