Friday, January 28, 2011

Test Ktichen: Claustro by Brian Redzikowski

I am fully aware that Test Kitchen is now closed and better yet, Chef Brian Redzikowski's visit was some time ago, back in September, to be exact. You would think it is too late to post about my dinner now, but you are wrong. Why? Because it's my blog and I can do what I want (yes, I can be a brat). I fell in love with Chef Brian's food when I went for dinner at Bond St./Thomspon Hotel last year, so naturally I wanted to support his night at Test Kitchen.

I met some of my fellow PbPers for dinner this night to discuss future events. The place was pretty packed so the whole place was noisy and energetic. I have to admit it was a bit difficult to have a meeting. All the buzz in the room just made me want to drink... what else is new?

course 1: passion fruit, blueberry, prosecco

We started off with a cocktail of passion fruit, blueberry and prosecco. It was a nice palate cleanser, especially for me since I was already drinking a sweet cocktail. This drink was definitely reminiscent of the blueberry vodka at my visit at Thompson Hotel, which by the way, was a fabulous drink.
course 2: terrine, “marco pierre white”

Our next course, named after the famous British Chef, Marco Pierre White, was a terrine of leeks and lobster. The subtle sweetness to the lobster and the mildness of the leeks worked well together when eaten with the dollop of caviar. Without the caviar, the flavors were a bit restrained, but still very elegant.

course 3: potato, chorizo, rosemary

The potato dish was one of my favorites of the night, again, no surprise there. I loved the texture of the fried potato which I furiously dipped in that addicting chorizo sauce. The presentation was not only whimsical but served a purpose. The aroma of the rosemary complemented the potato and chorizo very well - making for one tasty bite.

course 4: king crab, preserved meyer lemon

I could smell this dish a mile away. It was my favorite course when I had my dinner at Thompson Hotel and it still remained my favorite dish at Test Kitchen. I know by this point the food was running out, so I was so thankful I got this course. The interplay between the sweet crab and the acidity from the lemon was divine. I think this is one of my favorite things to eat, ever.

course 5: Arnold Palmer, hot and cold

The Arnold Palmer was next, a palate cleanser that was both interesting and delicious. The warm iced tea on top with the frozen lemonade at the bottom was a nice play on the different temperatues. This reminded me of how much I missed drinking Arnold Palmers...

course 6: halibut, black truffle, romaine

Next up was the halibt with black truffles. The fish was cooked beautifully and the shaved black truffles provided a wonderful earthiness to the dish. The romaine lettuce added a nice textural element as well as proved to be a bright note complementing the fish. I really enjoyed the dish and my only qualm was that it wasn't any bigger.

course 7: foie gras, liquid ravioli

The foie gras dish was another favorite of mine. The ravioli skin was tender and the foie gras was impeccable. I also loved the pieces of lettuce in the dish that broke up the fattiness of the foie gras. It truly was a perfect bite.

course 8: lamb, chanterelles, onion

Our last savory course of the night was the lamb done two ways, terrine and loin. Both were incredibly tender and flavorful, the loin being a bit more gamey. Honestly, by this point, my mind was getting fuzzy from flavor overload. I stopped taking notes and just enjoyed the flavor explosion in my mouth.

course 9: Asahi float, acacia honey

Moving onto the dessert course, the Asahi float is one that I've experienced both at Thompson Hotel and Chef Brian's Hatchi Series at Breadbar. An elevated beer float, the sweetness of the honey with the slight bitterness of the beer serve as a palate cleanser as well as a delicious dessert.

course 10: “half baked,” pistachio, kaffir

Our last course of the night had many components, but all worked well to form a complete and delicious dessert. The dish had a caramel panna cotta with soft brownie sponge and a frozen raw cookie dough frozen by liquid nitrogen. I really loved the ground pistachios in the dish which added a nice crunchy texture, a nice change from the creamy ice cream and soft brownie.

My dining companions and I had a fantastic meal and really enjoyed everything. I know some tables didn't get all the courses because food ran out, so I felt very fortunate to have experienced everything. Always a fan of Chef Brian Redzikowski, I was extremely happy with the meal since I was a bit disappointed with his last pop-up at Hatchi. Knowing the caliber of his skill and level of expertise he holds, I always have high expectations from Chef Brian and this dinner at Test Kitchen just reconfirmed that belief. I can't wait to go in to Thompson Hotel and try out his new menu items. If you have never eaten his food, I suggest you go now especially since the kinks of the new management at Thompson Hotel have been worked out.

To find out more about Chef Brian Redzikowski and his cuisine, visit


kevinEats said...

It's too bad that I had to miss this dinner! Do you know what Redzikowski is up to now? Is he opening his own place?

nelehelen said...

you were at blogger prom!!

he's still at thompson hotel, but i think the hotel has finally finished going through management changes. i spoke to him recently and he said he's planning on doing a new menu soon.. we should definitely check it out once he debuts his new menu!

Gastronomer said...

I am a big fan of Chef Brian Redzikowski, too! Holla at me once the new menu is up and running. I'm definitely interested in stopping by for a taste!

bagnatic said...

you are right that this is your blog and you can do whatever you want.

it seemed like an awesome meal!

Kung Food Panda said...

Wow, what an epic looking meal! That looked absolutely fantastic!!

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