Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mas (Farmhouse)

I didn't even know what the "Farmhouse" in the name meant. I thought it was one of the restaurants that grow the food on the roof. Instead, I stepped off Downing street into a very elegant and compact space.

We had to decide between the 3 course menu in which we had to read and deliberate, and the 6 course menu in which the chef picked everything for us. After sipping some Mas Champagne and watching the words swim around the page, the decision seemed obvious.

Amuse bouche: duck rilette on pepper biscuit with pickle 6/10. It was a little difficult to navigate from the plate to the bouche, but it was pretty good. It didn't stand out though... I almost like the biscuit more than the duck.

Chilled zucchini soup with salmon 8.5/10. I don't normally like chilled soups, but this was very good. I think there was some starch in the zucchini soup, which made it taste more "cooked" than I expected. The radishes added a nice bite and texture. I think the salmon would be a little better off less cooked, but that might be just me.

Roasted black bass with eggplant puree 9/10. One of the better black basses that I've had. It was very flakey yet substantial, and the eggplant sauce was very well done. Most eggplant sauces tend to be too bland/slimy/salty, but this one tasted like eggplant, but did not overwhelm the fish. The tartness of the pink radishes helped balance the dish a great deal.

Lobster ravioli with corn ragu and carrot consomm√© 7/10. I could have sworn that the waitress said "consomm√©", but I did not find said consomm√© anywhere. The filling was a little too heavy on the cream. I don't think the preparation brought out the taste of the lobster enough. However! The ravioli and the corn were great.

Duck breast with potato puree 8/10. Before I saw the skin, I actually thought that I was looking at a steak. Normally the duck is without a doubt the star in any dish with duck, but I must say that the puree, beans, and (are those) collard greens(?) helped elevate the dish greatly. I took 2 points off for having a dull knife and slightly stringy duck.

Soy glazed lamb belly with risotto 10/10. This was the only dish that really blew me away. It made me wonder where all the other lamb bellies went, and why I'm eating pork belly all the time. Everything was perfectly done. The fat was so well cooked, it melted in my mouth. The risotto was chewy and filled with flavor, and the bites of mushroom just put the dish over the top.

Palate cleanser of creme fraiche sorbet, candied rhubarb, and melon ice (or was it candied melon and rhubarb ice?). I *love* creme fraiche sorbet. 10/10. I should keep palate cleansers like these at home.

Berry pie with raspberries and honey ice cream 9/10. I loved my dessert. The previous course put me in the mood for ice cream, and I love flaky pie crust with fruit filling that's just the right sweetness.

The other 3 people at the table all had different desserts.

I thought the different desserts was a very interesting idea! Dining rooms should have more controlled chaos. You're looking at pound cake, flour-less chocolate cake, and cream cheese ricotta.

We also got a delicious cheese platter.

This was a great restaurant. The flavors were very balanced. We had a sampling of sweet, savory, tart, and salty done in a number of different ways. The food kept me entertained. Overall, 8.5/10. I'd definitely go back.

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