About a year ago, my sister and I were invited to sample the menu at Apsleys at the Lansborough Hotel in Hyde Park Corner, London.
This would be the most overwhelming, heart stopping and mind blowing experience of my life and is also known to house Michelle Obama’s favourite dish – Carbonara Fagottelli. Where a pillow of pasta quizzically encapsulates a carbonara filling. You place it in your mouth, push your tongue to the roof of your mouth and let the fluid centre combust. It is unforgettable. (See post here).
Executive and Sous Chef Massimiliano Blasone and Marco Calenzo are responsible for this dish and have since moved on from Apsleys and now head up Cassis Bistro in South Kensington, rubbing a michelin star quality to the restaurant menu.
To celebrate their new venture, we were invited back as guests to sample a specially created tasting menu across their al la carte range.
We began with a foie gras terrine marinated in provencale wine served with a toasty and buttery brioche. The foie gras is almost as thick as the brioche, so I just slithered a little foie gras and ate the rest on its own LOL, I wanted it all to myself!
The addition of slow cooked peach and “terra”, a cocoa butter crumble were interesting condiments but I was more than happy with foie gras alone.
This fresh piece of foie gras was absolutely mouth watering. Prepared like a creme brulee and blasted with a sugary coating before service. It paired wonderfully with the rhubarb marmalade cutting straight through the fat and lifted the foie gras with a wonderful sweet intensity.
The sea bass tartare with sesame wafer was absolutely delicious. The tartare was sliced and diced to teeny tiny perfection and immaculately coated with a gorgeous cream sauce all nursed in between two crumbly thin wafer slices.
The langoutine roll was light, refreshing and proved quite flavoursome with the parsley puree and crispy red potatoes.
The lobster medallion was served accompanied with white and green asparagus and nestled upon a grape sauce. As I haven’t tasted grape sauce before, I found it a sweet and a delicious way of combining all of the elements together.
The aubergine tortelli was served with a tomato coulis and had this incredible intensity to it. The coulis was like vine ripen tomatoes on steroids! And very delicious.
The saffron risotto was strikingly beautiful with the telltale signs of saffron glossing every single morsel of the acquarello rice. The cuttlefish was a textural wonder, tender and soft punctuated with the intensity of a stunning seafood broth in every mouthful.
Ravioli parcels were extremely thin and slippery and tightly wrapped around the fibres of the rabbit flesh without so much as tearing at the seams. Which seems near impossible with ravioli that slick and thin. Rich in flavours these parcels were served with the most dazzling pistachio sauce and veal jus.
Scallop was thick, sweet and plump. I just wish I had another! The pea puree was gorgeous and tasty and left you scrapping for more.
The pata negra is a type of cured ham from Spain and it was presented here in a powder. The halibut was coated with the pata negra powder compacted on the surface and gave it a finish that had rich, salty and smokey Iberico notes. All served with a tomato and onion confit just to give it a bit of sweetness.
The pre-dessert, milk variation was a very interesting dessert conceptually and played with idea of milk flavours. It had a crunchy biscuit base, milk and caramel mousse centre with milk parfait. All topped with a milk ice cream and coconut crisp.
And if I had to compare to the other desserts, it was easily my personal favourite.
Chef Massimiliano served us all with four different desserts to try, which was a wonderful surprise. I was stuffed like a turkey and still I wanted to try everything in sight. Oh yes… come to mummy.
The tiramisu was filled with your traditional mascarpone mousse, coffee and alcoholic layers and finished a dusting of amaretto biscuit powder and a side of caffe latte ice cream.
I found the lemon baba was doused with too much limcello and made it very difficult for me to consume. However, the side of champagne foam and peach sorbet was a nice relief and much softer on the palate.
This beautiful ganache was unfortunately too rich for my liking, it probably doesn’t help that I am not into rich chocolate flavours. But everyone else seem to hoover it down and loved it.
On top of their al la carte menu, they also offer five courses for £50 and 7 courses for £65. With a michelin star in their sights, I think there is no time like the present to give Cassis Bistro a whirl and at such incredible value, how could you disagree?
Welcome to Cassis Bistro, a star in waiting.
Food Porn Nation dined as a guest of Cassis Bistro