Today I met my family at the Charles de Gaulle airport and drove them to Chablis. There was a big accident on the A6 highway because all cars stopped moving for 30 minutes, and people got out of the cars to see what was happening down the road. Soon, a few ambulances and rescue vehicles arrived and cleared the way.
Because of that, by the time we arrived in Chablis most restaurants were closed. We finally found a bistro. All they had left to offer us was a cheese platter with salad and bread, which we willingly agreed on, and some Chablis wine.
We drove on to Dijon, settled down quickly at the hotel and booked a table at a Michelin 1-star restaurant at the Hostellerie de Chapeau Rouge. I was surprised it was relatively easy to book a place on the day itself. We took a scenic walk through the historical part of town to get to the restaurant.
Overall, the food was good, but initially disappointing. As an Asian, I am not so easily impressed when presented with a row of maki (Japanese rice rolls) and what tasted like fried dough with Indian spices dipped in yoghurt sauce. My own starter was salmon in 3 ways. One tasted like a Vietnamese dumpling, with chopped salmon and mint leaves wrapped in a rice-based dumpling skin with a fish sauce dip. Another was like a wrap with guacamole. The final chunk of salmon was nicely done and I thought that was the most original. I thought it would’ve been fine to stick to French, or a less literal interpretation of ‘fusion’ food. The other starter was a simple rocket salad but nicely done, though I dare say it was nothing unusual.
The wine was excellent and together with the main courses, made up for the unimaginative Asian-style starters. My veal was tender and tasty even though the pieces were thick. The others had beef and swordfish, and the roast pigeon in could’ve been the best dish of all, because it was even more flavourful and succulent than my veal.
We ended the meal with two combinations of various desserts, either laid into one cup or plate. I tasted unsweetened ‘glace’ (ice cream) and it was actually refreshing. The sesame whipped cream was also unsweetened, and similarly easier on my conscience. So were the jelly cubes. Thus I thought the mains and desserts were worth it.
Tomorrow we head to Beaune, another town en route to Geneva.