It was the Christmas Eve dinner with a nice “daddy” who I met in Paris in the summer. It was a great evening, because of the nice service from the restaurant, the holiday and most importantly such a nice time with him.
We got a late dinner slot, from 21:30pm to the midnight. We had a half hour walk passing the central London; it was quiet in the street, though lights are still on. The restaurant, Hélène Darroze, locates on the ground floor of a very posh hotel, the Connaught. The inside has a very nice decoration, very warm pink tone overall with a lot of transitional wooden panels and wooden furnitures. Though we first get a very quiet corner surrounded by a lot of alcohols. We found it is too quiet, and then we got a better corner table that sees the front door and the restaurant. Bye-bye alcohols but actually none of us drinks so nothing lost.
It is a special menu for the Christmas Eve, in fact a relative short one put in a Christmas-red envelop. The restaurant printed out our names on the menu; it is very cute for sure. There are only 5 dishes for the dinner: onion, foie gras, turbot, cheese and dessert. The onion is a very fun dish, deep fried onion presented as a flower decorated with some truffle in-between petals, and lomo iberico (pork). To ensure the shape, the flower, standing on thick cream, was separated from the light sauce on the bowl. In fact, the sauce was pulled in during the presentation on the table. The taste was interesting: fried onion is as expected, to some degree, not surprised, however the truffle and iberico made the taste much more subtle. All the ingredients gave a strong and rich flavour, yet the cream toned it down with a bit sour. The sauce also made the deep fried onion less hard and less share, meanwhile the onion absorbed the sauce well when mixing in. The second dish, foie gras, is my personal favourite, simply because I like the taste of liver. In particular, the chef just cooked the outside, and drizzled sesames and nuts on top to add a bit earthy crunchy taste. The foie gras just melted inside my mouth, which I loved. However, I have to say, some customers might dislike the strong state in a sense that it pretty much a piece of fat. The foie gras was paired with celeriac (celery root); which I thought is daikon, though these two vegetables have similar flavour. Similar technique here, the chefs did their best to balance the strong fatty foie gras taste. Let then jump to the main dish, turbot. The dish itself is well-thought for sure. Caviar was not hijacking over the turbot, and mixed into the sauce. Turbot was fully cooked, not dry at all, but still in shape when I cut through. However, this was a dish I will complaint: turbot was a bit cold by the time I had it, especially considering on a Christmas Eve when people (in the northern hemisphere) think of warm wooden fire and hearty food. The cheese board was surprised me a bit as it was very creamy cheese, followed by dessert of chocolate and black garlic ice cream. As usually, I will not judge neither of them, because I do not consume large quantity of cheese and I dislike most, if not all, too-sweat-for-me desserts in many high-end restaurants.
It was a nice Christmas Eve with daddy. Was the restaurant making it even more special? I think so, but probably because of the service and entertaining stuff. A lady actually showed us the kitchen after the main turbot, which I was surprised how large is team and appreciated their work on this special day. However, the dishes were, all in very high standard, though exactly as expected. I am more interesting on their standard serve, and will probably visit another time.