Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Restaurant Le Charlemagne, France *One Michelin Star*

I kinda forgotten who recommended this place....
tucked in the middle of nowhere, sandwiched in between hectares of vineyards in Pernard-Vergelesses
it's about 30 mins from Beaune town and we had our usual reliable driver to take us around

The chef, Laurent Peugeot worked in Japan for 4 years and came back with fusion culinary skills and ideas
so if u are expecting the usual fare of a french cuisine then u will be disappointed
coz there's more fish and shellfish on his menu than beef or pork
the lovely zen wooden steps leading up to the restaurant
it has got a contemporary style mixing japanese zen with bamboo trees around
it's a pity bcoz it was pitch dark at nite and we couldn't see that we were nestled in between the majestic slope of vineyards
miles and miles of it
*this oso prompted us to return another day for lunch...hahahahah.....just for the view*
the lounge area is minimalist
we didn't wanna have cocktail but proceeded to our table instead
wat a surprise to find ROUND tables in its dining hall
like big ROUND table the asian style
I really fancy its cutleries and stoneware
its menu is also simple and minimalist
LP = Laurent Peugeot
the water glass was positioned this way
while the fork and knives were planted on a unique stone
the first glance at it I thought it was a piece of rustic bread
:P agree???
I also noticed there's a tiny hole drilled on its side
that tiny hole was meant for this....
our REAL ACTUAL bread was served this way
the bread tray will come...u select ur bread...u know the usual modus operandi for any Michelin starred restaurant
finally they skewered everything and place it on the stand
so the MORE bread u've selected the higher ur stick is.....hohohohohoho
the bread came with this dip of olive oil and japanese kumbu = seaweed
at this juncture we've already labelled this restaurant "very Takashi Kimura" with big smiles on our faces
:P no offense to both Chefs but any restaurant that's contemporary modern french with japanese twist is Takashi Kimura to us :P
the centrepiece of the table was this....
one lonely fish swimming inside the insulated vase
and our culinary journey for the evening with Laurent Peugeot begins here........
canapes of beautiful flavoured spheres on top of base that's almost like shortbread
so we have mushrooms, beetroot and epoisse cheese
another nice pic of the canapes
my favourite was the epoisse cheese the famous cheese from this area
we visited its factory in 2010 and yes I know...I totally forgotten to blog bout it
my bad~~~~~~
the other amouse bouche was this eggie thingy of pumpkin and chorizo
I found out the shells were fake ones....not the real egg shells
No no no....not acceptable...if u are Michelin starred, u must take the trouble to use REAL ONES
1st course started with seared foie gras with japanese mushroom on top

simple and not over the top
just the right portion, considering there's so many courses to go
*coz we had a shock at some restaurants with HUMONGOUS portion for their degustation*
this is like a playground to me.....lil chanterelles mushroom just slide down from the Miso pudding
it's actually Octopus with miso
When u are in Burgundy.....please drink exotic rare Burgs like Richebourg 1986
that u can never find back home
that's almost impossible to source
but then it ain't easy to find them on the restaurant's wine list
apparently for certain wines *like DRC* u need to be on the "list" to buy it
next course was really minimalist hahahahahaha
of fresh lobster with juice of seafood
but definitely very very tasty
sorry...those were my stunted fingers
coz I didn't know how to eat this dish...
u gimme chopsticks but there's food on my chopsticks....
so looks like I have to use my natural chopsticks = my fingers
perfectly seared scallops marinated with spanish olives and next to it was Cepe mushrooms
it doesn't look like I googled it and found it's a subspecies
John Dory with bonito in a really really really yummy broth
guess its broth outshone only memory was its.....broth~~~
Sweet bread with sweet plums
the presentation is very japanese :))))
if some of u were wondering, sweet bread is a delicacy

it's definitely not a bread nor made from flour or yeast
sweetbread = glands of animals
it's rich and soft like brains
this was CHICKEN
really yummy chicken
I dunno why the Frenchs are so good in cooking them

sous vide and poached at precisely 60 degrees C to kill all its bacteria
this cooking method retains all its flavour and texture
*JS almost bought a SOUS VIDE MACHINE while in LONDON*

those rounded cute sausage-liked stuffs were indeed chicken sausage
served with chicken broth which was almost consomme-liked
it was so good we had 2nd order for this dish.....despite having to wait 25 mins
coz the Chef had to sous vide it for at least that long
a really nice hand-drawn map of the restaurant
we did visited this area and found difficulty in pronouncing this destination
Pernard-Vergelesses = Perh-Na VherrrrrrRRRrrrr Jeh Less

our chauffer was rolling and rolling his tongue and I mimicked his pronunciation

Chauffeur: "Tres Bien Madame!!!"
"GAH I just wanna eat....."
epoisse cheese!!!!!!!
with filo pastry, pistachio and honey
LOOK AT THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
bcoz our Richebourg was so yummy, we drank too fast
and ordered another simple wine
older than not so simple
but JS said it's only a 1st cru -_-
baked/roasted figs with cinnamon
and vanilla ice creams
petit four of canele and sweets with spices
this place is really a GEM in the middle of nowhere
practically nowhere...

I guess this place would really suits the Asian palate but not the European
bcoz they would be expecting very very French

Le Charlemagne *One Michelin Star*
Routes des Vergelles,
21420 Pernand-Vergelesses,
Tel: 03 8021 5145

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