Coi, San Francisco

San Francisco, San Francisco…home to Haight & Ashbury, the heart and soul of music. San Francisco, where all tourists love to become rhesus monkeys for a while and hang on to the sides of the cable cars decidedly making their way through the city, where the driver insanely pulls on a bunch of levers that seem to make no sense whatsoever! San Francisco, San Francisco….where Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage expertly diffuse a band of rogue army  with nothing but their wit and deadly biological weapons, in ‘The Rock’! Of course, there is also San Francisco, where the restaurant  Coi (pronounced ‘kwa’) serves up a refreshing, creative and inventive array of dishes – a lot of them sternly dividing opinions across neighbouring tables with their boldness. 

.

Rice crisps
Mandarin sour
Oysters
Beetroot

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.


Puffed Brown Rice Crisps, seasoned with espelette pepper with puree of charred avocado and lime was a great start and the rice crisps especially moreish and the light smokey tang of the avocado, brilliant!

Frozen Mandarin Sour, mandarin ice, mandarin vodka gel, frozen meringues scented with angostura bitters and finished with pink Murray River salt: This dish divided diners, but for me was outstanding. Sour, salty, refreshing flavours, reminiscent of the  dried sour salted plums one gets in Malaysia. Incredible!

Virginica Oysters, with cucumber gel infused with wild bay and garnished with coastal flavors (new zealand spinach, sea beans, wild radish buds and flowers): Oysters and pickled cucumber, sea vegetables…what could go wrong?!

Roasted Beets, with bergamot vinaigrette, different mints (yuerba buena, roman, chocolate, spearmind, and bergamot) and wild flowers: looks oh so simple, but as the author Tom Robbins says, “the beet is the most intense of all vegetables”, and I have to agree! Surprisingly the bergamot along with the various mints gave the beets a good lift!

.

Pea Soup
Artichokes
Morels
Abalone

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Chilled English Pea Soup, peas shelled and pureed, house-cultured buttermilk, meyer lemon and nasturtium leaves and petals: House cultured buttermilk! Now that’s fantastic! A beautiful touch of pungency and bitterness from the nasturtium too! As for the rest, a happy few mouthfuls they made!

Artichokes, grilled under a weight with olive oil, spicy chile vinaigrette, fava leaves: Like a fabulous barigoule!
Morel Mushrooms, roasted in butter, new potatos, popcorn puree, made from popcorn steeped in butter and basil sprouts: Juicy, meaty glorious morels – wow! Was quite tickled by the playfulness of the popcorn on there.
Abalone, cooked in brown butter and lemon, escarole steamed in a pot, sea-lettuce and caperberry vinaigrette: Great tangy, sour flavours on the plate, but I found the abalone to be quite chewy and springy – I guess which is why it’s always nicer to have it braised. Not my favourite.
.
Egg
Duck 1
Duck 2
Lemon

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Fried Egg, Not Fried wth brassicas, herb and egg white emuslion:  a slow cooked egg yolk,  coated in smoked breadcrumbs, with broccoli and cabbage and a light dressing of egg white, chives, parsely, taragon, chervil. Absolutely fantastic – loved the smoked breadcrumb coating.
Young Duck in two servings, breast poached in consomme then chilled, endive braised in navel orange juice and zest, jasmine tea gel and fried duck skin: sour, sweet, light and the duck crackling – unbelievable!
Thigh grilled over charcoal with fermentd tofu and cilantro puree and bok choy: Again, another winner and what a texture from the fermented tofu and coriander puree – creaminess, tanginess, almost a coriander guacamole, without the avocado.
Frozen Lime Marshmallow, meringue seared with wood coal: was, in reality, a lime pie – a key lime pie with a charred top. This was a winner on all tables.
.
Chocolate
Lemon
Rhubarb
Foie gras
Almond
Blueberry, cocoa nib, milk chocolate with soy milk and baguette: Too much like the 11 Madison Park dessert that, like this one, was pointless and a sore thumb to the rest of the menu. Quite boring too.
Preserved Lemon, lemon preserved on 7/13, chrysanthemum tea soaked in milk: Now this brought things back with a bang. Lemon that was preserved a year ago on 13 July, 2012 made into a lemon posset with the foam on top….slightly salty…just outstanding!
Rhubarb poached in strawberry juice, diced celery, cilantro sprouts: Clever – strawberry jelly encasing the rhubarb, but I’ve had much better rhubarb desserts. The celery and coriander did give a very balancing earthy, herbal touch to the rhubarb.
Foie and white chocolate ganache, sliced apricots, walnut cookie and shaved walnut pureed into a butter: Interesting but weird on all counts. Very lightly flavoured with foie gras, the liver flavour came out right in the end – making the entire thing just wrong! There is a reason we don’t use foie gras in desserts and this would make a far better starter!
For petit four, there was a almond and honey tuile that was actually frozen – made with salted almonds, honey and salted butter – here the savouriness worked wonders with the honey and being frozen, added a fantastic contrast to the dish – however, if one left it lying around for too long as the table next to me did, the tuile became soft and floppy and probably not much fun to eat then.
.
Apart from the desserts which I think were trying a bit too hard to be different, the meal was a sensation and a wonder. Top notch service too!
.
Food: 9
Recommend you go: 9

Coi on Urbanspoon

Share