Restaurants & Bars 8

Frisson [long]

Sixy Beast | Oct 12, 2004 03:01 AM

After the picnic on Saturday, i didn't get hungry again until well past 10pm. This was an excuse to try some late night dining at Frisson. Here is just the chow part of my report.
The drinks menus were delivered first. I went straight to the cocktail list having heard they were good. A drink labeled Fountain Of Youth - 12, immediately caught my eye (I needed something youthful after my not-carded experience at the door!) I can't remember the cocktail's description exactly and it isn't specified on their website. As far as I can remember it was a blend of Vodka with kaffir lime leaves, cointreau, some kind of melon pulp and some cucumber. It came simply served in a taller, narrower version of a martini glass with a large, red rose petal floating on the top. This drink was amazing. Not too sweet, very strong and with the most refreshing, lingering aftertaste of cucumber. Wow! If I was being really pernickety, and with the experience of having consumed no less than three of these beauties, I would suggest they balance this drink with a little less cointreau, a little more vodka, but I'm talking mere whiskers of improvement here. This cocktail, close to perfection, was even well-rated by Fred who normally only drinks his liquor neat without any frou-frouery.

Onto the food. The menu sounds a little over-laboured, a little complicated, a little chi-chi, a little lacking in foods that might make us feel safe. But to hell with safety, it's time to be edgy, to try new things, to live dangerously, to take ourselves out of our comfort zones and be adventurous, be young and wild again, yes! Fred didn't look convinced. Every dish's description contained a little this or a little that, he didn't care for much. (I have to admit, I didn't care for many of the descriptions either, but I wasn't going to own up to the fact, after all I'd imbibed my Fountain of Youth, nothing was going to stop me from being young and brave tonight.)

foie gras terrine, fig-lime compote, cocoa brioche - 14
This arrived on a white rectangular plate. At one end, a petit slab of the liver pate. Dominating centre position, an over large cluster of the compote. Balanced, at the other end, a teeny weeny pinwheel brioche, crusted with sugar. Fred looked down at the dish in dismay. "Where's the bread?", he asked me, puzzled. "That's the bread" I said pointing at the little chocolate brioche. With out even pausing to think Fred caught the attention of the nearest waiter. "Eeeckscuze me, eez eet posseebull to get some reeyal bred pleeze?", he asked. The waiter graciously agreed and hurried to fetch him some less exotic carbs. I love bread, I love chocolate, but I don't like them together. Nevertheless, I was determined to try this dish as the chef intended, with my share of the foie gras spread on the brioche. It didn't work. I felt like I was being experimented on. Foie Gras works well with sweet things, but the crunchy granulated sugar coating the Brioche was too clumsy, too unrefined a sweetness, jarring with both the smooth texture and the gentle flavour of the pate. The chocolate added nothing more than further confusion whilst the compote was completely uninspiring. When I eat foie gras, I love to have a little of it linger on my tongue as long as possible. After this appetizer, unfortunately the only lasting recollection was of bitter cocoa from the Brioche instead.

yellow corn soup, leeks, chanterelles, huitlacoche - 8
As I hadn't been jolted into having furious hunger pangs by the bizarre menu, I chose to have just a soup for my entree. This beautiful, foamy yellow soup garnished with a little clump of mushrooms peeking out from under the broth arrived in a very stylish white ceramic bowl wearing a dainty ceramic lid that was removed for me by the waiter. At this point it should be noted that the menu heading "Small Plates" is a little confusing. This was a very large bowl indeed. Unfortunately it was only about a quarter full. The soup was very sweet, and predominantly corn flavoured despite the addition of the mushrooms which didn't seem to be adding anything extra to the taste as I'd hoped they would. Although the texture was velvety smooth, something about the taste wasn't. Maybe it was a spice, salt or the huitlacoche which I was told were a Mexican version of truffles. I couldn't decipher the cause, but for some reason this soup roughly caught the back of my throat, mouthful after mouthful, thereby distracting me from really enjoying it.

beef cheeks braised with orange, saffron and vanilla, olive oil crushed potatoes - 23
Fred uhmed and ahhed, ahhed and uhmed, before nervously choosing this, for him, slightly adventurous entree. He doesn't like sweet things and was worried about the dessertsy ingredients listed as part of the dish. As it happened, it wasn't the flavour, but the texture of the meat that stumped him. Beef cheeks can be, as they were on this occasion, meltingly tender when cooked in this manner. This textural softness unnerved him, and he couldn't finish the plate. He did make a point of telling me he really liked the potatoes, however. I tried the meat myself and thought it was very good and well flavoured, with the portion sized exactly right. Unfortunately I wasn't hungrier, otherwise I might have finished it off for him.

To read it in the context of the decor, service etc, please go to my blog link for my entire article.


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