Starters at Paco Roncero’s pop-up restaurant at the Domino Room, Café Royal, London

The domino effect: London’s Café Royal

If you’re going to try foie gras for the first time in your life, the Domino Room at London’s Café Royal is the place to do it. Two Michelin-starred chef Paco Roncero has brought elements of his Sublimotion – the world’s most expensive restaurant – to a pop-up in London for a fraction of the usual cost.

In his Ibiza hometown, diners pay €1,200 for a meal that involves levitating food, projections and self-mixing drinks. In London, a pared-back experience is available for a comparatively cheap £90 a head.

Damon and I were there on Tuesday this week. We went with our friend Keeley. Despite owning a house in south-west France for years, she has carefully managed to avoid one of the local delicacies, foie gras.

Until now, that is.

Even she couldn’t resist the chocolate ‘filipino’, foie gras and cardamom starter (pictured, left) that came as one of the 14 courses offered as part of the tasting menu. It was truly amazing: a foie gras mousse inside a hollow frozen white chocolate ring. Merely to say it melted in the mouth would be to do it an injustice.

Other highlights of the meal included the squid risotto and curry oil. This dish contained no rice: instead the squid had been cut into pieces to resemble rice. Venison carpaccio and mango egg – a mango purée gel and yoghurt, made to look like a fried egg on toast – also delighted.

“Despite owning a house in south-west France for years, she has carefully managed to avoid the local delicacy, foie gras”

Some of Roncero’s trademark tricks surfaced during the meal. One of the desserts was a chocolate mousse frozen in liquid nitrogen, for example. Its shell smashed into pieces as we tried to eat it.

I can honestly say I have never eaten a more inventive meal. The pop-up is due to close on 11 April. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

This entry was published on Saturday, 28 March 2015 at 07:17. It’s filed under Food and wine and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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