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Oct
22

DEGUSTATION menu

22-10-12 11:35 | Author Gálik Judit
DEGUSTATION menu

The DEGUSTATION menu is a platform of gastronomical experimentation, where we treat seasonal ingredients with a degree of generosity you wouldn't find elsewhere and let our imagination take flight to the great pleasure of our guests who are willing to gain a more in-depth understanding of what we are about.

According to the great masters of gastronomy, eating a’la carte confines chefs who would otherwise be open to experimentation and play - this is also how we feel at IKON. While in some of the world's most famous restaurants the price of a degustation menu may be in excess of 50 thousand forints, here you can partake in this exciting experience for only 9,500 forints. In the English Limewood Hotel, where our chef amassed most of his experience, degustation menus account for as much as 60% of dailyconsumption.
Having a degustation menu is almost like a celebration, where the reception of the guests is an integral part of the ritual. A few minutes after arrival we serve up fresh home-made bread with salted butter, then after ordering your choice of refreshments, you are given a taste of amuse bouche, or the greeting of the Chef de cuisine, which is differenteachday.

The first star of the degustation menu is an old familiar favourite, the tenderly feminine and therefore the perfect starter:

KOHLRABI CREAM SOUP:

You may think it a primitive ingredient but we prepare it with an iconic twist that sends it flying into the realm of the great stars of the culinary world: the silky cream soup is combined with flour-free chicken breast dumplings and sour kohlrabi pickle to set a perfect scene for the remaining courses to come. Almost fanatic is our simplistic childhood attraction to certain ingredients, which has served as a source of encouragement for us to dare pair up sea perch with marrow stew, king prawns with egg barley, and barbel with cauliflower. Does it sound boring? Only until you giveit a try!

CRISPY LOWER BELLY WITH RATATOUILLE AND KING PRAWNS

The lower belly is marinated in green herbal tea and then confited to a sumptuous tenderness. World gastronomic trends often pair up meat with prawns and while this practice is more widely applied and accepted abroad than here, we also have chefs in Debrecen on whose plates water and land creatures have become good friends. Fortunately, more and more guests place their fate in our hands so we blended pork with king prawns seared in garlic olive oil. We place a line of ratatouille purée alongside it, decorate it with crispy bits of zucchini and watch the surprised faces with curious excitement. This dish will certainly remain part of the menu for some time to come; it's worth sinkingyourteethinto.

SEA BARBEL AND LAYERED CAULIFLOWER

The success of layered cauliflower is owed to the flavour of roasted cauliflower that brilliantly matches that of the barbel particularly if we add a bit of magic to it with a touch of Tokaji wine vinegar. The elegant use of vinegar plays a role in breaking down the oiliness of the fish, the fattiness of the sour cream and in fighting these two elements; the positive outcome of the efforts may be promoted and advanced by a sip of quality wine. To quote our chef, there is a sense of luxury in adding cauliflower purée to the side of this dish, which is only possible using proper and properly prepared purée. Just one single bite is enough to relieve the unconcealed taste of the vegetable, the noble texture, which is elevated to heavenly heights with sugar syrup and almonds roasted with Maldon salt. Drippings made using roasted beef bones, shallots and lemon oil are used to spot the plate to ensure an intimate harmony of flavours provided by the proud triumvirate of cauliflower, salty lemon and almond. This dishworkssurprisinglywell.

SORBET

It is a simple (water, sugar, fruit) but an equally important addition of the degustation menu. Important because if all went well up to this point you would have eaten savoury, crispy sweet, and fatty ingredients hence your taste buds are sluggishly worn out in your mouth. In order to revive them for the next course, we must refresh them with a bit of sorbet. If everyone were having the dishes with wine, we could skip the sorbet since any well selected wine will not only add to the value of the evening but will also cleanse the mouth between the courses enabling the next bite to impact with the same emphasis as the first one. We did not conduct scientific research into the question, but it is alleged that with a course of menu consumed without wine, the joy and pleasure derived is measurably and presentably - in a coordinate system - lower. If you don't believe it, come in and will show you.

SADDLE OF VENISON WITH VENISON SAUSAGE AND BAKED BEETROOT

Sousvidesaddle of venison of the charming colour of rosé with a twist aswe add venisonsausage made from the shoulder and thigh of the venison with pinekernels, herbs and redwine. As a sidedishweofferbakedbeetroot and a little bit of broccoliwhichworksbrilliantlywellwiththeearthly and mineral-richbeetroot. At first we paired the mup for fun, but it turned out they had beenlong-timefriends.

ROSÉ DUCK BREAST WITH BAKED POTATOES, PARSLEY PURÉE AND PLUMS - - Orsolya Pinot Noir - 2009

Our chef says: "our duck breast is so delicious that it can be had on its own hence you cannot go wrong no matter what you choose as side dish; having said that we are not going to offer you this with cinnamon porridge, but with something slightly more complex. Parsley purée is in no way more than what it wants to look: root parsley is seared on butter to bring out its natural sugar content and is then coupled with shallots in a food processor. That's all there is to it. The fondant potato is achieved by cutting raw potato to large chunks and then cooked in spiced stock and twice seared on oil to give it a crispycoating.
"This is not about simplicity either", explains our chef with enthusiasm in his voice, "you see when you get down to a dish like this and you don't know why it tastes so good, then you go into the kitchen to ask why this was the best duck breast in your life, we know that it all boils down to paying careful attention to detail, taking the extra care, and respecting ingredients. That's why we consider it important that we handle all ingredients with respect and work all day until full exhaustion to get a sentence of praise like that."

WINE GELLY WITH FRESH GRAPES, ALMOND CRUMBLE, AND LEMON MASCARPONE - Chateau de beaulon white 5 Years Old

Its core essence is given by Aszu and Szamorodni wines and careful attention to measurements and delicate game that helps achieve the appropriate sugar-acid-alcohol ratio. It is best to cook it quite up to the point where it still has some alcohol but not to the degree of being intrusive, it has gelatine but is still not too hard but not too soft either. It is a delicate game one can only enjoy. Unseeded quality grapes are added along with mascarpone since the jelly itself just would not suffice. According to our chef, the wine jelly: "Is a dessert that is turned into a great way to end a meal by the fat content. A really good biscuit will taste good because of the shortening. Water crackers have no shortening and are not much inviting. It's quite the opposite with decent cookies, but scotch butter caramel biscuits are even better. To keep this dessert from being puritan, the shortening we add is mascarpone whisked frothy with a little sugar and flavoured to taste with a touch of lemon oil. A reserved set of flavours with no acids as we had already set acidity levels when tempering with the wine; we then added vanilla seeds to the cream and we sprinkled generous amounts of almond crumbs on top just before serving. The French tend to sip wine, munch on cheese with grapes or nuts at the end of their meal too. This dessert is the quintessence of healthy French living and a perfect cadence to a two and a half hour gourmet séance which wecall DEGUSTATION MENU.


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