You can find the review of my 2nd visit to Ambassade de L’ile on Londoneater’s blog as I am featured as a guest blogger. This meal was back in December just before Christmas and I do apologize that the review has taken quite some time before it was published. Here is a quick summary:
The meal began with the same assortment of vegetable crisps although this time they were less well executed than on my first visit. Still, a comfortable 8/10. An amuse bouche of baked clam with brunoise vegetables and truffled butter had sweet, juicy and slightly salty clam although the truffle butter was somewhat muted. (7/10) Better was a second amuse of deep fried boudin noir with quince syrup – the richness of the boudin noir matched by the acidity of the syrup. (8/10)
Foie gras, au torchon was served in a brioche mousseline with some quince ketchup on the side. The foie had good liver flavour with the lightest brioche I have ever had the pleasure of eating although the dish itself was not remarkable despite being well executed. (7/10) Brill and Prawn ‘Fish and Chips’ was disappointing let down by soggy, batter although the dish itself was somewhat rescued by a very good tomato bernaise sauce. (5/10)
The highlight of the meal was the Canard au Sang in two services. First, the duck breast was served with a few pickled turnips and the beautiful, velvety civet sauce. The breast was so tender you could have cut it with a spoon. The dish, despite having so few components to it, emphasized that a dish can be brilliant despite its simplicity. A second, serving of the leg was much lighter with a frisee salad dressed in good quality balsamic vinegar and almond oil. (10/10)
Desserts still remain their weak point. A lemon confit and chestnut tart had good pastry, with the sharpness of the lemon balanced by the smoked chestnut but ultimately the final dish felt like a sum of all parts. (6/10) More interesting was a white truffle and white chocolate dessert (8/10). Petit fours were as before from my previous visit with an interesting liquorice ice cream, star anise sweet and gingerbread cone thrown in for good measure (8/10).
The cooking here seems to be of a high level. At its best, Ambassade has produced some of the best tasting dishes I have had the privilledge to sample. Even the ‘mediocre’ dishes are at a 6/10 level. As such it baffles me that Ambassade only received 1 Michelin star in the 2009 guide while other places like L’Atelier and the Capital have 2.