Thursday, January 24, 2008
Dining at the French Cafe
Last night we went to The French Café for my birthday dinner. The French Café is consistently voted the best restaurant in NZ and I can see why!! My husband and I both agreed it was the best dining experience we have ever had! The service was impeccable and the food was almost indescribable!!!! But I will do my best!
Instead of the degustation menu we decided to eat a la carte. For my entrée I chose the caramelised shallot, beetroot and fig tart with goats cheese which is one of their signature dishes. It was divine and just as I had hoped – the pastry was incredibly crisp and the goats cheese was so creamy and mellow, the perfect contrast to the sharpness of the balsamic in the vegetables. My husband had roast pork belly with scallops, cauliflower puree and apple salad. Pork and scallops are two of his favourite things and he said it was just perfect.
Before our main we were given a small palate cleanser of tomato and watermelon gazpacho with a goats cheese foam. Beautiful! My main was courgette flowers stuffed with beautiful creamy ricotta, and served with mushrooms and buffalo mozzarella with pesto. It was so yummy, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!!!!! It was quite rich, but I ate every mouthful!!!! My husband had blue nose and I cant even tell you what it was served with as I was so busy concentrating on my own!
We shared a beautifully ripened piece of French brie next. It was served with crispy lavosh and quince paste. Then for dessert we shared a tasting platter which had small tastes of 5 of the desserts from the menu. They were all beautiful and included Rhubarb and vanilla crème brulee, a pistachio meringue (just how I like meringues – very chewy in the middle) with summer berries, praline ice-cream, chocolate parfait with a sliver of brownie (the flavour of this was so intense – you could tell the quality of the chocolate was just superb) and then the piece de resistance!, a chocolate sable tart which was warm, so when you cut into it, the filling oozed out. It was soooooooo good!!!!!
We shared a bottle of beautiful Highfield chardonnay – one of my favourite wines!
I am definitely looking forward to the next special occasion when we can return to The French Café!!