The pompous maître d' greets us, asks us whether we'd like champagne with lunch. Bubbly in the afternoon? Thanks, but that would be far too decadent, sir. He then brings us a cute bowl of bread and cheese balls, each one dotted carefully with either paprika or black pepper.
These little babies are quite delectable. I am a carb junkie; what can I say?
Thereafter, we are presented with the chef's first delectable delight: the amuse-bouche - literally translated from the French as 'mouth amuser'. The chef knows no bounds with the amuse-bouche, as it is meant to whet the guest's appetite in anticipation of the coming meal. Well, it works! Today's amuse-bouche comes to us in the form of creamed broccoli with black olives garnished sparingly with slices of various raw vegetable. I gush at the taste of black olive combined with the broccoli cream and scoop every last drop pitifully. My bouche is now tres amused.
I have a sinful weakness for all things buttery, like most other gluttons. Note how much of the butter has been unmercifully knifed away (below). I could eat this on its own.
For starters, I order the 'Slightly Sauteed Shrimp'. It is an esoteric palette of tastes. The shrimp, together with some regular broccoli, peppers and finely cut carrot, is sitting on a bed of seemingly solidified (and quite salty) stock. It tickles my curious tastebuds and I am actually quite confused as what to make of it, so I dismiss it as 'fairly forgettable', if not a little overwhelming in texture and saltiness. The solidified salty jelly stuff does not do the shrimp justice.
By this point, the three of us are pleasantly surprised. We have satisfied our Tesco saturated tastebuds! But, oh, what's zis? More food! Ze other snotty French maître d' (hereafter known simply as Pompous) trots along and presents us with our main courses. I picked the 'Roast Veal with Creamy Spinach' because, you know, gym rats like me need my daily hit of protein and fat all at once.
One of us remarked that, yes, it does indeed resemble 'siew yoke'. It even tastes a bit like it, but after five mouthfuls, I am up to my neck in richness. The meat is delightfully plump and tender and when eaten with the correct sliver of fat, it can actually cause shivers of sheer pleasure. What I do not fancy, though, is how much the sauce tastes like it has a lot of Knorr's Beef Stock Concentrate in it i.e. the stuff I use for my gravy. Either the chef had a slip-up or Knorr really know their stuff.
And then comes the most favouritest part of the meal: dessert! After a rich main, I look forward to calming myself down with a tangy dessert. I get exactly that in this wonderful and most awesomest Vacherin served in the most cutest dessert bowl (I gotta get me one of these).
The colours are far more exciting than they look; it really resembles a mini Hawaiian luau. Underneath the mini meringue crusts, mango sorbet and coconut, lime and banana sorbet (which Pompous snidely dismisses as vanilla when I ask him what flavour it is and then comes back apologetically telling me it really is coconut, banana and lime. Tous est, eh, what you call it...c'est stupide??) is a titillatingly zingy passion fruit compote. I adore passion fruit with a zealous passion - no pun intended :) This is, by far, the pièce de résistance of the meal. We are not exactly stuffed, but it's okay. Food makes people happy. Food makes me happy, anyway.
'To the good life that we shall afford next time'.