The French Laundry, London

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Thomas Keller (with apologies to Kubla Khan and Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

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In London town did Thomas Keller
A stately 3 star restaurant decree;
Where Harrods the fabled store stays,
From California it came for ten days,
And its name was The French Laundry.
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Our adventure began with a salmon cornet
and then after some nibbles before us was set:
The famous Oysters & Pearls, if you please,
Such a tiny bit could never be enough;
and then Hearts of Palm, such a delicate tease
Before Sturgeon, sweetcorn and bacon puff.
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Delicious was my Stuffed turbot with grape emulsion
That replaced the Butter poached and deadly lobster!
But Oh the Poularde en Brioche was so much fun
Delicious was the chicken encased in a bun
As was the Vienesse bread and silky soft butter.
And with a flourish came the main course,
Beef and brisket, the heavenly tour de force,
It made us giggle and burst out with laughter:
Whatever came next it surely didn’t matter
This was comfort food at its pinnacle,
But coming from Keller, it’s no miracle
That complexity be this well executed
With flavours that are strong, and not dull or muted.
But hold your breath, for there’s surprises in motion
Like delicate cheese and sandwich Monte Cristo,
With French Laundry figs and ham from Iberico,
Followed by Huckleberries from across the ocean.
To choose a favourite dish I know I’ll be torn,
For on our table was now a dessert of S’mores and pop corn!
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Upon its heels came a night at the movies,
little jewels from cola jelly to root beer cake
This little selection was so very groovy,
But room in belly, I was going to have to make
As donuts and a semi-freddo of cappucino came next
But how to fit it in, I must have looked perplexed!
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And thus it came to an end,
An afternoon of such delectable pleasure
From the American chef at the helm,
In new lands, a strange gastronomic realm
A perfect execution with no short measures.
Then came the angel cake and jam,
To have at home with a cup of tea,
I was in heaven, I think I still am
Such an experience, one of the best for me.
And I thank you, Chef Keller, oh Thomas from afar
For exceeding years of my high expectation
It’s no wonder Michelin has given you 3 stars
And your food is such artistic jubilation.

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Gougeres
Salmon cornet
Nibbles

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The nibbles: Crispy French Laundry tomato, olive marmalade / Cucumber and Mooli terrine / Shortbread, foie gras, early grey jelly / Old spot pork belly, truffle and brioche sandwich.


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Oysters and Pearls
Egg custard and trufle
Vienesse bread and butter

Oysters and Pearls: Maldon rock oysters, pearl tapioca, eaten with Mother of Pearl spoon..

Hearts of Palm salad
Sturgeon, sweet corn
Deadly Lobster
Turbot and grape emulsion
Poularde en brioche
Same as, with grated truffle
Beef and brisket
Cheese and Monte Cristo.

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.And the desserts…

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Huckleberry Fin(esse)
S'mores and popcorn
Donuts and cappucino
A night at the movies
Angel cake and jam

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A night at the movies: Cola jelly, sweet potato crisps, mint, root beer float, chocolate raisins.

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Overall Experience: 10
Food: 9.5
Recommend you go: 10 (to Yountville, that is!)
Wine: 10
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