Thierry Marx is popular and well known to be a visionary chef, probably carrying with him a slightly revolutionary side to his haute cuisine approach. He deviates from the well established French Fine Dining style and carries his own styling accent, probably following in the footsteps of Joel Robuchon after his prolonged hiatus and 1st retirement before the much lauded and resurrected success during the last 10 years. (yes I am that old to remember it all, unfortunately.. I know Pierre Gagnaire and Joel Robuchon have both taken time off before for years, but not many know about it I do guess). Thierry Marx also has developed an affinity with Japanese ingredients and influence much like Robuchon. The new opening of the Paris Mandarin Oriental in 2011 has attracted Chef Marx to accept a new challenge and to head this brand new kitchen. He managed to strike gold by receiving his 2 Michelin Stars after just months of leading the Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Sur Mesure kitchen, so here we are trying to try out some Tasting Course.
2009 Fiefs Vendeens A.O.V.D.Q.S “Hauts des Clous”, Domaine St Nicolas - Euro 10/14 CL
The Loire appellation is obvious, and this wine can sometimes be a mix between a Chenin Blanc and a Chardonnay but this is 100% of the former. Ordered this as I am nowadays curious as to what restaurant choose for their cheapest house wine available, just for curiosity! It was quite fruity and dry with almost a Sauvignon nose of passionfruit and lemon.
Parsley Jelly Escargots, Red Miso, Candied Leek inside with Fried Leek,
Served with Spelt Wheat Bread -
This was cooked brilliantly, and there can be no mistaking of the slightly Japanese slant with the red miso. This dish worked well together especially the Leek cooked two ways. It is always interesting when a French chef is using both French cooking methods with just a slight Japanese touch. ~ 8/10
Turbot Carpaccio is Marinated in Sake and Konbu, a typical Japanese shime curing method.
Complemented with Garlic and Chili Soy sauce, plus a line of Parsley & Spinach Puree, with Corn flavoured Ice Cream and Roasted Pop Corn. This recipe seemed a bit artistic and sounded all over the place, but guess what ~ it worked in flavours, even if not by theory in integration. The turbot was quite sweet. ~ 7/10
Blue Homard Lobster Claws and Head meat, Served Tempura Style in a Squid Ink Coating -
Served with a ridiculously good Homard Lobster Head Sauce… This might again be a little bit Japanese in style but there is no doubt the taste was great. ~ 9/10
Wagyu is Coated in Liquorice and Charcoal, served with Bonito and Yuzu Pepper sauce, Crispy Rice Cake with Onion Confit and Spanish Ham,
Beef Jus and Broadbeans encased in Italian Lardo Colonnata -
The beef was ordered rare but didn’t have enough Wagyu Fat taste, and it was not exactly smooth or fatty enough, a little disappointed. The highlight was the spring and broad beans hiding beneath the transparent lardo fat. The question mark was the bonito with yuzu pepper in this equation.. It didn’t make sense at all in terms of Japanese cooking mentality but the flavours somehow mingled together well enough. ~ 7/10
Ylang Ylang Meringue, with Avocado Guacamole with Lemon Oil,
& Panna Cotta of Grapefruit and Vanilla -
This again tasted better than the slightly quirky recipes suggested.
By this course, I became finally convinced that Chef Thierry Marx is exploratory, but his final results speaks for itself. I somehow have a feeling this kind of approach is not aimed at Asian palates. But I happened to enjoy it, even if it didn’t wow, but just happened to have worked.
Maccha and Almond Biscuit, with Wasabi Caramel, and Grapefruit -
Again this sounded a bit Japanese fusionized, but somehow the taste always ended up tasting good and balanced. The Wasabi caramel was interesting but subtle enough. ~ 9/10
Outdoor Area in the middle of the new Mandarin Oriental -
I really liked the vibe of this hotel and their new 2 Michelin Starred restaurant by Thierry Marx is definitely worth all the praise, and at around Euro 150 for 6 Courses and 185 for 9 Courses sounds more than enough decent! I honestly think this type of nouveau French haute cuisine with a slight Japanese twist is probably more suited for the French locals than Asians traveling overseas, but if you carry an open mind, I think you’ll be surprised at how the whole package was quite balanced as an overall package !!
Price: Euro €165
Ease of Access: 3/5 (5 – 8 mins walk from Metro Tuileries, behind Angelina & Le Meurice)
Food: ♕♕♕♕1/2 - ♕♕♕♕♕
Tues – Sat 12:00pm-2:00pm, 7:30pm-9:30pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays
Address: 251 Rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris
Ph: +33 (0) 1 70 98 73 00