A few months ago the Bombay Foodies decided (actually the Chef did) to spend a bomb and experience some really good food at Mezzo Mezzo at the JW Marriott, but since a lot has been happening we have found little time to just get our thoughts together and write down our first experience of this much talked about Michelin meal (First of many, we hope) . We’ve spent years hearing about this coveted Michelin star in the world of food. Not in India, of course. But movies, books, food shows on tv. The question from most people is what is a michelin star?
For the purpose of clarity, let us simplify the story behind it, a little. It all started with the Michelin Tire company in the 1900s, when they decided to print a food-guide to encourage travellers to make road-trips to explore the food scene in France. The whole idea of it was to boost the use of cars, using great food as an incentive. The Michelin brothers went to great lenghts to hire anonymous reviewers who visited the restaurant like any other customer, evaluated the food and rated them between 0-3 stars.
- One Star: A good place to stop on your journey, indicating a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
- Two Stars: A restaurant worth a detour, indicating excellent cuisine and skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality
- Three Stars: A restaurant worth a special journey, indicating exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients.
Good idea, no? From then till now to a french Chef Michelin Star is the only things that matters.
Information Source: Click here
Well this concept has been brought to India by 4XFOUR.in where they get 4 Michelin star chefs to a property, take over the kitchen and dish out the dishes the particular chefs are known for. Since this happened for the first time in India, they got down only two chefs to see how it goes. We had Chef Laurent Puegoet from France and Grandmaster Chef Giovanni D’Amato from Italy who came down and got their signature dishes for us Mumbaikars to try out.
It was our Chef’s sister’s birthday and for that he decided to take her and the Foodie for this meal. Since he could afford only one of the two chefs, he decided to go for Chef Laurents’ meal as he was mixing French cuisine with Japanese influences! Sounds PIMPED out, doesn’t it?. You need to read on as to what chef Laurent had for us! Being in touch with our friend Reem Iqbal from Madison PR, we finally booked a table for Thursday night, and luckily for us, that was the only night the restaurant wasn’t sold out for the meal. Yup every other day a maximum of 64 seats were booked out for the Michelin meal, just proving the fact that Mumbaikars are ready for this type of food. Taking a day off from work, and making sure everyone did not eat lunch, the Bombay Foodies went off to the Marriott, to have what would turn out to be a meal of a lifetime!
8,400 per person for an 8 course almost entirely of seafood, without alcohol does seem a little too off the hook, but its the experience that was paid for. We shall be repeating this point throughout the post as well as in the end! The night we had our dinner, there was also a ‘media table’ where our friend Reem was also present and they were among the 30 lucky who could dine in peace that night.
Lets get reaaadddy to eatttt??
Before we do — we’ll be putting a lot of links to help you guys out with the ingredients used in the various courses. Many of them being Japanese have not been heard off.
Course 1: Watermelon Cube, Garlic Clam, Tomato water Caviar and Marmalade olive oil.
Yousaywaahhhh???? As simple as it sounds and looks, this dish did mix complex flavours with simple ones. The sweetness of the watermelon, tart of the Tomato caviars, sourness of the Olive oil and Marmalade with the clam was a flavour bomb which only went off in our mouth! Yes the portion is small, but then we had another 7 courses to go and this did start off with a BANG!
Course 2: Scallops burnt and marinated with Sake Soja, Pumpkin puree, Pomelo and Takuwan.
If the first course showed off the French influences, the second was a blend of French-Japo fusion! The puree combined with the burnt Scallops, was on the sweeter side of things but were perfectly balanced with the citric Pomelo, peppery baby Aragula, pickled Raddish (Takuwan) and the marination of Sake Soju. Wiped Clean!
Course 3: Langoustine, Eggplant Dengaku with crispy Soju 3 yrs old.
Now we in India love our Brinjal, let it be ‘Bharta‘ or the Bengali Chaap, in this dish Chef Laurent gave us just that! He told us that he went to the market and saw the produce and one thing that is common to French Japanese and Indian food is the humble ‘Baigan.’ In this dish he broiled one part of the eggplant using a sweet savoury Miso glaze( See Dengaku preparation) grilled a beautifully fresh Langoustine with simple seasonings and also made a bharta sort of mix on which the Langoustine laid.
Course 4: Green and White Asparagus, Sabayon, Canadian Lobster.
As simple as this dish sounds, it packed a great punch when it came to texture and flavour. Blanched green and white asparagus all tied together with a chive string, seasoned with cracked sea salt. On the side, in a shot glass a nice, sweet and fleshy Canadian lobster with a warm salty and buttery sabayon. This dish was all about simplicity and mix of crunch, soft with sweet and savoury elements!
Course 5: Sea Bass, Crispy scales with white Turnip and Sesame broth.
Another seafood based course (And we aren’t complaining) with a blend of Japo-French influences. Yes the plating looks a little off, with the black pot and Sea Bass skin being almost the same color. But we were here for he food and it was AWESOME! Things that we never expected or have seen only on MasterChef episodes like crispy scales, entire green pea pods, sesame broth all put together was damn exciting! The fresh (so it seemed) and fleshy Sea Bass, with the poached Turnip and seaweed, was another banging combination of ingredients used by chef Laurent. But all we want you to imagine, would you eat this dish if it were called Macchi aur Shalgam, Til ka paani, Poora Matar?? We were really amazed how chef turned simple Indian ingredients into something wonderful!!!
Course 6: Chicken breast, Yuzu Koshio, Beetroot salt Crusted, Melted Curry Ball.
One course with chicken, Indian influences and this is when the sh*t went down! We were told before our meal by Reem, that chef had an ‘Indianized’ main course and it would be something we should look forward to ( even she hadn’t tasted it then) Well all we can say is that chef Laurent should have stuck to seafood as this dish mad only misses and no hits. The curry ball to strong, chicken breast really thick and dry and the beets were too salty and had a really strong flavor. The only saviour was the Doppleganger beer that the chefs sister was having with this.
Course 7 & 8: Strawberry, Espuma of Thai Basil, Rocket Sorbet and and Cream Cheese Merignue and White cube of Maniquette Pepper, Burnt Miso.
These two desserts have defined and shown us where contemporary cuisine has reached in today’s time. Did we mention our strawberry dessert had black olive slices, a sorbet of Rocket leave a Basil foam and blanched tomatoes?? AND IT ALL TASTED SWEEET!!!!! Presented in a beautiful brandy balloon, which we must say is a first in plate presentation seen by us. We were told that this was to be had at an angle for a reason, and of course instead of reading too much into it, just gobbled it down instaed, in no time. The next was a cubed piece of what seemed like a simple white chocolate cheesecake (but was not a cheesecake) but was giving an excellent twist with burnt miso which was sweet to taste and a piece of pepper covered in a sweet.
Yes are posting this 3 months after we ate the meal and the hype around it is all gone, but we just wanted to make sure we get it right. Yes paying 8500 per head is expensive without alcohol, but that’s the point of it. It’s the entire experience that was given to us by the Chef and the Marriott. We got to experience a Michelin Star chef’s meal and got to know so much about him and his culture. We realised what it takes to cook a meal of this proportion and also the fact that maybe just maybe we can get a Michelin star chef in our country (hope our Chef is listening :P). Overall, it was a great meal and the service standards were kept high all throughout.
Value for Money: 3.5
(The Bombay Foodies paid for the meal and have written honest reviews and opinions, no outside factor has influenced them to give the rating given above.)