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Friday, September 7, 2012

The Last Suppers #3 (comment cards)

As I mentioned in my first post about Journeyman, I've been writing them rather long comment cards; I guess because it's fun, or because it's good to write longhand once in a while, or because it's good to articulate thoughts about something that isn't computer-related or -mediated. Today, when I stopped in for dinner, Catherine spent a bit of time rummaging and recovered a few of the cards I'd written over past visits.

Keep in mind that these aren't all the comment cards I've written (by far). Indeed, historical research (i.e. mint.com) indicates I've had 14 of these last suppers so far; and I recall writing comments for all but three or four of them.

Regardless, here are the comment cards I saw again today. (In case you are wondering: yes, they do have formal comment cards. They've been bringing me old menus because I tend to run out of space.)

The Smallest Card

This is back when the spring salad was still on the menu, and it had the wonderful corn mousse and a smoked cherry tomato. The current tomato salad is better, but the spring salad was also quite good.

I reference "fluke two ways" which was on the menu for a very short time before being replaced with the "fluke." (Which is finally off the menu, as of this week.) I thought the two-ways version was a bit confused.

Both the foie gras (with currants and duck) and the rabbit course were fabulous during this period. I think this was an early plating of the foie gras + duck, when there were still lots of currants on the plate. The acidity cut the fattiness of the foir gras wonderfully. The rabbit was served done two or three ways, all good.

The dessert at the time was a marshmallow dish which was kitchen-torched before being served. Wonderful toasted-marshmallow flavor, but the plating always looked like it had fallen over.

Fall Arrives Early

I had a meal that really reminded me of fall. Lots of warm, bold flavors. Odd, because Journeyman is generally about delicate flavors. Not that I objected in the least!

One of the stars of the menu at this time was the spicy eggplant with poached (braised? sous-vide'd?) egg. Particularly the little ginger and (scallion?) spears it was garnished with. A dish that was deceptively simple, but warm and generous and beautiful and interesting.

A Graph

Yes, I drew a graph. Mainly to point out that I didn't like the fluke. But also because with that many courses it's actually kind of interesting to see how things trend. And, yes, there's no reason to connect those points with a line, obviously the meal isn't continuous, but gimme a little slack here. Lines made it look cool, and I wasn't being rigorous anyway.

First appearance of the current peach dessert; plating was different (bolder saucing).

Unused Space

The comment card from last weekend. This much unused space is really rare.

And, Today

The cod replaced the fluke. But I didn't like the cod. However, I think I might like the cod if it had enough salt/acid/seasoning to not taste watery. So maybe I'll come to appreciate it over time. Particularly, the plum sauce is really interesting on there.

Tse Wei prepared some duck breast in as close to a traditional Singapore presentation as he could manage with the ingredients he had on hand. It was fantastic. Salty, spicy, simple.

It would even fit in on the menu, simply because it's so conventional for Journeyman to be unconventional that to have a conventional course would be unconventional.

And I think I'll leave it at that.