I have not had a chance to share our dinner photos of our culinary drama at Denis Martin. First of all, Denis Martin is charming and passionate and very kind and enthusiastic.
In terms of his cuisine, I am not sure what he’s doing makes good sense. The atmosphere is not what I call conducive to molecular cuisine, and we could have been in a time capsule mountain bound.
His foods really do not have any-kind of flow and the food map introduced is from A-Z and all over the world map. We all agreed that it was a culinary journey but not a journey we would travel again.
The first dish served at the table was introduced as a “taste from holidays, and it was Piña Colada. We do not drink Piña Colada on any vacation, and we all found it rather absurd as a first course. The fact Piña colada is a sweet drink made with rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice, we could not think of a more disgusting way begin a meal. This creamy cone could have come at the end or just drop it from the menu.
It went on from there and the night seemed long. we were not sure we could stomach the dinner after the taste of the Piña Colada was stuck in our throats. The continuation of Vaudois sausage which could have been a canned meat, chopped up on a spoon was not a table favorite.
These foods do not make good sense by any means and it would have made sense if the chef had combined a journey through one country instead of fusing tastes from all over the world.
The Peking duck without the duck tasted something like Peking duck but what is the purpose of simulating tastes unless you are an astronaut craving Peking duck in outer space. On planet earth we can easily find the finest Peking duck and this dish was definitely unfulfilling and certainly lacked the body of and taste of Peking duck.
When we think of Peking duck we think of this: http://mesubim.com/2012/12/17/peking-duck/
The courses ran on and on as if we were guinea pigs and the foods were making us feel unsettled. There were a few courses that you could say “rose to the occasion” but otherwise the food-chain was more than bizarre.
Many of the foods were too creamy, or looked like nitrogen fruit dots. This next course was unpleasant, a tom yam beef and béarnaise, I really couldn’t eat it.
This dish is cotton candy with what looks like Tête de Moine but it’s not, and again sweet flavors introduced in between savory courses doesn’t make you feel very relaxed.
Bacon peanuts and peas with the table spewing clouds of liquid nitrogen seemed silly and over the top.
The carrier pigeon was one of the only solid foods we ate during a few hours and it wasn’t of much interest given we had the Laboratory show as the chefs calls it, a “soirée passion” and added an additional Sfr.80/person for his pre-dinner show.
The bottom-line is too much food, too much confusion and simply too much emphasis on changing, hiding and shuffling around tastes. If a person is taking a culinary journey, he should be able to relax and not be guessing each and every course.
The use of nitrogen in a lab to extract flavors is ideal but not novel, and by using clear non descriptive liquids to fool or tease clients, it becomes an endless food venture. I start to think that the chef could condense his menu into fewer courses and offer more solid foods without the dots or cream being a central theme.
The creamy foods and overly sweet dishes like the “Coca in a sachet” was somehow repulsive and should be avoided. I did not see why any chef would ask a client to eat an edible sachet with a coca cola flavored powder inside.
The creamy trout from the lake was hard to take and was described as Truite, liquorice, tarragon, apricot and cédrat – it looked like baby food.
The noxious cream didn’t stop and was starting to make us feel nauseous – it kept coming and coming. I think the chef uses too many Pacojet powders and sits on his science bench too often.
The one dish we thought was interesting was the morning dew and woodland, the tastes of the forest floor although I wasn’t sure why there was a peanut on top.
I would suggest to the chef to re-visit his order of dishes, and think about opening a counter restaurant where he can combine the food experience with his magic show. Eliminate the multiple array of colorful dishes he uses and keep it more streamline.
Food for us is not a playground and after dinner I had time to think about the overall experience. We thought some aspects were interesting but what I learned from this dinner (and this is not meant as an insult) was the notion of why some people didn’t like El Bulli.
We thought Ferran was a master in molecular cuisine (as many do) and we enjoyed the experiences we had at El Bulli. We discovered this night why many people complained about it being too superficial and not hitting the gut enough. I now understand what they meant.