The world of gastronomy in Paris has been bustling with speculations lately about where will the former Ledoyen’s head chef Christian Le Squer go next. Three weeks ago it became apparent that it will be Le Cinq restaurant at George V hotel. Christian Le Squer is one of those uber chefs who have natural talent to feel the products and find the right balance between their flavours. It’s classic French and Parisian cooking brought to the 21st century…
The lunch started with Campari and ginger jelly that exploded in your mouth; foie gras with passion fruit jelly and a wonderful mini pizza.
Then came the turn of the second amuse-bouche. Porcini mushrooms bouillon, that was poured over black truffle bread crumbs, chunks of crayfish and royale de foie gras with parsley cream on the top. Despite this being just an amuse-bouche, it could have been a dish by itself. In a way, it was a much better version of the famous truffle soup by Paul Bocuse. So much better.
My first dish was a tribute to the stellar quality clams you can have in France during the cold season. It was raw scallops that were slightly marinated in olive oil, served with dried scallops crumbs, sea urchins, black truffle, tarama and lychee cream. It was not only beautiful to eat ( loved the pureness of the flavours), but also to look at, all these colours contrasting the black plate.
Gratinated onions ” à la parisienne” was the most ingenious dish of the meal. The onion balls, which were incredibly light (like an onion version of the Shanghainese soup dumplings) were filled with warm onion broth. The other ingredients of this high-end interpretation of soup à l’oignon were black truffle, thyme and old, crispy Parmesan.
Sea bass poached in fermented milk (that is traditionally eaten at Le Squer’s home region, Bretagne) was the most controversial dish for my taste, but something that grew on me while eating it. The fermented milk was warm and had frothy texture. It was all topped over with a generous spoon of black caviar and a slice of porcini mushroom. The sour of the milk contrasted nicely with the salty of the caviar.
Finally, chervil mousse with some yoghurt ice cream and poached pear was served for a pre-dessert. The ice cream had very little sugar and tasted like pure yoghurt.
The dessert I chose was all about autumn flavours, a deconstructed version of Mont- Blanc cake with some porcini mushrooms chips.