This year for my birthday, I wanted to go to Paris and have a really nice dinner somewhere incredible and scoff the lot. I was thrilled when I saw that The Hidden Kitchen was going to have an event on December 1st this year. So, on the basis of that, we emailed. And waited. And waited… Hobart lost some weight… We gave up refreshing our inbox…
So back to the drawing board.
The week before I went to Hong Kong, Anthony and I were flicking through food blogs looking for inspiration and found out all about what has been going on – The Hidden Kitchen is now Verjus, which is a restaurant and wine bar on rue Richelieu. Well the wine bar looks like it is in a different location, but the space is split level with a front door on either side of the little block. Anyway, while I was away, Anthony arranged it and we got a table on their “opening” night, my birthday all rolled into one. Yippee.
So through a fug of jet lag, I had an amazing tasting menu birthday dinner in a really beautiful little dining room (thought the alley from the Kitsune Shop) all light up with the Christmas lights from the theatre nearby:
Round 1: citrus tofu, wild rice, bone marrow, mussels, smoked curry. Forgot to take a picture and the first time I enjoyed tofu in my life.
Round 2: sea scallops, grapefruit, poppyseed, onion ash, chipotle, chive
Round 3: monkfish, red cabbage raviolis, seaweed, red pepper, seafood broth
Round 4: house smoked salmon, beets, quail egg, herbs, buttermilk
Round 5: buckwheat cracker, winter pickles, greens, pine nut butter, ricotta MY FAVOURITE!!
Round 6: duck breast, white miso labne, cauliflour, nori crumbs, micro basil, kimchi MY SECOND FAVOURITE
Round 7: pork belly, celery, chicharron, cilantro, heirloom carrots, ricotta
Round 8: chocolate ganache, pineapple habanero sorbet, chevre custard, graham crumbs
We could have had an additional wine menu to go along with the meal but opted just for one bottle of red. A pity you can’t even see the label.
Two thirds of the way through, the service got slow and you could see the girls trying to get into the swing of it all. The first few rounds were brought out of the kitchen by the chef Braden himself. That was really cool because the way he was describing each dish went into great detail and he had a moment to answer questions. Later on of course the place was jammed so not possible. But I bet that being able to talk with every diner is something the chef misses. Anyway the dinner was EXCEPTIONAL. Everything I could have dreamed of – except I got a little bit more… I almost don’t want to say because I dont want to spoil the dream when everything else was so perfect – There was bit of cling film in the ganache. There is no excuse for that, opening night or not. I don’t even like ganache anyway so no tragedy. So lets concentrate on the fact that the pineapple habanero sorbet was out of this world!
Next time, I would like to go to the wine bar and sample the bar food menu and some of the great wines.