French Couture Dining At Club Gascon
Is there any person in the world who doesn’t fancy a gourmet dinner in a pretty village in South of France? I haven’t met any of those people yet but I do know many gourmands who do not need much persuading when it comes to treating oneself to a delicious haute couture French dinner. Luckily, it takes a trip to a little place in east-central London to have a delightful dinner in the award-winning Michelin starred restaurant - Club Gascon.
With Chef Pascal Aussignac who cooks at the restaurant every day, as well as personally picks up fresh flowers from the market adding a beautiful touch to Club Gascon’s gorgeous interiors, the restaurant takes all of its food and produce from Gascony very seriously and meets the highest standards of Le Comité Renaissance who has a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of the food’s freshness and cuisine’s authenticity.
A glass of champagne on arrival was a perfect start to our 4-course tasting menu. Created by Pascal Aussignac who is famous for designing amazing flavour combinations and flawless technique, each dish was truly special and tasted sensational. Aurore, an absolutely charming Club Gascon restaurant manager, introduced the courses - with the passion and attention to detail you would expect from someone who truly loves food and knows everything about it!
Amuse Bouche, or a ‘surprise for the palette’, was apples and asparagus cold soup coming with a lovage sponge on the side. With the first course so delicious, I couldn’t wait for my starter to arrive. Pressed foie gras & rabbit terrine with aromatic sangria & popcorn salt was an edible piece of art! Smooth and delicious, the dish had amazing flavours that complemented each other creating a perfect taste.
Plancha of Sea bream, Quinoa, Saffron & Chorizo - which was my main course - was a fillet of sea bream cooked a la plancha, served with saffron quinoa risotto, samphire, mussels and chorizo, garnished with bok choi and steamed samphire in a bouillabaisse sauce. The dish had a perfect combination or the light taste of sea bream and strong spicy flavours of chorizo giving sensational pleasure to my tastebuds.
With dishes so delicious and flavours complementing each other so tastefully, I was ready for dessert - but before that it was time for a mind blowing Ossau Iraty, Smoked Lillet & Mandarin Jus - which was shavings of Ossau Iraty cheese with mandarin & white balsamic sauce and smoked coconut & vermouth foam. Just as it sounds, the cheese tasted perfect and to be fair could be THE dessert - smooth, reach and absolutely fabulous. And then the fifth course arrived.
Cherries & Smoked Berries, Elderflower & Black Tea Tuile - a crumble of dry strawberry, marinated cherries, smoked strawberry sorbet, elderflower foam, and black tea tuile and tarragon gel. With its contrasting flavours and textures, the dessert was definitely different from anything I tried before. I enjoyed how it challenged my perception of traditional complementing flavours and the way it melted in my mouth.
Just when I thought that my gourmet journey came to an end, the sixth course arrived. A plate of chocolate truffles, nuts and popping candy. That went well with fresh mint tea! :)
The wine list at Club Gascon deserves a special attention on its own. The tastefully selected wines aims to take diners on a discovery journey across the South of France and many of them are imported in the UK exclusively for Club Gascon. A bottle of delicious crisp white - Domaine des Shistes - was complementing our dinner perfectly getting our Club Gascon experience to a whole new level.
Before you ask, while, as one would imagine, haute couture dining comes at a price, you can enjoy the 4-Course Menu without spending your monthly ‘social’ budget on it. So treat your parents to a gorgeous dinner, have a fab dinner with a friend (like my friend and lifestyle expert Sarah and I did), bring your date here or simply come to Club Gascon with friends to enjoy this special gourmet experience. With dishes being so perfectly designed and presented, atmosphere oozing the French chic and charm and waiters being passionate about what they do, you are guaranteed to come back soon.
Last but not least, Club Gascon menu changes every 2-3 months so expect the best in seasonal produce and true Gascon flavours. So enjoy - and share your experience in the comment section below!