Tuesday, October 10, 2006

M at the Fringe- The Fig Festival

That wasn't a typo. It was literally a festival of figs for me. But come to think of it, it was a festival of pigs too for hubby and his friend. :)

We arrived at Lower Albert Road and got off in front of the Fringe Club. It being a Sunday, the club was closed and darkness hovered as we tried in vain to look for the restaurant. We almost cried "failure" when viola, the almost hidden sign of M at the Fringe suddenly jumped out and cornered me! I suppose the growls my tummy made led me to the sign and vice versa.

When we entered the dimly lit, unfinished (that's how the floors looked) hallway and climbed up the staircase hubby kept on asking if we were in the right place. Upon entering the richly-decorated French-style dining room there was no room for doubt. We were seated by a Chinese server who was thoroughly knowledgeable, pleasant and discreet; so well-trained it was a treat to be served by such a rarity.

I perused the menu. It was short but sweet. Long lists of food confuse me. To cook only a number of dishes, but to cook them right makes a fantastic restaurant. The prices seemed downright inexpensive for the remarkably huge servings.

I had a salad with gorgonzola crostini and figs. Imagine the flavor of strongly-scented cheese on a crisp base warring with sweet, fleshy figs; with nutty, sometimes bitter greens acting as arbiters. What a sensual battle! I was almost full after this starter. Hubby had foie gras 2 ways: seared and as a terrine, served with thinly-sliced baguette and stewed apples. He forgot to share some with me so I'm not commenting on this dish.

For my main course I ordered their famous slow-cooked lamb leg with fig jam, root vegetables and lamb jus. Hubby and his friend had the equally famous crackling pig on a bed of savoy cabbage and potatoes. The pork was mighty fine, the skin so crisp I could hear the "crack, crack" as my companions savored each mouthful. The meat was tender, a bit on the salty side, but eaten with the cabbage and potatoes it tasted just right. The serving was good enough for two! Or, for someone with my appetite, just 1 1/2. The lamb leg was so soft it disintegrated upon contact with my fork and knife, and while the flavor was intense and paired well with the too-sweet fig jam, I found it too "gamey" for my taste. The first few bites I happily devoured, but by the time I had finished half the serving I was put off by the dish. Maybe because lamb leg reminds me too much of dark meat from chicken, which I can only enjoy if there's more white meat on the plate. Hmmm, next time I'll try the beef or the stuffed quail, if they still have it on the menu.

For dessert we went overboard and ordered the sampler. Cappucino creme brulee (hubby finished this off), napoleon with something, lemon pudding (divine), raspberry and chocolate sorbet, souffle with something, mixed fruit pavlova (their specialty) all took center stage on a long white plate. Artfully presented and all tasting so wonderful, it was a fitting end to our sinful meal. I was too stuffed to take notes and this entry is so delayed I don't remember half of what was on the dessert plate. :( I really should take pictures next time.

M at the Fringe-highly recommended!

No comments: