Our Bordeaux adventure had begun. We arrived, minus my phone, in this wonderful French village of Bages. A typical sleepy French village but dominated by two chateaus. Cordeillan and Lynch. When I say chateau, although Cordeillan is one, they are generally big mansions opposed to things like Chenonceau. There are 10,000 chateaux in Bordeaux!
We settled in then headed into the village square for a coffee. While there, we found the most amazing butcher, a patisserie (that was open), a homeware shop and a beautiful village cafe/restaurant that is the property of Chateau Lynch Bages. As we sat deliberating the fact I’d left my phone on the aeroplane, we noticed that the evenings dinner was to be a two michelin star experience! That soon perked me up after losing my phone. Here it goes then.
We begun on the terrace next to the vineyards with a glass of bubbly. The mise en bouche-canapes consisted of (front to back) foie gras with a cognac jelly, a warm tuna bon bon and a guacamole/tomato mousse concoction.
Onto our amuse-bouche. A lovely tuna loin wrapped in nori with a cucumber jelly and a wasabi foam. It was wonderful apart from the jelly. I don’t understand why tasteless jellies have become fashionable. They aren’t interesting to eat, especially if they are essentially green water.
My starter was some cured mackerel with lots of layers of jelly-again-and an olive crouton. It was ok, too much effort had been wasted on presentation rather than the taste of the dish. It needed some stronger flavours to make it better.
My wife’s was slightly better. A poached egg with vegetables in a garlic foam, served with brilliant chicken and truffle crouton topped with caviar. Now we’re talking.
My main was executed brilliantly. Layers of pork had been packed together with the crunchiest skin I’ve ever seen. So crunchy I risked losing a tooth eating it, I’d had a bad enough day losing my phone so sadly I gave it a miss.
The second main was a moreish lamb dish. The loin is parfait as you can see, the shoulder was slow cooked and intertwined with some filo pastry. The fresh wild girolles were sublime. One of the highlights of the night. Now take a breadth for the desserts……
To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember what I chose for my dessert when it was presented to me. I love these spheres of meringue, their only purpose in life is to conceal some hidden magic. I wasn’t disappointed.
A cherry gel, encased in a cherry sorbet, surrounded by white chocolate ice cream, a vanilla mousse and finally the all empowering meringue sphere. Totally, totally amazing. Stuff like this leaves me speechless.
Second dessert, again looked a little unassuming. Fruits of the forest and gingerbread( pain d’epices) was what was advertised.
Again, a multilayered sorbet and gel encased in a white chocolate shell, dusted with raspberry powder. We were stuffed before desserts turned up, but I think we both could have eaten the puddings again.
A petit four trolley then came round. A nice selection of sweet things, but the main all singing all dancing produce of Bordeaux is the Canelé. I had seen these a few years ago and decided to give them a go. After a lot of research there are some specifics. They are essentially a thick clafoutis cake. They are cooked in copper shells which should give a sugary crispy outer with the soft doughy centre. I tried and tried these all week. Only one restaurant all week got them correct. Too many had soggy outers, and to be honest seemed undercooked in the middle. Once perfected though, they are out of this would. Read my post here on How to make the perfect canelés.
Dinner overall was superb. I would recommend it to anyone. As I mentioned in my previous post, we struggled to find good wines in Bordeaux. Generally we are white wine drinkers, but my wife does prefer red more than I. She had a glass of certain types of red every night. Generally they were all, as I would class, drinkable. Nothing exciting. You would imagine, being in Bordeaux a good house red wouldn’t be difficult to come by. As all the prices are starting at £80-£100 a bottle, if you want really good red you need extremely deep pockets. Maybe we need to go on a wine tasting course to educate our red wine palates.