6 by 2: 6 Course Dinner by 2 Star Michelin Chef Michel Portos

2 years in a row, I fail to perform favourably (fewer posts) for my blog every November. I hope things will improve next year, since I shall have graduated by then =)

Crowned by Gault & Millau, one of the most influential French restaurant guides, as 2012 Chef of The Year Cuisinier de l'année, Michel Portos set sail for Indonesia back in November. From 1-3 November 2012, fine-diners in Jakarta could sample his exceptional creations at Lyon restaurant. One does not need to fly miles away just to experience dining Michelin Star anymore, thanks to Mandarin Oriental Jakarta.

The 6-course dinner set menu prepared for us that evening featured a brilliant combination of flavours and textures with delicately balanced influences from Asia and Mediterranean. It had been an unusually extended meal session, but we all happily sat rooted at our spots, because we knew and understood the very reason we waited such a long time. Chef Michel himself ensured that each dish was done perfectly with his own personal touch. Now who would not be willing to wait for that? =)

1st dish: Seared Foie Gras with Moroccan flavour
The Moroccan flavour is exhibited by the use of date bits, curry, coriander and chilli powder for the sauce. The seared foie gras was well done outside, but melted almost like butter in the middle. Perhaps this is the beauty about eating foie gras, that got so many people willing to pay a fortune for it.

2nd dish: Warm Salad of Squid with tomatoes confites, iberian ham and balsamico vinaigrette
Butternut Squash Ravioli with black truffle
This ravioli confounded me in several ways. Firstly, I had expected at least 3-5 stuffed "pillows" but I saw only 1 bump on the plate. Secondly, it looked nothing like stuffed pillow because the base is not covered with any skin. So if you lift it up, you won't get a clean individual pocket like any ordinary ravioli. Lastly, this ravioli used handmade wanton skin, so it didn't taste al dente like pasta, but more supple and...wonton like! The creamy paste is made of butternut, tasted slighty sweet.

3rd dish: Sea Bass Fillet inspiration of my way back from Hong Kong
Quite a quirky and ambiguous name for a dish. It is actually steamed sea bass sandwiched between pickled red pepper & water cress juliennes on top and Japanese rice under it. The sweet and spicy Thai sauce, with cashew nuts recreates fresh Asian flavour.

4th dish: Roasted Lamb Loin
Aus. Lamb, curry, capers fruit, minute of curried jus and coconut reduction
Beef with a Taste of Pizza
Beef tenderloin, angus, tomato concasse, arugula salad, anchovies & parmesan, taste like pizza, but beef

I have never encountered a set menu featuring more than one dessert (unless it is ordered separately as an addition). For this dinner set, Pastry Chef Sebastian Bertin conjured the 5th and 6th dishes.

5th dish: Chocolate & Raspberry with scum of fresh thyme
Sorry, did you say 'scum'?! Yes, indeed. Apparently, scum, in old English means foam. Do not be fooled by the devilishly chocolate-y appearance, because this dessert actually tasted quite sour, from the raspberry. I liked it nevertheless.

6th dish: Apple Celery with Speculos Biscuit
Baba Bouchon with banana & vanilla cream
Baba is a classic French dessert of a sponge cake soaked in sugar syrup infused with rhum. That explains the ultra sweet taste! Chef Sebastian's version of baba bouchon is soaked in caramel and rhum, served with banana compote and chantilly cream with vanilla and pistachio bits.
JL. MH. Thamrin
Jakarta - Indonesia
Ph: +6221 29938824

Opening Hours
Lunch: 11:30am – 2:30pm (Mon – Fri)
Brunch: 11:30am – 2:30pm (Sat)
Dinner: 6:30 – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)


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