Oh... I never noticed till now that my blog settings made it so that only registered users could comment=/ Sorry about that. I just changed it so that everyone can leave a comment.
Happy New Year=)
A student's effort to resist the temptation of instant noodles.
Dinner at Cyrus is definitely one of those meals that you will remember and talk about for quite some time. The food was wonderful and the service was excellent. Having been to Terra and Redd, I can say Cyrus certainly worthy of 2 Michelin stars. Ever seen my meal at Terra(1 star) I was dieing to see what a two starred restaurant would be like. Now I know what an extra star means, attention to detail. First, the dishes are far more intricate(more on this below). Second, the level of service. You never really see when the ninjas come to refill your water. They always lead you to the bathroom and always wait for your to return and hand you your napkin(it was a long meal we went to the bathroom twice). They offered a scarf to Jen when she looked like she was cold. What I was most impressed with was the actual table service. It seem like they have a one waiter-one plate rule. So with every dish came two waiters that served the food in perfect unison. That’s the front of the house. From the back of the house, the food always came out at the right time. We would wait maybe 3-5 minute after we finish for the next dish to arrive. A cool thing that the kitchen does is you can order as many dishes as
Canapés- A 3 tier display of cute little bite size treats designed to hit all the taste senses.
Pan seared big eye tuna- small pieces of seared tuna with a hint of ginger and maybe scallion in a tiny spoon. okay
Trout fritter- small marble sized fritter. Bit on the salty side but I think it was intention. okay
Pork dumplings-a mini dumpling with a sweet pork filling. I think it taste like char sui bao(bbq pork bun). The pastry skins was mediocre at best when compared to "real" chinese xiao long baos( steamed dumpling). soso
Grapefruit jelly with campari( an alcohol with a bitter overtone)- a tiny diamond of grapefruit gelee garnished with a tiny knotted orange peel. I was amazed at the level of detail i'm seeing. The knotted orange peels wasn't just for show, it added a nice crunchy element to the gelee. good
Again i am wondering what the chef's intentions were for this dish. Am i over analyzing his dishes or is there another level of appreciation to chef Keane's cuisine that can be easily overlooked. Considering the caliber of the chef in question here I would suspect the latter. I now understand why people enjoy analyzing literature. Because it’s freakin COOL to see something that you THINK other people don't. Okay let me explain. So far you can see quite a bit of Asian influence in the food, ie shittake broth, pork dumplings. So what if the tiny garnish of orange peel was another incorporation of Asian cuisine into French. What if, the orange peel wasn't orange but instead a kumquat. And that the knot in the peel was not just for looks, but purposefully placed there by the chef utilizing a Chinese cooking technique( this might be used in other Asian cuisines but as far as i know i have only seen it in Chinese dishes). When using golden needle mushrooms, Chinese cooks tie knots in them to add texture. Cool huh? Well I think it is=)
Shiitake broth- a warm and tangy shiitake broth. okay
Individually the canapés were nothing spectacular, but collectively the
canapés did a nice job at hitting the right notes exciting the palate for the tasting to come. Bring on the food.
Bread and Butter
A small fist size baguette roll torn from a larger corn plant shaped loaf (what do you call bread that looks like this?
We were served two styles of butter: salted French style cow's milk and lighty salted American goat's milk. The French butter had a luscious yellow hue and tasted just like how it looked, rich and creamy. The goat butter was not as rich as the cow butter but it did have a pleasant grassy/clover aroma on the finish. It’s like being transported to the pastures that the goats grazed on. I prefer the richer and saltier cows butter though. There were also two types of salt: Fleur de sel and Hawaiian red sea salt. To be honest I can't tell difference in taste between the two. Texture wise the fleur de sel has a much better crunch to due to its giant diamond flake crystals. I have seen several brand of fleur de sel but none of them had crystals quite as big. Some were this about this < > big- great
Amuse Bouche- Chilled cucumber soup with micro greens salad.
1st course-Chilled ratatouille soup with olive oil poached king salmon
The chef has really thought this though. The transition to this dish from the last was beautiful. I was craving something savory after the finishing the tangy soup. The foie gras was velvety smooth and melts in your mouth like butter. I can only compare it to my other foie experience from Redd. This was much smoother and less gamey. Even though it was a torchon the texture was like the mousse I had at Redd, yea it is that creamy! The mini disks of toast crumpets were crunching on the outside and a chewy interior, think dense english muffin without all the large holes, with a interesting aroma of yeast. I dig the yeasty flavor. Did anyone else think crumpets were mushrooms? The texture was a bit to dense for me and I would have preferred a lighter broche. The combination of peach and foie was good but nothing special. I think it could have been any fruit that provides the correct balance of sweetness and acidity. Give me something that is in season Mr. Keane! -excellent
Poached Maine lobster with some lobster foam with a poached egg topped with Santa Barbara uni and spring onions. A rich and decadent dish loaded with luxurious ingredients. I first ate the seductive looking piece uni sitting on top of the egg, sashimi style before it gets warmed up. So what does the supposed best uni in the world from Santa Barbara taste like? It was not fishy at all nor was it bitter, just the clean sweet taste of the sea with a lingering scent of fruit. The lobster was nice cooked and was sweet and succulent. Yet the most amazing item on the plate was neither the uni nor the lobster, but the humble egg. The waiter informed us that the egg was from a Bantham chicken and was laid that morning. I would have believed him even if said they had a chicken in the kitchen laying the eggs to order. This was one awesome poached egg. When you pop the yolk, liquid gold oozed across the plate and enhanced everything it touched. This my friends was probably the thickest and richest yolk i have ever tasted. And I've have my fair share of egg yolks and rice. On the inside I was secreting hoping, more on the verge of begging, for some steamed rice, with some more of this egg. Since licking the plate is frowned upon I cleverly utilizing some bread to mopped up the remaining yolk on the plate. Dish as a whole- very good. THE Egg- Sublime
4th Duck breast with sweet corn and chanterelle mushroom, spiced duck jus.(burrowed picture)
Three pieces of thinly sliced duck breast, the almighty Liberty farm, resting on top of a sweet polenta like mush. The skin was nice and crispy and the meat rare. More Asian influence here, I think it was 5 spice flavored. I would have liked it to be cooked a bit more. I enjoy the texture of cooked duck meat a lot more than when it is raw. We opted for one of our plate to be fitted with the day’s truffle special add on. Since I have never had truffles before I figured why not. A honking fist sized Austrian black truffle was brought out and sliced tableside. I was extremely disappointed with this supposed gourmet delicacy. At the price tag of $20 for 3 slices I would have expected something with extraordinary flavor. Instead I get something with a faint taste of raw mushroom. In fact I wasted ½ a slice when I at it with the sweet corn, I couldn’t taste it at all. The best part of this dish was the sautéed chanterelle mushrooms. At first I thought they were another cut of duck meat. It had a nice meaty quality to it. I didn’t realize they were mushrooms until my second piece. Okay
4.5th -Lime and watermelon palate cleanser.(burrowed picture, not even the right flavor)served and eaten within 30 secs did not have time to take pictures.
Resetting the taste buds with the crisp clean taste of citrus and melon. Mmm clean and ready for more food.
5th Waygu beef with kombu and cherry tomatoes, ponzu
This was one of the dishes I was looking forward to when I heard the menu. I’ve been wanting to try what wagyu aka kobe beef taste like. By the way did you know that in Japan there are 15 grades of beef with 15 the highest grade kobe. The best beef in the US, USDA prime, would rank only at 7. I digress. An ounce size slice of beef on top of kombu with a crispy sushi rice cake and daikon salad. There was also a tiny seaweed like garnish which I can’t figure out( looks like vine of grapes). The beef was nicely seared on the outside and rare in the middle. The marbling fat in the meat was beautiful. The meat was much more tender than any filet mignon I’ve ever had and with much more flavor of beef. The first bite was the best though, because there was a bit of sea salt on it. Damn why didn’t I think of adding my own from the jar on the table! So stupid… The rice cake was also very good. Taste like sushi rice with a crunching outside with a hint of ginger. I don’t like ginger but I thought it was actually a nice touch to the rice. Kombu was a bit to salty to eat on its own, but okay with the beef. The tart cherry tomatoes help cut the richness of the beef fat. A well balance dish with great flavors and texture.
6th Cheese course
The cheese cart was a bit intimidating. Luckily we didn’t have to choose. The cheese guy probed us with a few question to determine our taste preferences and then choose 7 different types of for us to try. I’d say there was about 25-30 types on the cart. Unfortunately I can’t recall most of the names of the cheeses we had. So the best I could do is describe them by taste. Excuse my poor descriptions; my experience with cheese is quite limited.
Starting from the bottom right and going clockwise.
Accompanying the cheese was a bunch of mini grapes, spiced nuts and nut cake thingy.
7th Strawberry Verjus Soup with Yuzu Parfait
The best tasting component of this dish was the spearmint granite with white chocolate garnishing the yuzu parfait. The parfait itself was like a custard/jello panna cotta. Which was nice but not great. The orange crisp resting between the parfait and the granite tasted like caramel and kind of sticks to your teeth. The WOW factor of this dish was certainly from the granite. One bite and I find myself asking “what flavor is this???” It’s had a pure, refreshing and extremely clean taste, which is very rare when it comes to desserts. Just the right amount of sweetness that fades away leaving behind a wonderful spearmint aroma. At first I thought it was basil until I asked the waiter. Mint and basil are sorta in the same family right? The strawberry verjus added table side looked great adding popping color to the dish. Taste wise it was just like off season sour berries. – Okay dish -sublime granite
8th Chocolate Beignets
A triplet of deep fried chocolate beignets filled with salted ganache and coated with sugar. I believe the crimson sauce was a chocolate cherry reduction. On the other side of the plate was a lemon grass mascarpone on a palmier cookie and cherry compote. The beignets taste like brownies. Decent but not great. The mascarpone was good though, very light creamy texture with a hint of lemongrass. – good
And finally, the candy cart that we’ve been staring at the time whole night. The server at first the server asked us to choose what we want but ended up just giving us some of everything.
White chocolate truffle- very smooth and not to rich, good
Dark chocolate truffle- good
Tootsie roll- looks like the classic tootsie roll and with the exact texture. But this actually taste like chocolate- nice
Raspberry jelly- This was very good, nothing like the nasty pasty stuff you get for Christmas in those assorted candy boxes. The jellie had great texture and the flavor was more intense than eating real fruit. excellent
Butter mint- taste like pillow mints-good
Sugar cookie- tiny vanilla cookies that is slightly chewy-okay
Milk chocolate melty- homage to the Lotte chocolate melts? -good
Caramel- I normally find caramels to be too sweet, but this was very good.
Lollipop- A surprising touch of ginger turns an other wise boring sugar lollie into something unique.- good
We started with a cheese and meat platter. Forgot to take pictures cause we were so hungry.
The three types of cheese we picked were:
eille viere morbier
It has a creamy brown crust, the interior is two layers of glossy, yellowish-ivory paste, separated by a thin flavorless layer of ash. This separates the morning milking from the evening milking. (raw milk)
A hard funky cheese, strongest of the three. my least favorite
Cypress Grove Chevre of McKinleyville, California.
It's a goat's milk cheese that is aged for at least one year. Midnight Moon has a warm, nutty flavor with hints of caramel.
Semi hard cheese that's pretty smooth on the palette.
Camembert. New York
Can't find it on the menu online now.
I liked this one the most and found it to be the most complex. I liked the textural contrast between the creamy center and the gelatin like rind. The taste is mild and very creamy. There is a very noticeable peppery finish that comes through after you shallow the cheese.
Grilled figs with panchetta and pecans on baby arugula. My initial impression was that the arugula was too strong. As i ate more I became less sensitive to the pungency. Thinking back now I think they forgot to put the cheese on it=/
After seeing this sauce on top chef i had to try it out. It's definitely an interesting combination, though on the sweet side. Maybe it if better on fish than on beef. I really enjoyed the rutabaga which tasted like cross between a daikon and a potato. I've never had it before so it's a new venture for me. Also my first time cooking beets too. Peeling the warm beet feel like open heart surgery as crimson beet juice gushed everywhere. I drizzled the cubes with some olive oil infused with home made raz el hanout( interested in trying what the real blend taste like, mine was not bad) On the side is some Alfredo pasta.
Backs and inner chicken parts of 2 chicken
3 quarts water
Bring to boil add chicken, skim scum
Add ½ large carrot, peeled and chopped
Strain, shred some boiled chicken meat or add fresh chicken
Reduce to about 1 quart or less
1 tbs soy, less than
1 tbs mirin
¼ tsp sesame oil
1 slice of ginger
1 ts salt or less, taste it.
Add spinach, 1 bunch, about 3-4 cups
Boil for 2 mins
Remove form broth
Dumplings(make like 1/4 of this recipe, unless you really like dumplings).
2 c flour
1 c chicken broth
1 ts salt
1 ts baking powder
Mix and cut into strips, make smaller long ovals
Add thinly sliced carrots to broth and bring to boil.
Add dumplings and cover. Simmer for 13 mins
Add chicken and spinach. Serve hot