Let me first apolgise for how quiet the blog has been recently, I have been very busy and have spent very little time at home and haven’t had much time to blog or even bake, I will try and rectify that this week. But back to the business of last week. After spending an amazing and inspiring week cooking in the pastry kitchen at Le Manoir they graciously invited me back to experience the restaurant itself, to enjoy a meal. I decided to bring along my parents because I wanted to have them enjoy it with me, as a kind of thank you for there support. I have to say it is the best meal I have ever eaten. The service was perfect, official but very warm and friendly. The food was also wonderful. We decided to go for the full nine course discovery menu along with appetisers and petit fours. I’m not always the most elegant of writters so I will try let the pictures speak for themselves, even though they are not that great.
We started the meal with champagne and some small delicious appetisers which was the perfect relaxing start to the meal. The first course proper was a salad of pot-caught Cornish wild crab, mango and Oscietra caviar. The dish was so refreshing and bright, definitely one of our favourites.
Second course was confit of Landais duck liver, garden quince, balsamic jelly, toasted sourdough. This was a much more intense flavour, the duck liver was rich but paired with the quince and balsamic was nicely balanced. Part of the charm of Le Manoir is it’s vegetable and herb garden and it was nice to see the quince which was grown just meters from where we were sitting.
I often say I’m not the biggest fish fan but what we were served may have converted me. The flavour of the salmon was so delicate, it was cooked to perfection and everything served with it was so fresh and vibrant, I was really surprised by how much I liked this. It was served with cucumber and a wasabi dressing (picture at top of the post). We also chose to have the sommelier pick us some wines as the meal progressed and I have to say I had some of the most amazing wines that night.
The roasted autumn vegetables with red wine essence was the one savoury dish that had no meat or fish element but it didn’t feel like it was missing anything. The squash purée was so delicious it brought all the other elements together.
Confit of lightly salted wild line-caught Cormish cod, jabugo ham, soubise sauce, toasted garlic.
Roasted Brittany quail, pink grapefruit, turnip gratin, pineau des Charentes sauce. This was my favourite savoury dish. I love quail and the other flavours in this dish worked so well with the meat. The bacon in the salad, the small pieces of grapefruit and the turnip gratin all added to the broad mix of flavours all of which were balanced very well.
Exotic fruit raviole with kaffir lime leaf and coconut jus. Now we have arrived at the desserts, the dishes I was probably most looking forward to, especially as I had seen and made quite a few of the elements of the dishes. One of the first things I made during my week was the lime leaf and coconut jus. This dish is so refreshing the fruit was perfectly ripe and full of flavour but it was the jus that made the dish, the pairing of the kaffir lime with coconut made for a sauce that wasn’t sweet but fresh and delicious and perfect way to start dessert.
The seasonal pear Almondine, caramel croustillant, Ginger sauce and sorbet was my favourite of the desserts and which was also the one that I made the most for. Over my week I made the Ginger creme anglais, and believe you me it is heavenly I can’t wait to try and replicate the flavour. I also made the almondine and poached the pears.
The final dessert was the one that I had tried the most of before the meal. It was a Macae 62% chocolate marquise with tonda hazelnut and a lemon butterscotch sauce. The central element is a flourless chocolate cake with a very smooth chocolate layer on top. There always seemed to be some of this spare so by the time I actually tried the final dish I had tried this part may times, and it was just as good as I remembered.
And finally after 9 courses we were served petit fours which were all, again delcious. There was a lemon macaron, chocolate coated licorice ice cream which was my favourite, nougat, caramel choux bun, praline, mango/passionfruit and coconut cup which for me was a wonderful way to finish of an absolutely amazing meal.