Lionel: Well, I said I'll be back and true enough we went back to Sage for dinner again. Now, this was a special occasion in that we were celebrating my sister's 50th birthday. As such, we brought some pretty special wines to enjoy dinner with. Starting with a simple but wonderful Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut champagne. Slightly fruit forward but with a love dry, clean finish. We served this with the lightly smoked Saba(Mackerel) fish with Karashi mustard.
Holy Mackerel! This dish made the champagne ever more slightly sweeter by bringing more fruit flavours to the front palate, lovely.
The Karashi mustard is slightly creamy with nice hint of tanginess.
As the first champagne finished, we proceeded to serve another champagne and this time it was from the great house of Moet. The Dom Perignon 96 was a spectacular year, full of finesse and power. We had this together with pate en croute of chapon and foie gras(pictured above). Trust me, this dish taste much, much better than it looks. The Dom handled it beautifully and we actually served more of it together with the panache of Japanese Fish with Pistou.
The main course of grilled Wagyu with fine beans and yuzukoshu was served with my last bottle of the Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1996. A classic red Bordeaux from St Estephe with lovely minerals, cedar, pencil shavings and earthiness.This wine had been decanted earlier on and showed very little signs of aging.
We finished the savoury portions of this wondeful meal with a fantastic fedellini pasta with Hokkaido scallop.
Now, if you had read my last blog with regards to Sage, you would recall that I had some grouses about the service which I felt did not meet the standards that the kitchen was producing. Well, I'm please to say that there seem to be a slight improvement in this respect but unfortunately it still wasn't up to par in my view.
I'm not sure if it is due to a staff shortage, or training but on more than one occasion throughout dinner, plates were not promptly cleared. Wine service was also again a dissapointment as we had to get up and reached for our wine to serve ourselves or remained completely void of wine for the entire course.
It seems, that the service staff is just going through the processes without really understanding why they need to do it with regards to wine service, there seems to be a genuine lack of passion and pride in the service which is so obviously evident when you watch the kitchen staff in action!