$95 for a six course omakase dinner prepared by Chef Christophe Lerouy? Count me in. For the uninitiated, Christophe Lerouy is the chef who brought Alma its Michelin star before leaving to set up his own restaurant, DSTLLRY Par Christophe Lerouy.
The restaurant is a 21 seater, where you can sit on counter stools and watch as he preps and cooks your meal right before your own eyes. Chef Lerouy says that he wanted an open kitchen concept because he wants the chef to serve your meal and explain it personally, so as to make you feel more at home.
With his five chefs and the sommelier who followed him from Alma, eating here is equal parts good food and good entertainment. The menu changes monthly with a six course omakase menu going at $95+ and the eight course at $120+, so rest assured that you’ll never be bored eating here.
Starting off with tapas, I was completely blown away by the potato; its skin is crisp on the outside, and the piece of smoked eel within melted in my mouth, while the creme fraiche on top added lightness to the dish as well as tartness.
It was almost like eating a potato chip, but much richer and more flavourful.
The gazpacho was the first dish served, it came with a cold and refreshing soup in a pitcher on the side that the chef will pour in once the ingredients are explained. The sardines were tender and the quenelle of icy cucumber sorbet underneath provided a nice contrast against the saltiness of the olive puree and sardines.
If you’re a fan of foie gras, I recommend checking this dish out. A slab of it is poached in red wine, causing the foie gras to be slightly sour and spiced. It’s not really to my liking, but I was amazed at how well the elements in the dish came together.
The piece of toasted brioche was crispy and airy and the tartness of the passionfruit jelly was definitely needed to cut through the richness of the foie gras. There were also pieces of coffee candy — and I loved it — the bitterness from the coffee grounds used added a nice depth to the dish.
This is probably the most iconic dish that Christophe Lerouy serves. A plate comes to the table with a salt baked crust pocket that resembles a pastry on it, and the chef gently cuts into the crust to reveal the cabbage hidden within. Two slices of lardo are placed over the cabbage and then melted with a blowtorch.
This results in a rich dish, with the soft cabbage practically melting in my mouth, while the lemon puree provided the acidity needed to balance out the fat from the lardo.
The first thing that struck me about this was the plate, and how much it encompasses DSTLLRY Par Christophe Lerouy’s vision of food that is delicious and sets for a theatrical experience.
The plate refracts light in a way that photos are unable to capture, and at the centre of it all is a pile of escargots and baby calamari on a circle of squid ink pasta.The escargots are earthy and soft, while the calamari provides a nice springy bite to the dish.
The circular sheet of squid ink pasta is soft, and although I prefer my pasta al dente, I can see why a soft pasta would be better for the dish here. The sauce made up of parsley and other herbs adds a nice touch of freshness to the dish, as with the lemon foam sitting on top.
What better way to end the meal than with chocolate dessert? I was intrigued by the sight of the sea salt chocolate lollipops, and when chewed upon, they had a consistency almost similar to toffee. I’m not a big fan of food sticking to my teeth, but I’ll close one eye to this simply because they’re so good.
The madeleines were a little too dense for my taste, but there was a nice crisp on the edges and they paired very well with the blood orange gel that tasted pretty much like lemon.
All in all, I’d say that Christophe Lerouy has certainly accomplished what he wanted. Even though I was eating at a fine dining restaurant, I felt relaxed throughout the meal thanks to the friendliness of the chefs and how they would explain every dish to me.
There were a few hits and misses, but I’m very excited to see what Chef Lerouy has planned for his future menus.
Expected damage: $95+