Goût de France or the Good France Project is a dinner to celebrate French gastronomy around the world. An international event that will take place on 19 March 2015, the first Goût de France will bring together 1300 chefs from around the world to prepare a French dinner to illustrate French cuisine’s excellence and to promote French tourism.
Over in Malaysia, 6 restaurants have been selected by an international committee of chefs to participate in Goût de France, out of which only 1 is from Penang – 1885 at Eastern & Oriental Hotel under the helm of Chef Michel Camy.
I was so very lucky to be given a preview of the 7 Course Degustation Menu specially prepared by Chef Michel Camy for Goût de France, to showcase contemporary French cuisine.
In addition to the celebration of French cookery and its creativity, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to charity.
Chef Michel Camy and E&O’s hotel manager giving us an introduction to Goût de France
Delicious, fresh bread to start the evening… I can never get enough of the bread served at E&O Hotel. They honestly have one of the best boulangerie’s on the island. Hence, much self control was needed when a huge basket of buns were placed in front of me!
Some bubbly to kick off the night of indulgence~~~ Cattier Brut Icone NV Champagne France
All wines for the Goût de France dinner at 1885 feature French wines from The Wine Shop
Amuse Bouche – Gougère d’ escargot a la creme d’ail
The 7-Course Degustation menu starts off with an Amuse Bouche – featuring a snail and garlic cream Gougère (baked savoury choux pastry). This small bite packed a powerful punch with the escargot’s slightly chewy but firm texture and the flavourful garlic cream. The Gougère lent a savoury crunch.
Salad – Tartare de loup de mer et maquereau Fumé, gelée concombre – pomme verte et celeri, salade de menthe aneth
The second course consists of a salad. A delectable sea bass tartar and smoked mackerel with a green apple and celery jelly, mint dill salad. The tartar was light and pleasant. It was further uplifted by the refreshing green apple and mint dill salad with a burst of sweetness from the celery jelly.
Appetizer – Tarte tiède de legumes, duxelle de champignons a la senteur de truffles, tomate confites, roquette sauvage et huile d’olive noir
The appetizer course consisted of a warm vegetable tart with finely chopped (duxelle) mushroom scented truffle. Served with tomatoes, wild arugula and black olive oil. This was a thoroughly enjoyable appetizer. The mushroom scented with truffle was bold and earthy which I found comforting. Eaten together with flaky buttery pastry, the tartness of the tomato confit and the saltiness of the black olives – this was a flavour bomb in my mouth!
Entree -Trilogie de la mer, compotée tomate- poivron rouge, tuile craquante de parmesan à l’encre de seiche, herbes fraîches
The Entree came in the form of a seafood trilogy – melt in your mouth scallop topped with a salty briny salmon roe, perfectly seared tuna and lobster topped with a crispy black ink Cheese tuile. Served with red capsicum jam and fresh herbs. Out of the three, the most enjoyable for me was the lobster with crispy cheese tuile. I had not read the menu prior to dinner and was pleasantly surprised when I bit into the crispy cheese tuile which elevated the sweet firm lobster. Perfection!
Appetizer and Entree wine pairing – Crozes-Hermitage White. I thoroughly enjoyed this white wine even though I normally prefer red. This was incredibly light, fresh and fruity which I thought paired especially well with the seafood trilogy.
Main Entree – Tournedos de boeuf, légumes de saison, mousseline de pomme de terre, jus de viande et dés de foie
For the main, Chef Michel continued to tantalize our tastebuds with a beef tournedos dish served with seasonal vegetables, potato mousseline and diced foie gras. The beef was utter perfection. The crispy sear on the outside gave way to a juicy succulent inside, well seasoned with a hint of salt and pepper. Made even better with the melt-in-your-mouth diced foie gras and smooth silky potato mash. I could not get enough of this dish!
Cheese Platter – Assortiment de Fromages (Comté, Brie, Reblochon et Bleu) servie avec un pain aux noix
After the mains, we were served a cheese platter. And it was through this experience that I learnt that it is typical for a cheese platter to be served at some point after the main course, usually before dessert or as a dessert. Now I hadn’t known that! (and I do apologize for being a noob~)
Served with walnut bread, nuts and raspberries, I most enjoyed the brie and reblochon (guess I have a penchant for soft cheeses)
Wine pairing for the Main Entree and Cheese Platter – Cotes Du Rhone Red.
Dessert – Gateau au chocolat, strudel aux noix de macademia, crémeux chocolat, mousse à l’orange amer, sorbet Yuzu
And finally, the favourite course of any meal for me – dessert. We were told during the introduction that for Goût de France, the dessert course must include chocolate. So I’d been looking forward to it since the start of the night (though all the earlier courses did a great job of momentarily sidetracking me from that chocolate dessert!)
The gateau au chocolat was everything I wanted in a rich decadent chocolate dessert. The macadamia strudel chocolate cake gave a lovely nutty fragrance and crunch to contrast the silky rich chocolate cremeux. The yuzu sherbet on the side was light and a pleasant palate cleanser. But back to the chocolate, paired with Grand Marnier, it brought the dessert to another level of awesomeness! Enough to send into a beautiful hazy chocolate coma…. 😛
The night of lovely contemporary French food ended with coffee or tea served with mignardises (a parting gift from the kitchen – this time in the form of madeleines)
This one night only event, Goût de France is happening on 19th March 2015 (Thursday) at 1885, Eastern & Oriental Hotel. Do not miss the chance the savour this 7-course Degustation menu that will definitely tease and please the tastebuds.
Priced at RM158++ per pax, with Wine Pairing RM300++ per pax
For reservations, do call 04-222 2000 Ext. 3170