Lest this become all about Africa, how about I reminisce about a delicious meal instead?
On Friday last week, I took C. to Le Gavroche to celebrate Christmas and her birthday. Yes, Christmas was months ago, but her birthday was last week. Cut me some slack, eh... we've been away. Anyway. Le Gavroche is Michel Roux Jr's restaurant in London and it has two Michelin stars. If you watched "Masterchef: The Professionals" then you'll probably remember him as being the nice chef with the big, brown eyes. Well, that's how C. remembers him anyway.
It's not my habit to eat at disgustingly good restaurants, certainly not when I'm not working, but if you're going to do it, then you might as well do it in style, eh? We both went for the set "Menu Exceptionnel", with me opting to go for the wine specially selected to accompany each course.
Was it any good? Well, before we get into that, here's what we had:
> Lieu Jaune en Sashimi
Beetroot Cured Pollock Sashimi with a Mango Dressing and King prawn
served with..... Zen Sake Daiginjo
> Ballotine de Foie Gras au Pain d'Epices et Fruits Sec
Duck Foie Gras Rolled in Gingerbread Crumbs with Dried Fruit Steeped in Brandy
served with..... Maury Amiel Vintage Blanc 2007
> Souffle Suissesse
Cheese Souffle Cooked on Double Cream
served with..... Champagne Martel "Cuvee Victoire" 1998 Fût de Chêne
> Saumon Sauvage Amandine, Asperges et Jambon de Bayonne
Wild Salmon with Almonds, Asparagus, Ham and Garlic Crisps
served with..... Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc "La Bernardine" 2007 Domaine M. Chapoutier
> Emincé de Poulpe et Coquilles St Jacques Parfumé au Piment d'Espelette
Octopus with Seared Scallops with a Tomato and Basque Chilli Pepper Dressing
served with..... Riesling Heimbourg de Turckheim Domaine Zind Humbrecht
> Canon et Ris d'Agneau, Pommes Boulangère et Petit Pois a la Menthe
Loin of Lamb and Sweetbreads, Fresh Peas and Mint
served with.... Domaine de Gavoty "Cuveé Clarendon" 2001 Cotes de Provence
> Le Plateau de Fromages Affinés
Selection of French and British Farmhouse Cheese
served with..... Chateau la Croix 2004 Pomerol
> Ouefs a la Niege, creme vanille et Compote de Fraises
Soft Caramel Covered Meringue, Vanilla Cream and Poached Strawberries
served with..... Vin de Constance 2005 Klein Constantia
> Cafe et Petits Fours
Any good? Yeah, not bad.
Understatement aside, it was a beautifully balanced meal. Enough but not too much, with each wine carefully chosen to complement the dish I was eating, but not enough of it to leave me legless by the end. It was fantastic. Not cheap, but still one of the best value meals I have ever eaten. Mmmmm. I can still taste that souffle and the dried apriot flavour of the champagne that came with it. Or that foie gras..... ah. Food. Good.