Saturday night Hubby and I went to the Royce at the Langham because we hadn’t been there in a couple of years (last time we went it was still The Dining Room), and the Royce was celebrating its one-year anniversary with a prix fixe dinner. Our reservation was for 7:30, we were seated promptly, and we didn’t leave until 11pm!! A THREE AND A HALF HOUR DINNER!! But it was super fun and almost everything I ate was new and exciting. And I want to apologize for the quality of the photos, I was using my old iPhone and didn’t have a flash, and the room was dim.
Our evening started with a delightful sparkling rose. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was delicious and came in a cute little glass. I also liked the funky table light and the blue water glasses.
Next we got an amuse bouche. It consisted of a VERY SPICY grilled pepper covered in salt, a pastry puff filled with a smokey mousse of some kind, and a small glass of potato soup. I had no idea how to eat it. So I drank some of the soup (we didn’t get spoons so I figured you just drank it from the glass), ate the puff, ate the pepper which burned the crap out of my throat, and then finished the soup.
For my first course I chose the scallop. I normally don’t like seafood, but the other two options were tuna belly, which I definitely didn’t want to eat, and some other type of fish. I figured the scallop would be the least “fishy.” And it was! It almost tasted like a steak, maybe from the searing. It came with garlic foam, garlic salt, a smear of kale pure, and some spinach. The kale puree really brought out the sweetness of the scallop, it was amazing. So that’s the first thing I ate that I would normally never eat.
Hubby got the tuna belly. It came with thinly sliced and vinegared apples, radishes, cucumber, and a line of jalapeño relish. I tried the veggie part, it was good.
For my next course I chose the salsify. The other two options had fish in them. I’ve never had salsify before, I just new it was a plant. It came in three forms: blanched in wine (white), rolled in ash (black) and shaved and fried into yummy crispy bits. Plus it had a gorgonzola foam sauce.
Hubby chose the lobster with pomegranate seeds and “snow,” which was liquid nitrogen-frozen pomegranate juice (I think) sprinkled on top of his lobster. I tried a tiny bit. The flavor was good but I don’t like the texture of lobster. Hubby really enjoyed this new flavor combination.
Next, I got the porcini mushrooms with pears and chestnuts. I really liked the flavors, but the chestnuts were kind of dry compared to the mushrooms and pears and I didn’t like the feel of that combination in my mouth, so I ate those separate. The pear was shaved over my mushrooms as if it was parmesan cheese which was kind of neat.
Hubby got the turbot with uni mustard on a bed of thinly sliced scallions or leeks, I forget which. I tried a bit of the mustard and leeks which was good.
The next course was the main course (you can see why we were there so long, there were many courses). I got the wagyu beef with potatoes three ways. The wagyu was VERY rare, and when I saw the people next to us receive theirs I was tempted to ask for mine cooked more, but I refrained. When I’m at really nice restaurants I just trust that the chef knows a hell of a lot more than I do about flavor and how to eat stuff. The au jus was super good, and there were little pieces of veggie. Plus a “porcini royal” which was like mushroom mousse. There was a small roasted potato covered in a potato cheese puree and then topped with crispy fried potato bits. IT WAS SO GOOD!! I was very surprised I ate the meat so rare. It was probably because it was such a good cut of meat. If I got a rare steak at some place like Black Angus it would probably suck.
Hubby go the guinea hen with caviar sauce. It was good. There was a roasted breast piece, some drumsticks, and a sliver of fried skin. The white cylinders in the picture I believe are pureed guinea hen and chestnuts. His stuff was very good except I didn’t like the caviar sauce.
Then came the cheese course. Now, this was perhaps the most fun course of the night. First, I should mention I was getting the wine parings with dinner. Before the cheese course the sommelier brought me a sherry and said I was not to drink it before eating my cheese. I had to take a bite of my cheese, then eat the sherry, and then try the cheese again. Normally when you eat and drink the food changes the taste of the wine. But with this the sherry changed the flavor of the cheese! Hubby and I both tried the cheese. My cheese was “fromage with herbes” or something like that. Under that disc of white cheese is very creamy cheese with herbs in it. To me it was a bit plan and bitter. Then I took a sip of the sherry and tried the cheese again. I started laughing because the flavor was so different! The cheese was mellower and you could totally taste the herbs in it. It was fantastic. We couldn’t believe it. The sommelier was fantastic.
Our wines (mine is the short one):
Hubby got the camembert. It was so funny, because I think they were making a fancy version of mozzarella cheese sticks with marinara sauce. The camembert was in the form of a fried cheese stick. Then there was stripes of a fruity jam I guess I could call it with a strong anise/licorice flavor. The tomato had been marinaded in something sweet, maybe a sweet wine. And there were leaves of watercress I think, which were very peppery and spicy. Put all four of these items in your mouth and it’s utterly fantastic, and I can’t really describe it well except to say that it’s so good. If I ate this cheese plate and my wagyu beef plate for dinner every night I’d be VERY HAPPY INDEED.
After cheese came one of those palate cleansers, which I’m sure has a fancy name but I don’t know what it is. It came in the form of a cardamom sorbet which was light and flavorful. I should try making it at home. I liked the bowl/plate it came in too.
We also got a plate of mini treats. There were mini macaroons which were sweat and squishy, mini madeline cookies which were also squishy, and a tiny chocolate cup full of chocolate pudding. Very yummy!
Finally came dessert. I had a pear and chocolate dessert. It came looking like a giant egg! And then they poorer chocolate all over it. The egg was like a frozen pear foam with creamy pear mousse in the middle. With chocolate all over it! It was also big which made me happy. I couldn’t even finish it.
Hubby had some sort of apple pie-inspired dish. I’m surprised I didn’t try it, but he liked it I think. There was a sprinkling of blue cheese on the plate, which he tried but didn’t like the flavor with the apple stuff.
While we had coffee we were given some pieces of chocolate, dark, white, and milk chocolate with coffee nibs in it. It was really good, but I had so much chocolate by the end of the evening that if I ate any more I would be puking chocolate. And the waiter brought us more of it when the bill came! Plus, when we left the hostess gave us a little box of it that was an anniversary present from the restaurant to us. It was nice.
It was a very exciting dinner, I haven’t enjoyed dining that much in a long time because the flavors were so unique and new to me. And I think in between the salsify course and the porcini course we could have paid $50 extra per person and got a lentil soup with a ton of white truffles shaved over it. The waiter brought the white truffle around in a big jar wrapped in a napkins so light wouldn’t get in, and the manager shaved truffles on the lentils. It looked fancy but too expensive. Maybe next time after I win the lotto.
Not only was that the longest dinner of my life, but my post about it is the longest I’ve ever written, almost 1500 words! I hope you enjoyed reading it.