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Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

A Short Leave

In Announcements on June 13, 2011 at 10:16 am

I will be making a summer trip to the Baltics of Europe, a cruise holiday.  I won’t be gone long, but while I’m away I don’t have internet access, and won’t be writing posts.  Come back to look at my posts on my trip in July!

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Lunch at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

In Food - HK on June 7, 2011 at 8:57 am

I had a pleasant lunch today at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.  The red chairs and black stone walls and floor give the classic sleek feel of the L’Atelier branch of Robuchon’s restaurants.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Other than his unique dishes, Robuchon is known for his signature bread and creamy mashed potatoes.  After ordering we were promptly served with a nice coral basket of bread fresh from the oven.  There were cheese-flavored balls, milk breads, baguettes (and mini baguettes), mini croissants, and a bacon flower-shaped bread.  Every one was as good as my memory could imagine, except perhaps the bacon flower-shaped bread.  Perhaps it was just the one I tried, but it was too hard to bite.  However, the other breads were wonderful!

Bread Basket

For our amuse bouche we had a foie gras mousse covered in a beef jelly with 3 perfectly spherical balls of melon.  It was actually the beef jelly that gave the juicy feel to the foie gras mousse, and it was refreshing and rich at the same time:

Foie Gras Mousse with Beef Jelly and balls of Melon

For appetizers, I ordered a creamy Aubergine soup, with shiitake mushroom, a poached egg, croutons and some ham.  The soup itself had a tint of a light curry flavor, and was lukewarm. The runny egg yolk and flavored (but still crunchy) croutons really enhanced the dish.

Creamy Aubergine Soup with Shiitake Mushroom, Croutons, and Poached Egg

Creamy Aubergine Soup with Shiitake Mushroom, Croutons, and Poached Egg

My friend ordered the “Crab Royal” Salad which was very refreshing and included lots of fresh crab meat.

"Crab Royal" Salad

My friend and I both chose to have a meat dish for our main course.  I selected a duck and foie gras dish, where there were rolls of  duck cooked with rosemary through it, as well as some pan fried foie gras.  The whole dish was drizzled with a nice sweet sauce, and the meat was accompanied by a few cooked cherries (with a white french bean in each one).  The duck meat was a little tough, but was flavorful enough.  The foie gras was excellently crisp on both sides. Both went well with the sweet sauce, and would have gone well with the cherry too if only I liked eating cherries.

Rolls of Duck and Pan Fried Foie Gras with Cherries

Rolls of Duck and Pan Fried Foie Gras with Cherries

My friend ordered a teppanyaki beef, which was very tender but also quite ordinary.

Teppanyaki Beef

We also had desserts with our lunch set.  As it was summer, and very hot outside, I got a refreshing grapefruit sorbet for my dessert.  It was made with many different parts, all cool and crunchy, that it was really quite interesting.

Grapefruit Sorbet

My friend ordered a favorite of hers: a black forest cake, Robuchon style.  However, she found that more traditional black forest cakes are more to her liking.  She said that it had “lacked a certain alcohol taste, and was too simplistic (in both its presentation and taste).”  We had been looking forward to something a little less ordinary.

Black Forest Cake

At the end of our meal, we were given our ordered coffees or teas, as well as a plate of macarons and chocolate pearl balls.  I find that Robuchon’s macarons have all the wanted texture and taste, and are not too sweet as many macarons are.

Macarons and Chocolate Pearls

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon or even Robuchon’s restaurants in general fascinate me.  They are one of my favorite restaurants I go to if I want something special.  However, my trip to the L’Atelier branch this time was somewhat of a disappointment.  To be sure everything was orderly and everything was flavorful – however, some dishes lacked the originality that I usually look for in his dishes.

Monsieur Chatte, Bonham Strand

In Food - HK on June 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Monsieur Chatte is one of the regular shops I visit in my free time.  It gives a nostalgic feel of the classic “cozy French cottage”, and serves all kinds of interesting cheeses, little pastries, and French canned and jarred goods.   On my usual visits, I will buy three things (unless I haven’t run out!): a new cheese to try, caneles, and a can of duck confit.

These are the cans of duck confit, they go wonderfully with a light salad for lunch.

Duck Confit

Caneles are a light snack you can have anytime.  They are difficult to make – there has to be the right amount of rum (a definite hint but not too much), they have to be chewy and moist, the outside harder but not too hard.  Monsieur does a good job – though the inside may be a bit too moist, their caneles are soft and chewy, with a nice hint of rum.

Caneles (plate 1, pig painting by Liu Ye)

Caneles (plate 2, blue fish plate. Chanel's summer yellow nail polish "Mimosa")

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of a cheese that I have bought from Monsieur Chatte, as I did not buy any this time around.  I quite like one of their savarins, which is creamy yet still relatively strong.  They have all sorts of cheeses and preserved French goods at Monsieur Chatte, as well as other pastries like Madelines.  I love spending my time there, rewarding myself with a few goodies.