Homey French Birthday Dinner at JP French Restaurant (Bangkok)

Specialties of the Day!
Specialties of the Day!

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;

  1. 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!

    Duo of Amuse Bouche
    Duo of Amuse Bouche
  2. 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.

    Not a bad bisque
    Not a bad bisque
  3. Frogs Legs – Dad ordered it, too adventurous for me actually but they said it was just like in France.

    Looked really yummy and well presented.  Smelt lovely btw....
    Looked really yummy and well presented. Smelt lovely btw….
  4. 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.

    Wish it was better...
    Wish it was better…
  5. 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.

    Well packed with many great ingredients.  Foi Gras... Yum!
    Well packed with many great ingredients. Foi Gras… Yum!
  6. 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.
    A sad miss...
    A sad miss…

    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:

    1. Duck Confit – Crispy, meaty, moist.  Definite 10 10 10 10 10

      Delish!
      Delish!
    2. 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.

      My favorite dish of all time!
      My favorite dish of all time!
    3. 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.

      A tough dish to master... really...
      A tough dish to master… really…
    4. 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!

      The tenderloin was huge! Compare it to the gravy boat!
      The tenderloin was huge! Compare it to the gravy boat!

    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!

    Complimentary Birthday Creme Brulee.. Happy Birthday mommy!
    Complimentary Birthday Creme Brulee.. Happy Birthday mommy!
    Nice desserts!
    Nice desserts!

    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!

    My lovely family!!!
    My lovely family!!! (Except me..) I took the picture!

Modernist Cuisine at Pujol – Mexico City

Tasted Funny
Tasted Funny

Last year I stopped over at Pujol in Mexico City.  It was rated as one of the 50 best restaurants in the world, apprently the hype was the chef took local dishes and produce and created something new, and uplifted the traditional cuisines on a global level… let’s see…   I forgot to take a picture of the restaurant but their service was fantastic i remember.  They paid attention to every detail, bringing me a thingy to hang up my coats and handbag.  Our tasting menu started with some weird drink.  I read later it was  a corn tea but still it felt like a savoury water but no real taste to determine what direction it was taking.

Our first course was served in this gigantic bowls, i’m now sure if it was made from coconut shells or not but it was huge.  I loved this course, it was corn in a smokey creamy sauce.  It was roasted with the husk on and i could have eaten the whole meal with only that corn.  The corn is a 10 10 10 10 10!!!

Yummy Roasted Corn - Amazing Presentation!
Yummy Roasted Corn – Amazing Presentation!
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It’s huge!

Now this is interesting:

Avocadoseeds
Yum in a weird way!

I’ve been wondering how they managed to slice 2 big discs of avocado, what do they do with the rest of the avocado?    How many nie big discs can you slice of an avocado?  Weird it’s just avocado with sesame seeds, and a chilli on top.  I like guacamole, so this is like eating soft and crunchy and back to nature thing..

Pretty and yummy!
Pretty and yummy!

If you ate this in one bite, you get the goats cheese, tomato salsa and the roasted chilli bursting all flavours in your mouth simultaneously.  The bread was light airy which was a nice contrast with the heavy flavours it was a 9 in my  book…

My favorite dish!

beeeefff!!!
beeeefff!!!

The green chilli made the raw beef yummier reminds me of a thai seafood sauce (leaf was a bit weird tasting),  however  i wish there was more actually.  The thin, crispy corn tortilla was a perfect match however i wished there was more of the beef to go around….   YUM YUM YUM

Now to the next genius dish of the night which was every bit yummy as it was pretty:

Beautiful & fresh fish
Beautiful & fresh fish

I thought this was great, combining ceviche and fish tacos together and there you have it.  The refried beans (forgive my ignorance if i explained it wrongly) gave it a creamy contrast with the sharp flavours.  I give it a 9, the only thing i didn’t like was the leaf underneath which was a bit over powering but made it look cool.  The fresh ceviche with the creamy beans was broughtt ogether with the kick of the chillies.  So YUM YUM YUM!

How it looks when it's folded.
How it looks when it’s folded.

I do not eat frog, so my partner ate it but i tasted every other component tho..

Presentation is amazing!
Presentation is amazing!

Eeeewwww frog…. I’m still a bit squemish… They said it was a pumpkin seed and cauliflower sauce (i think it’s pumpkin seed since it was green), however no high notes here, tasted flat even though it was really beautifully presented.

Now this next dish i think in my mind was some interpretation of a national dish with veggies and some weird cheese but not liking at all.  Again a beautiful dish, but not our kinda yummy, or our palate just wasnt ready for this type of taste.

Weirdly weird!
Weirdly weird!
Interesting interpretation!
Interesting interpretation!

This was an eggplant roasted with a beefy meaty sauce, the white stuffy was a piped pureed onion sauce with pineapple hidden somewhere.  I felt that stinging sensation on my tongue which i didn’t like, not really sure what that crispy sheet was on top but it made the dish interesting.  Pretty dish but….  i dont eat pineapple because my tongue seems to be sensitive, but without the pineapple, i could have done a bowl of the sauce with a loaf of bread.

This next dish really shined i loved it…

Presentation looks like a painting!
Presentation looks like a painting!
Pork Belly is always delicious!
Pork Belly is always delicious!

This roast pork belly was melt in the mouth with a crispy crackling, the pickled cauliflower was a nice contrast, the 3 sauces that dotted the plate was almonds, tamarind and a black pepper.  I thought the pork belly was lovely on its own with the cauliflower.  9 Points out of 10!

Our first dessert!

I tasted banana but couldn’t place the shavings that instantly melted upon contact with my tongue.  It felt like some sci fi dessert.  Interesting!

Very molecular gastronomy type dish!
Very molecular gastronomy type dish!

The next dessert was a parsnip ice cream with tomatillo (a cousin to the gooseberry but not a green tomato), lettuce leaves and amaranth seeds covering the ice cream.  Flavours was cold, salty i think more suited as a salad dish or as a precursor to the meal.

Maybe the chef's vision was too sophisticated for 2 tourists from Thailand
Maybe the chef’s vision was too sophisticated for 2 tourists from Thailand

The next beautiful dessert may make some people’s skin crawl – Lemon Pie interpretation with a maggot tequila ice cream.  I didn’t dare tell my companion what it was… hahahaha  i convieniently left out the word maggot….

Liked the lemon pie, but tequila not a real fan...
Liked the lemon pie, but tequila not a real fan…

The last dessert was my favorite maybe because it was more traditional….. Chocolate pot with liqueur and orange creme.  Dark, citrus flavours worked out really nice.

YUMMY!
YUMMY!

I thought that Pujol really tried to elevate the local cuisine and the interesting combinations of flavours.  I felt the service was attentive and there was a  beautiful thought to every detail.  Hats off to the chef!  Surprisingly i would come again if i’m ever back to Mexico which i actually want to again!

IMG_2500

Lovely table setting
Lovely table setting
Duo of salsa
Duo of salsa