Friday, December 04, 2009

JacquesReymond (Prahran) 11/90

Cooking for a renowned international organization of food lovers is an opportunity for chefs to shine but Jaques Reymond did himself few favours when he put on an expensive but undistinguished X’mas dinner for the the Chaine des Rotisseurs last week. Wines were organized by the wine master with the help of Michael McNamara, one of the principles of Princes Wine store, one of Melbourne leading cellars.
Unfortunately Jacques would not permit a tasting session with his food so it was surprising that the matches were as good as they were.

The guests were greeted on arrival with 1996 Duval Leroy Champagne, one of the great vintages in recent years, and quite excellent gougeres, a house speciality. The first course, a millefeuille of lightly smoked ocean trout, fresh wasabi, spiced nougatine, citrus and avocado salad
was served with a 2007 Nicholas Potel Rully Blanc. This was a reasonable match for this starter of mixed tastes. The trout was extremely delicate and it seemed we were in for an excellent meal. The next course was most disappointing. Described as deep sea rockling spiked with anchovies, crispy lacquered pork belly and Savoy cabbage, sourness of sorrel and sour cream, served with a 2007 Milton Clos de St.Anne Chardonnay this soggy cabbage with a piece of near tasteless fish was not improved by the conglomeration of accompanying tastes. Next came some relief with a dashi and apple jelly with cauliflower foam and tobiko mountain bush pepper yoghurt tempura and fennel simply king fish sashimi which was and enhanced by the delicate very fresh and regrettably very small slice of fish. The foam lacked taste and detracted from this course. The next course was an extraordinary mixture of things which absolutely failed. It was made up of a number of ill matched ingredients each alone may have been alright, except for the risotto which had none of the creamy character and texture that makes a good risotto so special.
It was made up of marinated and glazed quail, snail risotto, aged comte and grilled sausage senses of garlic, shallots and parsley. Three major ingredients I hope to never see on the same plate again. The 2008 Marchand and Burch Mt. Marrow pinot noir was the outstanding wine on the night.
Angus beef a la ficelle, natural cooking juice, soft potato aioli, the last main course, served with a 2006 Chateau St. Dominique St. Emillion.
This was quite nice, tender and juicy, made rather special with a mustard ice cream. A roasted peach and almond frangipanne , tonka bean and vanilla bean ice cream completed the meal
served with a dessert wine- a 2007 Pierre Bise Coteau de Lyon Beaulieu Rouannieres .

Attractive petit fours were served
with a remarkably tasteless coffee. This was a meal full of surprises but most of them were not pleasing. Strangely Jaques was very secretive about his recipes acting as though they were state secrets. He refused a request for the recipe for his mustard ice cream and was outraged that guests might dare ask for the secrets of his kitchen.
He seemed unaware that there are plenty of recipes available on the internet. Sandra was so incensed by his attitude she expressed a desire never to return!

JacquesReymond earned its chefs hats for excellence in classical French cooking. It’s what they do well and they should stick to that.

Score:13.75 /20


Ed Charles said...

I was very dissapointed bya wine dinner there a few weeks back. Some overcooked fish etc. Interesting.

John Salisbury said...

Love reading your reviews.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Ed
I think the pressure to do something special is getting to some of these guys but to mess up something like a piece of fish! Not good
Tx. It's always gratifying to hear from someone who enjoys the blog. I'm always apologetic, not for the opinions but for the indifferent grammar and punctuation, to say nothing of the spelling.