This is the one several of you have been waiting for and I am again so sorry it has taken me this long to get these done. No excuse except that I've been working - AND tracking Jeff and Joe on THEIR trip!!
If you don't know - Eating at V&A is pricey - $125 each for the seven courses in the main room. More if you pair wines. More in the Queen's room or at the Chef's table. Ah . . . some day . . .
BUT - for us, it is so worth the expense to be treated to such great food and such impeccable service. They take the time to ask about preferences. The week before we left on our trip, They Called Me to double check that they had the right information. Seriously - V&A will make this work for all your likes and dislikes - You can have an entire vegetarian menu, or a fish-less menu. I suppose you could also have a sugar-free menu if you arranged that. Kim does not like black pepper, so we asked for no additional, visible pepper on her food. Internal seasoning isn't a problem, she just doesn't like the little black bits of heat-ness. They made that happen. She felt like a Queen!!
To begin, you are greeted by name and taken to your table. Your personal serving team tells you about the choices, the wines, etc. After as much time as you need to decide - to ask more questions - they take your order for each course. Also, you are brought a different type of bread or roll with each course. All freshly baked just for YOU, warm from the oven with butter, some courses with a bit of special salt on the butter.
So - First comes the Amuse Bouche - the little taste of several items. I had the wine parings, so started this course with champagne. The plate came with four bites -
Next, we had the appetizer course. I had gulf shrimp with a Spanish Rias Baixas and Kim had duck. Both were delicious. The portions are not large, given that there are so many courses, and it takes some control to go slow and savor the food - but it is SO worth the savoring part!!
After this, we enjoyed the fish course. I had Sablefish and Califonia Chardonnay and Kim had the Wild Turbot. Again, these dishes were seasoned perfectly and were amazingly delicious. You will be reading that word a lot here!!
Sablefish. Check out the cute pickled radish!!
Turbot with capers
We moved from fish to veal and quail. I had the veal with apple kraut, paired with Ripasso from Italy and Kim the quail with pears and ham jus. So tender and subtle, these dishes were two of our favorites of the night!
As if this wasn't enough, we were next served the official Meat Course. I had pork tenderloin and belly, a wonderful Shiraz, Kim had the Kobe-style beef with garlic-pureed potatoes. There was absolutely nothing in these dishes but deliciousness.
Finally - we got to the CHEESE course!!! I don't have to repeat my adoration of cheese. I've said that enough. Oh, and I enjoyed a nice Port with my cheese.
Now one of the highlights of V&A is the magic coffee pot they bring you (if you want coffee with or after your dessert). We are 'coffee with' people, so out comes the pot that works by thermal physics to draw water up into the grounds and then decants the brewed coffee back into the pot. And you get to watch it all happen!!
Now for dessert . . . we were quite full, but we muddled through. I had the decadent Hawaiian Kona Chocolate Souffle and Kim had the classic creme brulee. We both LOVED our choices and although I put up a magnificent battle, I simply could not finish my souffle.
Kona Chocolate Souffle
Save up and do this. You will have great food and feel like . . . like an adult. It is grand and wonderful and everyone deserves to be treated so well at least once . . . or twice. Maybe more. I know we'll be eating there again if we get the chance!!
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
J. R. R. Tolkien