Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Netherlands - FG Restaurant

So far, FG Restaurant is the most costly restaurant I've ever been in the Netherlands (since 6 months ago). But still, I'm gonna highly recommend this restaurant to you because I was extremely impressed with all the dishes presented for lunch today. 

Thanks to the restaurant week deal, I pay much less than 100 euros. Not for 3 courses, but actually for much, much much more. I'll cover the review of each dish later. So basically, if you don't order wine and additional dishes, you pay 52.50 euros because it's a two-star Michelin restaurant and there is an additional cost of 25 euros for the 3-course meal.

The setting was splendid. It doesn't give the "too fancy to enter" feeling, which is perfect for me.

The way they store the cutleries is pretty cool. Each table has a drawer with the utensils, and every time a new dish is to be served, the server pulled them out of the drawer while wearing black gloves.

The utensils are pretty exotic-looking. For example, this bread knife's handle. I like it!

So, enough chit chat about the little stuffs. As I mentioned earlier, there are actually much more than 3 courses even though I was supposed to be paying for a 3-course menu.

There were multiple appetizers before the three listed courses, and that took me by surprise because I had ordered one extra side dish. My stomach felt like exploding at the end of the courses, but it's a kind of happy explosion.

So, the first one: piccalilli ice cream on crispy carrot sheet and licorice as the cone.

It's a type of savory ice cream: a bit sour like pickles, a bit salty... well, piccalilli is a pickle after all. The surprise came actually after biting the "cone". Suddenly there was a burst of flavour - I think there was cheese too - and then there was a crackling sensation in my mouth. That was a really pleasant surprise! I never would have expected pressurized carbon dioxide crackle pops below the ice. I'm giving this a 5 out of 5 based on overall pleasantness :)

The next one... hmm, this is tough. It's hard not to jot down the description of the dish because it tend to be long and after a while it disappeared from my head. So.. I hate to say that I don't know the name of the dish. But it's crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside, topped with foie mousse on top. It's a typical classic dish from Bordeaux. My best guess for the dish name is les tricandilles.

Next came the bread along with olive oil and salt, and what I think is Brie. Then, followed by bruschetta with all kinds of tomatoes and feta cheese. The bottom-most dish is cucumber ice cream on tomato jelly and tomato water. The tiny, short straw in the shot glass was to drink the remaining tomato water.

Let's skip the boring part about bread. Okay, it's good, it's warm, it has a good texture. Next!

The bruschetta was great. There was a different flavour profile for each tomato type. I think I also saw something resembling tomato ketchup beneath the tomatoes. It was a refreshing dish. I'd give the bruschetta a 4 out of 5. Now, for the more exciting one...

The cucumber ice cream was surprisingly delicious even though I hate the smell of fresh cucumbers. The tomato jelly broke nicely in my mouth, releasing tomato flavours that complement the cucumber ice cream. All in all, it was very refreshing and it kind of cleansed my palate, too. I'm giving a 4 out of 5, just because I hate cucumbers and yet it still tasted good in my mouth.

That ended the pre-course. Now, time for the real deal!

The first course: young skrei from the north of Scandinavia, topped with Catalonian brioche, fried egg, water cress cream, dried rosemary, melted foie, and then finished with yogurt mousse. On the side was skrei ceviche.

From the appearance, you might think... hmm, not so appetizing. My friend even said that the black stuffs looked like insect on the photo, but wait till you start digging in. It was simply a flavour explosion. I was totally mind-blown. The moment the runny egg yolk touched everything, magic happens. And the key - according to the man who served me - is to have every component in your mouth at the same time. The ceviche provides a lot of flavour from the fish which went very well with the rest of the components. I was even surprised that the water cress cream actually delicious on its own. I'm giving this a 5 out of 5. I absolutely love this dish!

Now, I ordered an additional dish: the scallops.

Very beautifully decorated with pumpkin prepared in three ways (similar to the one I had at FG Food Labs), crispy sheet of crepe and pecorino cream, topped with salad (with flowers, too!). The presentation was not the only thing that is gorgeous. The dish itself was amazing. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and it went very well with the pumpkin. I was somehow in love with the pecorino cream. I'm giving this a 5 out of 5 as well.

The final dish was beef cheek with potato and mushrooms and shallot pickles, topped with beef gravy and finished with freshly grated black truffle (right in front of me).

After the two extraordinary dishes I've ever tasted, this one somehow lost in comparison, although it was because I was very full at this stage. I had this paired with a glass of Toscano Rosso, smooth and mellow from the centre of Tuscany. The beef cheek is full of collagen, making it very, very tender and kind of 'melt' in the mouth. There was a nice balance of flavours, although it was a little bit hard to single out the flavour of the black truffle in the dish. I'm giving a 4.5 out of 5 for this.

As I wait, the table next to me was preparing for a Nitro. This supplementary menu was also available at FG Food Labs, and it was an interesting dish indeed. You have to grind some ingredients on a stone pestle and mortar, and then server will do something with liquid nitrogen (thus, the dish is called Nitro). I didn't order it, though. I figured it would be too much for me.

So... the last course from the 3-course menu: vanilla ice cream with macadamia coated with foie gras, topped with olive oil from Spain.

W-what? Olive oil??

Yeah, I never thought that olive oil would go so well with vanilla ice cream! The ice cream was soft and not too cold. The server emphasized that I have to eat the macadamia nut with the ice cream. Ohh, it was so good! The olive oil flavour was rather overpowering, but the whole experience in the mouth was just splendid. The flavour slowly emerged one by one in the mouth. I'm going to give this a 4 out of 5.

Aaand that's it. Time to pay the bills... no. It's not finished yet! Oh god, there's no more space in my stomach!

Instead of just a piece of mint or chocolate, I was served with a cloud of candy floss and a slurpie of mandarin and star anise. The slurpy was very refreshing, thank goodness! Oh, what's that thing on the left? It's a rehydrable, compressed towel. The server poured warm water in front of me and suddenly the towel just grew. I've seen this kind of towel before, but I thought that pill was actually food haha.

There were also additional stuffs hidden within the cloud of candy floss.

I can't remember anything the waiter said anymore, but it's kind of like a biscuit with cream on it. And on the right is blueberry candy, special from the house. The funny part is that I think the print was reversed. It should be like this:

But anyways... for the experience, I'll give this closing dish a 4 out of 5. Because eating is also about having fun :)

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with FG Restaurant and if I have the time (and money *cough cough*), I would love to go back to this restaurant again to try their actual menu. 

FG Restaurant
Lloydstraat 204
3024 EA, Rotterdam
Ph: +31 (0)10 425 0520

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