We were last here in 2011 and I believe this medium sized place has gotten even better. Corey Lee has further refined his product and was justifiably awarded his third Michelin star in Oct. 2014. Excellent service warms the otherwise stark room to make the diners visit seem special. Little things like remembering when we were last there and preferences also personalize your experience. They serve only a tasting menu and offer beverage pairings if you desire. We opted to order our own bottles of white and red to mix and match as needed. It was an excellent dinner and one that I look forward to having again in the future. Put this place on your to-do list if you can!
Everyone starts with a series of ‘small delicacies’ that go way beyond the usual amuse bouche. All were delicious but several were truly extraordinary. The beginning caviar was totally delicious, accented with crunchy bits of onion and a creamy layer underneath. The tuna marrow was a bit tart, probably due to the 5 year old tangerine but accented with something like soy sauce and beef stock to form a gelatinous fluid with a divinely intense taste. The hen egg had a bit of something reminiscent of barbecue sauce underneath that lent a very savoriness to that bite. The asparagus was wonderful, the uni left a marvelous aftertaste, the abalone was delicious, the ‘hay thing’ incredibly tasty, the mushroom/lamb was very good, the oyster incredible and the eel taco fun to eat. In retrospect I really couldn’t single any of them – it was all just the most wonderful set of tastes and textures and images.
Then when you thought it couldn’t get better they brought out the warm thick slices of bread with marvelous butter and honey. I could have finished the meal there!
Finally the meal starts with a quail egg and ginger that was truly lovely. The richness of the dish made you savor every bite.
Next were soup dumplings, always a favorite of mine at dim sum and these didn’t disappoint. They had a perfect texture to the wrapper with a wonderful morsel inside and a fun dipping sauce – another winner.
The shrimp noodles were very nice with a range of textures and tastes to delight your palate.
The bamboo shoot was something new for me – to have a big chunk of it as the main event- and it was quite nice. It was served with a truffle bun that was too doughy for my husband but I devoured it when spread with the strongly flavored truffle butter. I’m not sure why they were served together but I really liked them both.
Next was the quail which was quite nice.
The beef was perfectly tender and covered with a highly reduced sauce. It was lovely.
The faux shark fin reminded me of crabmeat with overtones of chicken for a fun effect.
The sesame leaf ice cream was served with a candied kumquat that added a nice taste and texture contrast. Sesame leaf is like mint more than sesame seed in taste and the leaves were mixed with sugar and flour to make the crumbles that were underneath the ice cream. Wonderful!
Finally was the apricot and almond meringue and the presentation was enough to blow you away. The many tiny peaks of meringue piped onto each dish was enough to make me tired and not want to eat it but just look at it. But inside was a bunch of fun tastes that were worthy of the stunning exterior.
The dried persimmons that were some of the final sweets were what you see swinging above the entry way. Apparently birds, etc. don’t bother them and so they are hung there until properly aged – here I thought it was just decorations. Last but not least was a dark chocolate truffle mousse and I can’t really remember much about it but I’m sure it totally consumed.