As some of you know, I'm not a kid anymore. Father time just made it official back on the 25th, marking 30 years that I've been running amock on the planet. To celebrate, Katie tried to slow me down a bit with a surprise dinner at Reflett here in Dubai. Definitely my favorite restaurant worldwide, only she'd setup a bit of a surprise.
She wanted to do something special, so she literally "dared" the head chef and manager cut their team loose and try a new concept -30 courses for 30 years. Every bite was indeed amazing -but after 2 hours and 10 courses in, we were already tanked. We DID finish everything, and barely made it home - woozy, and 6 hours later.
My body hasn't really recovered yet, and despite the fact that those were the best 30 plates I've ever eaten in my life ("Scallop mousseline with turmeric, Machego risotto, and chilled pulp of pear" was just one of them), my back-of-envelope-calculation has us eating 6-7 pounds of food EACH. Here's the full menu, with photos to boot!
Also, a HUGE thank you to the team at Reflett - you never, ever cease to amaze us, but please don't try to out-do yourselves on this one!
1) Crab from Brittany Richelandière
2) Terrine of foie gras, beetroot carpaccio, crapaudine and raspberry ice cream
3) Langoustine in a mild curry, coriander (So good I forgot to take a picture!)
4) Grilled langoustine, peppered olive oil, turnip Shitao
5) Langoustine tartare, tandoori paste
6) Ratatouille, fenneal jelly, mozzarella ice cream
7) Toast Zézette, salad of Thai grapefruit and French beans
8) Tarte amandine and white beetroot, acidic beetroot syrup
9) Seared scallop, celeriac and chicory with Sake
10) Scallop mousseline with turmeric, Manchego risotto, chilled pulp of pear
11) Scallop tartare on bitterness, soup of raw vegetables Hudson
12) Tuna belly from Spain, pan-fried girolles with turnip; goose liver, fresh dates and dried apricots
13) Salmon Salma, a slice of tomato coated in chickpea flour, melted sorrel and rhubarb mousse
14) John Dory flavoured with espelette pepper, julienne of avocado; infusion
15) Braised turnip with Port, green velouté, lard from Colonatta
16) Saffron cake with mascarpone, lamb sweetbreads, chilled and bitter
17) Artichoke granite with truffle
18) Pomme Anna, roe deer with ceps, sauce Grand Veneur
19) Pigeon, sauerkraut cream, confit tomato and ratte potato; roasted flour shortbread
20) Roquefort soufflé with fresh walnuts (also too good to photograph!)
21) Indian jelly
22) Tarte Linzer
23) Lemon baba
24) Pear, curry, carvi
25) Roasted fig, nougat
26) Rhubarb 3 ways
27) Coffee parfait, hazelnut cream
28) Small chocolate cake, praline
29) Mini clafoutis soufflé
30) Pistachio parfait, marzipan and frozen olive oil
31) Lots of little chocolate cookies, and more, and more...
Ending with ice cream (#31, in fact) reminded me of another 31 that makes a good analogy. If you're anything like most children, you always wanted to go into Baskin Robbins and try all 31 flavors. "If only they'd let me into the store when nobody was around!" I used think. Well, I've learned my lesson! Imagine having two scoops (and a cone) of EVERY FLAVOR in a Baskin Robbins store then rolling yourself out of there, and you'll have some idea of how I felt on the cab ride home (and for the next few days!)