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French, Japan, Travel

La Rochelle Fukuoka – Japan

 

Dinner by Hiroyuki Sakai Iron Chef French

I have probably watched every episode of Iron Chef even now when I see an old episode on TV I still watch it. I like how it is made to seem so dramatic and the voice over just tops it all off. I found my self looking on the internet for places to eat in Fukuoka and to my surprise saw that Hiroyuki Sakai Iron Chef French has a restaurant close by so I had to try it out.

The menu at La Rochelle Fukuoka is in Japanese and French neither of which I can read however my French knowledge extends to the word degustation. Seeing this on the menu made it an easy choice the degustation it is.  At 12000 yen or about $120 AUD for the five courses considering the food it is reasonably priced defiantly  less than I was expecting.  

Not knowing what was going to come out made it more exciting! When a dish came out first tasting it and then trying and guess what it is and whats in it. The food was all excellent French style strong flavors , rich sauces lots of butter and cream. Exactly was you would expect from Iron Chef French.

 

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Dessert Cart

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Another unexpected thing was that dessert was not a fixed course but a whole cart was wheeled out and you could pick and choose what you wanted. The waiter was not just cutting up and serving it up rather taking great care and plating it up just like if it had come out of the kitchen.

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La Rochelle Fukuoka

http://www.la-rochelle.co.jp/english/

French, Travel

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon – Hong Kong

 

I was intending to go to Joel Robuchon’s 3 Michelin star L’Atelier for a late dinner. I did not have a booking  but it was 9pm on a  Tuesday night so I thought I would go see.  Luckily there was space but I was told the kitchen would be closing in 30 minutes. Knowing this I elected to jump straight to the desserts.

 

Bread basket complementary –  A selection of breads white , sourdough, mini croissant   plus a few others accompanied by some really nice butter. I think I tried one of each of them , all were very good.

La Sphere – Raspberry mousse in sugar ball with rose cream custard and grapefruit sorbet $160 HKD ($21 AUD)

This desert was so beautiful to look at everything looked so delicate and well constructed it seemed a shame to break it all up but it had to be done. The sugar ball was so thin just tapping it broke the shell revealing the sorbet inside.  I really did taste as good as it looks, all the different flavours worked well together with nothing being overpowering or too sweet.

Chocolate ball $160 HKD –  this came out as a whole ball and when it was placed in front of me the waiter pored some hot syrup over it melting the chocolate into how you see it here.

Cappuccino $48 HKD ($6 AUD) – very good strong coffee that came with some caramel syrup

Snail shells, rocks the odd leaf and fake grass inside the glass on the bar

The counter dining area

Chefs hard at work – view from the bar

Impressive wine cellar

 

I had high expectations and L’Atelier certainly lived up to them going by the small sampling I had.  The service was excellent all the waiters were knowledgeable, friendly and not pretentious at all.  All the food/deserts were exceptional with so much attention to detail put into every dish.  Next time I am in Hong Kong I will certainly go back to L’Atelier for the full tasting menu.

 

 

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Hong Kong

Shop 315 & 401, The Landmark

www.robuchon.hk

 

 

 

French

Felix – Bistro and Bar

 

Tucked away in an ally just off George street (part of the ivy), you will find Felix.  When you step inside it’s like you are transported to France, the awning out the front , cane seats, white tilled walls, the little lamp on the table,  wall of wine and more all come together to give the place an authentic French feel.  The menu has many French classics, reasonably priced, with the average main costing $32. Felix certainly deserves the one hat it was awarded  in the SMH  2012 Good Food Guide.

Felix has a different special dish for each day of the week. I went on Wednesday which was ‘game night’; expecting to have a ‘selection of seasonal game birds’ , I was a little disappointed that there was no selection just a quail & foie gras terrine.  As the entrées were being brought out the lights in the restaurant were dimmed making the place quite dark, so my apologies for the quality of the pics.

 

Complementary Bread  

Gruyere souffle $22 – My pick of the entrées! Not something you would want to eat all by your self,  best to share this one. Cheese & butter together in a dish can’t be bad (just bad for you).

Prawn cocktail $18 – Is a prawn cocktail French? I don’t know but i do know that  this was the best one I have ever had! Most of the time it seems like prawn cocktails are made with  second rate prawns and just drowned in sauce. Not at Felix, they use big fresh prawns sitting on top of some chopped lettuce with just a bit of sauce .

Steak tartare $24  – simple French classic done really well.

Impressive wine list (more like a small book) with many reasonably priced choices.

Spatchcock with iceberg & lemon $32 – What the dish lacks in presentation it makes up for it on taste. The spatchcock  cooked on the rotisserie is super moist and tender, lightly seasoned the iceberg is very fresh crispy.

Pan fried fish with pink grapefruit, green olive salad and citrus mayonnaise $32 – Most people would think that a pan fried fish is a light option. When you are talking French food, there is no light option. The fish was pan fried in butter, which gave the dish a real nutty taste. The tartness of the lemon balanced out the richness of this dish.

Lamb pie, sautéed mushrooms and tarragon jus $32 – The pastry of the pie was light and cooked to golden brown goodness. Inside of the pie were lamb pieces in a redwine reduction. The jus was very rich, almost overpowering but it was just begging to be mopped up with the pie crust.

Passionfruit soufflé with vanilla ice cream $18 – I love soufflé! If i go to a restaurant and its on the menu Im ordering it for sure.  This one was OK , I have had better though. Still enjoyable to eat with a mild passionfruit flavour but I found the consistency to be closer to a meringue than a soufflé.

Brandy snap with poached quincesand spiced brandy cream $18

Tiramisu $18 – another desert favourite of mine. All the flavours were well balanced with no overpowering taste of coffee or alcohol, just the right amount of cream all in all an excellent tiramisu.

 

2 Ash St (The Ivy) – Sydney

http://www.merivale.com/#/ivy/felix

 

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