This is an unashamed food fangirl post. On Friday we took Boyfriend’s parents to The Man Behind the Curtain and it was amazing. For anyone who wonders whether Michelin star food is worth it, my personal view is now 100% yes. I took photos, I took notes, I was a horrible geeky foodie, and it didn’t ruin my experience one little bit, because it was just thoroughly amazing.
To begin with, it’s like eating in an art gallery. So, honestly, the pictures should just take over from here. Apologies in advance (I’m not famed for my photography)…
Course 1 – hand massaged braised octopus, sicilian lemon, butter, capers, and smoked paprika emulsion
Course 2 – 15 year old beef, served rare, olive oil sauce, dried black olive powder, potato ovulata (which was a super-thin cellophane-y layer on the top and was WEIRD)
Course 3 – Puffed rice noodles, parmesan, sea urchin “bolognese”
Course 4 – My photo really doesn’t do this one justice. Spider crab layered with tomato and crispy wonton, quails egg with jam (I missed the fruit). I also missed what the wafer-thing on top is, but it was great. This was a real stand-out dish all round.
Course 5 – This is the fish course from Great British Menu this year, which both me and Boyfriend recognised at once and got a bit excited about.
Cod loin, squid ink dashi, char grilled gem lettuce, tiny pototo shreds with squid ink and malt vinegar powder.
Course 6 – Probably my second favourite. Iberian pork loin, slow cooked egg yolk in an edible egg shell, covered with BBQ cinders, ajo blanco and anchovies.
Course 7 – BBQ prawn (I missed the specific type) with smokey sauce in the head, veal sweetbread in spicy Hong Kong style sauce, sticky rice, seaweed, and hot and sour consommé.
Course 8 – Desert. Chocolate, lavender and honey mousse so thick you could plaster walls with it. Violet ice cream, puffed potatoes with beetroot power and potato and vanilla foam. And tempered chocolate.
Course 9 was agreed by everyone to be the high-point of the meal. A bite-sized cupcake with an edible wrapper. The cupcake is chocolate mousse, raspberry mascarpone, pistachio, and a passion fruit centre. Even after Boyfriend described how great it was, it was still amazing.
There’s not much left to say. I presume that the restaurant name is a reference to the Wizard of Oz, a normal man hidden behind a curtain performing amazing illusions. Not that I’d call Michael O’Hare or any of his team “normal” after that meal. But it’s definitely full of magic and wonder and illusion and I absolutely recommend it.