Review: Jean-Robert’s Table

5 June 2018

The next day, fuelled on by that nice dinner at Seviche, I continued my drive through Kentucky, looping around into the hills south-east of Lexington before shooting north towards Cincinnati. My hotel was in Covington, right across the border, and a nice view of the Queen City was evident…

I was tired, but had planned for dinner at Jean-Robert’s Table, one of the more talked about places in Cincinnati. I’ve not had much luck dining in Cincy; frankly the best food I’ve had were either hot dogs at a Reds game or Korean food from near my usual downtown hotel. Last night’s meal at Seviche was good, bouncing the pendulum back to the good side…which means tonight the trend would mean otherwise?

First of all the parking was an expensive joke, thanks to it being close enough to the riverfront stadia for event parking. Should have taken a Lyft, would have been cheaper… I was seated at a table and relaxed with a cocktail. I looked over the menu and considered some of the nice-sounding specials, but then settled and ordered.

I relaxed with the cocktail until I drained it, switching to wine for my starter…

1-frog & snail

An interesting mix of fried frog legs and escargots, too bad it was rather mild. The frog legs, which were unfortunately breaded and fried, were very neutral; I really miss the meaty, juicy, stronger tasting stuff like I get elsewhere…but this is the Midwest, so… I think I expected a little too much out of this dish, but kudos to them for doing something that’s not ordinary.

I then ordered a red for my main and waited, and waited, and waited… Over 20 minutes in a relatively empty restaurant on a Tuesday night, and I enquired what’s going on. At first I was told the kitchen was slowed due to a 5-top walk-in…huh? If your kitchen is gonna be slowed significantly by a 5-top, you’re not managing things right… After another 10 minutes everyone was apologising and finally the food arrives…

2-duck

Okay, this was probably fired at the wrong temperature, and the duck was sourced poorly. This may be the STRINGIEST duck I’ve eaten in the past decade. Really, come on… I didn’t bother complaining since this was already a shitshow in the making. Now the owner/hostess was apologising… A bigger part of this dish than you’d imagine was abandoned…

I had it, just want to get out of here, but they comped me a dessert…

3-dessert

Not necessary, not even into it. The whole thing was just a mess and I rather just end this evening and go back across the river. It didn’t help overhearing racist conversation from a table nearby when they were discussing their Ancestry DNA results…

The FoH staff were all very apologetic (for what seems like a total BoH fail). They were nice folks, but that won’t give me my evening back…

I got out of there and zipped out of Ohio back to Kentucky. I really have the worst luck in this state… And sadly, the pendulum continued the trend with it swinging back to bad evening…sigh…

Jean-Robert’s Table
713 Vine Street
Cincinnati, Ohio

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Review #2: Coppa

6 May 2018

I woke up early the next day, still tasting that ridiculous pickle dish from last night’s Loyal Nine debacle despite drinking more booze to kill the taste. Not sure how much enamel I lost in my teeth from a few bites of those franken-vegetables… I had a long hike planned through Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, and it was indeed a long one that clocked in over 10km in hilly terrain. I needed a good lunch, but was greeted by a poor eggs benedict at a hipster-favoured place I’d rather not bother naming. Oh well…

I went back to the hotel for a bit of rest, as my legs were pretty sore from the hike. Later on I headed out to dinner at a place where I had a wonderful evening during a previous Boston visit, Coppa. I got there at around 7pm on this Sunday evening and it was packed…wow, I know lots of places are shut on Sundays but this was crazy busy. I had smartly booked, so they gave me a 2-top. I would have liked to sit at the bar, but it was packed, and at times 2 deep…

One prob I already saw was service is utterly overwhelmed by the crowd, and things are backed up. Took quite a while even to get my opening drink in…

I figured it’ll take ages to get more stuff, so just ordered the charcuterie as well as a pasta after. Limited choices tonight too, so picked 5 and chilled out. But my drink was finished and could not get another. I see people from other tables waving frantically, and some going to the bar to order drinks directly. The management has completely cocked up the scheduling here for FoH servers, and it’s turning into a pure shitshow.

And while waiting I had to listed to YET ANOTHER INTERNET DISASTER DATE next to me. They had ordered just before me and the guy presumtiously told the server, “oh, we share everything” and I heard coughing immediately… These things are so painful to overhear, and it’s becoming so much more common. Then FINALLY got my server’s attention for more booze. Then the charcuterie selection appears…

1-charcuterie

A big plate, but honestly a rather meh selection. The coppa was pretty boring, as was the prosciutto. The heart was pretty good, but the tongue was by far the best. The sausage was boring. Too bad. I wish there was more tongue and less of the bland coppa… And the pickled cauliflower had a funky taste…not sure if it was the cocktail causing it, but…

Oh well… That was meh. Again, no way of getting a server’s attention for my empty glass. And all I can do is try not to gag listening to the date next to me. If there was ever a time I needed a drink it is NOW… Finally, got his attention and wine appeared, as well as my spaghetti con ricci di mare

2-spaghetti ricci

Well, rather underwhelming. A bit skimpy on the urchin, and the whole thing didn’t work. Either do a carbonara, or do con ricci. When you try to do too much, it just turns into something very un-Italian… Oh well.

Service was still a total cluster, and people are still getting up from their tables to physically order from the bar. My server finally returns and tells me no license for grappa…huh? This damn state, first the no-doubles yesterday to this. Oh well, I was still hungry but I’m done with this place…

Took ages but got my bill. Amazing my Lyft showed up faster than my server. Headed back to the hotel, lamenting another poor night in Boston — this time at a previously excellent place. Very disappointing, plus having to deal with the FoH shitshow — which really is a management fail for not scheduling people right despite knowing it was a packed house.

What has happened to this town?

Coppa
253 Shawmut Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts

Review: Loyal Nine

5 May 2018

I headed north for the next trek and after a wonderful evening in Dover visiting my friend at Stages at One Washington, I headed back to Boston. A really long day as the weather warmed up, but was still enjoying the fine dishes courtesy of one of the top chefs in the US, Evan Hennessey. I’ve broken a personal rule here and will post the reviews out of chronological order (it’ll be posted next), as it’ll take me a little more time to write it than this one…

I was knackered back in Boston but had made plans to go to dinner in Cambridge, and somewhat a walk from Lechmere T. Got to Loyal Nine, and took a seat at the kitchen counter and relaxed. A cocktail in hand, and I decided to go with their “shared supper” which was like their tasting menu. I had not planned to do this tonight, but why not. Very quickly the first item arrived, a pair of oysters.

01-oysters

Not bad, refreshing, one from Massachusetts, one from Maine. Good start. Then the smoked fluke tartar…

02-fluke tartar

A little busy here, but not bad — especially once the egg is mixed in. The side items were pretty good, the pickled asparagus and the apples balanced things out pretty nicely. Good start! Then next up, mussels.

03a-mussels

This was delicious, especially on a warm day like today. The chilled soup was refreshing, and the mussels nice, with just the bite needed. The yellow peas added a textured touch on a solid dish. All looking like I made a good decision to go with this “shared supper” tonight.

Service, however, was a little slow as the way the kitchen counter is designed it is very hard to get the server’s attention; the food came straight from the kitchen. The mood of the kitchen is more light-hearted than many others, making it a little more relaxed of an environment. But I also started to notice what others are ordering (ala carte) and it’s interesting that dishes presented to me were very rarely ones ordered ala carte (and most of them came from the menu). In any case, next up was ramps…

04-ramps

Nothing says late spring in restaurants more than ramps. These were indeed tasty, especially with the addition of the sauce based on fluke roe. The fingerlings were a little extraneous, but a good dish with an excellent sauce. Another nice dish! Then after a little the next item came out, a plate of pickled goods…

05-pickles

My heart sank. How is this expected to be a plate on its own? I nearly drowned my drink after one bite of the ridiculously over-pickled items that once were living vegetables. These things are not vegetables anymore, they are franken-veg for the hipster generation. I felt my teeth melting and I was choking eating even a single piece of it. Who cares if it was kohlrabi, celery or fennel? It was utterly INEDIBLE. Thank goodness the kohlrabi was somewhat easier to eat as it was too thick for the full poisoning to take hold. But the others? Abandoned. Surprised it didn’t leave an etch on the plate.

For all the good dishes so far, this was such a terrible dish my mood just collapsed. How does a kitchen think this is a good dish for a tasting menu? Should I send my dental bill to Loyal Nine? Ugh… And of course there’s a massive wait for the next dish as my mouth suffered from being pickled itself…

06-clams

Next up fried clams. Thank goodness it could help neutralise the pickling inside my mouth… Not bad, but my interest in this kitchen has completely diminished. Imagine a dinner with a series of good dishes, and in the middle the chef comes out and kicks you in the arse…you don’t remember the good dishes, you remember the kick. Frankly I would have preferred that kick than that inexplicable pickle dish!

z

Then after awhile the larger dish came out, the duck. You can tell it was cooked well, but cooked well when? It came out cold. WTF. I asked a server if this was supposed to be a cold dish, she looked puzzled and said no… Well… Someone fucked up. I basically finished this and wanted to just get the hell out. They kept trying to offer me a replacement but I just wanted to leave and kept saying no…

Well, my no meant nothing, as they brought out a plate of comped ribs…

08-ribs

Meh, boring, overcooked stuff with very dry meat covered by a thick, annoying sauce. As someone who always prefer dry-rub and dislikes sauce used to cover poor meat (and cooking), this was clearly the latter. Sigh… By now I needed a stiff drink and since I had a dessert coming anyway…

09-dessert

At least the drink pours were generous. Cambridge does not allow doubles (puritanical BS lingers on), but they poured me 2 very generous singles as I laboured through the dessert. I quickly settled up and got the hell out of there. The kitchen was disappointing, the service spotty, and I was tortured by having to overhear a pathetic online date next to me… And I still had the damn pickle taste in my mouth!

What a waste of an evening. Hopped into a Lyft and headed back across the river. I’ve been having shitty luck north of the Charles for awhile now, and that’s not changed. Sadly, this is a kitchen that’s either not ready for prime time or they’re riding on blind Eater-driven popularity and getting sloppy. In either case, the lax attitude in the kitchen showed off in the mess they brought a few times that totally marred an otherwise good series of dishes. And using a “shared supper” thing to get rid of dishes others don’t order? Frowned upon to say the least. At least the management stepped up and tried to remedy some poor performances by the back of the house, so that’s worth noting.

But sadly, I wouldn’t go back, not even if the whole meal was comped. Frankly still wish for a kick in the arse instead of that sphincter-spasm-causing pickle plate…

Loyal Nine
660 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Review: Cúrate

21 April 2018

Got up with a little bit of a headache, having consumed a bit too much last night…what’s new, right? But I hopped back into my car in the morning and started on south-east into the Great Smoky Mountains. Explored this fascinating area, taking more of those windy mountainous roads. Slowly I went around and by mid-afternoon I rolled into Asheville, back into North Carolina.

Now people talk up Asheville all the time, and I had put a place called Cúrate on my list for a few years. I was told by many that it’s one of the few serious Spanish places in the US, so I had to check it out. Of course my overpriced motel was on the outskirts…

Just driving into the compact centre was a nightmare, like a bad amalgamation of Las Vegas, Nashville and Berkeley all into one… Traffic a total joke, parking a complete nightmare. For a town without proper public transportation, the parking situation is out of control. Took me 20 minutes INSIDE A PARKING GARAGE to find parking…not to mention a few near accidents with obese SUVs that the garage was NOT designed to hold…

I got to Cúrate and was put into a crowded service counter. As I was ordering, I can tell the staff was not as comfortable with Spanish names of things as I was, so I did both…tho some of the menu confusingly was written in Catalan also… You can tell this is a volume business, but I ordered a few things — like I would do in Spain or any other Spanish place — and went from there…

Wine in hand, I relaxed, although so far I’m not impressed. Then the first item arrived, morcilla

01-morcilla

Hmmm…stuffed full of rice that seems to be semi-raw (to elaborate my problem with this was not seeing rice, just a bad rice). This just seems a little poorly made, flaky. And they put some weird vinegar on it too… When they brought me the next item my heart sank…

02a-paleta

This was supposed to be jamón…this looks suspiciously like paleta. So did are they that confused, or did they try to rip me off? I ate it in slow motion, as even paleta this was sliced poorly… Eventually I asked my server, and he told me he “misheard” me. Now HOW YOU CAN NOT DISTINGUISH BETWEEN HAMOOOOON AND PALEEEEETA is beyond me. But to his credit, he took it off the bill. What a mess this place is…

03-ramps

Next up was just a big ol’ plate of grilled ramps. Probably the best thing all night, because they didn’t mess with it that much… Then the lamb…

04-lamb

Well, poor quality lamb, stringly and tasteless. Compared to the ones I had 2 nights ago in Greensboro, this was awful. I’m done. Ridiculous. People think this place is authentic? FFS…

I settled up and headed out, only to be met by ANOTHER 20-minute traffic jam INSIDE THE PARKING GARAGE because the many obese SUVs trying to park have blocked up the way out… I so hate this place… I ended up having Burger King for the rest of my dinner that’s how far I sunk… What a shitty way to end this trip…

Avoid, avoid, AVOID!

Cúrate
13 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, North Carolina

* The next day I snaked back towards Charlotte, and as most things were shut on a Sunday I just ate at my airport hotel before my morning flight home…another trip over…

Review: Compère Lapin

15 April 2018

I woke up a little groggy having had a few too many in the hotel bar due to the storm, but I also got to sleep in a bit more than I have in the last few days. This morning’s trip alarm at 8am is a luxury… The storm had completely rolled through and it’s a totally clear day. I was heading back to NOLA after a nice night here in Mobile and dinner at Kitchen on George.

I zoomed out of town towards Louisiana before the Sunday traffic got unpleasant. It was a Spring Break ending weekend, so they are anticipating traffic. And I heard the French Quarter Festival had all its events on stormy Saturday cancelled, so there could be more folks heading into town for the closing day.

But not really much traffic, so I dodged it. I had a few things to do in NOLA that was easier with a car. No dealing with stupid useless streetcars today. But then I returned my car and headed to my hotel. I stupidly then went to the rooftop bar, one of the rare ones in NOLA, and drank a bit too much on an empty stomach…oops… Oh, btw that’s the Troubadour Hotel.

I did retreat to my room to rest and to pack…I have a 3am alarm tomorrow. Yes, 3am. Don’t ask me why I do this to myself, but I have a 5.45am flight out of MSY tomorrow, so… Then I headed to dinner at a place I read about, Compère Lapin — a cajun-caribbean inspired place. I thought it all looked interesting.

I should have done more research, but since Sunday pickings are hard to find in NOLA, I went with it. I didn’t realise it was a hotel restaurant first of all… And the service was a shitshow from the initial moment… Utter confusion, but whatever, if the food rates…

I eventually ordered a few small plates and nursed my drink before they started to arrive…all together…

1-arancini

The first was a dirty rice arancini. Great concept, but it was just awfully made. It fell into pieces upon the softest touch and basically ate it like a rice dish. And it was boring flavour-wise. They could have done soooo much with this dish… Then the conch fritters…

2-conch croquettes

A little better, but really boring. All breading, no conch. The food so far has that “chain family restaurant” feel about it, and it was far worse than the hotel lunch I had during the first pass into NOLA. My fear of my NOLA curse is back… The last were the pigs ears…

3-pigs ears

It was seasoned poorly, cooked poorly, and the portion size an insult. At this point I was still hungry, but lost interest in this place. I gave them one last chance tho, and ordered a larger dish. It came surprisingly fast, which is worrisome…

4-pepper pot

The pepper pot. Huh? This lost me. This was smaller than a bowl of soup. Frankly the portions here are just ridiculous. You fry a crap load of stuff, but anything that’s not covered by a ton of breading is minimal. It wasn’t bad, but it was bland. This place is also sanitising the food for the tourism hoardes…

At this point I gave up, and the service collapsed again. I just wanted a coffee to close the night…and guess what? As I wrote in my notes at the time, the coffee was the best thing all evening. Sad…

Took ages to pay for this and I left less than happy. What a waste of a last night, and to have to remember this when my alarm comes on at 3am? Sigh… I think this is the last time I will step foot into NOLA. This town and I just don’t agree…

Compère Lapin
535 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, Louisiana

Possibly the WORST Michelin Experience of My Life… (Review: Magorabin)

24 February 2018

This is a very special day for me personally, as my beloved Estonia is celebrating its 100th birthday… Gutted to not be there, but it was just logistically not sensible…

I got up and checked for train delays, as the storm was still blowing. Nothing, so headed to the station. An uneventful ride to Torino, and I went to check into my hotel near the station. Then I headed out to grab some lunch.

I was once told my a milanese friend that food in Torino tastes like Fiat, so I never expect much. I’ve never had good food here, although the last time I was in Piemonte was also over 20 years ago on that same trip. At least this time I wasn’t stuck in Cuneo due to a bad train… Nevertheless lunch was unremarkable (will detail in next entry), not to mention the idiots blasting media on their phone next to me…just no shame these people…

I spent the afternoon doing various logistical things as some unexpected surprises popped up, so didn’t get to explore much. Eventually it grew close to dinner time, and I had a booking at one of the top places in town, the 1-Michelin restaurant Magorabin.

A busy Saturday evening, I made my way out to the area of the restaurant on one of the city’s rickety trams. Wandered around a little until it opened and I made my way in. I was seated at a nice table and almost immediately a series of amuse came and the server went on utterly rapid-fire Italian and just walked away…

AB1

The only part I caught was cozze (mussels) for the third one, but all of them were not very memorable or full of taste. I could barely reach the middle one without either poking my hand or having it fall apart (btw it did). Sigh… Then another four came rapid fire again!

AB4

Well, the ham was so-so, the croquette was meh, the puff was a spongy joke, and that last thing with the edible gold I spent more time removing it than eating all 4 items combined… Not a good start at all. And I asked my server if he could slow down a little during the descriptions, and the response was DOUBLING HIS VOLUME and slowing it down to a point like I was a fucking moron. I wanted to slap this guy at that point…

This is all going pretty bad already. The service is a joke. They all stand there and STARE at you as you try to eat. Who the hell is the FoH manager here? Ugh…

I then got the menu and said fine with the tasting. There’s no pairing, so the sommelier was happy to help me with a wine. She, frankly, was the only FoH person who actually worked at a professional level all night. The rest of the service staff were slacking at best. When they brought out the amuse in rapid fire, the server actually knocked over stuff on top of some of the items with his sleeve. Ugh… Just unprofessional. You can see that leaf behind that yellow spongy monstrosity that nearly got stuck to his sleeve…

The wine came and I calmed down a little and tried to relax. Then not too long after the first dish arrived, the veal tartar.

01-veal tartar

More like pulverised. Did they put this in the blender? It’s actually a little disgusting when it’s hacked to this extent. And all that wasted roe… Poor stuff. I just had more wine… Next up, rather quickly, shrimp.

02-shrimp

That sauce is just awful, and it frankly looks awful. Poor quality seafood too. Many of the other ingredients were also awful, like the crisp. What is going on? This is a Michelin star restaurant? I’m already shaking my head… But if anything they were also lightning quick, as the dishes are appearing within 90 seconds of me finishing…

03-scallop

Poor scallop now. Plus the radish was stupid sour that made my jaw cramp up… This seems so amateurish so far… Then the next dish, the tongue…

04-tongue

Well someone forgot to season this meat. It had absolutely no taste. What an awful dish of what could have been excellent! Stupid, simple mistakes! This should not be happening at a Michelin starred restaurant! And it’s bad when the side shellfish tasted better than the main shellfish in an earlier dish…

Plus the SAME FIVE MUZAK BEATLES SONGS are being repeated ad nauseum. What is this? And to give you a sense of how fast they are doing this, from the time the 1st dish (veal tartar) arrived to the time the 4th dish (tongue) arrived, the elapsed time was 20 minutes. Yeah…

05-sweetbread

Whoever is doing the meats on the line should be sacked, because the sweetbreads also have no seasoning. This is just piss poor! And the fact this came out less than a minute after I finished labouring through the tongue dish tells me something. They are just trying to get rid of me. This is ridiculous. If the FoH was a joke, the BoH was even worse…

Then for some reason everything got slow…ah, I look at the menu…because it’s a pasta dish. They can’t just bring it out raw or fuck around with heating lamps. What utter crap this evening is. I’m already thinking of abandoning this dinner… Then a surprising 15 minutes wait for that pasta…

06-spaghetti

And FFS they cannot cook pasta right. The spaghetti was undercooked (how, they had 15 minutes instead of the 60 seconds between dishes!), and after 2 dishes of no seasoning this ultra-salty anchovy has my jaws locking up again… Are these people just incompetent or sadistic? Ugh… Definitely thinking about abandoning this tasting any minute. Just trying to finish my wine…

07-baccala

Then now on the 15-minute clock again (I think they are doing it by clock), we have the baccala. Poorly cooked yet again! One side is overcooked, the other is undercooked! How amateurish is this? This is stuff you learn the first week of culinary school or any kitchen apprenticeship! I’ve never tasted so many poorly executed dishes in a row anywhere, not especially in a Michelin place!

AND WHEN YOU CAN’T COOK PASTA RIGHT IN ITALY…

Well, at least the food is photogenic — partly caused by the DIRECT SPOTLIGHT above me. It was blinding me all night with the silverware… I decided to quit after the next dish, as my wine is just about done. And it came, the baby lamb.

08-lamb

Well, at least they seasoned it this time! Problem is that it’s very, very undercooked inside. But hey, at least it’s seasoned! I didn’t even finish this and I asked for the bill… DINNER ABANDONED.

I think they get it as they gave me the bill and took some of the charges off. Just piss poor. I headed out extremely pissed off. How can a Michelin starred restaurant be so bad? I can see if FoH or kitchen has a bad day, but both? And so extremely poor? Not one dish was good. And service was piss poor. Attitude from 2 of the servers too.

This may be one of the very worst fine dining experiences of my life. Avoid, avoid, AVOID!!!

Magorabin
Corso San Maurizio 61/B
Torino, Italia

* And shit, Michelin, is your Torino assessor drunk, stupid, on the take, or all of the above???

This I did not want to write… (Review #2: Kokkeriet)

Note: This is a review I agonised about whether to write it or not, but at the end I chose to…

13 February 2018

The next morning I woke up early and my foot was stiff as hell, but have to push on anyway… I headed out from my crashpad-style-hotel to the train station and went west to Roskilde. Despite making several dozen trips to Denmark, I’ve actually never visited Roskilde…

I got there and made the slow walk to the Cathedral just as they were opening for the day. Had a wonderful slow exploration of all the royal tombs; little did I know that later the same day Prince Consort Henrik was to pass away (anyway, he stipulated that he was not to be buried with all of his fellow royals, including his wife Queen Margrethe II, due to the “title” snub).

As nothing in Roskilde was open for lunch except smørrebrød places and I just wasn’t in the mood, so I limped back to the station in the light snow and went back to Copenhagen. Still nothing was open, so I ended up in a dimsum place near the station of all things named Fu Hao. Not bad. Then I headed to the airport where my hotel was for this night. Thank goodness I left my bag there when I arrived yesterday.

I had a 6am flight out tomorrow, but tonight I planned to revisit one of my favourite places to eat, Kokkeriet. The Michelin-starred place won my taste buds during a 2016 visit, showing the strength of classic Danish cuisine that did not fall into the trendy Modern Danish that drives me nuts. I purposely stayed the night in Denmark just to have dinner there, and especially for the Tuesday, which they add test dishes. Should be a great night.

I was seated across from where I was the previous time, and I had thought of a cocktail, but things moved too quickly…so I’ll just wait for the wine. The amuse were already coming out. I really don’t like this Danish style rush… But the first was a nice pea puree in pickled celeriac.

AB1-pea-celeriac

Good start, tangy enough to whet one’s appetitie. Then cod roe chip…

AB2-cod roe

Not bad, then more roe with lumpfish roe with buckwheat chips…

AB3-lumpfish roe

Then we have a wee cheese and quail puff…

AB4a-quail-cheese

The latter was really nice. Then one of the servers brought a cart over and mixed a “classic” Danish breakfast based on malt…

AB5-breakfast

The result was a nice tasty little mixture, with rye, chocolate, prune juice, verbena, etc. A nice little item, lovely presentation. So far things are going good!

I relaxed and soon the wine service began. And the first dish…more roe?

01-roe-kohlrabi

The onion-based broth was excellent, and thank goodness not overly acidic like things last night at Uformel. But so much roe already… Kohlrabi wasn’t bad. A nice start. Then we have a dish that I didn’t quite like at the onset, the scallop…

02-scallop

I thought the broth was way acid and had that “oh no” feeling again, but it somehow worked better tonight after the pumpkin neutralised it. But it’s so unnecessary, because all that distracts from the scallop. The rose was cute, but it was extremely difficult to eat…

But so far so good! I relaxed and then noticed a slight slowing in service, which is okay considering how quickly the amuse worked. And the place was filled up. I was also wondering when some of the “Tuesday Testing” dishes you often see on Instagram would show up. But next up was another menu item, the langostine.

zz

Again, excellent. The emulsion was just dreamy, so rich and deep in flavour. Nice quality seafood, and you have another winner. I’m so glad I came in! Then a pour of a surprising Syrian wine (Bargylus) and we have venison.

04-venison

Well, the wine was a winner. This was sadly not a good dish. The texture was just awful, it’s like eating something between tofu and packaged processed turkey. Flavour didn’t quite work either. Hmmm, this wasn’t a test dish either. Then they brought the next dish, also a menu dish, the monkfish…

05-monkfish

I asked about wine they told me there’s no pairing here…now why didn’t you say that earlier? Basic. Ugh… The sauce was really poor, almost like a bad, salty BBQ sauce. Beautiful plating, but a terrible dish. Two weak dishes in a row and a service cock-up left me a little worried…

At this point they poured a bubbly into a glass, and well, it was not a bubbly… Anyone who was not blind would have noticed there was zero bubbles. Huh? Then they brought out the next dish, turbot…

06-turbot

The fish wasn’t bad, but the other bits added little to nothing. Plus, the ultra-flat tipple was abandoned. I mentioned it to them as they didn’t notice twice…and just said forget it. The service tonight is far from good, miles apart from last time. Nor was the food. And it’s starting to get a bit weird, as there’s still none of the “testing” dishes. That concern continued with the beet dish, which was also on the menu…

07-beet

Rather boring to be honest, there wasn’t much here. I can see the kitchen trying, but it didn’t really do much here. As someone who loves beets, this was disappointing. I’m starting to wonder whether the change in head chef has affected the overall quality here… And then the next dish was another from the menu, the pork…

zy

Hmmm…this was another weak dish. The belly was really weak, terrible texture. This evening is starting to go downhill pretty fast… I asked about the “Tuesday Testing” and my server told me it’s all desserts tonight…oh great… So I basically destroyed a night of sleep to come in on Tuesday just for this…

I cancelled the “testing” dishes request. Frankly at this point I’m starting to wonder if I’ll get through the entire dinner, with the service now utterly collapsed and the food also not climbing back up at all. Let’s see with the next dish, which was the duck.

00a

Well, the kale was the best part of this dish, sadly… The duck was way, way overcooked. You should see pink at least, this was almost beyond well done. I am so disappointed by this point I’m not just thinking about abandoning this dinner, but tasting menus in general. This is just not up to standard tonight…what a waste of time and money!

I was still pondering whether to abandon things when the last savoury course appeared, oxtail. It was sliced at table-side. And when the server couldn’t slice it correctly, you just know this was not cooked right…

00f

And sadly, that’s what the end result was, a smashed mess. And worse, it was utterly over-salted. And the side was so sour the nerve in my jaw caused a spasm… I basically abandoned most of this dish…what a disaster…

As I was still shaking my head, the palate cleanser came — based on cucumber. And more roe?!

PC

Well, when the palate cleanser is the best dish out of the last half dozen, that’s not a good thing is it? Sigh… And I see someone from the kitchen bring out my dessert, and the first thing I smell is tobacco?

11-dessert

Well, this dessert was abandoned as I felt ill. I decided to abandon the rest of this meal now and then. I explained all the problems this evening and just settled up and got the hell out of there. What a horrible evening this turned into, utterly ridiculous. Waste of my time and money and energy.

As I was waiting for the bus to go back to the Metro to go to my hotel at CPH, things turned even more odd. I won’t go into it, as a long email conversation ensued between the owner/sommelier and me that ended up closing the matter, but caused an unpleasant (but perhaps necessary) reaction from the owner. Again, I won’t say more, and frankly, I don’t want to think about this evening ever again.

I actually thought hard about whether to write this review or not, but unlike a poor experience at a previously-excellent place in Switzerland, where the staff explained the situation and made it hard to properly review, this is not quite the case. This was a normal service night, and it fell way, way flat. Flat to the point I’m at the brink of giving up on tasting menus.

But again, I don’t ever want to think about this disastrous night again.

Kokkeriet
Kronprinsessegade 64
København, Danmark