"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Graffit - May 13, 2011

After paying homage to the art by seeing a film at the Taiwanese Film Festival at the Water Reade Cinema, we continued with the artsy theme and satisfied again the hunger of the intellect, and incidentally also of stomach, at Graffit. These days, fine arts can be eaten, it seems.

Pulpo a la Gallega

A simple, classic tapas of boiled octopus and paprika was laid out like a minimalist painting. The tender and plump octopus meat was given a dust of smoked paprika. Creamy mashed purple and yellow potatoes tasted unnecessarily buttery.


Duck Confit

The special tapas of the day was a duck confit, served surprisingly lean and flavorless with Brussels sprouts and radish. The smears of mustard and berries added color to the plate but failed to add flavor to the palate.

Lomo Iberico

Each circle of the loin had a warm glow like petals of amber mica of a van Erp lamp, with crescents of off-white fats adorning and accentuating. Just as the rich hue suggested, the candied and cured sweetness of the Iberico pork shone, highlighted by the sweet tomato confit and crusty, soft bread.

Pear Salad, Valdeon Cheese, Quince, Candied Walnuts

The razor-thin, crisp slices of pear were topped by a handful of spring mix salad, whose unassuming presentation would have been perfectly acceptable elsewhere, but appeared unkempt and hurried when served at Graffit; compared to their own photograph of the salad, it cannot be denied that it was suffering from a rather bad hair day. The serving of the greens seemed to have been doubled, which might be salutary if the dressing had been lighter, and diluted the cheese, fruits and nuts ratio so that the pungent Spanish blue did not give as effective a punch as would have been desirable.

Savory Carrot “Cake,” Mahon Cheese Asparagus

Sweet, buttery and ultimately mushy, the cake was a grilled carrot pudding, amid swirls of the jalapeno and herbal aioli – the latter is noted merely as “herbal” not because my memory had failed me or lost in translation due to the thick accent of our waitress, but its taste simply could not be distinguished beyond a mere “greenness.” The accompanied salty and grainy carrot mash was an interesting concept for the orange root vegetable. However, continuing with the artsy theme of the restaurant, the cake was more for thought rather than for savor.

Creamy Saffron Rice with Lobster

The risotto was another creamy dish of insipid flavor, however, this time saved by the lobster salt and lobster head salt – both ground parts of the crustacean with salt – which would have been impressively unique if I had not seen it before a couple of times. By now, the chef’s obsessive or habitual (or lazy) use of the squeeze bottles, containing the ubiquitous jalapeno and the other “green” aioli was getting old and tiring; not to mention that they had never contributed much to enhance the plate – being neither spicy nor sour. The well-cooked rice and chunks of lobster could have used more brightness – i.e. fresh herbs – and some kick – i.e. Piment d'Espelette (Basque, yes, but anything and everything can be flown and combined, no?).

Seven Textures of Caramel

The vertiginous swirls, circles and disks of caramels were mind-clogging if not mind-blowing. Amid the overload of browns, the pale green olive oil sorbet was the one that stayed in the memory with its grassy freshness, while the other caramels sunk into a muddy oblivion. As for the non-caramel browns, the olive oil in the olive oil ganache was redundant, but I would have liked the kumquat confit with yogurt for my breakfast. The visually arresting golden strands of burnt caramels were gorgeous as visual art, but it became simply annoying as food.

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1 comment:

  1. Comparing lomo Iberico to a van Erp lamp is a brilliant description, I. Very nice. However, I have never heard of a thing as "unnecessarily buttery". :)