Robochon = Salty?
I had lunch at Joel Robochon's place in Macau inside Casino Lisbon. It was salty.
It was luscious, it was delicious, but it was salty.
There has been more then one article out there somwhere about the latest plague that befalls resturant chefs: blatant oversalting. While I understand that salt brings out and almagamate flavors in a dish, there actually is a point where one tastes nothing but salt. For some reason, fine dining establishments fall prey to this easily.
The menu was intersing: Very French, very plated. There was an amuse-bouche of tomato jelly with a mozarella foam (will the foam never end?!) , a starter of truffle-scented pork ragu on toasted bagette (salty), a consumme of smoked mushrooms(beatuifully smoky and complex, but salty) and my main was two hefty slices of veal head meat It had beautiful texture, between the crispiness of the crust contrasting with the tenderness of the meat and the meltingly good connective tissues which has that not-quite fat, not-quite meat, lip smacking quality. But why was it so damn salty?! Even the bread basket, with its seven or eight varieties of in house brioche, flatbreads and petite pains has some sort of salty filling, like olives or cured hams.
As resturant like this must be, and bills itself to be, all about the excess, one wonders sometimes if they've overdone it. We dined in a room designed by Versace, with its Sun-King influenced decor. We dined off plates rimmed in gold, sipped water from the finest crystal and had coffee in delicate bone china. Dessert was a fantasy on a cart, with about 10 different choices including an eclaire that sent me to dessert heaven. Coffee was served with delicate brittles and lace cookies (not to mention a jug full of caramel for the coffee) , as well as a coffee flavored jellee and beautiful chocolates. But is all that really just sugar to balance out the meal that was, in effect, a high class salt-lick?
The jury's still out fo me on whether it was a good meal or not. Service was immaculate, ambiance was wonderful. It rare that we take the time to linger for lunch for two and a half hours, basking in the dining room and holding our full stomachs like luxurious lizards in the sun. I just wish it didn't make us feel the need to guzzle three gallons of water afterwards.