Posted on Saturday, 2nd June 2012
2011 Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and car brand Citroën recently came together to work on a charity project in aid of FareShare, a charity that tackles food poverty by challenging food waste. For this purpose, Tim created a special five-course tasting menu based on the five senses for a pop-up restaurant known as Delicious by DS5 (one of the cars in the Citroën range). The charity restaurant was held at 89 ½ Worship Street and proceeds from the evening went towards FareShare.
I was excited by the prospect of trying his menu. Winning Masterchef is no mean feat, and his eclectic take on food – at least from what I observed by watching him on Masterchef – showed that he drew a lot from Japanese influences.
However, on this occasion Tim Anderson’s menu proved more sensory than Asian-inspired. ‘Textures of duck’ (glass, silk and leather) consisted of crispy duck skin, liver parfait and tea-rubbed jerky. The best of the three was the parfait with its rich unctuous flavour and creamy texture. The coating of coco butter around the parfait added contrast. However the skin was not particularly crispy, and the jerky, whilst texturally interesting, was not as flavoursome as it could have been. And being a dish about textures, it provided a good example of the possible textures achievable with duck.
‘Visions of beetroot’ (red, gold white and pink) proved to be a beautifully presented plate of candied golden beetroot, slices of dehydrated beetroot, beetroot powder and goat’s cheese covered with a beetroot jelly. The dish was finished with a wasabi cream and a citrus vinaigrette. The dish was fresh and pleasant, but lacked spark, but it was indeed a ‘vision’.
‘Flavours of beef’ (cheesy, mushroomy, nutty and fruity) was the highlight dish of the evening. Beautifully cooked aged fillets of beef gave way to a wonderful, intensely meaty flavour. A side of mushroom and blue cheese potato pureé was also scrumptious. The texture of the pureé was creamy, and there was both balance and contrast coming through from the mushroom and the cheese. The dish was finished with romanesco, a lovely cashew butter and a prune sauce which was well judged and not too sweet. This was a delectable and flavoursome dish.
‘Sounds of bacon’ (sizzle and crunch) was particularly interesting with its caramel coated pancetta lolly pop and pork rind popping candy. The contrast between the sweet and savoury elements of the lolly pop was fabulous and provided lots of crunch, and the pork rind sizzled on the tongue for a tasty and fun effect.
Pre-dessert was lemon meringue prepared at the table using liquid nitrogen. Clever as it was, the meringue was a little harsh tasting and a bit too cold to be entirely palatable.
‘Aromas of Syrah’ (mocha, spice, dark fruits and smoke) was a very aromatic experience. The spiced mocha ganache with blackcurrant jelly was tasty, but it was the warm mulled wine poured over dry ice that stole the show as the smoke that it gave off proved to be quite arresting visually; and the aroma, tantalisingly spicy.
This was a very accomplished meal with some conceptually interesting ideas running through the menu. Each element of each dish had been thoughtfully and very thoroughly considered, and each course hit the sensory theme that it was trying to achieve well. The high point was ‘Flavours of beef’ for it was incredibly tasty. This was a pleasurable evening, and more importantly, conducted for a worthwhile charitable cause.
The Delicious by DS5 pop-up by Tim Anderson ran during 16 and 19 May 2012.
Food rating: 4/5