At parties ( the one I attended at least) , every dish is presented and placed on the banquet, buffet style. Appetizers, desserts, main courses ( viands or ulam as we call 'em), side dishes ( mostly rice and noodles) lay side by side. Our plates could look equally chaoic and feastive. With all these foods, party guest are armed with nothing but a big plate and a spoon. Sometimes untensils are not even necessary. Many Filipinos would enjoy and savor food with more gusto when it is eaten and consumed by hand sans cutlery. Kamayan as we call it from the word ''kamay'' meaning hands. Digging in with our bare hands might be to some culture a tabu but hey I bet that a few gastronomic connoisseur also touches their fries at Mc Donald! Again it is a cultural thing.
When I first introduce FF to Filipino ways of celebration, he was initially taken aback by the sight of food, and said out loud that Pinoys certainly know how to throw a feast. You see Germans eat in a different way. Meals are usually serve in courses, eating a dish and finishing it before serving the next. When I had my first meal course here, I was equally taken aback and told FF, that his people certainy like to cook longer and yeah, wash the dishes. You see each course comes with a different plate and set of utensils. That woud be a different plate, spoon or fork and knife for every dish.
For our wedding anniversary date, FF invited me for a 7-course degustation menu. It was an intimate dinner for two and somehow, I am glad I only have to seat back, eat and don't have to do the dishes.
The whole meal consist of small and dainty amuse bouches, aimed to slowly fill without overwhelming, to entice our senses and makes us wait in anticipation for the next. The intervals between courses is steady, not too fast and not so slow. The kitchen certainly knows when to bring the next dish out. Giving us time to savor and enjoy each dish over some talks without feeling rushed and at the same time, never make us feel like waiting. That my friend is called perfect timing!
Before the first course was served, a small on the house amuse gueule which was meant to tickle our palate was served. Fischtäschchen auf Glasnudeln. Fish wrapped in Wanton served on the bed of glass noodle. The noodles has strong thai chili sauce zest. The wrapping is crisp enclosing a chunk of fish flake.
First Course: Ganseleberparfait mit Quittengelee und kleinen Frühlingssalat. Foie gras terrine with Quince jelly served with sping greens. This course was served with a basket of bread. The thick slab of goose liver certainly needs some taming. A splash of Riesling was infused into the pate and which could be in itself nakakaumay. The sweetness of the Quince Jelly gives a pleasing contrast to the parfait's own richness...well, it was after all almost PURE FAT.......almost. It's almost a sin eating this delicacy. For once I didn't mind the leaves. It was drenched in good , vibrabt, zesty and earthy vinaigrette. I polished it all up down to the last grass. I almost want to pat myself in the back!
Each course is served with wine. FF enjoyed it with a splash of Traminer Auslese 2008.
I had coke...diet coke.
Second Course: St . Jacobmuschel auf provencialischen Gemüsen. Scallop served with Provencal vegetables. This was an excellent dish. The scallop was seared to perfection and retained its fresh, sea-sweet flavor. The tomato based vegetable added an extra crunch. However, it was not the scallop or the fresh and crunchy vegetable that caught my attention but the the liquid that the vegetables are submerged into. A cross between a sauce and a soup, it was silky and very flavorful, each spoonful is an enticement.FF shared my delight, he too was cramming for the last drop.
FF ate this course with a gulpful of weißer Burgunder Spatlese 2007.
I had my usual...diet coke.
Third Course: Spargelsäckchen mit bretonischem Hummer. Apparagus in lobster bisque. The white asparagus was drenched in a devine golden bisque, giving a flavorful boost to the stalk's usual subline flavor. A thin layer of crepe is draped over the apparagus, enclosing it in an almost protective cocoon. Everything in this dish contributes a unique element that made this course a palate pleaser.
Served with a grauer Burgunder 2007.
Something light, cold and refleshing: Himbeersorber or Rasberry sorbet. The slight tang of soury and sweet berry is a perfect palate cleanser. A nice in-between treat that both tantalize and tickle our appetite, making us want to go on.
Fourth Course:Cassolette von Reh and wachtel mit Berglinsen. Venison and Quail in Lentil Cassolette. Robust and quite filling. The venison ( deer) taste relatively close to beef only with a hint of gameyness in it, It was cooked medium and was succulent. It was however the tiny speck and the almost minute quail drumstick that had be yearing for more. It was very tender and very flavorful, tasted like chicken...only better. I liked it so much, I wished quail are created bigger!
Served with Pinot Noir 2007, dry.
Sixth Course: by this time. I am starting to fill up and feel heavy . Thankfully the Schwarzwälder Bergkäse mit Feigensenf :Blackforrest mountain cheese with fig infuse mustard, is just a mouthful. I am not a big fan of cheese but FF enjoyed it. It was smokey, nutty, salty and aromatic. The sweet flavored mustard mellowed the cheese own tartness few notches lower. It compliments and balances at the same time. Nothing beats a sweet on salty combination.
This time FF had Dutsch Silvaner 2009 , a red face and hazy grin. Aside from a bottle of beer, this was his 6th wine pairing after all.
We ended this meal with Erdbeersüppchen mit Joghurt-Limoneneis /Strawberry soup with Yoghurt and Lemon ice cream. It was the best part of the meal, tasted better than I expected. The chef certainly knows how to play with flavors. The spoonful of soup tingles and mingles in my mouth, leaving a gush of sweet and soury path down to my throat with every swallow. It sublime almost caressing . It was silky and luscious. Aaaahhhh I'm running out of words! I want to have it again! The Lemon Ice cream compliments and gave the strawberry a little sway. What people say is true, it takes two to tango!
Since FF paid the bill, I did him a favor and drove us back home. Certainly a win win situation! (^_^)