I'm going to admit, I've never dined at Michelin Star restaurant before - until now.
During my recent San Francisco visit, I was invited to Taj Campton Place to experience Chef Sri's Spice Route Menu. Before I ramble about the food, let me give you a little background on this young chef.
Chef Srijith Gopinathan received Two Michele Stars for Taj Campton Place for the 2nd year in a row. With 7 years of experience, Chef Sri has redefined Taj Hotel's fine dining experience with his interpretation of California-Indian cuisine. Using techniques such as smoke and fire, while blending fresh California ingredients, it is no wonder that this place is packed every night. It was truly an honor to meet the man behind the food and so sweet that he provided me with a customized menu, signed by him.
Now, let's talk food. The evening started off with wine, each dish had a wine pairing, and it ended with wine. We allowed the Chef to send out whatever he pleased, curating a menu just for us. I prefer surprises and the Chef did not disappoint.
- Autumn Salad: pomegranate, raitha crystals and khakra - paired with Beaune du Chateau, 1er Cru, Bouchard Pere & Fils, 2013
- Spice Pot: "Chaas", tamarind chutney and cilantro - paired with Riesling, Poet's Leap Columbia Valley, 2014
- Maine Lobster: brussel sprouts, peanuts and coastal spice curry - paired with Albarino, Fillaboa, Rias Baixas Spain, 2015
- Alaskan Halibut: coco-pepper crust, green papaya and warm mango nectar - paired with Riseling, Kabinett, Barnkasteler Badstube, Mosel, 2014
- Slow-Cooked Lamb Rack: basmati rice, snap peas and cumin-lime yoghurt - paired with Barbaresco, Luigi Giordano, "Cavanna" Piedmont, 2012
- Persimmon: parsnip curd, madras curry and meringue - paired wiht Kracher, Auslese, Cuvee, Burgenland, 2013
- Holi Pumpkin: pear, yuzu and Buddha's hand - paired with Von Hovel, Auslese, Riseling, "Kanz Horecker", Mosel, 2006
Out of all the dishes, my favorites included the Spice Pot, Maine Lobster, Alaskan Halibut, and Persimmon. Everything overall was amazing and we left with such a warm, happy feeling, from the food we just consumed.
From presentation to taste, Chef Sri certainly exceed all expectations and I can never dine the same again. Thank you so much for having us!