Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A lunch date

Ms Dyson 2000 had a reservation at Caprice for lunch today and no more guest to go with, so I volunteered (huge sacrifice, I know) and joined as her date (sorry Spartacus...). Caprice needs no introduction, it has been featured in this humble blog and many others countless times, and it is always with great anticipation that I return to sample more of Chef Vincent's delicious creations. The service today was at its usual best, smoothlessly choregraphied and as attentive as ever. And the food... ah! the food... I think it reduced us both to grunting cavewomen. There were so many interesting dishes on the lunch menu that the choice was excruciating. A big merci to Jeremy, Mr Garcia, Benny & all the staff at Caprice for their warm welcome. We certainly look forward to coming back soon :)

Great light for shooting, thanks to a harbourside window table :)

Garlic bread sticks, warm and delicious

I NEVER drink at lunch on a weekday when I have to go back to work... EVER!! ;)

This chinon was light and fruity (and paired quite nicely with my fish main course) and we both marveled at the perfect temperature at  which it was served.

Beurre Bordier - the flattened cone is the salted one, which we destroyed in no time. The unsalted one was once more left untouched.

The bread at Caprice is always a feast for the eye and the palate. My choice today was the sourdough, which was served warm (perfect as I love my butter melting on the bread) and was fluffy, crispy and absolutely delightful.

Petit gris snails, meurette poached quail's eggs and sweet garlic espuma

This was absolutely gorgeous. Nutty, bouncy snails, cubes of melt-in-the mouth pork knuckle, croutons, marvellous garlic espuma and red wine sauce. The play on the textures and the pairing of flavours was superb.

Quail's egg, poached to perfection

Cod brandade pastilla, escabeche vegetables and sea urchin emulsion

Each season Chef Vincent comes up with new pastilla dishes for his lunch menu. Lamb, duck and now cod. This was right up my alley. A colorful explosion of crunchy, slightly pickled seasonal veggies and a hearty cod brandade in a crispy fillo casing. Absolutely delicious.

Cod brandade - supremely yummy. I did not really enjoy the urchin sauce though; it was impeccably executed and the mineral, briny flavour was spot on and incredibly fresh, but I am still working at acquiring a taste for urchin and sometimes still find it a bit difficult. That said, for people who enjoy it more than me, it made sense as a flavour on this dish.

Having to go back to work without the time for a nap, we were heartbroken to pass on Jeremy's awesome cheeses... we also passed on dessert, for the usual reason. The petits fours were *yawn* as usual - technically the standard is high, but taste or texture-wise there is always something amiss. Take the pistachio marshmallows on the left for instance. Topped with a cranberry (or was it raspberry??) jelly cube, the pistachio marshmallow was served on top of a pistachio cream. On paper, an awesome combination of flavours and an intersting play on textures, but why oh! why serve this in a dark chocolate cup? Not that pistachio is bad with chocolate, but the proportion was wrong (too much choco killed the pistachio) and I think you should choose between choco or sour fruits as a pairing with the green nut. Even tough the concept is good, it always ends up messy and misses the spot. "Less is more" applies to many areas of life - desserts included. The mango-passion and white chocolate one did not fare much better. The raspberry milk chocolate tasted strangely artificial. The caramel though was very good; I loved the fact that they used roasted walnuts, which are in season, instead of the usual almonds or hazelnuts - nice touch.

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