Friday, July 29, 2011

Next: Tour of Thailand

rice not noodles
 newspaper covered table, plastic cups, pink paper napkins, disposable utensils.
 an intoxicating rose water sprinkled rose
  a single red thread made me slug a glass of water...
...and laugh while wiping the sweat from my brow.
tea in plastic bags...lovingly garnished steamed bun
 fine dining restroom etiquette lessons
lifted the hairy coconut lid
slurped the spicy soup
ruined on catfish forever
punchy sausages fermented with rice
lemongrass, lime, curry, mango, ginger
beef cheeks and salted duck eggs
street food...elevated.
Next Restaurant
Tour of Thailand

Street Food Platter
Roasted Banana
fried garlic, pickled shallot, cilantro blooms

Prawn Cake
white pepper, coriander, lime zest

Sweet Shrimp
raw garlic, mint, bird chilies

Fermented Sausage
peanut, galangal, grilled scallion

Steamed Bun
beech mushroom, green curry
Batavia Arrack, Szigeti Select, Guava, Mango Papaya
Tom Yum Soup
hot and sour broth, pork belly, tomato, ginger
Disznóko, Furmint, Tokaji, Hungary 2007

Rice with Relishes
chili, shallot, garlic
salted duck egg with green mango and white radish 
pickled fruits and vegetables with basil
Catfish in Caramel
wild catfish braised in caramel sauce, celery, green peppercorns, coriander root
Itsas Mendi, Hondarrabi Zuri, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain 2010
 Panang Curry
beef cheek, curry, nutmeg, coconut, kaffir lime, lemongrass
Paul Georg, Brut Rosè, Champagne, France N.V.
Fruit Consommé
clear juice of watermelon and lemongrass 

Coconut Dessert
coconut, egg, licorice, saffron
Planta 'Passito di Noto', Moscato, Italy 2009
Dragon Fruit
dragon fruit, rose water, sugar
Banks, blended island rum

Tea to Go
rooibos, palm sugar, milk
Grant Achatz and his team have managed to do it again; they served me a meal that I will count among the best of my life. Next's Tour of Thailand was an assault of intriguing textures, complex flavors, and an un-ending sense of whimsy and frivolity. The chefs at Next made a nimble one hundred eighty degree turn  from the classic French dishes featured in their Paris 1906 menu and offer diners a glimpse of dishes served in virtually every corner of Thailand.  The catfish was a revelation and may well have been my favorite dish of the evening and Leif, a longtime lover of Tom Yum Soup, cannot stop talking about the version he was served last night. The wine pairings were sublime and the Guava Punch served with our first course set the tone for our extraordinary meal perfectly.  Our servers were knowledgeable, personable and quick to educate us about sausage fermentation, colored paper napkins and similar topics.
Each and every dish and drink was as close to flawless as I can imagine; flawless enough you'd think this extraordinary team had spent years perfecting the dishes and their presentation, but alas this flash in the pan approach to high end fare will have them reinventing themselves again in just about ten weeks.  God only knows what they have planned next, but I cannot wait to find out. 

1 comment:

Diana said...

Thanks for your post!! I went there a few weeks ago also for the Tour of Thailand, and my favorite dish was the beef cheeks! So tender and delicious and the curry just was delightful!! I have my own post on my experience here:

keep up the great work!

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