Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] Maison Pourcel (2)

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Maison Pourcel

Add: 8/F, 35 Shanxi Nan Lu, near Changle Lu 陕西南路35号8楼, 近长乐路
Tel: 6215 8777
Hours: [La Table] 5:30-10:30pm [Studio Bar] 11:30am-11pm
Price: [La Table] 700 RMB+/person [Studio Bar] 300 RMB/person
Visited: Jun 2011

Please note that this is an arranged tasting.

I had the pleasure of dining at Maison Pourcel again for a special olive oil-themed tasting menu. Since I already blogged about this restaurant, I will skip the intro and go straight to the food. For more information and pictures on the restaurant, please refer to my previous post.

Maison Pourcel has a special themed-menu each month, and for June, the focus is on olive oil. The whole menu is 8 courses long (1198RMB/person, see full menu here) and would take hours to finish, so the chef kindly picked out four of the dishes for us to sample.

Like last time, the meal started with a few plates of amuse bouche – fried foie gras with herb mustard cream, smoked salmon on a cake-like bread, and a savory pastry.

I wasn’t too impressed with the breads at Maison Pourcel on my last visit, but the one I tried this time was excellent. It was a slightly sweetened bread with bits of orange peel, delicious without the accompanying Philippe Olivier butter.

Next came the amuse bouche from the themed menu, Potato Espuma and its Sherbet with Thyme, dotted with a few drops of Desert Miracle olive oil from Morocco. The soup, prepared by aerating potato puree and fresh cream with a cream gun, was smooth and fluffy. Yes, the soup was fluffy. Potato sherbet was also something new for me – it was sweet but had a subtle potato flavor, which may sound weird but it somehow worked. This dish was a contrast of hot and cold, sweet and savory, a play on texture, temperature, and flavor very typical of the cuisine at Maison Pourcel. 

Next came the appetizer, a beautiful plate of Jelly Cannelloni with Slightly Smoked and Spiced Tuna, Olive Oil Aioli, drizzled with Tree of Life olive oil from Australia. The presentation was gorgeous. Three small mounds of caviar elegantly perched atop a thin layer of delicate, translucent jelly cannelloni enveloping a smoked tuna and mango salad, then encircled by dots of garlic cream. Flavor-wise, it was also a wonderfully orchestrated dish though a bit too sweet for my palate.

A tender Farm Chicken Cooked in Low Temperature accompanied by pan-fried crispy goat cheese gnocchi, sweet orange and carrot puree, sour fresh grapes, and fragrant Mueloliva olive oil from Spain. Again, a contrast of flavors and textures that kept my taste buds entertained.

Next came the pre-desserts, a cup of watermelon-strawberry-mint granite as the palate cleanser, and a little tower of macarons, pralines, cinnamon chocolates and white chocolate lollipop. Like last time, I wasn’t too impressed with these. The only one I would have liked seconds on is the chocolate praline, which tasted like a more delicate version of Ferrero Rocher.

Desserts on my last visit were disappointing, but tonight’s sweet ending – Peach Carpaccio and Vanilla Egg White served with Terre Bormane Arboreum olive oil from Italy – was a hit. I had no idea olive oil would work well with fruits, but the thin slices of fresh peach in their glistening coat proved very successful. Simple, delicious.

We were then given some olive oil madeleines to take home with. A nice gesture, though I could barely taste the olive oil.

Another great meal at Maison Pourcel. For those interested, take a look at their full olive oil themed menu here. I can’t speak for the other dishes on the menu, but the four I sampled are very worthy of your time.

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Written by sugarednspiced

June 11th, 2011 at 8:33 am