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FG restaurant 2* - Review

By December 20, 2015 , ,

This isn’t my first visit to FG, I dined there a few years back when it was called Ivy. The chef, Francois Geurds, is a former sous chef at the fat duck and you can certainly see some elements of his time there in the cooking.  

We started off with a trio of amuse, piccalilli cornets, cannelle with foie gras and chargrilled leek. Off to a good start so far. I decided to go with the house cocktail which was a Pimms, I do like my Pimms so it was a surprise to have this one served with dry ice.

The first course was Oyster, pearl barley which was cooked risotto style in squid ink, topped with hollandaise sauce and caviar. The sweetness of the oyster contrasted nicely with saltiness of the caviar, but unfortunately got a bit lost with the pearl barley as there was so much of it. The bowl was served with dry ice which seemed to be a recurring theme for the evening.

Next course was for me the star of the evening; a complex kombu broth with cod, lobster and a crisp of seaweed. The broth was earthy and well balanced and was a wonderful base for the sweetness of the cod and lobster. The fish was tender and well cooked and I loved the seaweed crisp which provided a good textural contrast. It was a joy to eat.

What followed was a quail jelly served with a langoustine cream and an accompanying duck liver crisp. The jelly had herby layers of flavour beneath and the langoustine cream gave a nice sweetness as a contrast to the earthy flavour of the quail. The underlying layer of herbs at the bottom of the jelly was quite strong and you had to take care not to get too much otherwise the mint in the herbs overpowered the whole dish. We were instructed to take one bite of the jelly and then a bite of the crisp and pâté when eating, both dishes had a nice depth of flavour.

Next up, the nitro bloody mary. This dish is a definite nod to the chef’s time at the Fat Duck (they used to have a nitro green tea mousse which was served at the beginning of the meal as a fun palate cleanser).  So we had the theatre of the tomatoes being prepared in a bowl of liquid nitrogen, thereby freezing them and then served in a glass with a clear preparation of bloody mary and an accompanying fever tree tonic. This was topped with a heritage tomato “pan con tomate”.  It was an interesting  dish but something more suited to summer rather than the depths of winter. 

The poussin with duck liver which followed was well cooked but lacked a depth of flavour and was served with asparagus. I love asaparagus, its one of my favourite vegetables, but not when it’s out of season. So for me the dish was a bit disappointing as it didn’t pack the punch I was expecting as I also love poussin.

I will preface the following dishes with a profound apology, more so because my camera got it’s knickers in a twist and managed to lose the pictures that I took.

The next course was a sucade of beef with parsnip and tonka beans. The beef was slow cooked so it melted in your mouth and was topped with a beef crumble. It was accompanied with a lovely sharp jus and the fondant parsnip added the contrasting sweetness to bring the dish together.
The main event was the venison and celeriac, a very seasonal dish for this time of year. Again while the components were all cooked to perfection, the accompanying jus was a tad lack lustre. The elements worked well, but the dish lacked the punch you would be expecting.

Onto the desserts first up the chocolate, coconut and pineapple. Great combination of flavour and textures with sharpness of lime and pineapple contrasting with the smooth chocolate mousse and coconut parfait. There was also a crisp layer of sugar shard to add some crunch to the dish. The last dessert was a vanilla and liver ice cream served with caramelised macadamias and an accompanying olive oil. It is a lovely dish which is well balanced both from a texture and flavour prespective and the olive oil brings it nicely together.

All in all an interesting evening. The wine matching was faultless, the wines ranged from Germany to Italy and a nod to Burgundy, many of them young but worked well with the accompanying dishes.The bread and butter alone deserves a special nod as it was fantastic. I loved the little touches such as a gin and tonic cart with a varied range of gins and tonics. The service was slick, but for me a little impersonal and over rehearsed, sometimes you felt like the waiter was just regurgitating a pitch. At times we found ourselves waiting quite a while before being served the next course. I am all for slow food and eating but the waiting was a little too much. The over use of dry ice did get a bit gimmicky after a while. Will I be back again? Probably not.

For more information and reservations visit http://www.fgrestaurant.nl/

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