It’s not everyday one explores the haunts of honeymooning stars (even if they split up later – ah, Tom and Nicole!). I was really looking forward to our grown up ladies’ evening of fine dining at the Michelin-starred restaurant, newly opened after an expensive bout of cosmetic surgery.
The aesthetics were good, the wine was phenomenal, the food was indescribable (some good indescribable, some not so good) and the maître d’ incomprehensible. The company was incomparable so we were ok on that score.
So: Confit eggs. I don’t care how long they cook them to make them appear and taste raw again. My brain KNOWS that dry ice isn’t going to deliver sunny-side up versions of the two glutinous globes shimmying in a bed of hay that appears to be smouldering, but my heart hopes it will.
By this stage we’ve gone through the abused mush (Scousers’ favourite) with the aid of Fronk’s description. We all nodded enthusiastically. He withdrew. One of us ventures: ‘Did anyone understand anything he said?’ We all shake our heads and give it a bash.
The wine is beautiful, it’s a soaring triumph.
We arrive at what appears to be an upended spoonful of rice pudding with a little frog of bright green mousse on top. There are little ‘sails’ of some sort of minty (or is it lime, no it was lime, yes, lime) cracker. The frog foam tastes of soap powder. We all leave it and have to console a distraught Fronk.
More stunning wine. Gorgeous, great company, huge fun ripples across more courses.
The pudding arrives. Some of it appears to be beetroot and liquorice. I had opted for the cheeseboard. A huge trolley of cheese arrives. I choose two miniscule slices from two enticing-looking wedges across of a mountain range of goats’ cheese and the odd Stinking Bishop.
All hell breaks loose as women around the table spot food they can both identify and possibly enjoy sans-trepidation. They wade in. Soon I have a plate of 12 cheeses, and have to ask for, well, a plate, in fact more plates. Like the crows in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds we dive in. Bliss.
There is more wine, further bliss.
We are sitting in splendid surroundings, much of the food has been lovely, some of it has fallen short – but we’ve had a blast