Lunch at Le Cinq (3* Michelin, Paris)
We had lunch at Le Cinq at the very posh Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris. I was generally excited for this particular meal is because of Executive Chef Christian Le Squer currently cooks here and I recalled of the wonderful lunch I had in 2010 when he worked at Ledoyen. We opted for the 4-course lunch (145€ per person) since we still have a long day of eating.
Starting off our meal was a “mises en bouche” of a plate set with a ginger jelly balloon, raspberry truffle has a liquid center, and a crispy jigsaw shaped bread dotted with intense tomato and basil pastes. The balloon was a flashback to the amuse I had at Ledoyen, the gelée membrane filled with a clear ginger juice. It’s then followed by tabouleh from Brittany; a chilled, flavorful refreshing vegetarian dish. A basket of cheese and sundried tomato bread was served along the tabouleh and it’s was tasty on its own and had the texture of cornbread (sort of crumbly but utterly moist).
Bread service came along we’re presented with a gorgeous tray filled with three types of rolls and of course, I wanted to try all of them. The baguette, a buttery, flax seed topped croissant roll and dark rye roll were overall very good but I was surprised that the butter was served a couple of degrees cold that it’s difficult to smear the butter on my bread.
Our first course of roasted blue lobster, grapefruit gastrique, and the Brittany butter sauce spooned on to the plate, table side. The lobster was sweet and delicious and the citrus slightly bitter note of the gastrique added another dimension to the dish beyond the luxurious creaminess of the butter sauce and the silky lobster.
The gratinated onions, contemporary “Parisian” style was a sweet-savory onion tart that has a lot of depth. You can taste the many onions that make up this intensely sweet onion dish and it doesn’t feel has heavy if you think of a traditional gratin.
My friend opted for the protein course of grilled and glazed pigeon, truffle, olive with steamed turnips. A hearty, autumn inspired dish as there’s truffle and pigeon. The tender pigeon worked well with the earthy truffles and the turnips added a gentle refreshing, sweet note and the olives added a briny note.
I opted for the lighter seabream with tomatoes and ginger. The firm fish was delicious and had a delicate flavor. The sweet-acidic tomatoes and ginger sauce accented the fish nicely.
Pre-desserts of chocolate mousse and tuile was satisfying and light with whispers of caramelized crunch. The little plate tarts of raspberry, chocolate, and almond were pleasurable and intensely flavored.
Strawberries chantilly with white chocolate looked like a vibrant red coral and the popping effect on this dessert is when our waiter sprinkled a Pop Rock candy granita. This entire dessert mimicked the flavors and the idea of eating strawberries and Champagne. My vibrant plate of a square slab of iced pistachio, dotted with kumquat, red curants in juice with Kirsch was a very refreshing dessert and I enjoyed the bitter notes of the kumquat to temper the sweetness of the dessert.
For petit fours, a confection cart rolls up beside our table and we can choose whatever nougat, fresh marshmallows, housemade fruit flavored caramels and chocolates we desired. Our waiter gave us a box of caramels to go. I’ve opted for the absinthe marshmallow (a fantastic marshmallow), heavily nutty dark chocolate bark (a mix of whole toasted hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, and brazil nuts), and nougat (good but the texture was a bit too soft for my preference).
The finale of this meal is the phenomenal kouig amann that’s buttery and insanely flaky and caramelized. I wouldn’t mind having a box of these to go.
Overall, the food was technically perfect. Service was very polite and professional that it felt maybe it could take the seriousness down a notch. My personal tiff is that the food feels stilted and maybe because this was the last Michelin restaurant after a long series of them during this trip that we’re becoming jaded but I don’t feel the sparks flying at the end of the meal — maybe a smolder of satisfaction. Should we have chosen the full tasting menu in hopes to have our minds blown by the food? I wouldn’t know but the general expectation of spending 145€ and extra for bottled water felt like we could have been moved in some way.
For more photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE for the complete set or see below:
at Four Season Hotel George V
31 Avenue George V
75008 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 49 52 71 54