Saturday, October 13, 2007

My first brush with Gagnaire

25/F Mandarin Oriental
2 Connaught Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2825-4001

Gagnaire, famed for his clever and delicious fusion of unexpected flavours and layers of textures does justice to the idea of molecular gastronomy and the idea of fusion cooking. He has a way of seducing and dazzling you with his food. His food is fun and emphasises flavour that is sensually engaging.

I've never been to Pierre Gagnaire in Paris, so a visit to this Asian outpost of this gastro temple seemed like a necessary stop.

I started with a popcorn soup that was highly recommended by the waiter. Seriously, how could you resist ordering something that sounds so silly. In all its seriousness, it was a rich silky corn soup playfully garnished with popcorn.

That was followed by a duck foie gras and oyster that was pan seared with cabbage, Morteau sausage, baby artichoke and shiitake. Bathed in the natural jus of foie gras and oyster this dynamic duo was surprisingly light and hit all the right flavour notes.

I substituted an entrée of beef tartare served with a soft boiled egg, tomato melon kuice and potato fondant and other main courses that we ordered included roasted veal loin with carrot and almond paste and wild mushrooms, all very good.

Dessert was the talk of lunch. We split a Guanja chocolate soufflé served with condiments of blackcurrant sorbet, parfait and chardonnay cheese cream and a request from the dinner a la carte menu of an arugula and pistachio dessert. For the lack of a more eloquent word, the arugula and pistachio dessert was green. On top of a bed of arugula sat pistachio and arugula and pistachio flavoured cream with super thin crisp sugar coins and topped with a pistachio sponge, and it was all green. Thankfully, it did not taste green, in fact it was surprisingly delicious and refreshing.

My lunch at Pierre was seductive. The view is fabulous, my lunch company was funny and the food was whimsical, classic and edgy. I enjoyed lunch, smart and stylish it was good for the stomach as it was for the mind. I would like to return for lunch or dinner.

*See the whole set of photos here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a very nice description of Pierre Gagnaire cooking style. There is not a lot of people who can understand his work/art. I'm very imprest by your knowledge, understanding and sensitivity.
Also, I'm glad you had a good lunch but as mentioned you must go for dinner as they offer a totaly different menu.
Take care,

3:56 PM  

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