Thursday, June 28, 2012

Paris Part 2, Spring 2012: Two Highly Important Paris Restos: Sur Mesure; L'Abeille.

Sur Mesure

Sur Measure is a new resto headed by chef Thierry Marx. The hotel brochure on the resto states: "Thierry Marx explores the link between the technical and emotional aspects of cuisine using sight, sound and taste. With each dish he aims for a profound personal response." Personally, although my experience was good, I found the presentation on the plate rather "precious". Further, although the presentations were interesting, the "wow" was more in the presentation than the taste experiences, for most of the dishes.

(From 4 o'clock, clockwise) rhubarb mousse with beet root and almonds; Candied duck liver topped with a rhubarb ravioli; goat cheese with rhubarb and Chinese pepper.

"Crispy ball (an egg with a soft yolk in the centre) with black ham and black truffle emulsion and butternut squash.

Leeks, snails and fresh herbs, with fresh parsley jelly on crisp toast.

Turbot sashimi with popcorn.

Fried oysters, sage, passion fruit mousse and diced shallot accompanied by a spoon filled with black truffle oil.

Oyster in agar agar gel with julienned daikon.

Soy and oyster risotto with shaved black Perigourd truffles.

The next 2 photos were 2 dishes that were presented and paired together. Below, blue lobster with white miso on a slice of poached cucumber topped with crispy julienned fried leeks.

The lobster was on the plate above, visible in the left side of the photo below. On the right, on the top portion of the dish is a small bowl of highly reduced viscous lobster liquid and below that, lobster medallion and claw coated with highly reduced squid ink. The claw, unfortunately, was a touch overcooked.

Bresse chicken (a touch over cooked) with roasted pumpkin and spiced broth (cumin and coriander).

Charred beef, a touch over cooked, with a liquorish reduction, puree of green peas and Colonnata lardo.

Sweet bento ylang -ylang: this ceramic presentation opens up as below, into 3 plates.

The large oval dish has avocado cream, lemon oil, citrus parmelotta, frozen meringue and ylang ylang flower (also see plate shown separately below). The other dishes are shown separately and described below.

Black currant "mirror": black currant jelly, barely poached black currants, vanilla cream and a chive black currant cake.

Black sesame cake with shiso and wasabe cream and a caramel reduction with soya and coconut.

Petit four.

L'Abeille at the Shangri-la Hotel

L'Abeille is the new resto in the fabulous boutique hotel, Shangri-la, a reno of a mid 19th century former home of a member of the Bonapart family. The theme of the bee had always been a part of the decor of the home. The chef de cuisine is Philippe Labbe and the chef patissier is Francois Perret.

Carrot cracker with carrot ice cream, amuse.

Oyster marinated in soy sauce. Yuzu cream filled macaroon. Parmigiano biscuit. Cilantro, grapefruit and ginger candy maki.

Potato soup with flowers and clams.  Very viscous, thick soup with pristinely fresh raw clams.  Soup has a sweetness perhaps of some slight amountt of honey.

Asparagus from Robert Blanc, poached with tarragon, caramel fudge, limequat yogurt and cold asparagus soup.

Morelles, gnocchi, roasted mangosteen and elder flowers all flavoured with beef stock. A tour de force!

"Beef form Galicia in 4 Sequences"

1st, Canelloni of beef tartar, imperial caviar with sauce gribiche, truffle juice, sweetbreads, oyster and anchovies.

2nd, Vegetables cooked pot au feu style in ravioli with black truffles, all resting in dashi consomme. The dish was redolent of the aroma of black truffles and although a little heavy on the salt, it was still exceptional.

Sous vide 72 hour cooked beef with red wine sauce, pickle cubes, turnips, baby onion and tongue confit. Slightly heavy hand with the salt, again. The beautifully reduced sauce was as viscous as a thick honey.

Galician beef with parsley, tarragon, crispy fried marrow, mushroom (champignon de paris) cream and fresh herbs. 6\4\6. Perfectly cooked but, this rating for taste, texture and juiciness is rather typical of my experiences with beef in Europe. However, given the source of the beef, the experience came as a total surprise as when I was in San Sebastian, 3*** chef Martin Berasategui cooked a private meal for 6 of us at the home of gourmet society, Gastelube. He prepared Galician beef as well. That beef experience was better than any European or Argentinian beef experience that I have ever enjoyed, even better than virtually all U.S. or Canadian beef experiences as well. The difference in experience could be a matter of selection and sourcing.

The mushrooms and cream.

The crispy fried marrow. This dish partner seemed superfluous. Having had fried bone marrow 3 times in Paris, this trip, It is my felling that marrow should not be fried. For me, it seems less pleasurable that way.

Candied quumquat filled with quumquat mousse accompanied by tangerine sorbet on meringue.

"Spring fruits and vegetables": a medley of pumpkin sauce, tangerine, mango and celery sauce, carrot, tomato, baby corn, peas, celeriac, pineapple, passion fruit, raspberry and mango all flavoured with Tahitian vanilla. This was a truly extraordinary take on "dessert".

Strawberry, strawberry fruit jelly and sesame cracker, chocolate tart and saffron mousse, passion fruit jelly and malabar pepper jelly

Grapefruit, chocolate sheeps milk and white chocolate, pepper from pimont d"espalette with chocolate

Fraises des bois (wild strawberries) from Roland Most, marinated in their juice with balls of avocado, sable strawberry pastry with arlette pastry and avocado sorbet. This was served with a taquila and wild strawberry shaken cocktail. Another truly great dessert!

A surprise box of pure origin dark chocolate with heather honey, milk chocolate ice cream and after eight granita.

Chocolate marshmallow bear.

Mango caramel.

L'Abeille is a worthy restaurant experience and certainly one of the best experiences in Europe, despite what was for me, in 2 dishes, a slightly heavy hand with the salt..

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