Despite having all (well, most) of the Christmas shopping done and wrapped, I can still feel Christmas fatigue setting in.
However, let's move on to one of the nicer aspects of Christmas today, the office lunch. We went to a restaurant called 'Kai' in Mayfair, London. It has one Michelin star and serves Chinese cuisine. I guess you would call it 'fine dining'. We went for the tasting menu, with a choice of starter, main and desert with a variety of 'amuse bouches' on the way through. Here's what I had.
1) Miso broth - A lovely heady, fragrant broth flavoured with soy and laced with tiny cubes of silken tofu. It was lovely.
2) Starter - pork and prawn wanton. This was dropped with chilli oil from a pipette at the table. It was nice and spicy and it came in a little concentrated jus which had spring onions and chilli in it. The jus was also poured at the table, as I recall. It was a little spicy, but very yummy.
3) A palate cleanser of a little pineapple granita with popping candy(?). Lovely.
4) Main - 5-hour roasted pork belly - this was served with rice. The pork came in a lovely sauce and had an almost jelly-like, melt-in-the-mouth layer of fat. I usually abhor fat layers on meat, but I ate this. It tasted sublime. The pork itself was really like any pulled pork that you might have done yourself. I know I cook belly pork for hours at a time in soy, honey, spring onions, chinese 5 spice, for a not totally dissimilar effect. Other than that fat layer, of course. Who knows how they do that ... ???
5) Desert - Chocolate and peanuts 'done 5 ways'. Actually, this was something of a layer cake, each layer made up of various variations of chocolate and peanuts. There was some more popping candy in there too. I love that stuff! I could defnitely have eaten more of this.
6) A little selection of chef's chocolates, or petit fours, were brought to the table for our tasting pleasure. I tried another chocolate/peanut combo and also a chocolate fudge. My lunching friends also tried passion fruit marshmallow, and something with raspberry. They all looked delicious.
We paid an additional £12.00, on top of the £35 for the food, for 3 small glasses of wine which were matched to the threee main courses, respectively.
Next time, I will definintely go 'a la carte' to try specific items from the menu, but the taster menu was the perfect introduction today. I would definitely recommend this for a lazy, indulgent, yet still light lunch.