Have you guys ever dined at a Michelin star restaurant? Michelin stars are a rating system to grade restaurants on the quality ranging from one to three stars. One star indicates a “very good restaurant”; two stars indicate “excellent cuisine”; and three stars means “exceptional quality, worth the visit”.
The first time I visited a Michelin star restaurant was three years ago in San Sebastian. You can read the post here. Since we’re in Europe, we knew we had to try out some of the Michelin star restaurants. There are 163 Micheline star restaurants in the world and sadly, none in Canada.
Thanks to Jeanie who chose Hélène Darroze. Hélène Darroze is a renowned female chef who owns two Michelin restaurants. She is also the winner of the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award in 2015. I’m elated that we were able to dine at one of her restaurants.
While walking towards the hotel, I saw a Goyard Store, so I just took a pic with it. We don’t have this brand in Vancouver.
This prestigious hotel is more than 100 years old but it still looks luxurious.
The interior is sophisticated with beautiful wood panelling, plush furnishings, and an intimate vibe.
When we were seated, we were presented with two menus – tasting and lunch. This marble menu is the tasting menu. It works by eliminating what you don’t want by leaving the ball on the outside and what you would like to order on the inside. Genius, isn’t it?
We opted for the lunch menu which costs 52 GBP per person which is roughly CAD $88. It consists of 1 starter, 1 main, 1 dessert, 2 glasses of wine, a bottle of water, and tea or coffee.
Honestly, this meal is A FABULOUS BARGAIN!
And in case you didn’t know, we are the bread family. All the females in my family (especially my mom) love bread. We polished this loaf within minutes. Not to mention the tasty, flavoured butter which made this perfect bread even better.
We started off with a trio of amuse bouche. Everything was so cute and dainty.
We had 3 or 4 different staff serving us and they were all welcoming, cheerful, and a bit humorous. :)
My appetizer was this beautiful plate of heirloom tomatoes with gazpacho jelly, anchovy, basil, and Taggiasca olive.
We also ordered this gorgeous plate of wild garlic lasagna layered with ricotta and topped with snails and ham. The texture and flavours were astounding.
For my main, I ordered the Challans duck with a crust of spices and peppers served with Manuka honey, cherry and beetroot. Once again, this was cooked to perfection.
Elaine was in awe looking at this beautiful dish.
The salmon tasted very soft and buttery. Come to think of it, I must have overcooked my salmon at home. Obviously, my salmon tasted nothing like this.
Basically, we’re so full but there always seems to be a second stomach for desserts.
Umm…let’s talk about exquisite tableware. Desserts and coffee were served in the Hermes Balcon du Guadalquivir plates and cups. I don’t know if it’s the porcelain cup but this coffee was insane. Even my sister’s English Breakfast tea was not that boring =)
Dark chocolate truffles
Like I said we couldn’t eat a bite but we couldn’t resist these petit fours.
We are not done yet. They also gave us a Canneles de Bordeaux (French pastry with custard center) and by this time, we can’t put anything in our mouths. Seriously, my stomach was bursting. Lol. We took it back to our hotel and devoured it at night. As usual, this did not disappoint.
We were at the restaurant for almost three and a half hour. It was a joy to eat every course. We were stuffed to the brim. Like REALLY FULL, I couldn’t eat until 10 that night. And that was pretty crazy cuz I’m usually always hungry.
So, I’m in love with Hélène. The food is sublime. This is easily the best meal I had this year. It’s a bold statement but it’s true. I highly recommend those who will be visiting London to try this restaurant. I would still come here for lunch rather than dinner since it’s double the price. Next stop: Madrid. See you soon!
PS I find it INCREDIBLY HARD to describe food. Also, I think taste is very subjective. So, please excuse me for not describing the food in details.