Friday, November 18, 2011

C Restaurant


C Restaurant is a high-end establishment that charges fine dining prices for not-so-fine ambiance. When I first stepped in, I was shocked at how small and cramped the seating area was. The place looked unbelievably shabby and unkempt for a fine dining restaurant, from the dirty stained floor tiles to the worn-out tables and chairs. Service can be summed up in one word: SLOW. Our server was decent in terms of attitude, and he did respond to our requests… eventually. We had to wait at least 10 minutes every time we asked for something, and each dish took 15 minutes to arrive. We had the 9-course tasting menu ($94/person), so it took just under 3 hours to finish the meal that would have cost an arm and a leg if not for Groupon. Add in a few glasses of wine and we’d have to offer our remaining limbs. We were given a basket of bread to start, but I only had one slice since I didn’t want to get filled up too quickly. The bread I had actually tasted more like savoury cake with its soft and dense texture.


1st course:
The first course was wild and cultivated mushroom veloute with garlic confit and croutons. So they used both wild AND cultivated mushrooms? It seems a bit silly… Why not just say mushroom and leave it at that? Anyway the soup was brought out in a metal teapot and the server poured it over the garlic and croutons in the bowl. The flavor of the garlic was intense and went well with the creamy soup, which was just a bit too oily for my taste.


2nd course:
The soup was followed by a charred octopus salad with frisee, Italian bacon bits and a soft boiled egg. According to our server, the egg had been slow-cooked for 2 hours to achieve that super soft texture halfway between raw and cooked. I actually thought the egg was a bit too runny because I could not pick it up with my fork. The slimy semi-runny egg white would just slide right off. While the texture was interesting, I wasn't that into it partly because it was served cold. I enjoyed the octopus though, as it was very tender and not chewy at all.


3rd course:
The seared scallop was large and juicy, and I especially liked the lemonade foam on top. The tartness was very refreshing and appetizing. The scallop was served on a bed of crushed minted peas and panchetta. I'm not a fan of peas because of the grassy flavour, but these peas were amazingly tasty and buttery.


4th course:
Perhaps I'm just tired of tuna, but I found the seared albacore tuna just average. The lyonnaise potatoes were starchy and the zucchini was bland and boring. I didn't like this dish much, but the potatoes helped fill me up.


5th course:
The smoked salmon and corn risotto was savoury and creamy without being too heavy. The smear of slightly spicy relish on the side was a nice touch.


6th course:
The next course was a cheese board with creamy goat cheese, saffron-infused poached pear, candied and spiced walnuts, a spoonful of honey and a couple pieces of crostini. The goat cheese was incredibly smooth and flavourful. It was just perfect with the assortment of various textures and flavours: refreshing soft pear, crunchy spiced walnuts, silky sweet honey and crispy crostini.


7th course:
In order to transition from savoury to sweet, we got cucumber sorbet to cleanse our palates. The sorbet was sandwiched between a bed of pickled ginger and a piece of crisp basil leaf. I found it interesting that while I did not like any of the ingredients separately, I actually enjoyed this dish because it definitely served its purpose of refreshing the palate.


8th course:
The dessert was chocolate brownie with raspberry chantilly and lemon curd. I enjoyed it because I like brownies. I have nothing to complain about, but this was just a standard dessert with nothing exciting or special about it.


9th course:
I was very disappointed by the macarons served on shortbread crumbs. I don't know if this should be counted as a course because it was shared between the 4 of us. The macarons were done very badly with an overbearing almond flavour and an interior that was not chewy at all. The presentation alone was bad enough, as the cookies were a sickeningly pale green. They were all assembled carelessly and the filling was just thrown in without being spread out evenly.


I think C Restaurant does seafood quite well, but is not strong in the patisserie department. For the price I paid, I'm very happy with the meal. I doubt I would return at $94/person though, because I don't feel that the ambiance and service are up to par for fine dining standards.

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4 comments:

KayCe on November 18, 2011 12:44 pm said...

I tried this 9-course dinner also, I liked it a lot. The mushroom soup was so interesting. ahhaa, but yea, I think the name is a little too long. There was a coupon for it when I went, $94/person is a little pricey...

krispymilk on November 18, 2011 1:43 pm said...

I had a coupon too... luckily. I would go again if they do the deal again, but I would not pay $94. At that price, I would expect much better service and a nicer/cleaner seating environment.

pyaria on November 19, 2011 6:34 pm said...

Wild mushrooms are usually much more expensive, because human foragers actually have to go out into the forest to look for them underneath/around logs and rocks, and also because success at finding mushrooms is not guaranteed. Wild mushrooms are also supposed to have a deeper, earthier taste to them. I intend to find out one day.

Re: 2nd course, runny egg - sounds like C Restaurant is delving into molecular gastronomy!

I wonder how they crisped the basil leaf! It looks shiny in your picture - was it glazed in oil and then dehydrated slightly in the oven, like a chip?

krispymilk on November 19, 2011 7:51 pm said...

@pyaria: Sounds like you've taken an interest in cooking! I'm not sure how they made the basil crisp. I'm pretty sure they just fry it in oil and blot it off slightly.

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