02 Jan La Maison des Halles, Tours
The menu descriptions for our dishes were:
“Le Pigeonneau de Racan en deux cuissons, les supremes rotis sur la peau, just chataigne/truffe, les cuises confites au miel de Touraine et sarriette” (€23)
“Magret de canard aux figues en crumble salé, Parmentier au foie gras” (€19.90)
“La grande assiette plancha – Travers de porc croustillant, Piece de boeuf tendre et volaille rotie, puree au beurre faite maison & dessert au choix” (€23.80)
“Le Grand – Dessert tout chocolat” (€15)
There was an amuse-bouche of pork rillettes with mini toasts. Apparently rillettes is a specialty of this region so we were lucky to try it for free.
Mum and I were very happy with our dishes. All the meats were cooked well – even dad’s roast chicken tasted interesting – and the mashed potato was smooth. Dad wasn’t particularly impressed with his dish other than the chicken. He said the grilled pork and beef were not seasoned nicely and his duck was overcooked. Mum’s mashed potatoes had foie gras in it, which tasted a bit like preserved bean curd (the white not the red type). I’m not sure if it normally tastes like that.
This was the first time I’ve had squab. It tasted a bit like quail, but a bit sweeter. The texture of the meat was quite fine. The roll of skin was bigger than expected and tasted nice with the sauce. The roasted part was the supreme, whilst the marylands were a confit with honey (supreme is a cut of poultry including the breast and wing). My mashed potatoes tasted better because of the chestnut/truffle jus. Mum’s Magret canard had some crunchy crumbs on top of the skin. Magret is the breast of a duck/goose that has been fattened during the process of producing foie gras.
Just before the dessert plate arrived, we were given a palate cleanser of sorbet sitting on crunchy chocolate bits (or maybe cocoa nibs) and topped with a chocolate square printed with a QR code. The code linked to a video showing how they make the dish, but we aren’t able to view it at the moment because we don’t have internet access.
The presentation of the dessert platter was very impressive. Desserts on the plate were: chocolate fondant, log with raspberry and crispy biscuit base, chocolate and something macaron, chocolate crème brulee, which was flamed at the table; caramelised tuille on a lollipop; icecream with chocolate coating and pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts; a glass of Chantilly cream, chocolate sprinkles and a chocolate coated biscuit stick (like Pocky); sweet crunchy shell filled with Nutella; chocolate spoon with more crunchy chocolate bits; various dark chocolate decorations including one printed as a credit card.