Sunday, April 30, 2006

All aboard the Orient Express!

We are aboard the Orient Express! It is resplendent in all its exuberant navy and gold loveliness. I am in raptures! In our tiny cabin we don the diamonds for the evening extravaganza! We've be assigned the belle époque dining carriage with the stunning Lalique crystal panels, dark wood and pale blue plump velvet armchairs. We choose a cheeky little half bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and start with PANFRIED TURBOT FILLET WITH POTATOES & WHITE TRUFFLE SCALES, TINY TARTARS OF TURBOT WITH BISON GRASS & WASABI HORSERADISH. The turbot is stunning and such an amazing looking dish - I once created a similar topping to some wild salmon a la Gordon Ramsay - but I didn't use white truffles! Our main is supposed to be lamp with olives accompanied by aubergines and tomato and coriander flavoured cous-cous. Hmmm, I had rather hoped for an olive, tomato, coriander and cous-cous free meal and they very kindly whipped up the most tender fillet of beef with little sautéed cubes of potatoes and spinach. A fine, fine substitute and not a tomato in sight! After a magnificent cheese board assortment (Comté, Brie, cream cheese with raisins and Brie de Meaux was my choice) accompanied by some tasty date bread and despite the fact that there was really little room left; we finished our glorious first meal aboard with ICED PARFAIT ON TOP OF MERIGUE WITH TEA SOAKED RAISINS AND BERRIES. And then just managed to squeeze in a chocolate – but just one!

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