Another rough day at work and wishing for a sumptuous dinner. Sister says want beef the night before. Nice beef tenderloin defrosting whilst at work. Everyone arrives home and demand to be fed.
45 Mins Dinner Challenge:
1 Beef Tenderloin – Rubbed with Olive Oil and Smashed garlic with salt into a puree
Package of Pasta from Italy
Home Made Tomato Puree (Roasted Tomatoes and crushed)
Home Grown Basil from Garden
Salt & Pepper
Heat Pan to HIGH. Use non burning oil, I used Rice bran. Sear Beef on all sides – 3 Mins on each side, lower and cover pan for 5 mins. Reheat to high and sear again on all sides (pouring off juices to make gravy) Cover and set aside.
At the same time I have boiled a medium salted water and threw in the dried pasta. This type takes around 9 mins to cook on the pack. I turned of the heat at 6. And took pot of stove. In another pan, heated the tomato sauce, threw in the beef drippings and flavored with salt, pepper and a touch of sugar to help balance the acid.
Drain pasta and mix with sauce. I find that if you time pasta correctly you can turn it off the heat before cooking time is over but this takes experience and lots of mistakes on my part. I find that you dont need to add any more pasta water as the pasta has water in them.
Slice beef and place on pasta, sprinkle basil to each person’s liking and serve. Usually i serve with thin slices but Sister said she was hungry.
Guaranteed it was soft and tender. Was hoping for leftovers but everyone devoured it. Completely. Happy Tummy, Happy Family.
Reservations at Gaggans proved to be a difficult task since they were completely full, maybe due to the fact they ranked 3rd place in the Top 50 resetaurants of Asia. Which to my prior experience there, Chef Gaggan Anand deserves every accolade there is, but without any regret I had the chance to suggest a French Bistro in its stead. JP French was talked about by many groups of people being homey comfort food at acceptable pricing. I felt it came along the lines of Chez Pape (one of my favorites located in Soi 11) simple ingredients cooked well. Ok this is what we ate;
Complimentary Amuse Bouche, one with parma ham and one with a pate. I liked both, the pate was very dense and intense flavoured but not over powering. Good Job!
Lobster Bisque – A bit flat but tastes were fine, i preferred a creamier or a heavier bisque. Mushroom soup is as is, mushroom. Cream and a intense intense mushroom taste, very earthy and a great comfort food.
Frogs Legs – Dad ordered it, too adventurous for me actually but they said it was just like in France.
Escargots – Over baked, it came out dried and chewy. Sad, i usually have a thing for snails. The buttery herby topping was under seasoned and the poor snail was well not good. A sad miss.
The JP Chef Salad comes packed with a poached egg, slices of smoked duck breast, parma ham, duck confit and some foi gras pate on toast and of course the salad. Personally I’m not a fan of the salad dressing, it was a clear but doesn’t really taste French to me (my preference is towards a more mustardy taste), ill admit however with hot baguettes you can turn this into a heavy lunch or a light dinner.
Hot Goats cheese Salad – Same salad but topped with generous goats cheese, again the goats cheese wasn’t as expected, it turned out dry. Usually it should have been a crispy topping and a melty oozy character, this was dry and brittle.
As seen there were a few hits and misses but so far I would rate this dinner going at a strong 6, and a 10 for service and hospitality now on to the main courses:
Steak Tartar – A hit more mustard, tabasco, salt and less gerkins this dish was also a star. The meat was of great flavor nd quality you could taste the meat. It has a presence even over so many of the other ingredients in the dish, alas too much capers and gerkins, i had to pick them out.
Spaghetti with seafood and tomato sauce. Not bad, but not exactly a dish to reorder. Too tomatoey and dry. It’s hard to explain but pasta lovers will understand exactly what i’m saying. You couldn’t taste the seafood and the pasta was overcooked.
Beef Tenderloin – As you can see in the picture it was a big hunk of meat, nicely seared and perfectly cooked. A 2 thumbs up. The beef here is of great quality!
As mentioned earlier, we said the hospitality was great and it was true! We had a complimentary creme brulee with candle compliments of the owner, very nice! The creme brulee was excellent by the way which was why i didn’t eat the other desserts except for a spoonful of the apple tart. Yum!
All in all it was a more than decent restaurant, stick to the traditional dishes and you wont be disappointed. Great pricing, great service and some above average dishes! We will be back!