Thursday, April 10, 2008

oh, so full

It took me until about 10am today to feel remotely hungry. Ok, I know that's not a particularly long time, but I still didn't eat much then.

I stuffed myself so much at dinner last night. A complete glutton. I went for a run at lunch today to try and make myself feel slightly better about it. But, then, I don't care too much. It was totally worth it.

We had the tasting menu at Petrus and it was superb. It's funny, I'm half-way through reading Gordon Ramsay's second biography and everything he says about his service in his restaurants is true. They offered to do substitutes if there was anything we couldn't or wouldn't eat and offered a vegetarian version of the tasting menu which I chose (with a fish dish from the a la carte in the "main" course). This way we get to try more, though the man was quite stubborn in letting me try his dishes. After I chose the vegetarian menu they came back with risotto ball canapes for me, sensitive to the fact that the lamb koftas and foie gras with blackberry powder might not be my favourites. The risotto balls with truffle oil were divine (though the lamb koftas were pretty good too!).

In his book Ramsay mentioned the champagne trolley "to make things simpler for the table in deciding aperitifs" and candidly admits that the £9.50 rose champagne helps the upselling of the bill. I expected the prices may have risen since the book was published (2007) but was still somewhat aghast at the £25-a-glass addition in the bill. Live and learn. I should have asked. I did get a small box of chocolates to take home (mmmmmm) so that went a way towards making it all ok. Frankly, it was better just to pretend the entire bill didn't exist and not to look at it again. La di da.

I do love going to restaurants like this but I'm glad not to do it too regularly. Mainly because I find it difficult to leave food on my plate (though the budget blow-out is the real reason!). The truffle risotto (my 2nd official course) was delicious. I was surprised to find a few of the dishes - this one included - overly salty, but the variety of breads we were offered mopped this saltiness up reasonably well.

The turbot was delectable too, as was my halibut with truffles and baby vegetables. Melt in the mouth good.

Our final course was a chocolate molleux (warm) with banana jelly cubes and banana icecream for me and a lemon creme with brioche crisp for him. We couldn't decide which was better but both were incredible. The chocolate was Valhrona 70%. Caraibe, I assume. We thought we were done but oh no... The chocolate tree came our way. An elaborate set of hanging truffle baskets. There were six varieties and I ended up trying them all (not knowing I would get a box of four when I left). My current chocolate craving is for chcoolate and nuts so the milk chocolate praline was the most satisfying but I really loved the mango and passionfruit. It was a dark chocolate shell filled with a fruit puree. There was also a plain dark caribbean truffle, a cassis (its white chocolate shell overpowered the delicious blackcurrant centre a bit too much), a coconut (too sickly, but perhaps only because I was so full already) and a salted caramel. For the first time in a long, long time I was chocolate-d out. I genuinely thought I might not eat any chocolate today. But it was a dull train journey home so I picked up a large slice of chocolate cake at St Pancras. "Oops."

I think I should probably go running again tomorrow.

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