Review: FT33

15 October 2014

I happily left New Mexico for Dallas, despite all the Ebola hysteria. It was odd that they were double checking identities at Albuquerque Sunport — like they were hunting people down or something. Weird… We arrived into Love Field just a bit before they airlifted one of the patients to Georgia. I had little worry, even as my taxi driver was from Liberia. Fear is the real problem here…

I chilled at my hotel for a bit knowing this was the last night of this trip that has not gone according to plans. And after a few days of sub-standard food, I was looking forward to dinner at FT33, a much raved-about restaurant in Dallas.

FT33 was within walking distance so I walked there — despite what looked like a water main break (and a flooded street) en route. The restaurant was a chic eatery with lots of trendy types, and more than a few larger tables. I was happily in a hightop near the bar and ordered a cocktail. Nice way to start things off…

I looked at the menu and it was a bit strange. Just listing ingredients and some don’t look harmonised at all. And in many dishes there seemed to be no focal item. And when I asked my server about local sourced items, he recommeded the vegetarian stuff. Sigh… I ordered and just tried to enjoy the drinking…

My first dish of the night was focused on local pears and chicken liver mousse.

pears-chicken_liver_mousse

Well, this was a total mess in reality. There was little congruence, just like a bunch of local ingredients made to look nice on a plate. The mousse didn’t do very well, tasted pretty poor to be honest. I was kinda missing the big Oscar-Meyer Braunschweiger from the supermarket… Nothing special about the pears, some of it was overplayed, and everything else just felt wee random. Not a good start, but I was expecting lots more from the main.

I switched wines and goodness it was corked…so had to send it back. They were busy with large tables (of loud bankers…geez, can’t I get away from them?!), so it took ages to get it sorted…not before the main arrived… Goodness I couldn’t get the taste of that corked wine out of my mouth…

pork_rib

My main course was the pork ribs, which was actually quite good. You expect good ribs in Texas, after all. The meat was cooked well, not overdone. Flavourful. The corn was a nice tough. However, the “sprinkle” of greens was probably not necessary… Seems a bit confused to be honest. But this tasted okay. The replacement wine arrived a bit through the course… Still couldn’t get that corked wine taste out of my mouth or stomach…ugh…

Up next was the dessert. Not too thrilled about being asked to order it at the same time as everything else, but… I ended up with the one focused on white chocolate. Maybe this’ll kill the taste of the corked wine…

milk_chocolate-curry

Well, again it didn’t work. There was little congruency and it just seemed they thought a few cool ingredients would work together in some random fashion. Just seems a lot of dishes were not through out well by the chef. Execution was generally fine, but this is one time I blame the head chef for flawed vision.

Nevertheless I stayed for quite awhile afterwards drinking, having moved to the bar. I enjoyed chatting with the bar staff far more than the food, and they were very good at what they did. Frankly this place is better as a cocktail bar than a restaurant.

Eventually I stumbled back to my hotel, thanking the stars that this trip is finally over and I’ll be in my own bed tomorrow night, eating foods that I cook myself. Good stuff in Jackson, especially Parlor Market, and in Little Rock, at One Eleven at the Capital, but for the most part this trip was not a great food experience at all…

What a shame.

FT33
1617 Hi Line Drive
Dallas, Texas

A Plethora of Fails in the High Desert

13 October 2014

As I was in Little Rock getting ready to head to New Mexico for the real purpose of this multi-part trip, an unpleasant surprise popped up — I was no longer expected, or needed, in New Mexico. Crap, at the very last minute. So I was thinking, should I just head home, go to Dallas (where my connection is) and stay, or just take 2 days off in the high desert? After trying to see what I could change/cancel with minimum financial penalties, I decided to just stick with it and take 2 days in Albuquerque.

I’ve never really liked Albuquerque, even though I’ve been there many times over the past 20 years. I always have to remind myself after a night of drinking that the altitude gets to me — more and more over the years. A sure sign of aging…

We left Little Rock just before a massive storm, and the last 30 minutes into Dallas was one of the roughest I’ve seen in awhile. After some delays, I arrived into Albuquerque with no real sched. Had to find a hotel on the run, and also 2 days worth of plans. A full schedule became totally empty. The only good think was lunch, which was an Ultimate Cheeseburger at Jack-in-the-Box — my ultimate guilty pleasure…

I spent a bit of the afternoon in the hotel room teyiing to figure out things to do, including food ideas. I found a few and just before I was going to go to this one place for dinner, I saw a bunch of pictures of that pure jackhole Guy Fieri there on their website, so I nixed the plans last minute. I’m sorry, but this guy laughed at me the night my restaurant closed and it took all my self control to not knock his block off. I will not visit a restaurant if his pictures are everywhere on their website.

It was a little late to do more research and frankly I was tired since I was up since 5am in Little Rock, so I went with something that I hoped would prove me wrong — Ranchers Club of New Mexico. I’ve eaten at this high-end steakhouse a few times in the past, and it has progressively gotten worse each time. My last visit, about 3 years ago, was just terrible. I was hoping it was revived when the hotel it was attached to was rebranded.

Unfortunately not so. The service was somewhere between attentive and too attentive (with other tables). I understand the love of staff to chat with customers (to endear yourself to a larger tip), but when you start chatting for over 10 minutes and ignore your other tables? The pepper soup was mediocre, and this horrific starter just ruined my night…

heirloom_tomato_salad

This was supposed to be “heirloom” tomato salad. But the oil and vinegar that flooded this dish just destroyed it. I’m sorry, you shouldn’t have the tomato slices inundated. Terrible. Ate about a third of it and abandoned it. The tomato slices were actually falling apart in the oil bath… You can’t see from this angle but there was about a centimetre of oil in this disaster…ugh… Next!

prime_rib

Then the prime rib… Nothing special, but at least it wasn’t bad like the steak I had last time (that was nearly inedible). But it was not very flavourful, and needed quite a lot of jus. Frankly the mac-and-cheese was the best part of this meal… No dessert, I just wanted out of this place. Never again…

The next morning I headed out for an early lunch at one of Albuquerque’s best-known eateries, Mary & Tito’s Cafe. This place is a legend, an old school that serves some of the best New Mexican food anywhere. One of their specialties is the carne adovada.

carne_adovada

It was tasty, just spicy enough to make it good, tho the meat at times tasted well overcooked. Looked exactly the same as when I was last here a decade ago. Tasted pretty much the same too. A simple place for a simple but good lunch. I’ve never really been a fan of Mexican, Tex-Mex or New Mexican cuisine, so I’m not the person to ask, nor the person to really rave about this.

I will spare you the details of my afternoon that involved strolling around some parks and doing very little, but for dinner I planned on going to a place that has some good food buzz, Elaine’s.

An early dinner (as my flight out was once again early), I relaxed at the bar and enjoyed a glass of Gruet rose, one of my favourite sparkling wines. I usually am not a fan of sparkling, but I have a soft spot for this pink local gem. Yes, Gruet is a winery based in New Mexico. Love it. We used to serve this at my old restaurant.

mac_n_cheese

My starter this evening was the mac-and-cheese, a rich dish by all means. Generous amounts of gruyere and smoked ham, it was pretty heavy. Maybe a little too much, as you can see from the pool it seemed to be swimming in. But it was tasty.

maine_lobster

My main course was a bit of a disaster. They had recommended it, based on the Maine lobster. I asked them about local flavours but they really sold this dish to me. Yeah, lobster in the desert, seemed to have shrunk too. I should have been weary as it was twice the price of everything else on the menu. It wasn’t bad, but the coconut rice on bottom was so undercooked it was inedible. I ate the shellfish and abandoned the rest…

I left without a dessert. I was so generally disappointed with the last 2 days here I just wanted to get to sleep and say goodbye to the high desert. Frankly the best meal I had was the Ultimate Cheeseburger from Jack-in-the-Box.

I have a strange feeling that after half a dozen or so trips here over the years, this is the last time I leave this high desert.

Ranchers Club of New Mexico
1901 University Boulevard NE

Mary & Tito’s Cafe
2711 4th Street NW

Elaine’s
3503 Central Avenue NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Review: One Eleven at the Capital

11 October 2014

As I hinted in my previous review of the fine Walker’s Drive-In in Jackson, Mississippi, I was not looking forward to my quick stop in Memphis. And sadly, it was not a great stopover, including some sub-standard lamb riblets at the previously-reliable Rendezvous… It’s not been the same since Charlie died…

I made my way to Little Rock the next morning, as I had to fly out from Little Rock. Very weird, to use an airport named after people who are alive — including one that is YET to be president… The downtown area is quite dead during the weekend, but I managed to find one place I really wanted to try, the revamped restaurant in the iconic Capital Hotel — One Eleven at the Capital.

The restaurant was only moderately busy on this Saturday evening, but I still decided to sit at the bar. I like the banter with the staff when I eat alone these days. There were apparently 2 weddings in the hotel and the main bar across the lobby was hopping, so I’m glad I’m here in some tranquility.

This was a nice hotel restaurant/bar, and I read nice things about this revamp. The menu looked interesting but I asked the staff for the recommendations, and they had some great ones which I happily went with this evening. Enjoyed a nicely-made martini to chill before the food, very nice…

octopus_salad

We began with a warm octopus salad. This wasn’t as odd as it sounded, it was pretty good. The octopus was seasoned and cooked extremely well, not stringy nor too soft. Got the balance just right for me. Bit of shallot dressing and baby salad rounded this starter out. The more I ate it the better it got. Cooked just about perfectly. Excellent start!

I enjoyed a bit more wine, chatted with the staff before my main arrived, the venison ravioli.

venison_ravioli

This was excellent. Deep flavours in the pot with the jus really giving the ravioli an extra kick. The venison was very tasty, cooked once again perfectly. Only minor issue is that with the interesting bowl it was rather hard to slice the meat. An excellent dish all around.

I was extremely impressed with everything so far. A fabulous winelist as well. I shouldn’t be surprised, as my now-dearly-gone restaurant’s award-winning sommelier (now plying his trade at a Michelin-starred eatery back in NYC) is from Little Rock. The cooking has been fantastic for both courses, cooked perfectly. Kudos to the team on the execution. And all the flavours worked.

In fact I was so happy I stupidly ordered a dessert, and it was huge…

caramel_sundae

This was the chestnut sundae… Goodness, huge. They told me few people manage to finish this after a full meal, so I took the challenge. Along with some good booze I managed to finish this in about 20 minutes. Great to chat with the staff along the way too.

I was stuffed… This was a nice dinner. I stayed and drank a bit more with the staff, trying out some rather odd after-dinner drinks… By the time I was done, I was happy and way tipsy.

After a very bad day in Memphis, this was an excellent return to fine cooking. I enjoyed this very much, excellent execution by the kitchen. Friendly staff and a nice atmosphere, this is definitely the place to go in Little Rock!

I stumbled back towards my hotel but decided to drop into a little wine bar nearby called Zin Urban Wine & Beer Bar. A cute place with some good stuff to try by the glass, I drank for a bit more until I was pretty much marinated.

Ah, Little Rock, this has been fun…

One Eleven at the Capital
111 West Markham Street
Little Rock, Arkansas

Review: Walker’s Drive-In

9 October 2014

I enjoyed downtown Jackson for part of the day, despite the stifling humidity, extensive street repairs and of course the nasty hangover from last night’s fine meal (and many drinks) at Parlor Market. Due to a late change in schedule, I had to switch hotels to the north of town — which is a shame, considering how nice the downtown location was.

For dinner I was planning to go to Walker’s Drive-In – the other name I heard most often when I was researching this trip. I had to leave early the next morning, so I made an earlier booking. This was no “normal” drive-in or diner, it’s actually a cool little place designed with the feel of an old-school drive-in. I happily sat at the counter again.

The menu looked interesting and I enjoyed a glass of wine as I tried to decide my meal. As I was driving, I didn’t want to risk a night in the cells so kept my drinking to a minimum. I placed my order and relaxed and enjoyed the experience. This place was already busy, as it was known to be very popular in a part of town full of restaurants. Unlike last night, where Parlor Market served as an anchor to downtown revitalisation, Walker’s Drive-In is in a well-established district.

Had a little more wine before my starter arrived. I ordered this because it was so intriguing: Duroc belly and chorizo French toast.

belly-french_toast

This was a hearty starter, with plenty of very tasty pork belly. The egg was a very nice touch, which worked with the French toast very well. An interesting dish that took excellent ingredients, local culinary tradition and a whimsical interpretation of “drive-in” cuisine. Cute dish, and very filling.

A very good start. I relaxed with a bit more wine, enjoying watching the busy restaurant at work. My main course came soon after, the crispy chicken.

poulet_rouge

This featured the Poulet Rouge heritage chicken, fried more in a Japanese fashion than a Southern way. Tasty, maybe a tad overcooked, but good flavour in the breading as well as the bird. In addition, the side I ordered was absolutely fantastic.

sprouts_celeriac

This was one of the best sides I’ve had in ages, shredded Brussels sprouts and celeriac. Excellent flavours here, I could eat this all day. Neither dominated but complemented instead. I need to replicate this for Christmas! Fabulous!

I enjoyed this meal very much, especially that side. All around excellent cooking and ingredients. Again, not off-the-cliff cooking that robs the ingredients of their natural good flavours, exactly what a good restaurant and kitchen team can do to make me happy. I actually ordered a dessert…

coconut_cake

This was big, the cake of the day. A very rich coconut cake… It was too much for me and I took most of it with me as I finished the meal. I enjoyed a coffee as I relaxed. I have eaten very well here in Jackson. Again, a town that is under the radar when it comes to food. Maybe not as excellent as Louisville (still thinking of the excellent Seviche there), but it should get more love. I’d rather be in Louisville or Jackson than New Orleans or Miami when it comes to restaurants. Here the kitchens think about how to maximise with the ingredients available; there the kitchens plot how to overwhelm the diner — too often at the expense of natural flavours.

Simply put, I prefer humble cooking here than cooking with absolute boastfulness elsewhere.

I drove out happily back to my hotel, having fully enjoyed my Jackson stay and my 2 dinners. Honestly, I was not looking forward to the drive back to Memphis in the morning…

Walker’s Drive-In
3016 North State Street
Jackson, Mississippi

Review: Parlor Market

8 October 2014

Over the years I’ve spent so much time travelling around the world I sometimes feel I need to spend more time travelling through the US. This past summer I had a long roadtrip through several states, and I decided to take a few days to travel to a part of the US I’ve not been to before. I had to be in Albuquerque in a few days, so I planned the time beforehand to hit a few places I’ve always wanted to visit.

My first stop was Jackson, Mississippi, which was 2.5 hours away by car from Memphis (where I flew into). Most people know Jackson by the song, or by misplaced reputation for the city and the entire state. For one, Jackson is charming and friendly — not what people stereotype it to be. Not at all. I stayed in downtown, which is going through a painful revitalisation process that has turned traffic into utter chaos.

As I was doing research for this short stay in town I found one place that stood out for dining, Parlor Market. This was convenient, as I was staying at the excellent Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown — which used to be the historic King Edward Hotel. The hotel, as well as Parlor Market, are anchors in the redevelopment of downtown and Capitol Street. Gorgeous place, I wish I had more time here. The menu for the hotel restaurant looked awesome too…

I got to Parlor Market at a not-too-late hour and it was moderately busy. A bit dark inside, but a nice space. I chose to sit at the bar, as I was alone as usual. Service all night was friendly and excellent, even when the bar was periodically rather busy. I enjoyed the cocktails and wine from my excellent bartender/server, Adie, as I ordered my meal. I was really looking forward to my choices, even though there were so many options I could have gone with.

raviolo_edited

For my starter I chose the venison raviolo. A very tasty dish, rich but not overpowering. A solid choice, a generous sized raviolo that had hearty and succulent stuffing. A good start. I enjoyed more wine, very surprised with the diversity of wines here, before my main course arrived.

duck_breast_edited

I saw a lot of duck dishes so I knew this was a good town for duck. And it was. This beautiful duck breast was very flavourful, sitting on a bed of traditional red beans and rice. The duck was cooked perfectly, retaining a fabulous texture and not sacrificing any of the natural flavours. Excellent execution of a very tasty dish!

I was too full for more so I just hung out for awhile drinking, testing my bartender with some of her best creations. It was an excellent way to spend the evening in a still-humid Jackson. Every minute this places grows on me, except the climate of course…

What I like about Parlor Market is that they took the best ingredients they can find locally and did the best they could with them, bringing out the very best without overwhelming them or commit the sin of “over-chef’ing” — which is epidemic in NYC, London and elsewhere. That for me is much more enjoyable than watching some Michelin-starred chef create some incongruous derivation of charred ramps marinated in pheasant jus, flaked with imported bottarga and drizzled with imported sesame oil covered with rutabega foam with spots of artisan mustard and house-made catsup — with an improbable hollowed-out heirloom tomato stuffed with wild boar ham and mountain goat cheese drizzled with anisette-laced liquified escolar oil…

Excellent stuff. Genuine and solid.

Parlor Market
115 West Capitol St.
Jackson, Mississippi

Review #2: Fino

23 September 2014

I headed back to London after a few days of fantastic eating in Bergen and the Faroes. Even the hiccup in Copenhagen didn’t dampen my spirits as I planned to relax a few days in London with many friends.

However, I have become increasingly weary of the London restaurant scene, much like my feelings about New York. Too little attention is paid to the ingredients, the chefs are “over-chef’ing” the food. Instead of bringout out the best of the ingredients, it’s now trying to adulterate it to show off. This is when cooking is no fun for me anymore, especially having just come from places with pristine ingredients like Norway and Faroes.

In London I had a few okay meals and a few poor meals, and maybe 2 good meals. But even some of my favourite haunts like Opera Tavern was not quite as good as it used to be. For my sole free evening, I decided to go somewhere that has not let me down in the past, the excellent Spanish eatery Fino.

I know people love their sister restaurant Barrafina (old and new), but the original Fino I’ve always had a soft spot for. I had a wonderful meal there nearly a year to the day (see my review), so I hoped to have a similarly good experience this evening.

The restaurant wasn’t busy and I chose to sit at the counter like last time. Big mistake. The service was extremely shaky all night, extremely confused and inattentive — even on a not-very-busy evening. Little did I know things would go straight downhill from that moment…

I noticed many of my favourites were off the menu, so I ordered several items and hoped for a solid dinner. The wine was slow in coming and it was rather annoying… The first dish arrived in a little while, the simple padron pepper plate.

padron

Well, how do you mess up this simple dish? Throwing a few large chunks of sea salt isn’t my idea of seasoning, especially with one giant clump that nearly cracked my tooth. Not impressed so far. And when my second dish arrived my heart just sank.

john_dory

Believe it or not, this is a John Dory. It was prepared rather poorly. First, it was cleaned badly, there were bones and fins haphazardly chopped making it hard to eat. Cooked badly too. And seasoned badly. This was a rather small fish too that I jokingly called the Johnny Dory. Awful. Compare this to the beauty I had at Bocca di Lupo in Soho last year…now that’s a serious John Dory.

Poor food, compounded by crap service, I was pretty unhappy by now. Thank goodness I ordered a small flask of wine or else I’d never get a refill… Then the next dish arrived, the duck.

acorn_duck

This was supposedly duck that was feeding on acorns. Now this was pretty good, cooked well, but didn’t have the impact I thought it would have. Perhaps I was just too jaded by the experience so far. This was the best dish of the night for sure, but that’s not saying much… Then finally the last dish…

ox_tongue

I shook my head when this showed up. It was ox tongue, but so heavily breaded? As I bit into it, I would have preferred to bite my own tongue. The thick, flavourless breading was utterly unnecessary. Frankly it made the tongue inside inedible, as it clung to it like glue. I tried my hardest to extract the tongue from the breading but after awhile I gave up. The tongue had absolutely no flavour — like it was boiled in water with no seasoning. The breading was supposed to cover that, but it was beyond disastrous.

I abandoned most of this dish and asked for the bill. Forget it.

To their credit they took it off the bill, but this was a total wasted evening. Shockingly poor cooking, terrible execution. I left unhappily, knowing one of the “safe” restaurants in London just let me down — not by a little, but catastrophically. I have never been so down on the London dining scene…

What a sad end to what has been an amazing food trip…sigh. I know I’m never coming back here again. Sigh…

Fino
33 Charlotte Street
London, England

Review: Kadeau

20 September 2014

My second and last night in Copenhagen took me out to the Christianshavn part of town. No, not Noma, no interest in that. I had decided to have dinner at the 1-Michelin, highly-raved-about eatery originally from the Baltic island of Bornholm, Kadeau. As my readers know, having lived on the Baltic coast for years, I have a special love for anything on a Baltic island. This was why I chose Kadeau.

Christianshavn is actually a hike from the centre, and I was a sweaty mess. Copenhagen has to be the only city that does not have its underground serve the central train station, and the trains that day were a mess going north… So I legged it.

I recovered for a few minutes after being sat at the large communal table that runs through the restaurant. I was early so it wasn’t very busy yet. I relaxed, ordered a full wine pairing, and looked forward to this journey to Bornholm without leaving Copenhagen. Menu looked interesting, though I was told there’s quite a long list of amuse bouches. And it begins.

AB1-potato_roll-urchin

The first amuse was a potato roll, with a dab of urchin inside. Just a palate starter, nothing special. Urchin didn’t stand out much. But it’s just a snack, so…

Ab2-smoked_mackerel

Barely had I finished chewing the second amuse appeared, smoked mackerel. This was very nice, I love mackerel so this was a huge plus. But once again before I finished chewing (and got a chance to sip the wine) the third amuse came.

Ab3-sunchoke-chicken_skin

I’m feeling rushed as now we have a strange thing of chicken skin and Jerusalem artichoke. This didn’t work at all, and I purposely waited to eat this so I can at least have a sip of wine… I know it’s not busy yet, but this is ridiculous.

AB4-sourdough-lichen

And as expected the minute I finished this morsel it was taken away and the fourth amuse arrived. This was a thin piece of sourdough, with lichen as flavouring. This was interesting and nice, what I had expected from this restaurant.

However, now I was pissed off, as I was still eating this dish, holding half of the sourdough, when they took the plate away. This has now broken not just speed rules, but courtesy rules. A huge front-of-house fail. I still had food in my hand for goodness sakes.

AB5-beetroot_powder

I was starting to sour on this place when the fifth amuse came, a weird beetroot dish with powder. Interesting, but was odd — and before I could ask a question, they took it away again! WTF. Are they trying to rush me out as a single diner, so I can free up space for a late seating? Not happy so far.

AB6-mushroom_soup

The sixth amuse then came, a mushroom soup. This finally allowed me to slow things down as I had some more wine. Nothing special really. The whole thing is getting mixed up and the flavours are clashing left and right because of the ridiculous speed of service.

AB7-duck_breast

The seventh amuse starts a trio of duck-related items, the first being smoked duck breast. This was very nice, very flavourful. The only reason service slowed down was because the runner had trouble removing the stone tablet…

AB8-duck_skin

The eighth was duck skin. Unfortunately, done almost like a crackling, it was utterly tasteless. A 180-degree from the last one.

AB9-duck_heart

And finally, the last amuse, the ninth, was duck heart. Not bad, but nowhere as good as the chicken heart I had at Colonialen in Bergen a few nights ago.

Honestly that was rushed and annoying. I asked the server, and he said the kitchen preferred it served quickly like that. That is utterly annoying and goes against every aspect of slow food. I want to appreciate what I eat, not to be overwhelmed to a point I can’t figure out if the item is good or bad. Just to let you know, the photo of amuse #1 was timed at 18:41. The photo of amuse #9 was 18:56. 15 minutes for 9 items. To make it worse, amuse #8 was timed at 18:51 — so 8 items in less than 10 minutes.

I’m sorry, that’s not the way I like to dine. It’s a bloody waste.

This has soured me on the entire Kadeau experience, and the first course did not help in that impression.

01-mussels-cabbage

This is actually a dish based on mussels and cabbage. Really? It also featured lovage and green strawberry. But frankly the texture of this dish was confusing and I felt like a rabbit. The mussels all but disappeared. Compared to the dishes I’ve had for the last few days, this was a total miss.

I did ask them to slow things down a little, so I actually had 9 minutes to eat this and enjoy my paired wine… The second dish did not change my impressions very much.

02-squash-cheese

This is based on squash and fresh cheese. I like squash/courgettes very much, but it seems rather unbalanced. The oyster essence helped, but really, it didn’t do much for me. I’ve seen better use of squash in suburban dining rooms. Growing even more disappointed.

03-beef_tartar

The third dish was beef tartar. To be honest these were completely flavourless. No strength of beef at all, and very poorly seasoned. Bland at one end, a rock at another that I almost worried would crack my tooth. The additions below, most notably pickled onions, was actually the highlight of this dish. Wow, shocked. Maybe my palate was blown out by the lightning amuse bouches, but still…wow…

04-langostine

The fourth dish was a wee langostine with cauliflower. Not bad, but very modest. Compared to the langostine I’ve had the last few days at Koks & Hafnia in the Faroes and Colonialen in Bergen, this was really bottom of the list. Very disappointing. Remember, this place has a Michelin star.

Even though the service speed was now normal and adequate to enjoy the wine pairings, I was already pretty sour on this meal. The next dish didn’t help, not at all…

05-onion

Dish 5 is centred on the green onion. I love green onion, but this is trying too hard to be Noma or Maaemo or Ylajali. Not bad, but it’s really not in the same league. But to be honest, this is the best dish of the night so far (alongside a few of the amuse bouches).

06-pork

Dish number six was finally a good dish that made some sense. An excellent piece of pork, which Denmark is very good with. Carrots were okay, a bit overdone. The pork didn’t need any adulteration as it is a fabulous piece of meat. Best dish of the night, and that’s not really saying much…

07-toffee-cream

We move into the desserts with a morsel based on toffee and cream…

8-apple-plum

Then finally to apple and plum… They really didn’t do much for me. I was pretty sour on this meal. I didn’t even touch the petit fours when they arrived as I was just keen on getting out of there. Throw in the annoying Danish practice of stiffing diners paying with cards (especially foreign), I put down a wad of cash and just wanted to forget this evening.

Frankly this dinner at Kadeau was not enjoyable at all, especially considering how amazing my food has been the last 5 evenings. This for me just shows that my fears of an overrated Copenhagen is coming true. It’s hyped so much the entire dining experience is no longer enjoyable — like in NYC or London. Mediocrity is being rewarded with 1 Michelin star it seems…

I leave Copenhagen with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I headed out before they attempt to bum-rush me with more amuse bouches…

Kadeau
Wildersgade 10
København, Danmark