07 May, 2010

and finally monsieur a wafer-thin mint.

Have you ever been to a Degustation dinner? I went to one last night. I'm still trying to decide what I thought of it. If nothing else, it was an experience and I tried some food that I never though I would ever eat. The dinner was to celebrate my cousin's 40th birthday and it was a pretty posh affair. I was expected to wear shoes.

Dinner started with Amuse Bouche. I'm thinking back to my high school French. Bouche means mouth and Amuse has got to mean happy. Happy Mouth! What a great way to start dinner. Happy Mouth was a tiny cube of trout on a bed of avocado mousse served in a shot glass. This was my first hurdle: I don't eat a lot of seafood so a chunk of raw trout is confronting. It was only a tiny piece of fish and you only live once, so I gave it a go. It was nice. My mouth was happy.

Next serve was snow crab and konbu jelly. More seafood! Fantastic. Hidden under the crab meat I found fish row. I got to eat the babies as well. The best part of this dish was the spoon which was made out of rye bread. The idea was you can eat the cutlery when you finish. Sadly the rye spoon was too thin and snapped as soon as I tried to use it and I found out it's not a good look eating fish eggs with your fingers.

I won't bore you all to death with a description of every course. It was a degustation and there were far too many courses to tell you about. I have a couple highlights: Truffle Egg Yolk and a tiny roll of crusted lamb. This was my first truffle encounter and I'm impressed. I always imagined truffle would taste like a dirty mushroom so I was surprised to find that it was more like a complex and aromatic dirty mushroom. (I'm not sure my description has done it justice)

Every course was no more than a few bite size pieces of food so I don't understand how I managed to get so full. I'm sure I didn't eat that much. I declined the cheese platter and decided to go for a quick walk around the hotel we were dining at. Dessert was still to come and I wasn't going to miss that. We were eating at a five star hotel so I felt like a movie star wandering through the beautiful foyer. The ladies toilets were worth checking out. Lounge chairs, artwork on the walls and assortment of hand creams, soaps and smelly stuff and, something I have never seen before ... mouthwash for the guests. I had to give the mouthwash a try. I'm not sure watching me have a gargle and rinse would be a five-star experience for the other guests, so it was lucky I was alone.

Dessert was a collection of various pieces of chocolate, cake and cream that almost made me cry with delight. I was still feeling very full and it was only through sheer bloody-mindedness that I managed to eat them all. Not surprisingly, dessert had a faint taste of mouthwash. (Note to self: mouthwash is for after dinner, not during.)

The final verdict is ... interesting. If you get the chance to try a degustation dinner give it a go and if you're really lucky you get free mouthwash too.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE degustation dinners. I've been to, four now and loved them all. Like you, I'm not a huge fan of seafood, so probably wouldn't normally order it - that's why I like receiving tastes of what the chef thinks is best.

    Jealous of the mouthwash idea - how POSH!