In celebration of my housemate's birthday, we reserved a table for lunch in this 2 Michelin Starred restaurant in London called Hibiscus.
By the sound of the restaurant name, we first thought that it serves Asian-inspired dishes. But we soon found that the chef had Classical French training hence the restaurant serves French/British cuisine with a twist of Asian influence (what we gathered from the menu).
Tucked in the middle of Maddox Street, London, it took us some effort to find but we finally found it with a quick phone-call to the restaurant.
Upon entering the restaurant, we felt drawn into a rather posh place with minimalistic design. It is quite a small restaurant with only 15 tables available, therefore booking well in advance is highly recommended.
As soon as we sat down, we were given the menus and plates of homemade pork scratchings.
Then we were served complimentary glass of white wine each - courtesy of booking through toptable.com
Like any other fine dining or Michelin starred restaurants, the menu here offer few but exciting and delicious sounding dishes from start to finish!
After placing our orders, we were served with this wonderful complimentary Aperitif - Pineapple cream and Hibiscus juice.
The citrus-y and slightly sour pineapple cream cut through the very fragrant hibiscus juice which had a bit of fizz in it. A pretty nice Aperitif to start our meal.
I just could not resist taking photo of the very cute butter - sphere is unsalted and cube is salted.
My friend had the Royale of Amalfi Lemon, Toasted Pine Nuts New Season Wild Garlic Veloute.
The dish looked beautiful and I can imagine that it presents lots of different flavours and textures. I am sure my friend enjoyed the taste of it as much as the looks of it.
My housemate and I went for the Cornish Crab, Rhubarb, Cardamom and Cucumber.
The wonderful ingredients were beautifully arranged on the plate and looked very inviting.
Surprisingly, the cardamom did not over-power the delicate flavour of the crab whilst the cucumber added a freshness to the combination.
The ever increasingly popular rhubarb used in this dish was nicely treated and again, did not over-power the crab but instead added some sweet/acidic flavour to the dish.
A delicious starter with very well-balanced flavours and textures - definitely a Michelin star standard dish!
|Crispy Plantation Pork Belly|
All three of us went for the Crispy Plantation Pork Belly Cooked in Hay. Peas 'a la Francaise', Smoked Bacon, Pink Grapefruit.
A wonderful aroma hit us as soon as our main course arrived.
A beautiful piece of pork belly resting on a bed of brightly coloured sauce and peas.
As soon as I sliced through the pork belly with my knife, we could hear the wonderful 'crackling' sound from the crispy skin. The pork belly was very well-flavoured and cooked to perfection that the meat and the fat layer melted in our mouth.
The buttery and creamy sauce with the nicely cooked peas and crispy bacon not only added different flavours to the dish, they also added different textures.
The pink grapefruit was just the 'icing on the cake' as the acidity and slight bitterness of the fruit nicely cut through the richness of the pork.
|Asparagus, Olive & Sorbet|
To finish my lunch, I went for the Asparagus Cream, Candied Black Olives, Whey and Coconut Sorbet as it sounded really unusual with a unique combination of ingredients for a dessert.
Again, a beautifully presented dish.
The asparagus cream was slightly salty and the candied black olives were slightly towards the sweet side. The whey and coconut sorbet was really refreshing and had a sweetness which complimented the asparagus cream and olives really well.
The coconut meringue (with a sprinkle of black olives powder) added a layer of texture to the entire dish.
Personally, I think this is a pretty special dessert more inclined towards a savoury rather than a sweet dish.
|Blood Orange and Marjoram Givre|
My friends had the Blood Orange and Marjoram Givre.
They looked pretty cute with nicely piped orange cream stuffed inside the blood orange shell and served with some toffee-look-alike sponge cake.
The cream was pretty nice but the blood orange flesh and the skin (recommended to try by the waitress) was so bitter that my friends weren't impressed at all.
A rather disappointing dessert with a restaurant of this stature (not to mention the price).
Overall, a very good lunch experience in the very first Michelin starred restaurant I ever visited.
I could see great efforts being put into the flavour combinations, textures and presentations, combined with attention to details is what make this a Michelin starred restaurant!
PS: Where other restaurants give chocolates/sweets with the bill. Hibiscus gave freshly made Madeleines (peanut, coconut and almond flavours) - still piping hot and very delicious!