If you have dined here before you can request your preferred chef to cook for you. We instantly knew that we were in Chef’s good hands about what is right and proper to put on show and cook, so it is about representing the best produce and accompanying flavours. We were tempted by the set menu, but Sophie was quite keen to allow us to meander along a path of choice that took in our preferences and we ended up settling on about ten courses – this may sound ambitious, but each course is not necessarily about size, but more about ensuring quality and perfect execution on the grill as well as the umami flavour. We were ready to be amazed on all counts by starting with a bottle of bubbly Bollinger Champagne for the seafood front as well as an elegant bottle of 2007 Chateau Branaire–Ducru Saint–Julien from Bordeaux of its full bodied, bold, complex and a textural mouthfeel long finish to pair with the abundant meat flavours!.
Out of the three choices of soup selections, we have let go of the Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup. Sophie assured us that it is a must try. Both soups were served on a large cup and saucer, the French Onion Soup au Gratin was so deliciously decadent in texture and flavour with lots of caramelized onions dominating the palate, quite similar to the French classic, served with two aromatic slices of garlic bread on the side. The quintessential Lobster Bisque was out-of-this-world with a certain consistency and focuses only on the umami palate from the sea, rich in flavour and every sip was simply a joy!
As mentioned earlier, we couldn’t help staring at the superb basket of vegetables sat atop the counter, with huge asparagus spears being the drawcard, so there really was only one way to execute such a beautiful vegetable which was the classic French way steamed and served with a bed of hollandaise sauce on the side. Because it is a teppan-grill, it is only steamed for a very short time, as the grill is very hot at 250c. The chef constantly checked the vegetable and ensured it was cooked to perfection. By adding hollandaise sauce for the pièce de résistance and garnished with thin slices of Iberico ham as an accompaniment. The thickness of the asparagus is 2.8 mm and was topped with Parisian Kaviori Caviar - such luxury and decadence. The asparagus had the perfect crunch and the saltiness of the ham and the subtlety of the caviar was a winning combination that will be etched in our memory. It was a perfect marriage with the Bollinger champagne and you could not have a more iconic combination of flavours with such a triumph in execution such as this course was. Simply sensational!
While there was only two appetizers on the menu, we had one each. The fresh meaty pacific king prawns and large and firm Hokkaido scallops were artfully presented on a dark stoneware highlighting the colours with a large spear of green asparagus. So fresh in taste, so juicy and tender and just simply could not be ignored as the taste on the palate was heavenly!
Locally sourced seafood with the fish being cooked together with the scale side down to create a really crispy texture and is absolutely stunning on all counts together with clams laying on top a long asparagus and sprinkled with the fragrant mullet roe which was another component we loved. As it provided a foil to the richness of all the other components, without question, each ingredient and flavour was in total harmony. It was utterly delicious and so en pointe without being overpowering in taste.
A taste breaker before we ventured to the entrée. This chef’s special salad was like an elevation from the Ratatouille style and had one other special addition of a stretched-curd Caciocavallo cheese lightly seared to get the burnt effect which somehow was the “cream on the top” and had our palates salivating over such distinct and beautiful flavours.
The half lobster from Penghu bay was grilled with rosemary and thyme which was a highlight and served first separately before the steak - a very sensible sequence so that you can enjoy each part of the dish at the right temperature. Even though the herbs are disposed of before finishing cooking, the lobster meat still had the flavour, which is a distinct difference from the usual presentation in most restaurants and we were completely sold on this piquancy.
Fried rice can seriously taste so good especially when you have your share in here. You are presented with finely shiny grains of rice with so much flavour and the perfect texture. How long does it take to master for a bowl of the most satisfying fried rice that words can’t really describe but to have it dance in your mouth to be able to have your best judge on it. This is truly a gastronomic treat from the skilfully trained chefs here! We weren’t going to have dessert, but Sophie insisted we sample the Fried Banana Ice Cream as there is a reason they only have one dessert and all we can say is wow, wow, wow! Ripe bananas are chosen and pan grilled to get the crispiness on the outside served with homemade vanilla ice cream. It was harmonious in texture and flavour. Simply sensational!