Thursday, July 16, 2015
Disappointment at Porte 12
previously), I thought the shrimp with "Chinese bread" and parmesan crisp was rather bland. The next course - a poached yellow pollock fillet with cabbage, zucchini and orange sauce was alright, but I simply didn't understand what the tapioca crisp had to do in the dish. It didn't contribute to anything except to make the portion looked bigger.
Well in all due respect to Vincent Crepel's team, the meal was alright - at least we didn't turn back any dish - but I expected a lot more given all the hype and my experience last time at Andre. I came with high expectations but it fell short. The influence of Andre's cooking and presentation style was there, and Chef Vincent certainly scored high marks on creativity and he definitely did not shied away from new flavors and combinations. There were some dishes we liked during the meal but those were few and far between, unfortunately. I felt he's still wandering around rather aimlessly trying to find his direction - most of the dishes I found were still work in progress.
Without a written menu, I would also appreciate more if the waitstaff could spend a little bit more time explaining the dish to us - a few times they simply rushed off after putting down our dishes, or just told us the main ingredient. (yes, I knew those were shrimps, thank you) That could be a language issue but there are no shortage of staff fluent in English, I assume, given part of the team came from Andre.
Another big problem was that the dining room became extremely hot as the evening progressed and the room started to fill up with more people. They recognized the issue by bringing in a portable air conditioner trying to cool things down, but still, by the end of our meal, I was literally sweating head to toe - that certainly didn't leave a good impression and appetite for us. Thank God I didn't particularly dress up for the meal. Well, blame it on the heat wave you may say, but hey, I didn't have the same problem in any of the other restaurants I have been to during that week.
I am hopeful things may improve eventually and some other people seem to like the place, but for me, there are definitely other restaurants in town that I wouldn't be in particular hurry to come back soon.
When? June 30 2015
Where? Porte 12, 12 Rue des Messageries, Paris
Menu Highlights? Pigeon "2-way" with Cherry and Gnocchi
Drinks? Domaine Gavoty Cotes de Provence Cuvee Clarendon 2012