Starry Afternoon

11 Apr
Le Meurice Dining Room

Le Meurice Dining Room

After another morning of OPD with last week’s hot doctor, I headed to Le Meurice for lunch. Le Meurice is a Michelin 3 star restaurant headed by Chef Yannick Alléno. The dining room has been redecorated by  Philippe Starck in 2007. The dining room is super impressive…there are paintings on the ceiling and on the walls. The servers are dressed impeccably, and one cute guy was even in a tuxedo. I didn’t want to act too weird by taking a picture of him…but I really wanted to. :( The decor, combined with the servers’ expertise, make you feel like you’re royalty here. I arrived at 1:15 pm, 15 mins later than my reservation, but was still welcomed graciously. I was seated in a corner seat, giving me a great view of the entire room. The tables were spaced quite far apart…the restaurant had 2 or 3 empty tables during my meal. The rest looked like businessmen or tourists.

Pre-amuse bouche: salmon cheese roll, asparagus mousse

Pre-amuse bouche: salmon cheese roll, asparagus mousse

Immediately after I was settled in, I was asked what drink I would like, and I ordered a large bottle of Evian. I was then served 3 tiny delights. One was a mousse-y ball tasting of fish on a stick, which I forgot to photograph. The other 2 are pictured above. The salmon cheese roll was nothing special; tasted like buffet stuff. The asparagus mousse was delightfully smooth and flavourful though.

The menu

The menu

I was given the menu…but I’ve already gone through it a few times online ;) I settled on the set lunch menu at 90 euros. WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY post coming up. 

Breads: baguette and pain de campagne, served with pate and butter, and salted butter

Breads: baguette and pain de campagne, served with pate and butter, and salted butter

My server came by with a basket of breads at this point; there were baguettes, pain de campagne, quinoa bread, and pain au cereales. I chose the former two…the baguette was pretty good with a crunchy exterior and an airy interior. I didn’t quite like the pain de campagne though as it was kind of tough and tasteless. The butter was just OK…the butter I bought the other day was better hehe.

Amuse-bouche: sardine ball wrapped in squid ink bread in a fennel mousse, lemon and vanilla jelly, olive oil

Amuse-bouche: sardine ball wrapped in squid ink bread in a fennel mousse, lemon and vanilla jelly, olive oil

Almost immediately, the amuse-bouche was served. I really liked the mousse…but the sardine ball was kind of dry. It did “amuse the bouche” though (ha ha) as it was salty. In case you were wondering…the lemon vanilla jelly cubes had no vanilla taste at all. The lemon jelly was a bit tart and served to start the appetite as well.

SORREL SOUP WITH THINLY-SLICED SMOKED SALMON, crunchy thin creamed potatoes

SORREL SOUP WITH THINLY-SLICED SMOKED SALMON, crunchy thin creamed potatoes

The best part of this dish is the potato galette…it’s like hashbrowns on crack. The salmon and sorrel soup were good too…very spring flavours. Both very smooth. The salmon was served very warm, but remained mi-cuit, and I enjoyed it that way. Simple but good.

MACARONI POT WITH EARLY SPINACH LEAVES, Crayfishes “Parisian style”

MACARONI POT WITH EARLY SPINACH LEAVES, Crayfishes “Parisian style”

Macaroni dish disassembled

Macaroni dish disassembled

REEEEeeeeaaaally gourmet Mac and Cheese! This isn’t your run-of-the-mill “gourmet” mac and cheese with black truffle or something. The macaroni were round (as in, in a circle) tubes of pasta with crayfish pate stuffed inside. The sauce is crayfish broth with cheese. The crayfish was cooked in its own broth, and the oval, pale pink things you see are crayfish sausages which were very smooth and melted in your mouth, my favourite part of the dish. The yellow ridged balls are mushrooms, and some are also julienned…so much work for one dish! The flavours were a bit bland in this one…my least favourite dish of the afternoon.

FILLET OF RABBIT FROM GATINAIS ROYAL STYLE, Soft potato purée

FILLET OF RABBIT FROM GATINAIS ROYAL STYLE, Soft potato purée

This took a while to come out after my last dish. While I was waiting, I people-watched and waiter-watched. There was a table of Japanese businessmen who apparently knew one of the chefs…as they took a picture with him at the end. They kept on staring at me, probably because I looked so young and was dining alone :( There was another family of Chinese people, a Chinese couple who looked like they were from China, several English speaking tables, and the table next to me with 2 men who spoke French + English. I must’ve looked really odd…dining alone. I really enjoyed watching the waiters, not only because most of them are cute. When they carry their silver trays, they carry it above their heads, which must be really heavy. Also, if they have something to deliver to a table and no one is there to take it from the tray, they would keep on walking around the room in a set route. It amused me. Finally, I kept on drinking water and the aforementioned cute waiter in a tuxedo kept on re-pouring my water. I swear I didn’t drink water intentionally to get him to come.

When the rabbit finally came out, it was quite a spectacle. The server carried the dish out in a pot, and let me look at it (and take pictures) before cutting it up. I was only given half the fillet (already a lot) which was beautifully plated.

Portioning the rabbit

Portioning the rabbit

The server told me that the rabbit is cooked in a wine sauce with vegetables and herbs/spices. While she was portioning it, the smell wafted towards me and it smelled sooooooooo good. She told me to be careful of small bones before I dug in.

The rabbit plated

The rabbit plated

Look at that beautiful sauce! Caramelized shallots lie to the right and on top.

The best mashed potatoes in the world

The best mashed potatoes in the world

The dish was served with mashed potatoes, which went well with the gravy. However, I enjoyed it even more on its own…it was so smooth, so buttery, so goooooooooooooood. I love mashed potatoes. Really, I’m not picky about my mashed potatoes, but this is like SUPER GOOD. Mashed heaven.

The most tender rabbit I've had

The most tender rabbit I've had

The rabbit was also good…very tender and didn’t taste like chicken lol. I’m sure we all have stories of eating rabbit which tastes like chicken. Actually, this dish reminded me of Tung Po Pork. Fall off the fork tender, with fatty skin and lean layers. Except this was juicier. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up finishing it as it was way too much meat at once for me. Honestly, it was like the size of a Bonaqua water bottle! I’m not a huge meat-eater…

Petit fours: chocolate yuzu macaron, pistachio marshmallow, candied apple on a biscuit

Petit fours: chocolate yuzu macaron, pistachio marshmallow, candied apple on a biscuit

SO after the table was cleared, I was asked if I wanted some cheese. I declined, as I already felt like I was 6 months pregnant at this time. Not that I know how that feels…but you get what I mean. Petit fours were brought out and they were nothing spectacular. Candied apple was cool and something different.

Pre dessert: floating island with pineapple basil sauce

Pre dessert: floating island with pineapple basil sauce

Pre dessert: tiramisu cream

Pre dessert: tiramisu cream

Pre-desserts nothing special either…the floating island was nice and refreshing after the heavy meal though.

PUFFED GALETTE WITH ROASTED APPLE, Iced cream

PUFFED GALETTE WITH ROASTED APPLE, Iced cream

Finally, dessert time. Honestly, I was expecting something a little more creative. I guess Le Meurice is more traditional? Not that this wasn’t good…but it was just an apple pie in puff pastry. Worth mentioning is that there was vanilla sauce baked into the galette, so even after finish the vanilla ice cream on the side, you didn’t need to worry. The apple was cooked to a soft texture while still maintaining some bite. Pastry was well executed…very flaky. The rim was also caramelized, which I really liked as I actually don’t  However, puff-pastry is so filling, especially after a huge meal…I couldn’t finish this either. Yea, I couldn’t finish DESSERT. :O

Coffee and passion fruit cakes...could only eat one

Coffee and passion fruit cakes...could only eat one as I was waaaaaaay to full

SOOOOO full by this point

SOOOOO full by this point

Before lunch, I thought about going to Angelina’s next door afterwards for a post-lunch hot chocolate. At this point though, I was so full I felt like throwing up…so hot chocolate another time. With the water, coffee, and tips, lunch cost around 120 euros. Was it worth it? I would say that along with the setting and service, it was. The amount of food is also staggering, so this isn’t one of those “I paid XX dollars and I felt like I only ate air” kind of meals. Just for the food, perhaps the price is a bit hefty…but I didn’t regret this lunch at all as the whole 3 hours of lunch was worth it!

I then went back to school for another few hours of OPD. After school, as it was still bright, I walked around and ended up at the Pont Alexandre and the Champs Elysées. As I saw the Tour Eiffel, I decided I would walk to it to aid digestion (yes, I felt like I was still digesting a few hours later).

Headed to the Tour Eiffel afterwards to walk off the calories...oh who am I kidding, I had an ice cream there

Headed to the Tour Eiffel afterwards to walk off the calories...oh who am I kidding, I had an ice cream there

Headed back home afterwards and had to finish off the Berko cupcakes I had leftover from yesterday.

Island vanilla with mascarpone cream

Island vanilla with mascarpone cream

Island vanilla with mascarpone cream

Island vanilla with mascarpone cream

This cupcake had mascarpone cream which is kind of a midpoint between whipped cream and cream cheese in texture…quite vanilla-y with vanilla seeds. There was a dollop of denser vanilla icing in the middle. The cake was really dense vanilla cake…but maybe it turned out that way because I had refrigerated it overnight.

Carambar caramel with buttercream

Carambar caramel with buttercream

Carambar caramel with buttercream

Carambar caramel with buttercream

This was chocolate chocolate chocolate…the base is similar to the creme au lait I had yesterday. The buttercream tasted just like chocolate…not much caramel taste. Still good though! Carambar is like a tootsie roll except more caramelly. This is good in mini form, but definitely wouldn’t be able to finish a normal sized one.

Carrot cake with cream cheese icing

Carrot cake with cream cheese icing

Carrot cake with cream cheese icing

Carrot cake with cream cheese icing

This was your average carrot cake, which actually is hard to find in HK, so I missed this. There was no well in the middle, so there is more cake to icing ratio than the other cupcakes, which is good because the icing is very rich. The cake is heavy on the cloves. I would have appreciated some raisins, but thankfully there were no nuts in this. I hate nuts in my carrot cakes (in most cakes actually).

Well…that’s it for today. I feel like I have 2 elephants in my stomach right now…ugh.

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One Response to “Starry Afternoon”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Good Friday « Rachelle's Ramblings - April 22, 2011

    [...] of natto, getting stickier and stretchier the more you mix. After having the mashed potatoes from Le Meurice, I’ve been spoiled; and this is a microwave version…still, it was interesting. Tasted [...]

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