In a single bite serving, topped with crispy bacon bits, the taste of a partially cooked egg yolk was broken over a slice of buttered toast as I placed it in my mouth. With a pinch of pepper and a magical spread of tang, the delicate flavours of the quail egg just added a hint of elegance to the remarkably simple appetizer. The yolk was just set and golden runny in the most charming way imaginable. The sight and thought of this bacon and egg still makes my stomach grumble.
Rabbit rillette and carrot panna cotta – ironic eh? Not sure about how you feel but I must say, I hesitated and thought of Peter Rabbit. Sigh; anyway I’ll save that story for another time. With finely chopped (peter) rabbit meat that gets cooked in fat and later shredded into a paste consistency, rillette was a traditional way of using up some of the less desirable cuts. With the fine rabbit meat though, this rillette is no “poor man’s paté’. Unfortunately, we did not find the meat tender or taste lipids that should have been mashed with the meat to create the paste texture. Sorry to inform you… but what we ended up with was a dry and slightly gamey rabbit mesh served as a cold spread with strange carrot jello.
Mete is the Old English word for food. Yes, this is definitely that type of Meteball food you must have. Trust me on this one, I am half a vegetarian, love my veggies and love feeling healthy; and I’m saying, these little delicious balls are literally edible goodness! The meat was moist, the temperature was idealistically hot, not burning but enough for the delicately shredded cheese to melt in a bite. And the hearty, rustic tomato sauce just added the crucial warming touch to tie everything together. This is probably the common love of food that we all share – you can’t hate these meatballs.
Arugula is such an aromatic salad green that it is usually paired with sweet fruits and vegetables. Squash is a personal favourite, so I was delighted to taste the arugula’s pleasantly bitter with its usual sweet company. What came to my surprise was that the squash wasn’t roasted or made warm; instead, it was prepared to give a slight crunch. The crispy prosciutto bits were what really elevated the salad for me; this savoury component gave balance to the flavours of the dish and who would really say no to any bacon-like bits?
What gin compressed watermelon translated to me was boozy popsicle-like fruity sweets. My face almost lit up as this little interesting creature look-a-like dish landed on the table. I was expecting this cold, juicy fruit to take me away with its alcoholic scent and the piquancy of the cheese would bring out the melon’s sweetness… in the end, all of those expectations fell on me, it only sounded delicious. The watermelon tasted odd with the gin, almost as if the watermelon had gone bad. Perhaps, a different alcohol would be more suitable. I still have faith in watermelon and feta. Actually, if we make it blue cheese… mmm… it always tastes better in mind.
With the warm lamb cheeks boxed into the savoury cabbage, the essence of the juicy and oh-so-tender lamb was well kept. The meat was so flavorful and tender (oh I could just go on and on about how tender it was) and it was filled with this subtly exotic flavours. The cabbage added a hint of natural sweetness to it and the white truffle oil made it ever so aromatic. The truffle oil really fashioned a luscious coat on the lamb and completed it with an inviting pungent flavour. Even for someone who doesn’t like lamb, Oliver, would still say baaa-wow this is good!
The crème caramel was probably one of the better crème caramels out there. It wasn’t overly sweet and it had a delicate hint of vanilla. We enjoyed the cherry compote very, we just wished there was more of it.
In the literal meanings of Judas goat, it is generally used in animal herding. However, rather than leading us to be slaughtered, it ironically creates innovative Spanish-inspired tapas. In this case, would you mind being led by a Judas goat? If so, we’ll be right behind you.