Thursday, October 4, 2012

A tasting course at Gordon Ramsay at the Conrad Tokyo


So yesterday I had lunch at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant at the Conrad Hotel in Tokyo. I really should've gone for dinner, as that's the real experience for this Michelin one-star restaurant, but I just didn't have any more free evenings to book on this particular trip to Japan.

At lunch, you see, they serve more casual food under the Cerise by Gordon Ramsay brand, and then they do the Gordon Ramsay full experience at dinner.



So lunch it was, and as a compromise, we asked the restaurant to make a tasting menu of the best dishes that are served at lunch.

Scroll down to read more about lunch...



NOT TOO BIG OR HEAVY

The result was a five-course lunch that was neither too heavy on the tummy nor on the credit card. I left feeling satisfied with the food; and then at dinner, I still had enough room to able to eat a proper meal. So all in all, it turned out to be a good decision to visit Gordon Ramsay for lunch.

I've already written about Gordon Ramsay in Tokyo in my previous blog entry; so here, let me tell you about the food I ate.

Click here to read my previous blog entry

SARDINES TO START



We started with an amuse bouche of a sliver of sardine.  It was interesting and nicely plated, but this wouldn't be my favorite out of the five dishes I had, as I actually don't really like sardines except when they're incorporated into a sardine-and-fennel pasta as they do it in Sicily.

Scroll down to read more...

Still on sale until October 15

THE BEST SARDINE PASTA

By the way, interestingly, I've driven (and eaten) all over Sicily but the best sardine pasta I've ever had (so far) is in the Italian restaurant of the Shangri-la Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu, which is run by a Sicilian chef.

THE REST OF THE STORY




For the proper starter, we had pressed goat's cheese with sweet tomatoes and an arugula pistou. It was served like a terrine, but a terrine with a medley of flavors because of the saltiness of the cheese and sweet-sourness of the tomatoes, plus the slightly bitter flavor of the arugula pistou.

TOMATO IN TWO MAIN COURSES

Then it was on to two main courses, but both in tasting portions: the fish course was a grilled mahi mahi with tomato butter and a delicious spicy couscous ratatouille; while the meat course was a roasted fillet of beef with Cafe de Paris butter, a tomato tarragon salsa and deep fried polenta.

In hindsight, I now realize that lunch was full of tomatoes in different forms -- perhaps because tomatoes are now in season over here.



THE BEST FOR LAST

Everything was good but the best part, for me, was dessert, as it was a very nice combination of flavors,  textures and sensations.

The chef created a mille-feuille of parfait and banana caramelized in brown sugar, and served this with a very bitter chocolate sorbet. It was wonderful and the bitter chocolate certainly went excellently with the caramelized banana.



Today is just beautiful in Japan, but yesterday was a pretty stormy day. It was quite nice to be having a cozy lunch on the 28th floor of a skyscraper, with the rain beating down the floor-to-ceiling two-storey glass windows, reminiscing about the good old days in Japan.

A delicious lunch and just another day in our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




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