Of all the days, my B’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day. Of all the days, this year, Lunar New Year was on Valentine’s Day. So, this year, for us, the B’s birthday was Friday, February 12. We have both been fans of Top Chef from early on – but last season, we were big Voltaggio Brothers’ fans. He rooted for Michael while I was hoping Brian would take the win. So, for his birthday I decided to surprise him to a big meal at the The Dining Room at The Langham Hotel where Michael Voltaggio is now the Executive Chef. I’ve heard/read criticism about the aesthetic and atmosphere of the restaurant but upon entering, it didn’t bother me so much. With that said, below, is The Tasting Menu…
Complimentary birthday champagne and a glass of wine for the meal.
First Serving of Bread: sourdough and bacon roll
The sourdough was average and I was hoping the bacon inside the roll would be more crispy but the butters that came with were at the perfect temperature to spread.
Amouse-bouche: parmesan churro with spiced mayonnaise
It was a lovely dish that whet my appetite – I could definitely feel my heart beat.
1st Course: Japanese Shima Aji
Pickled Baby Peach, Sea Sponge, Bonito
I wasn’t sure if I’d like any of the ingredients listed but I was pleasantly surprised.
Goat’s Milk Butter
The roll came out warm with just the right amount of truffle mixed in.
2nd Course: Langoustine
Young Fennel, Lobster, Mushroom Lasagna
The texture of the lobster and lasagna, along with the sauce, was perfection.
3rd Course: Autumn Harvest
The idea of having 2 plates of foie gras was overwhelming, so I asked for a substitute dish. I didn’t think I would like any of the vegetables that came with this dish, but I cleared it. Yay for trying new vegetables!
3rd Course: Foie Gras
Blood Orange, Salsify, Aerated Brioche
Smooth, heavy, and rich.
4th Course: Skate Wing
Brown Butter, Scrambled Cauliflower, Caper Powder
I’m still not sure how I feel about skate, but the caper powder just melted on your tongue and brought out complex flavors to complement the fish.
5th Course: Pastrami Pigeon
Swiss Cheese, Sauerkraut, Rye
Pastrami flavored bird – this was not my most favorite dish, but it stuck out the most. The taste and texture combination threw me off at first but in the end, I was amazed at how the flavors were so on point.
6th Course: Japanese Kuroge Beef
Marrow Toast, Matsutake, Bordelaise Sauce
This was my favorite dish (unfortunately, I was over-stuffed, and couldn’t manage to finish). The mean was perfectly marbled beef and the mushroom and sauce combined very well with the dish. The marrow was as expected, very rich and generously portioned.
Palate Cleanser: Raspberry Sorbet
I wished we had a whole bowl full of these little dippin’ dots, but I guess it was just enough to prepare us for dessert – super refreshing.
7th Course: Fools Gold
Chocolate, Salty Hazelnut Praline, Milk Sorbet
Chocolate and gold – how can you go wrong with either?
7th Course: Sticky Toffee Pudding
Jasmine “Rice Cream”, Lime, Banana Custard
My B didn’t like the lime foam so much, but I thought this dessert was out of this world – a perfect combination of sweet, rich, sour, and smooth.
Post-dessert: Passion Fruit Jellies wrapped in Rice Paper, mini-Lemon Macaroons, and Pop-rock dark chocolate Lollipops (throwback)
A fantastic way to end the meal.
As you can see, I had a number of camera difficulties. Of the many pictures we took, some were epic failures – see above.
Michael told us that the restaurant will be going under renovation soon. We will definitely be going back!