Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dinner at Denis Martin

Menu "Evolution"

Chrysalide Bellota
Cornet Hollywood

Rösti virtuel
Retour d'Asie

Lingot d'or

Langoustine, concombre à la coriandre et émulsion curry

Sorbet sardine, framboises, estragon et faux pain

Truffes noires, endives, yaourt à la livèche et bouillabaisse

Qui l'eût cru

Birchermuesli de foie de canard

Rocher Granit - Argent de Boya

Mojito, clémentine et lard torréfié

Soufflé de merlan et cryo d'escargots

Le pain à la tomate


Crevette dans l'amer


Paysage Vaudois abstrait

Choucroute garnie

Brouillard et avalanche sur l'alpage

Bicolore d'oeuf cassé aux truffes

Filet de boeuf cuit & crû


Cône Woodstock

Chocolat blanc et cacahuètes torréfiés

This was the menu we enjoyed last Saturday at the restaurant Denis Martin in Vevey.

Denis Martin's theme is au plaisir de faire plaisir, and a lot of pleasure he had given us. It already started with the table, which was set with plates in primary colours (cutlery was provided when needed) and two colourful toys with a cow on top, which mooed if you turned them (see below). Not exactly what you expect, when you enter a restaurant that has been awarded with 2 Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau points.

But before I come to the food I have to praise the waiters. Spotless service, charming and attentive yet unobtrusive (and not to forget quite handsome too).

Now to the food. If you look at the menu above, there were about 25 courses. This is not a tasting menu. Each item is a course in its own right. Just not in American style feed-the-beast dimensions. I mean, they are small - just enough to explore taste and texture. Talking about taste and texture, Denis Martin provides unexpected contrasts of flavour, temperature and texture. You never know if it really is what it seems, which is sometimes provoking, but always surprising and very delightful.

Below is the course Lingot d'Or (gold bullion). It has to be eaten à une bouchée. But unfortunately I have completely forgotten how it tasted. Another à une bouchée dish was a raw cube of tuna with a waver of white chocolate in Thai spices. This one was a thunderstorm in the mouth. My mouth had never gone through more tastes in such a short time.

The next picture shows truffes noires, endives, yaourt à la livèche et bouillabaisse. The bouillabaisse is the small cube on the stick. The smallest soup I've ever eaten.

I forgot to take a picture of Birchermuesli de foie de canard. Yes Birchermuesli is the popular breakfast cereal. But here the cereal had been substituted with duck liver and the fruits with tiny taste bombs that kept exploding in your mouth.

Also I don't have a picture of Rocher Granit - Argent de Boya. This had a piece of fish, which was coated with silver before it had been fried. Soufflé de merlan et cryo d'escargots was another fish with iced (cryo) snails (escargots). The snails were the white balls at the bottom.

From the beginning we were wondering what Rien might be, since this is the French term for "nothing". Now I know that nothing tastes of dill and tomato (see how nothing looks like on the picture below). Another dish, which made us curios just because of the name was Sourire (smile). It was impossible to eat that dish without having a smile on the face afterwards no matter how grumpy you try to look. Denis Martin put some squid ink so cunningly on the spoon that when you ate the dish it painted a smile onto the lips.

Sauerkraut was also served...

...followed by fog and avalanches on the alpine.

At the end you did not wonder that the steak was raw and cooked at the same time and served with a dill sauce and caramelised peanuts.

A mind and tastebud boggling experience. This was a brilliant idea by Pilar, Thierry & Carlos who had invited us. They had promised us a dinner in a relaxing atmosphere. They more than kept their promise.


Mickle in NZ said...

WOW, incredibly WOW. Brilliant celebration, what special friends.

Handsome waiters too was a bit OTT!

Seth said...

Awesome!! Sounds amazing and intriguing and whimsical too.

Great pictures, wish I had been there!

MartininBroda said...

Das wäre dann in der Tat extravagant und wohl auch von einem M. Gavius Apicius nicht für allzu gewöhnlich befunden worden, sehr schön.

Lunario said...

How many hours did you need for tasting all those delicious things?

And the Lingot d'Or really looks like a bullion. =o

Pilgrim said...

*lol* at the bouillabaisse en cube and the Rien! But I would´ve joined you for this diner. Propz Pilgrim

naturgesetz said...

It must have been quite spectacular.

Just deciding the proper order for so many courses requires real talent, and much more to conceive them all and prepare them.

Ms Mac said...

Just how did the "Rien" work then? said...

@Mickle... Yes, Toño brought some really great friends into the marriage.

@Seth... I bet you would have made a great company.

@Martin... ein- bis zweimal im Jahr muss man einfach den Kocholymp erkunden; jede Woche wäre dann aber doch zu dekadent.

@Lunario.. We were eating for 5 hours. But we were slower than the other tables. We discussed a lot and took our time to savour the moment.

@Pilgrim... We plan to hang out in Paris in September. Do you have any culinary recommendations for us?

@naturgesetz... The next level would then be to choose the matching wines. We had three different ones but had to keep them separate from the food. Not only my taste buds were completely exhausted after this. We had planed to go to the Montreux Jazz Festival after the dinner but could only manage a brief stoll along the banks of the lake.

@Ms Mac... I'll tell you, when it will be off the menu. I do not want to spoil the joy of others.