Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chantecler Restaurant

My experience at Chantecler was quite special. There is excitement in this kitchen that is tangible. The exec chef/co-owner is Jonathan Poon (formerly of Woodlot, Delux and Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner). The hallmarks of this cuisine are harmonious, ethereal and complex flavours. The cooking was perfection in every dish. The chef has the flavours and textures nailed! This is a disciplined, highly organized, efficient kitchen that is also focused on cleanliness. Table service is very professional, client oriented and staff work well together. 

Ethereal potato gnocchi with potato sauce and the subtle punch of the mildly briny taste of powdered (dry) red seaweed. A wonderful dish!

Chicken consomme with hen egg, smoked hen, mushroom confit, hen of the woods mushroom and coriander leaves, a perfect counterpoint to the subtle but clean flavours. 

Mackerel, cured and torched, with rye remoulade, preserved lemon and pickled celery root. Wonderful complimentary flavours.

Tongue and cheek with fermented veg and butter (NO PHOTO).

Soft Polenta with shiitake mushrooms, Chinese five spice and shallot ragu. The ragu has a great range of layers of flavour and was the perfect counterpoint to the perfectly creamy polenta.

Very tender and juicy pork neck with kushi oyster, braised lettuce and xo sauce. Another flavour masterpiece.

Stuffed onions creamed kale and glutinous rice with celeriac puree and all sprinkled with grana padano cheese and black truffle oil. I have to say, another hit!

Roast Chicken, perfectly cooked and juicy, with poached egg, ramps, seaweed, dried oysters, mustard and ramp sauce and oyster sauce with a complementary touch of vinegar. 

Warm oats, sous vide poached pear and buckwheat foam all topped with brown sugar. A very satisfying, comfort food dessert.

Sea buckthorn parfait with orange blossom, rose jelly, meringue and almond praline. The mildly tart sea buckthorn was a lovely complement for the sweet meringue. The texture of the almond praline was perfect with the creamy filling.

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