Tuesday, 15 February 2011

On tasty morsels....

Smitonius:

Partner and I treated ourselves to a meal at Viajante in Bethnall Green. We did not arrive in enough time for the 9 or 6 course meal (fortunately!), so had the so called 3 course meal - but what with amusing starters, palate cleansers and petit fours...

The menu started with something called a Thai Explosion, a spicy chicken confit nibble, and the that was followed by very fancy bread and butter (flavoured brown butters).

Ready for some pics?

It may look messy, and when I tell you that the skin is actually milk skin, some of you may go yeuch... but it wasn't at all. This dish of charred leeks, lobster, hazlenut and milk skin managed to be both sweet and salty at once.

Then again, I love milk skin. When I lived in Spain, and was between 12 and 17 years old, I had friends whose mother kept a large pan of milk on the stove. It must have been milk from her family's farm, I guess. It was boiled every day, and if I was around I got to eat the skin! At Viajante, the kitchen is open, so it was possible to see the complexity behind making these little slim sheets of milk... don't think I will try at home!

Then there was a more conventional duck to follow:


To cleanse the palate: frozen maple pannacotta and suchi granita with green apple:


And then the most amazing dessert I have ever eaten: sea buckthorn with burnt meringue and youghurt sorbet: Sea Buckthorn is so rich and flavoursome.

And, should you need a last shot of something spectacular, here is a pic of the petit fours:

There was real truffle in that chocolate truffle, and it tasted lovely and earthy. Sigh, ameal to remember... but now off to the kitchen to make a more ordinary salmon supper.

13 comments:

Friko said...

Hm, I love the presentation in these restaurant almost as much as the food. It always seems to me such a shame to destroy these works of the culinary art.

I couldn't have eaten the duck, it looked barely seared.
Was it quacking at all?

rachel said...

Gorge rising at the thought (and sight!) of milk skin, and head between knees at the still-twitching duck. What a brave gastronome you are!

Molly said...

Living in the sticks, where fine restaurants are as rare as hens' teeth, this caused me to slobber on my computer! Please give advance notice next time you post about such dainties so I can take protective measures.....slobber, slobber!

kristieinbc said...

Mmmm! It all looks delicious, especially the duck. I have never eaten sea buckthorn. I didn't even know it was something edible.

Jinksy said...

Milk skin takes me back to my childhood...yum! But I too, would balk at duck that still looks raw! But lovely photos...

June said...

The food is beautiful, and I feel bumpkinus americanus extremis, having never heard of sea buckthorn, rarely having eaten duck, never having tasted a truffle (although I've read lots of Peter Mayle books), and having had to Google suchi granita. (Lots of "granita," and only one "suchi granita," here.)

And then to the tasting menu.
I might prefer not to know, in some cases, what was before me.
Squid tartare?
Roasted yeast?
Frozen squid ink jus?

Your palate must have been singing octaves at all the flavors.

Fran said...

That's well posh grub.

Marcheline said...

Okay. The milk skin you can keep.

The duck I will happily scarf down, none for you.

I demand an explanation of "Sea Buckthorn"... what the hell is that, a nature show host? "Thank you for tuning in to Milk Skin in the Wild, with your host, Sea Buckthorn!"


I am praying that your dessert did not actually involve a sea creature. Please tell me it didn't.

Tania said...

I'm entirely eying the duck and dessert and bulk baulking at milk skin...YIKES!

Carolina said...

The presentation is lovely. I'm sure the food tasted great too.
How thoughtful of you to take photos for your poor hungry blogfriends ;-)

Deborah said...

That milk skin could be an epicurean delight was news to me. I don't mind it, but would have trouble harnessing it to anything else.

Food presentation is like interior decorating - neither of which I have a knack for. This was scrumptious looking!

mountainear said...

Looks wonderful - I could have scoffed the lot.

Round here - rural Wales - we seem to be stuck ever-so-slightly in the past and BIG, BIG, BIG filling portions for farmers are the order of the day. I have never seen heaped plates like it!

Will remember Viajante if we make a rare visit to London.

elizabethm said...

Sounds fab. I would love it, milk skin and all, and quacking duck.
I'm like mountainear and live with piled up chips.