It was a fun day in Paris by myself, or not, which I will explain a bit in the post, but the restaurant is just ok. The restaurant is located inside Mandarin Oriental. Since I was walking all day, visiting Chateau de Fontainebleau and Musee Picasso, frankly I was tired and did not look nice, when I am at the front door of the hotel. I was an hour early because I put the wrong time in my calendar due to the one-hour time difference when I booked the restaurant. Well, I simply got a mocktail in the bar, looking at the outside courtyard and messaging a stranger from a dating app, who lives in London but also visited Paris, like me, by himself; what a big surprise for my trip to Paris this time. After an hour, I was offered the seat in the restaurant. All the tables are facing a private outside courtyard.
The menu here was very interesting, apart from the small bites, each course is chosen from 3 candidate dishes. I picked frogs’ legs, lobster, quail and coconut. I was particularly interesting in the frogs’ legs, which is not very common ingredients Before all the dishes I chosen, there were two rounds of small bites. Do I remember the taste of them? Unfortunately, no, I do not, but they were all fresh, and inspired your tongue for the rest of dishes. However, I want to mention the second round; I enjoy the colour and presentation: a little bit fry, a little bit jelly and a little bit fruit and vegetable in a column. The frogs‘ legs was a bit disappointed to me, because it is way to dry. I do not know how they make the legs meat into a ball, but it looks like it was fried. I had many frogs’ legs when I was a kid in my home town, Changsha. In my memory, the leg meat should be smooth, a bit chewy and have a unique taste. However, here it simply tasted like a dry chicken breasts! The paired herbs were also boring. The second problem, or one could argue it is a problem of taste, is the frogs is way too salty while the herbs had no seasoning. In fact, it was the main style here: overly salty main and no-seasoning side. The next lobster has the similar of over salty seasoning. I did like the presentation, red for the lobster and green for the sauce and sides mixing with black. The side followed the similar pattern of the small bites, something jelly, something crunchy and then something in light and fresh taste. Then, here we had the quail. I have very similar questions as the frog, how they make shape and how they make it so dry? Also one of the side (the yellow part in the picture) just slipped into the centre of the plate while they were presenting the dish. I had to say, I disliked it, even for the sides, which were all towards the dry end.
This restaurant was a bit out of my taste. Maybe I had too high expectation since I was in Paris, one of, if not “the”, capital of food. I might also blame my personal feel as I simply dislike the seasoning style of the chef. One thing I want to mention is the excellent service. All the waiters and waitresses will wait in front you, but facing away from you, until they spot a “gap” in your own activities, relying on the reflection in the glass, to present you the dish. It is interestingly subtle. Separately, I unfortunately spilled my mocktail on the table, colouring on the white tablecloth. Immediately, one waiter provided me an white napkin to cover it.
During the entire dinner, I was also “harassed” by the stranger, I was talking to through a dating app, who insisted to join me. Although I would be very happy to have someone for the dinner, but not from a half way; I had to say I feel very shy to ask the restaurant on this uncommon request in the middle of a set menu dinner. In fact, he apologised to me afterwards and said that he did not realise it is a very serious and formal restaurant. I really appreciated it. We went to a dinner and show in Moulin Rouge in the next day! He became the absolute highlight of my visit to Paris and I enjoyed every moment with him. [Update after first write] In fact, we continue to see each other in London since. That is why I said at the beginning of this post, it was absolutely a great day in my life, though probably not from the restaurant.