UPDATE – Sadly, Bouchon is now permanently closed, the owners decided to retire.
The last visit to Bouchon was thoroughly enjoyable, so it was time for a return.
The menu was as inviting as ever with all dishes sounding appetising, so I could have happily chosen anything.
Choices of starters were a Linley valley pork terrine, a duck confit croquette, a sardine escabeche, and pan fried tiger prawns with gruyere custard.
We were served an amuse bouche of terrine with rhubarb – I didn’t catch the name of the meat that was in the terrine, but it tasted quite strong and gamey so could have been venison. This was very nice.
I chose the sardine escabeche with lemon, olive oil and basil sorbet, and a goat cheese bavarois.:
This was a lovely starter, nice and fresh tasting with the bavarois perfectly complementing the acidity of the sardine dressing.
My companion chose the duck confit croquette with tomato, mushroom and coriander marmalade:
Duck confit croquette
This was packed with duck, the crispy coating being a nice contrast to the soft duck meat, and the mushrooms and jus were rich and delicious.
The choices of mains were Tasmanian salmon, braised beef cheek, panfried spatchcock breast, and veal tournedos.
I chose the veal tournedos with chestnut crust and sesame and orange condiment:
The veal was perfectly cooked – medium rare, the crust was exquisite and the citrus accompaniments balanced the meal well.
My companion chose the beef cheek in lemon grass and espelette with white bean ragout:
Braised beef cheek
This was also perfectly cooked, melting in the mouth – the beans were nice but tasted similar to standard baked beans, and an alternative carbohydrate would have been better, such as a potato cake or some mash.
Accompaniments were green vegetables:
A nice mixture of beans, sugar snaps and broccoli. We could have had gratin dauphinois, but decided to keep my dairy consumption to a minimum to avoid too much of an intolerance reaction – I had already spotted my dessert, and knew that I wanted to have ice cream.
The choice of desserts was spiced fruit tagine with rice pudding, poached pear and poire william chibouste with shortbread, chocolate mousse with peanut caramel and sambuca ice cream, and a cheese plate with crackers, fruit compote and bread.
We both chose the mousse:
It was advertised as a dark chocolate mousse, but for my taste it could have been darker. It was delicious though, and the sambuca ice cream was sublime and complemented the dish perfectly. The peanut caramel was a little too sweet and cloying, I would have preferred the caramel to be taken further so that it was darker, and poured over roasted peanuts to form a peanut brittle. It was a very nice dessert though, and one that I will attempt to make in my own style at home for one of my dinner parties.
The whole meal was a real treat, but on this occasion the service was a bit on the slow side. The waitress did apologise a few times and I wondered if they were short staffed. I thought that it was good value for the quality of the food, and will be happy to return again.