Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jacques Reymond

I really don't know how to blog about a place like Jacques Reymond. I am not articulate enough to convey to you what a degustation dinner at Jacques Reymond is really like, but I will try because I need to tell someone...

It is the best restaurant that I have ever dined in.

Jacques Reymond is a restaurant which so many restaurants aspire to become but never achieve. The building itself is an amazing mansion on Williams Road, Prahran and there is an air of opulence as you walk into the restaurant. Greeted by the staff and maitre'd, we are made to feel instantly welcome. I don't know how much I can stress, but service, for me, was flawless. There was not one instance where we felt we needed additional attention. Everything was done so seamlessly, meticulously and effortlessly with the fine balance between being attentive without being intrusive easily achieved.

It made me think about Ezard and how it was my benchmark for phenomenal service (as it was phenomenal) - Jacques has surpassed all my expectations of flawless service. Within minutes, drinks, menu and questions were asked. It is how a restaurant should run and how guests should be made to feel welcome.

We opted for the degustation menu which was perhaps one of the best and well constructed degustation menus I have ever experienced. Starting with a rock lobster dumpling, the texture was smooth and soft with the flavours evoking a sense of familiarity with a touch of uniqueness. It was a brilliant light dish to start our degustation dinner.
Progressing to the hiramasa kingfish sashimi style dish, it achieved perfect harmony between the acidic ponzu and natural sweetness of seared scallop. So many restaurants do not succeed at transforming simple sashimi into something superb. This dish, was superb - and I really like sashimi..

  Next was the snapper with four peppers. The snapper was just barely cooked, showcasing the freshness of ingredients (my last experience with snapper sashimi style, wasn't one that I was eager to repeat but this was excellent).  The foam was interesting and fun to eat...or at least tried to eat!

The star of the degustation was a succulent quail breast , tempura style with whipped fetta and organic black rice. It was comforting, delicate and complex. It marked a transition into the meatier dishes and was a dish that is not just eaten, but a dish that is savoured and remembered.

The first of the 'meatier' courses was Flinders Island Wallaby. It was a dish that I must admit, was a bit worrying. Eating a wallaby was not high on my priorities. To be fair, it was like beef, although lighter and more delicate in flavour. It was an interesting dish, serving as the perfect introduction to "meat".

The final savoury dish was the wagyu. I usually don't have beef this rare, but the succulence of wagyu coupled with the precision in cooking technique, ensured that it was bearable for someone like me. The mix of icecream with savoury flavours provided a sensory experience which I had not, until today, experienced. It was deceptive, and executed so well.

We finished with two desserts. The first was a martini of bittersweet chocolate mousse, chocolate sauce & granita with chantilly cream laced with caramelised rice bubbles. I totally forgot I wanted to blog about it and started demolishing it as soon as it arrived - so no photo. However, the final masterpiece was a pear and caramel with a mousse like filling encased in a tuille cylinder with earl grey and orange ice cream - phenomenal. This finished off a meal, that I dare say, is one of the best dinners that I have ever had.

The service throughout the evening was what you would expect from a restaurant of this calibre. Every detail was spot on. As we finished each course, our tables were cleared, glasses remained full and the timing of each course - perfect. It's only when I dined at Jacques that I understood why it has received so many accolades. A dinner which went on for over 3 hours, was so seamlessly constructed and delivered, it seemed much quicker. Petit fours were presented at the very end with a chat to Jacques himself, resonating the restaurant's commitment to meticulous detail and service focus.

Doors were opened, thanks yous exchanged we left feeling content, with all my unreasonably high expectations met. Not to mention (as those of you that know me, know how much of a personal hygeine freak I am), Molton Brown featured. I think thats how I will end this post - a restaurant that delivers on innovative food, flawless service and has Molton Brown is a restaurnat that ticks all the boxes.

This restaurant is truly, a destination restaurant.


Jacques Reymond, 78 Williams Road, Prahran

Jacques Reymond on Urbanspoon

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