Okay, I said late blog entry but I’ve got a window of opportunity here so it’ll be an early blog post instead. Last night, I got together with my friend, Sachi, for dinner at Pierre Gagnaire in the ANA Continental Hotel.
We spent much of the meal catching up on our respective lives. Sachi is quite the adventurous traveler, having spent time in places all over the world – many of which I’d probably never dare visit in my lifetime. Whenever we start talking about these various locations, my progression of questions is so predictable. Question #1: “How was it?” Question #2: “How was the food?”. Since the last time I saw her, Sachi has settled down in Rome – which she likes just fine although it’s apparently lacking in ethnic cuisine.
Well, on this night, we were dining at Pierre Gagnaire and, while not exactly ethnic, it did offer a variety of plates she’d be hard-pressed to find back in Rome – or, frankly, anywhere for that matter. The dinner was a succession of detailed dishes ranging from the breathtaking to the bizarre, the stylistically spectacular to the substantially short. But, damnit, they were all very entertaining.
Unfortunately, these weren’t listed on the menu so I can’t recall the details. I do, however, remember being blown away by the chorizo chip that was bursting with intense, chorizo flavor. If they sold these at my local 7-11, I’d be snacking on them all night.
I have no idea what NOLPI is but I did like this dish as a fresh, savory and slightly sweet start to the meal.
This one was very interesting. The lobster was excellent; the caramel sheet a curious textural addition.
Probably my least favorite dish of the night. Perhaps due to its small size, the foie gras was a little overcooked. Also overcooked – but intentionally so given the “fritta” designation – was the sea eel that lost any of its original flavor in the preparation and simply ended up tasting like a crispy fried thing.
I’m amused by the description, the fish (aka Kinmedai) “seized” in brown butter. It was a perfectly little piece of fish and that beetroot syrup was outstanding. I felt a little let down by another description, the “avocado bruleee”, that turned out to be a few slices of slightly torched avocado.
A very good dish, especially that lemon paste mascarpone. The squid were tiny but had a lot of flavor.
Normally, the cheese course wouldn’t excite me but I was delighted with Pierre Gagnaire’s version.
And, not pictured: Brie de Meaux, persimmon and fresh pear.
I was pleasantly surprised by all three marvellous preparations. A highlight of the night.
Speaking of highlights…
I had no idea what to expect when it came time for dessert. All the menu said was: “Desserts inspired by traditional French pastries” and “Created using fruits, seasonal vegetables, low sugar confectionary and chocolate”.
So, what to expect? Oh, anything and everything. What follows are some snaps of the myriad of tiny sweets we were presented with:
All in all, a pretty remarkable meal.
By the time I got back to the hotel, I was exhausted and looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Apparently, so was Akemi who had locked the door and drifted off.Unable to gain key access to the room, I knocked and rang and emailed – to no avail. I ended up having to phone the room, rousing Akemi from her deep slumber. For a while there, I was entertaining the notion of just booking another room for the night.
As mentioned in yesterday’s entry, I’m off to Yokohama to meet up with my friend Moro-san. No idea what she has in mind but I’m hoping it includes a trip to the famed Curry Museum – which will be a terrific substitute for the Mori Arts Museum which is closed during my visit. 🙁
Today’s entry is dedicated to my sis, and her boy Aspen who, sadly, isn’t doing too well.