Sunday, May 14, 2006

Birthday bites

What a week for food in Xochitl-land (the term The Boy lovingly uses to describe the home of my random thoughts). After a weekend in the kitchen, I had a week of dining out. Lunch at Leon, meze at Ranoush and the crown jewel in my week o' food? Dinner at Maze. I decided to treat The Boy for his birthday and take him out for a meal that didn't involve me cuttign out a 2 for 1 voucher for a change. However, I should rephrase that. Saying I want to take The Boy out is really code for- I'm going to make a reservation at an expensive restaurant that I want to go to and I'm going to butter you up with compliments about how dashing you like in your suit (as it gets its annual airing out). And slowly, with a cheeky little grin and a twinkle in my eye, I'm going to nudge the bill in your direction when it arrives.

Somehow I managed to score a table at Maze with less than 24 hours notice. The praise has been heaped on the place from the start and although I haven't had a bad time yet at any Gordon Ramsay restaurant, I was worried that the El Bulli inspired dishes would be too freaky for The Boy. There was no need to worry. I can once again bow down to the Temple of Gordon.

We started with a couple of cocktails (Fig Sour for me) and took an eternity to decide our dishes. We decided to go with the tapas size dishes and order a few. I ordered Pressed Foie Gras and smoked duck with spiced pineapple and sweet n sour onions; Salad of violet artichoke with fresh truffle and truffle mayonnaise; Grilled lamb with braised lamb neck, cos lettuce, bacon and onions, ras el hanout and lastly, the BLT. Which was a tomato jelly (jello), a mayonnaise-y cream on top, bacon cubes as garnish with a lettuce puree poured over. My favourite for flavour was the lamb that was cooked perfectly, was the perfect serving size and just melted in your mouth. My fave for shits and giggles has to be the BLT which was quite tasty if a bit too mayonnaise-y for my liking.

The Boy had Carpaccio of tuna and swordfish with lime and cucumber marinade, soya dressing; Jerusalem artichoke veloute with duck ragout; Risotto of carnaroli with peas, broad beans and wood sorrel and Bouillabaisse of red mullet with tapenade, fennel puree and fennel shoots. His favourite was the Carpaccio, which he found refreshing and light.

Four to six were recommended; we went for four each and were stuffed. Even though the dishes are small they are very filling. We couldn't fathom eating more than that unless the plan was to bypass dessert. Not a plan that we recommend. As it was a special occasion, we splurged and had three mini desserts. Mango parfait with orange and anise jelly with sugared coriander; Apple and caramel trifle with cider granite and cinnamon doughnut and the Peanut butter and cherry jam sandwich with salted nuts and cherry sorbet. The mango parfait was refreshing since it wasn't overly sugary sweet and was mainly fresh mango. The Boy loved the cinnamon doughnut (with apple filling) while I preferred the apple jelly (jello) and would have been happy to eat a bowl of just that. It tasted like the juiciest, tartest green apple you have ever had. As for the Peanut Butter sandwich, well we had to get that since it is always written about. This is another dessert to write home about. The PB is in the form of ice cream and tastes like fresh made PB not like a jar of Skippy while the cherry cuts the richness of the ice cream.

Would I go back? Absolutely. Since you can eat at the bar without a reservation, it should be fairly easy to walk in for a quick bite before hitting the shops of Oxford Street.

PS- In case you wondered, I didn't pay.

1 comment:

Jeri said...

That's my girl, I wouldn't expect anything less from you. You've got a good thing going with The Boy!