- Posted by Shasta on May 3rd, 2008 filed in Are You Gonna Eat That?, Bucket List, Does All Her Own Stunts, Made In Ontario
Note: I wrote this post yesterday, with the intentions of publishing it before the day was over, and then Nelek invited me over to his place and I got totally side tracked. More on that to come, but here’s yesterdays post, today!
I was planning to post a review today…however, the foxy Mz. F (also known simply as F around these parts) has expressed to me the importance of sharing my Susur experience with you instead. The review can wait, since it would likely be best to post the details of the evening while I can still remember most of them.
Jack and I arrived for our reservation with time to spare. I had decided to wear this top, along with some very nice fitting black dress pants, while Jack looked incredibly handsome in his business suit (even though I get to see him wear it all the time, it’s still hot as hell).
Due to our timing the matride informed us that they had a better table for us if we were willing to wait a few minutes for them to set it up. Naturally we didn’t turn that down and took a seat at the small bar in the waiting area while they prepared for us. The decor and general feel of the place was simple, yet classy. Not pretentious, although it was clear that this wasn’t the sort of place you’d go to just any old day. The women were all wearing dresses or dress pants and pretty blouses. The men were mostly wearing suits or golf shirts and dress slacks. The waitstaff was highly professional, and you could tell that they had been meticulously trained to preform their tasks just so. They certainly were nothing like the servers who are working their way towards a better career. Waiting IS their career in this case, and they do it very, very well.
We were seated in one of the corner booths, which I appreciated, close enough to the kitchen door that I got to catch sight of Susur Lee a couple of times through the evening. When you’re really into cooking or food or fine dining, it’s like being in the presence of a celebrity. Jack said that I was practically beside myself with excitement.
To start off we ordered a bottle of wine for the meal. I was relieved that our waiter did not attempt to ‘up-sell’ us on anything more expensive, nor turn his nose up when we asked for ice water rather than Perrier. The wine we selected was a bottle of 2006 Dr. Loosen Riesling, which we’ve had before and liked very much. It’s a German wine, quite sweet, but it didn’t overpower the food at all, which was the point at any rate.
There were two tasting menus being offered for the evening, and so each of us would be getting a selection of slightly different dishes, which would finale with a shared two-tier dessert tray.
I will lay out the courses we had and then comment on them after. Keep in mind I didn’t take notes so these aren’t going to be 100% detailed, but should give you a general idea:
First Course (pre-course):
Oyster, two ways - Raw oyster on the half shell, marinated in 25 year old sherry ~ breaded oyster, accompanied by house made tartar sauce.
Mine - Rack of lamb, topped with a fruit compote, served over some sort of grilled eggplant
Jack’s - Grilled Bison w/ a lobster-based sauce, accompanied by a shallot and a tomato
Mine - Seared foie gras with a saffron sauce, candied pineapple wedge, and some sort of glazed banana
Jack’s - Seared foie gras with coffee chocolate sauce, candied mango, and a bite-sized pineapple pastry
Three kinds of mushroom, served over white asparagus in a cream-based sauce. Garnished with a wedge of blood orange
Raspberry sorbet with balsamic vinegar and sliced strawberries (which was served spectacularly with dry ice, so very elegant)
Mine - Ring of battered giant calamari, served over a cream based sauce and topped with a spicy mixed-greens salad
Jack’s - Ring of battered giant calamari, served with mayonnaise and squid ink, and topped with a spicy mixed-greens salad
Mine - Seared halibut over a pesto-like sauce, accompanied by an asparagus spear and a slice of steamed leek
Jack’s - Seared halibut with two kinds of sauce (one of them being black truffle based) and some sort of greens (I stopped paying attention because I had tasted my fish and lost my mind with enjoyment).
A selection of 9 small desserts, ranging from coffee cake with chocolate ganache filling to passion fruit tart. All of them were amazing.
So, the entire dining experience took over two hours, and despite the fact that the volume of food would have barely filled a single dinner plate, I was completely full by the end of it.
There were nice pauses between courses, during which Jack and I enjoyed our wine and generally marvelled over the food and the experience.
Jack and I shared pretty much everything, which was interesting in itself because even the slightest difference in preparation, of the exact same food, makes such an incredible difference in the taste.
I think that the foie gras was my favorite, although the texture was totally different than what I expected. It’s really unfortunate that something so delicious is the result of extreme cruelty to ducks, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to justify eating it again. I’m still glad that I got to try it, just that once.
The halibut was a very close second, since it practically melted in my mouth. I could eat that every day and never get tired of it. Jack’s black truffle sauce was perhaps the most delicious sauce I’ve ever tasted.
When the sorbet arrived Jack and I were both quite taken with the presentation. Basically it was a small dish of sorbet, perched inside this bamboo trough, which had water and some shards of dry ice in it. Dry ice in water produces fog, which looks like this. It was pretty spectacular.
Honestly, it was without a doubt, the best dining experience I’ve ever had. Plus I got to cross some things off the list!
311. Try raw oysters
162. Eat at Susur
69. Taste Foie Gras
When it came time to pay the bill, I decided to be a little bit cheeky and leave one of my Stiletto Diaries business cards in with the payment.
Jack and I walked back to our car in the rain. It was such a wonderful evening, one I am certain I won’t forget for the rest of my life.
Everytime I Look At You By Il Divo