This chef gets it right. Marrying ingredients and culinary traditions from France with those of Reunion and Mauritius Islands. Antoine Herrah has re-surfaced in Montmartre as of November 2008. This Michelin-starred chef used to have a restaurant in the 7th called simply Le Chamarré.
Huître à l’eau de mer
I happened to be tasting through the wines of Thierry Despres, of Grande Maison in Monbazillac. Whose wines can rival the most expensive and notorious sauternes at a fraction of the price. I know. I’ve done blind tastings before and Grande Maison was the ringer. The spiciness of his wines actually went quite well with the cuisine, in spite of the residual sugar.
We started with the Huître à l’eau de mer (oyster with sea water) and chair de margos (a sort of Mauritius citric fruit). Perfect sea-breeze taste with a kick. Not an invasive kick. But a complex, exciting kick from the citric. This got my mouth watering in a serious way.
The Monbazillac Cuvee des Anges 2005 with its Clementine zest and white pepper mouth was perfect with it. Just a hint of sea-air that noble rot can bring (this is his entry level cuvee of Montbazillac) echoing the tastes in the dish. A perfect pairing.
Then came this beautiful little velouté de courge et lait de riz (cream of pumpkin with rice milk). The creaminess of the dish came from the rice that gave a hint of Indian spices. It was served with a tiny, perfect little samosa with young onions. A samosa dream. It tasted like the onions had rose water in them. Delicious.
This great little root vegetable dish came next. Again with rice milk emulsion. Seasonal and warming and yet an exotic touch with the spicy aromatic rice.
Here is the octopus dish. Heerah did a dish similar to this one at the first Chamarré, but this one was different, and perhaps more complex. Perfectly cooked octopus all around. One spicy, one marinated and one in tempura.
The last dish I had was this mackerel with foie gras. A beautiful marriage of 2 bitterness, 2 fattinesses, the pauper and the king (inexpensive mackerel and expensive foie gras).It was laqué with a sweet-ish roasted sauce that brought the 2 ingredients together perfectly. Brilliant dish.
I had to run to a meeting after that dish. Wished I could have stayed. If he has any of the same inspirations as he had in his first restaurant, his deserts are fantastically unique.
But it just means that I cant wait to go back….and writing this makes me want to go back even sooner.
Thinking about it, this may be my favorite restaurant in Paris at the moment.