When I dined at Hibiscus recently, they had their 15th Anniversary Menu which featured a greatest hits of all their favourites as voted by their diners. Now obviously this menu is limited by the current season and also pricing has to be factored into the equation. This got me thinking – if seasonality and pricing were not an issue, what would my Hibiscus favourites look like?
This dish began life as a Kedgeree in an egg cup but over time has slowly evolved into a Thai style curry, no doubt from Bosi’s travels. When I first saw this presentation, it brought a big style to my face.
Bosi’s current version of a crab dish sees the picked crab meet in a little glass with crab jelly consommé and various sea vegetables placed on top. That is no doubt a very good dish but for me nothing beats the original version where the crab meat is rolled into a light crunchy crust. A fellow foodie friend of mine remarked that this was one of the best dishes he had eaten that year. I think the highest praise you can give.
This has to be my favourite dish at Hibiscus and one that never goes all – silky pasta, encasing a solitary egg yolk lined with smoked potato on top of a truffle sauce. The secret here is the smoked potato mousselline which gives all the ingredients around here a lift. For me this will always be the most iconic dish of Hibiscus.
If there is a dish which would describe Bosi’s style of cooking then this would be it – pairing his classical French style with his love of English food. A nice fat piece of scallop is gratinated with a mustard crust and served with a pork pie sauce and some grapefruit. I mean seriously, which lunatic would pair scallops with pork pie sauce. Yet this remains one of my most beloved dishes here at Hibiscus. A combination which sounds insane yet eats amazingly well.
Another combination of French and British – Bosi pairs John Dory with Morteau Sausage and a very British Mead Sauce. He adds some Asian influences with crisped up fish skin which is scattered on top of the John Dory. On the side is what he describes as a ‘Mona Lisa’ gnocchi – a flat piece of gnocchi decorated with girolle mushrooms.
The pairing of red meat and snails is not a new thing. Yet there is something alluring about the version here pairing seonal welsh lamb with snails and spiking it with a little curry.
On the side has to be some of his horse fat pomme souffle. I don’t think I have tasted a better pomme souffle in London than the ones served here.
The pre-desserts here do not change much – instead they rotate around depending on season. My favourite of course is the one served during autumn consisting of Melilot (a sweet clover) panna cotta paired with Golden delicious puree. It smells of sweet hay and taste of nectar.
Another Bosi classic – cep tart paired with macadamia nut ice cream. This has seen many forms from the original tarte fine to a little tartlet. For me the original version is still the best. Using mushrooms in desserts is common in Asian cuisine and the meaty nature of the cep tart eats amazingly well with the macadamia nut ice cream.
For me the two bests desserts at Hibiscus are his Tart au Chocolat and Millefeuille a la Arpege. So when Bosi decides to combine both desserts together it is sensational. If Michelin stars are awarded from 1 to 3, this dessert alone would merit a 5.
The petit fours have diversified a lot from fudge to madeleines, but my favourite here is the simple chocolate aeros. My fiancee thinks these are the dogs bollocks and who am I to argue with that?
Would you agree or disagree with my choice?
p/s This blog will take a short break as I head off to Prague in search of food which does not include dumplings.