02 March 2009

No weight loss, no surprise

Well, the scales are still sitting at 70kg this morning. Actually, that's a hearty 'thank goodness', and not even a little bit surprising after a weekend of pampering and luxury. On the whole, last week wasn't a bad week, but I guess I could have tried harder on the food front, and I definitely could have made time for (and done!) more exercise.

But, I digress. You see, aside from other treats we had over the weekend (drinking Thwaites 'Wainwright' beer being the most naughty of these), on Saturday we had a posh meal at the Riverside restaurant. A three course posh meal, booked as a special treat in preparation for the not so good things this week has in store for us. It was absolutely wonderful, and a serious luxury. Never mind thinking about the fat content or calorific damage (which was almost certainly massive), just concentrate on the delicious flavours, beautiful presentation, relaxing atmosphere and so forth.

So what did we have to eat? It all started with an amuse-bouche of a dainty salmon tartlet in the most heavenly, pale biscuit-coloured pastry. Topped with a tiny sprig of purple Greek basil, the little tartlets looked stunning and, gone in just a few nibbles, tasted pretty spectacular. There were home-made olive rolls (still warm from the oven) and a few slices of delicious butter waiting on our table for us too.

I'd decided to have a glass of house white wine, and chose the Etchart Privado Torrontes-Chardonnay for no better reason than it sounded nice. No wine buff me, I'm afraid. It was described as 'grapey and aromatic' and as having an 'exotic lychee and spicy character'. That may be right, I'm in no position to judge, but it was delicious and I'd have it again in a shot!

To start, lovely hubby chose the roasted English onion soup (good but not fantastic, apparently) while I decided on seared scallops with blood orange and black pudding. A very good choice indeed. The three scallops were deliciously browned (in butter!), but not overcooked so were still silky-textured and delicious, and the black pud was just amazing.

For our main course, hubby went for the Salmon Fillet with celeriac dauphinoise, steamed sprouting broccoli and Chilford Hall wine sauce. Wow! The presentation was fantastic, with a long slender turned carrot delicately balanced on the celariac and the salmon perched at an angle on the broccoli. A feast for the eyes and, judging by the look of his face, a feast for the tastebuds. We shared a selection of vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, sugar-snap peas and baby sweetcorn) and hubby had some new potatoes... er, drenched in butter so I avoided them. All in all, the veggies were lovely.

I'd settled on the Roast Fillet of Pork 'Saltimbocca' on creamed savoy cabbage, with smoked fondant potato and bramley apple two ways. Oh boy. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven. The cabbage was fantastic (and just about a 'heart attack on a plate' in it's own right, with the cream used just in this alone) and the smoked potato was just gorgeous. But the prize definitely goes to the pork. Meltingly succulent, flavoured with sage and wrapped in proscuttio, it was just fabulous. The 'two ways' was quite interesting too. The first way was a standard apple sauce which was very nice. But the second way was as a little frozen globe of sorbet! Almost sherbet-like in flavour it was. Oh goodness, that was stunning.

Then for the puddings, and I almost went completely off the rails for a stickily tempting treacle tart with clotted cream. Thankfully, I saw a little sense and chose the Sparkling Rosé and Strawberry Jelly with shortbread instead. Still pretty naughty, but not quite as bad! Hubby decided on the cheese and biscuits and was a very, very happy bunny as the cheeses were fantastic, he said.

A coffee and liqueur (actually a dark golden delicious Calvados for me) finished the meal off nicely, and we were amazed when it came with four delightful, and dreafully sinful, chocolate truffles. Heavy hitting creamy ganache-filled, these were amazing! I chose the strawberry and white chocolate one (sweetly fantastic it was too), and ate half a hazelnut one. Hubby had the dark chocolate and coffee ones and the rest of my nut one as it was so good I had to share. We were both very impressed.

We groaned our way out of the restaurant and went for a walk around the city to try to recover a little (me in heels too - poor feet!) before we went home. I've not had such a splendid feast for a very long time and am amazed that all that cream and butter didn't result in serious indigestion. But no, it just left me utterly sated, totally relaxed and ripe for a great night's sleep.

I think it'll be quite some time before we do anything like this again. It was a brilliant evening and the food was soooo good. But, if we do it too often I'll end up fatter than before I began and drag poor hubby right along there with me. And the bank manager really won't like me a lot either.


William said...

Ever thought of becoming a restaurant critic?

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