Three reviewers: ts, csc and js
Ballontine of Duck Confit and White Beans & Green Bean Salad with Pumpkinseed Dressing.
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Mixed Greens with Figs, Goat Cheese, Reduced Balasmic and Lemon Dressing.
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Grilled Squid with Endive and Tomato Salad and Lobster Dressing
The squid dish was nice. The squid was tender (I actually don’t mind it if it were chewier coz I don’t mind chewing – more on this later). The endives, mint (or whatever leaves those were), sauce on this thing… normally, I would NOT eat by itself, but combined together (yes, all TOGETHER) with the squid… very nice. Gave me a whole range of flavor that you have to somewhat “figure out” (ie, that was the endives, that was bitter, etc etc).
I also had the squid. It was really good! The endive was fairly bitter. The lobster dressing was a "foam" type sauce; tasted like a lighter lobster bisque. The squid was very tender, and you could really taste the "grill" aroma/flavor. The tentacles were perfectly deep-fried. That was crispy, the endive as well, while the rest of the squid was tender and the lobster dressing was a little rich. COMBINED all together -- 10/10? This dish went very quickly.
Hearing from the two of them how great the squid is, I am disappointed with my ballotine of duck confit. For some reason, [ts] kept "directing" me to have the duck!
"You're getting the duck, right?"
"So, you have the duck, right?"
I was persuaded to have the duck. This dish was merely okay -- that is, I wouldn't recommend it, but it wasn't that bad either. The white beans and the confit were mashed together in one disk, while the green beans and the pumpkin seeds were just on the plate. It was a good presentation.
My quibble is with the duck. Mashing it together with the beans or shaping it that way turned the duck kind of mushy as well as the beans. In general, I don't like my food to be overworked. I mean, I can appreciate the transformative aspects of it -- oh wow, it was a duck now it's a disk -- but really, let the duck be. I didn't really eat the pumpkin seeds and I didn't really taste the pumpkin seeds in the dressing, whatever little of it is on the plate. (It was just a very thin line on the plate). It was more mustard-y to me than pumpkin-seedy. So I didn't really enjoy this dish as much. I mean, I can appreciate that it's a well-executed dish, but in terms of concept, I guess I just don't get it.
About me telling JS to get the duck: that was only because she kept saying she was going to get the "Leaves." Of course, the "leaves" wouldn't be "sulit" at all! Not really a "bang for your buck", them leaves.
Saffron Braised Veal Cheeks with Wild Mushroom Golden Beet Puree and Pine Nut Butter.
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Crisp Rainbow Trout with Saffron Crushed Potatoes and Salsa Verde.
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Artichoke and Mascarpone Risotto with Lemon Oil.
Ok, first off: I don’t like veal. Give me chewy steak anytime. But then it’s either that, the trout or the artichoke risotto… I didn’t feel like trout and I would never order vegetarian anything coz …there’s nothing to chew! Hahah…
So the veal… first bite, kinda sweet… and if you like your meats soft, then this one is for you. It does melt in your mouth…but really, I don’t like that. The taste was ok… nice, but then there’s nothing to contrast the texture and the “sweetness”. The vegetables were all chopped up… so again, nothing to chew. If perhaps that have given us the string beans in LONG form, or something to chew on for contrast, then there might be something better to say about this veal.
I had the saffron-braised veal cheeks as well. I think I would have to agree with CSC and found the dish too one-dimensional. It was veal, too much veal.
Granted, choosing the veal, I was kind of swayed by economic considerations (which dish would give me more bang for my buck), so it's a tad ironic that I would complain that there was TOO MUCH VEAL. It was ALL VEAL. I expected some mushrooms in it as the description said there were mushrooms, but I think somewhere along the way, it got pureed. There were supposed to be golden beets and again somewhere along the way it also got pureed. (See my comments about food being overworked.) The description also said there was pine nut butter but I didn't see it or didn't really taste it. All I could taste was the veal, all veal all the time.
Again, that being said, this was a well-executed dish. That's the thing: this restaurant I would probably return to because they do care about the food and they do know what they're doing. I guess I just didn't like this veal concept but it was a perfectly-executed dish. The veal really was melt in your mouth and had excellent flavour, like it's not quite beefy but beefy. On the verge of beefy.
Someone should've gotten the risotto just to see how it is. It sounds like it would be good: artichoke, mascarpone, lemon oil. But, again, see, no "bang." =)
Tasted the trout: it was really crispy and it was seasoned well. Just very nice. I didn't get to taste the accompaniments; don't know what those sauces were that they had. As for the saffron potatoes, they were all right. I'm not *too* big a fan of saffron.
The veal. Ah, yes, the veal. That dish really was ALL VEAL, ALL THE TIME. It reminded me of pork hock in that it had that "thick", really rich taste. It was good and very tender, but you really would get tired of it if you don't have something else to taste!
The golden beet puree was actually very nice, but there was too little of it. (And as per others' point, it, too, was soft, texture-wise.) I would've liked more of the haricots verts, and not cut up into such small pieces. I couldn't really taste the mushrooms in the dish; ditto for the pine nut butter. I'm assuming they were part of the sauce.
BTW, I ate Diner#4's ½ trout… and YUMMY. Don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t quite into my veal, but the skin of the trout was crispy and nice texture and flavor. So maybe I should’ve had the trout instead.
Fig Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream and Crystallized Mint.
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Pumpkin Creme Brulee with Gingerbread Sable
Toffee pudding: Sweet, nice… but I couldn’t finish it just because I ate Diner#4's main course. Hahah.
I liked the toffee pudding although again it was probably too much for me. That is, it was too heavy for me, too sticky. Probably because Diner#4 took my ice cream which would have acted as a good foil to it! LOL
Tasted the toffee pudding: very nice.
I had the brulee. It had a nice flavor. My only complaint would be the "cheating" re the sugar crust. Instead of caramelizing sugar on top of the brulee, forming a crust, they pre-made the "sugar crust" separately, and just put on a few pieces on top of the brulee. The result, instead of a delicate wafer-like crust of caramelized sugar on top, there were these THICK, hard-to-crack GLASS-like sugar pieces. I had to WHACK them hard and WHACK them many times to get them into smaller pieces and easier to eat. Even then, they were still too thick and sharp(!) and thus, hard to eat.
But, I would return to Figmint. It was too bad they didn't have their a la carte menu available during Dine Out (then Diner#4 could've gotten something else; like a steak or some such thing). I've seen their regular menu and would want to try several of the items there. Rating for the meal, I guess about 8/10.
Rating: about an 8. This is a restaurant that I would return to and I would like to try their other dishes. Hopefully I hit on one that's just right for me. It was good: I didn't feel they were cutting corners simply because it's DINE OUT -- seemed like the chef cares what comes out of his kitchen. Food of integrity: that I like and can't complain about that.
Oh, and as we were leaving, I saw right beside me on my chair, the tentacles from the squid appetizer!!! And TS was saying, is that why I didn’t even acknowledge her comment re: how nice the tentacles were coz they were crunchy and yummy… but I didn’t hear her and therefore did not go looking for my tentacles… which I guess fell off the plate as I took up my napkin. So, this one, the appetizer was nice, but the rest were… well…. Not super great.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Three reviewers: ts, csc and js