November 21, 2001

Up there with best meals ever, which I normally donít associate with fine dining situations being more prone to romanticize the sausage and bread by the side of the road in Italy over any starred situation: Mju in the Millennium Hotel, London on Sloane Street. The Japanese/Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda serves his fare in a hotel room reminiscent of some starship bridge crossed with a crusty hotel dining room, i.e. ugly, but this did nothing to detract from the tasting menu whose courses ran into two digits. In fact I began to enjoy our strangely incongruous surroundings. The tasting itself was beautifully orchestrated (I usually balk at these assaults on the taste buds and digestive process) with modest portions that built in flavour to a crescendo leaving us all uncharacteristically speechless. Some of the courses came two at a time. He is one of those smart chefs, reminiscent of a certain hirsute one on Clinton Street, that understands perfectly the harmony of flavor, texture, and the visual elements of food. I kept thinking of Huysmans; Iím not ready for redemptionóy et. You eat whatever is being served but the kitchen will accommodate requests/allergies. Here is the full confession: tomato tea consomme; oysters with ginger & mirin dressing; salad of tuna, orange, shiso sauce; some mousse/lobster concoction; tataki of venison, truffle peaches with rosemary & honey; roast langoustine with tea & shellfish oil; confit of wild Scottish salmon with marinated celery; carpaccio of sea scallops with foie gras & citrus soy; lobster ravioli with seaweed vinaigrette & shellfish essence; shitake & buckwheat risotto with grilled foie gras; steamed razor clams with cauliflower and broccoli florets; double cooked de-boned spatchcock (Scottish poussin) with braised daikon & bread sauce; Scottish Black-Angus beef with shitake mushrooms on truffle mash; sorbet of lychee & strawberry; floating island with vanilla bean & praline anglaise. Great wines too, one of which was apparently absurdly underpriced, a Rousseau Grand Cru that the wine detective spotted and which they were gracious enough to serve at the listed price. 50 English pounds for the tasting. Go while the fares remain low.
- rachael 11-21-2001 3:40 pm

sounds yummy, and i too have had better meals at tiny italian spots than most poshed up spots, i remember a $5 buffet lunch in pulia, fresh, pure, real....
- wheel (guest) 11-23-2001 2:58 pm [add a comment]





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