Starry starry night...
Last week, I decided to pay a visit to Tao @ Cinnamon Grand Hotel for their much publicized "24-dish Epicurean Menu" said to be the only degustation menu in Sri Lanka at Rs. 2,030 (before tax: Rs. 1,600) ~ RM56/USD18. Now, do note the punctuation marks I'm using...
I'm always up for new places and this should be an interesting one too I thought.
Pictures ahead, I'll summarize the overall rather than going through the dishes individually.
Prawn & avocado rice paper rolls with soya chili sauce
Chicken floss caesar salad
Smoked turkey with mango salsa
Cheesy green cucumber rolls with miso glaze & pickled chilies
Blue lip mussels with matsuhisa salsa
Sauteed vegetable rolls wrapped in rice paper
Smoked portobello & red bell pepper napolean on crostini
From top: Tomato & vongole soup; Chilled avocado & jalapeno pepper soup; Celery bisque with almond flakes
Asian spiced mini shepherd's pie served with red curry hinted lamb jus
Soya glazed pan fried salmon & jasmine rice with curry sauce
Lemon & lime lamb ossobucco
Roast duck on noodle cake with hoisin sauce
Green asparagus with mozzarella cheese sauce
Grilled vegetable stack with polenta on basil tomato coulis
Chili garlic lobster on potato risotto
From left: Chocolate ginger pudding with toffee caramel ice cream; Olive chocolate cream with wild berries; Strawberry citron crunch & cinnamon pralines with berry coulis
From top: Blueberry & mascarpone tart; Espresso creme brulee
From top: Baileys banana cream with chip cheese towers; Deluxe fruit platter with raspberry sorbet
Complimentary arrack cocktail shot & icing sugar cashew nuts
Bo ho ma stuh tee & please come again!
I think they're some terribly confused food, you may see a mixture of east and west ideas in the food but there is also literally an explosion of taste, a less pleasant one that is. I think people should learn to understand that putting rice with lamb and pan fried salmon, or curry sauce with lobster does not = fusion. I wish the seafood were cooked in simple ways like steaming or grilling to retain its natural taste of sweetness rather than immersed in overpowering sauces. If I was asked to name the worst dish, it would be the ones with grilled vegetables which are overcooked and have weird sauces. Perhaps the only one item that I like out of the 24 is the small tiny strawberry citron crunch cinnamon pralines with berry. Giving fancy names to a dish also does not equate to fusion!
Despite the many flaws, here's some positive notes to my visit:
1. It's still considerably cheap even after conversion to any currencies. 24 dishes (though small) for Rs. 2000 / USD18 / RM56?! Are you even kidding?!
2. Big on bragging rights to say "I'm having 24 dishes for dinner tonight!" I posted the update to my facebook and garnered alot of comments on it.
3. The ambience more than make up the less than impressive food. If you think you're getting bad food, think of it as you're paying to eat while overlooking a koi pond and beautiful night lights.
P/s: What the heck is matsuhisa, ossobucco, coulis, polenta, anyway?!
Tao @ Cinnamon Grand
77, Galle Road,
Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Website: Tao Cinnamon Grand
Reservations: +94 11 2497 369
[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are based on my personal views, tastebuds and preference and may vary for others. Please don't sue me, I don't have money. Kthxbye.]