Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Maze

England, Part VI: Gordon Ramsay's spacious restaurant is a soothingly serene venue for lunch, overlooking the gardens of Grosvenor Square.

The menu features a cornucopia of tasting-sized dishes that blend British meat & seafood with culinary influences from across the globe.

Salcombe crab with toast sorbet (yep, this sorbet really tasted like toast bread), sea herbs, pickled black radish & apple vinaigrette. Delicate, fresh and clean flavors.

Pressed terrine of foie gras & eel with compressed apples, celery & cob nut salad. The bits of smoked eel left barely any impact, but the liver was satisfyingly luscious.

Roasted Orkney hand-dived scallop with raisin & ginger vinaigrette, turnips & chicken skin. The scallop tasted ordinary, but the addition of the thin, crisp chicken skin (that stiff strip sticking out on top) was a unique touch that provided a fun interplay of tastes and textures.

Duo of Suffolk pork cheek & belly, with mostarda of pear & swede, quince puree & choucroute. Not bad, but Chinese pork recipes (particularly siu yoke) blow this out of the water. Note (for our own recollection): mostarda is a fruit-&-mustard condiment, quince is a pear-like fruit, and choucroute is sauerkraut with salted meat & potatoes.

Cornish lamb rack & shoulder with English garden mint gel. Probably the healthiest lamb dish we've ever tasted. Perfectly pink, impeccably prepared.

Irish ox "tongue & cheek" with caper raisin, ginger carrots & horseradish puree. Why haven't more restaurants combined ox tongue and cheek in a single recipe? Melt-in-the-mouth succulence ensues.

Roasted hake with piperade, white bean puree, cockles, bacon & fish soup. Puny cockles, but the rest of the ensemble worked well together; these recipes seem complicated and fussy, but there's a method to the madness that makes sense when we're chewing everything up.

Roasted Muntjac deer with pine nut puree, baby beets, oats, seeds & juniper. Looked refined, but tasted rustic. Well, almost. Another side note: Muntjac deer are the world's oldest known type of deer, first appearing up to 35 million years ago.

Booze? Forgot to upload the photos, but the food went well with Alaya Brut Majeur champagne, Chateau Bauduc (Bordeaux) & Costieres de Nimes 'Les Grimaudes.'

And this wraps up our England 2010 series. We'll be back another year, hopefully!

Maze,
London.
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11 comments:

  1. Ahhh ive heard so much about MAZE. You can't accept anything less than perfect from the hell's kitchen chef!!

    mm.. i think they have another outlet in Melbourne.. not too sure, if there is i'll def visit it on my next trip down under.

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  2. augustdiners: oh yeah, there's a maze in melbourne as well ... i've never been there, but it seems to share the same culinary concept with the london outlet, so i figure it's just as good. there's also a 'maze grill' in both london and melbourne, but that one specializes in meat :D

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  3. Reading this brings back very good memories of our lunch at Maze last yr. Everything we ate was so flavorful. Is Jason Atherton still heading the kitchen?

    Wish I could go to London again this xmas.

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  4. well i have done maze grill in melbourne, i wonder when i can do maze in london?...

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  5. Oh man. What a yummy trip... :)
    (Thanks for taking us on the journey with you)

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  6. when I read "Maze", all I can think of is his foul-mouthed rants :P

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  7. baby sumo: oops, we inadvertently ate at maze that afternoon (we were supposed to have lunch elsewhere), so i didn't get a chance to research it beforehand. i like europe in late summer/early autumn. winter is waaaay too cold for me, heheh :D
    joe: i wouldn't mind checking out maze grill either! i've read that their chicken and beef dishes are great =)
    j: thanks for reading! i'm glad i managed to finally wrap up this series, even though it took longer than expected (this trip was in september) :D
    leo: heheh, i've actually never watched him on tv before. maybe i should check out a youtube clip =)

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  8. Quite different from Australia's Maze, I have to say. Makes me think that this whole Maze thing is not really a franchise... I guess.

    http://www.michelle-chin.com/2010/07/maze-d-or-not-lunch-maze-melbourne.html

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  9. michelle: maybe the concept of tasting dishes is similar, but the recipes are different? i guess the melbourne one focuses on australian ingredients :D

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  10. michelle: we'll have to ask someone else, since i've never been to the melbourne one and probably never will, at this rate :D

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