We hope that all who read this portion of our trip report and can in someway, be able to enjoy it and even experience what this night was like, even if only in a very small way.
Let me start this part of the trip report by stating in advance, that neither my wife nor I are, or pretend to be Foodies. We love good food, so in that way, yes we are Foodies, but than aren’t most people. Another thing, this was our very first visit to V&A which was a surprise to everyone of the staff that found out we had never enjoyed a meal here.
We relaxed outside V&A, sitting and looking out the window toward a walkway and people walking and playing. Made us think to an earlier time when people would not be running around and trying to do everything but to just enjoy themselves with friends and family. While we were relaxing, Lana of V&A came out and introduced herself and explained what was going on and what we could expect. She offered to take our picture, which is the picture of us outside V&A. She went back inside and just before 5:30pm, came back out and we were led into the restaurant. Matrie D’ Hotel Boris Perev welcomed us and introduced himself and led us to the Chef’s table. He didn’t rush us as he explained about the restaurant and the rooms. We were able to see the Queen Victoria room and main dining room before any other guests were led inside. It is beautiful. As we made our way back thru the kitchen, the staff made us feel like we were special, the reason that they were there this night.
We arrived at the Chef’s table and were seated and given a few guidelines. We could talk to the staff or be as quiet as we wanted. If either of us needed to go use the restroom or walk out, we would need to be escorted out, as the kitchen would be in the middle of the service and it was for our safety.
We met our waiters, Matthew and if we remember right, Dev, as in Devon. 3 glasses of champagne were poured, one for each of us and the 3rd for the head chef. Tonight, Chef Scott was not going to be there, which for me was the biggest disappointment of the evening, as I had been looking forward to meeting him. That said, we met Chef Matt, and he put us at ease and explained what would happen. He was very surprised that we had never ate here and that our first experience at V&A was at the Chef’s table. I told him I guess we were doing it backwards as this was the best of the best and also it was our first meal on this trip. It would be unfair to compare any other meal we would have this trip to this one. Think about this, how can you compare the very best Filet Mignon you could ever have with other meals, that would be like comparing your steak to a hot dog. (not that we didn’t have some good hot dogs on this trip). Not a fair comparison. Chef Matt is a much younger chef, however even though younger, he promised that he would make sure that our meal was beyond anything we had ever had. We raised our glasses and had a toast. The champagne was very good. Only problem is that neither my wife nor myself are champagne drinkers. I will say, that it was the best I have ever tasted.
The posted menu outside V&A and our menu were similar but not the same. The reason was that we received a call about a week prior to the meal and were asked a number of questions, including proper spelling our our names, any titles or designations before or after either of our names. We were asked about allergies, things we did not like or couldn’t eat. The dress code was discussed. With that said, for any male, you will want to wear a long sleeve shirt so that you can remove your jacket during the meal. One thing that was changed was our Amuse-Bouche, as neither of us eats Caviar or Oysters.
Another thing, was that we were brought some things that were not on the menu at all, a little extra for us to try. Even thou we were not doing the Wine Pairing, we did try the Moscato that they had, the only one they had and it was wonderful, in fact so good, we had a full bottle during our meal.
We were able to ask the different chefs questions if we wanted to. The most helpful was the Saucier, Brian. He was so helpful. There was nothing either of us asked that he was unable to answer, No matter how busy he was. A true professional and very friendly.
While we were waiting for our first course, we noticed this – There were at least 7 chefs there looking, quietly talking and what looked like fixing a dish together. We asked Brian and he told us that it was a new dish that Sous Chef Carmen had created and they all were making sure that they knew exactly how to make it, where everything on the plate would go and what it would look like for final presentation.
OK, so lets get to what you all would love to know and see, the dishes, the pictures and our thoughts. I will include what the dish was and unfortunately, I will not do them justice in any description.
First dish – Amuse-Bouche. Crispy Salsify with Potato Leek Sauce. This dish would set the tone for the whole evening as far as the preparation, presentation and taste.
Edible flowers and edible gold were on top. The thin part was like a very thin, crispy gourmet potato chip. Neither of us had ever eaten gold before and it was special, in that we were open to try different things. Did the gold add flavor to it, we don’t think so but we both can now say that we have eaten gold. Just think, how “rich” it is. Now we know why the meal was so expensive, ha ha ha.
Next was the first of 3 bread and butter courses.
Freshly made Sour Dough Bread and Vermont Butter along with 4 very different types of salt and 2 peppers.
We were told that we should take a little of each of the salts and the peppers and put them on our small plate. Butter the bread and touch the buttered bread to the salts and the peppers separately to get the full flavor of each. There were 2 ground peppers, one more course than the other. The 4 different salts were as follows: The reddish was Himalayan Salt, next a Fennel Infused Salt, the black was a Lava Salt and the last one was a Sea Salt. It was an interesting way of eating bread and butter. We both agree that they 2 salts that we liked the most were the Himalayan Salt and the Lava Salt. The butter was very creamy and flavorful.
Next course was Maine Lobster, Saffron and Paprika Gremolata
For us both, we were not fond of this dish, but, to be fair, Andrea had never had lobster before and didn’t like the texture. I do not like cold lobster. We are sure that there are many people who love this.
Next course – Glacier 51 Tooth Fish, Haricot Tarbais and Savoy Cabbage Broth
Chef Matt told us how special this fish was and some about where it came from. We decided to look this fish up and here is some information on it from this website:
The most decadent fish available in the country today.
The story is unbelievable. Men in a boat travel over 4200km from Perth to Heard Island in the treacherous freezing waters of Antarctica. They drop a line in over 2km deep water braving 20 foot swells only to be faced with the return trip of 4200km back to bring you a catch of Glacier 51 Toothfish. Each fillet is trimmed clean and laid on a board then vac packed and snap frozen for distribution around the world as one of the most prized plate fish on the planet. Each fillet weighs in at approximately 3.5kg and at a cost of $97.00kg this is approximately $340.00 piece of fish but let me tell you it is worth every cent.
Now you can see why V&A is so special, the world is their palette to use as they want.
The fish was moist and tender and can melt in your mouth. For people who are nervous about a fish tasting “fishy”, there was no fishy taste and as my wife said, if she hadn’t been told that it was a fish dish, she would never have guessed it. This was the best dish we had so far, very good and to really enjoy it, as with others, it is ok to try the different ingredients separately but, to get the full taste, try them together.
Next up, the Wild Turbot with Toasted Capers and Preserved Lemon. This was an optional dish for an additional price that I, David, ordered.
This fish has been called Champagne of the flat fish. Truffle of the deep. King of the Flat Fish. It may be his firm, white meat with its unconventional spicy-nutty nuance in taste that makes turbot so special. Ok, enough of what it says on the internet, as that is how a foodie would start to describe it, and I am not a foodie and would never describe this fish that way. For me, this dish really shows what they can do here, combining different items and flavors to make something that is amazing. When you combine a little of each of the ingredients as you taste it, you have what I can only describe as a taste orgasm. The fish was perfect. The spinach was slightly wilted, and when I asked about it, I was told that they only wilt it for about a second. It wasn’t mushy but when you bit into it, there was a little crunch to it
Next up, the 2nd bread and butter course. This was a Rosemary Bread roll and Rosemary Butter.
This bread dish was pretty good, however the first was better.
Next course, which you will not see on the menu, was a Spring Pea dish.
This was something that Chef Matt made for us. What he did say was since it is spring time and peas are coming in during this time of year, he did a play on a Mushy Peas dish. I wish we could remember everything about it, as far as what was in it, but we cannot. What we can say is that the pasta was made with peas, along with, I believe the sauce. It tasted very good and was a light dish.
Next up, Honey Lacquered Rohan Duck, Sweet Potato Mosaic and Walnuts
This was an interesting combination the ingredients along with the duck. The duck confit with the red sauce reminded us both of bbq pulled pork, a very, very good BBQ pulled pork. The Sweet Potato Mosaic, that was our least favorite thing on this dish, Andrea said it was nasty and gross, her least favorite thing we had tried so far. For me, it was an interesting combination and was not something I liked much. Now the Honey Lacquered Rohan Duck. This was really, really yummy, even exceptional.
Next course – New Zealand Elk*, Borscht Consomme and Huckleberries
This was another interesting combination of foods. This was cooked medium rare and trying a little bit of each item really made this taste very good. I must say, this was one of the dishes I wasn’t sure if I would like. As for Andrea, she loved it and said that the Elk was even better than the duck. I said Quack, Quack and she said I say Nay, Nay.
The final bread and butter course – Truffle Bread and Truffle Butter.
This bread course was to be enjoyed with the next course which was the beef course. Best description I can give for this bread and butter is to say it has an earthy taste to it. We were told that this bread was more of a cake type bread in its texture. For both of us, there was nothing that could have made it better. We would have loved the first bread course here as that was our favorite.
Next course, Australian Kobe-Style Beef* with Bone Marrow Pain Perdu and Hedgehogs
Andrea’s dish, Australian Kobe-Style Beef* with Bone Marrow Pain Perdu and Hedgehogs and she had the optional Miyazaki Japanese Beef* added to this course for an additional charge.
Lets deal with the items other than the beef first. There was a small potato that was cooked in the fat of the beef which was so tasty. There were 2 different mushrooms, which Andrea did try and didn’t like the texture or taste, however, I loved them. Very good flavor and not a mushroom taste. The hedgehog is a spiny mushroom but didn’t have them when they presented it.
Now to the Bone Marrow Pain Perdu. This is the small disk shaped item. It was like a custard and well, was the least favorite thing Andrea had all night. To me, it was ok, but not something I would order again. There was a sauce, almost like a gravy that was so good with everything, well except for the the Bone Marrow Pain Perdu which the sauce didn’t help. That is our opinion. I know, you are asking “Where’s the Beef?” Ok, now to the beef.
This was the best beef either of us have ever had. On both dishes, you will notice a small dot. That dot is 100 yr old aged balsamic vinegar. This was in a small bottle and we were told that it cost $900 a bottle. To fully enjoy the beef, we were told to cut a very small piece of beef and try it on its own and then to cut a very small piece of beef and just touch it the dot to truly taste how good the beef could be. WOW, what a difference. Amazing. Delicious. Wonderful. This beef melted in your mouth. To compare the 2 that Andrea had, the Miyazaki Japanese Beef* is the Wagyu was the very best of the best. She wanted more.
Next up, the first of the dessert courses – Colston Bassett Stilton Cheesecake with Burgundy Pears
Lets start by saying that Colston Bassett Stilton comes from Nottinghamshire, England and it is a Blue cheese. This cheese is £138.00 per wheel. This doesn’t include shipping. Now think about this, a Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Burgundy Pears. It also had honey on it, but not the way you would expect honey to be as the honey whipped and looks like whipped cream. Andrea doesn’t like blue cheese and wasn’t that fond of this. I liked it. It didn’t have an over powering taste but was much more subtle. A very interesting combinations of the items and flavors. Again, this is not something I would have ordered, but I would have missed out.
Dessert course 2 – Chocolate Bolivian Tart with Creme de Mint and Chambord Black Currant Sauce
The chocolate was very good and was a dark chocolate. The egg shaped part was like a mousse but thicker. The green part was the mint part of it and it was not over powering but a light mint that was a welcomed addition to this. Under this was a course, almost grated chocolate, like a crushed cookie which was nice. As for the Black Current pieces and sauce, well we didn’t like it and tasted it but passed on finishing that part.
For me, what I found to be amazing was the piece that is running thru this. It looks like a dark brown plastic skewer. I almost just set it aside but discovered that it was in fact made of chocolate and I loved it.
Extra Dessert course – Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Almond Crust and Apricot Ice Cream on Crunchies along wit a honey drizzle on the plate (sorry, can’t remember what the crunchies were called or made of)
The Apricot Ice Cream was refreshing and the crunchies added to it. The Goat Cheese Cheesecake was light and flavorful and the Almond crust was just the right texture and flavor to go with the goat cheese. This was the best dessert course by far. Just wish that it was a full size piece of cheesecake.
Final course – Sulawesi Island Coffee by Joffrey’s, Tea, and Friandise. We are not coffee drinkers so sorry, no pictures of the French Press. We are not Tea drinkers either, so no pictures of the teas they have.
From right to left are the following chocolates – Marzipan, Praline, Raspberry, Banana, Orange Rind, Cherry Brandy, Rum Caramel, and finally Mimosa. We both were full and we were asked if we would like to have them boxed up. We said that would be wonderful. There is one exception to boxing up the chocolates and that is they won’t box up the Cherry Brandy. This is the red foiled covered one. The reason we were told is because the cherry still has the pit in it. We could eat that one there. We said ok and were told that what you want to do is take the foil off, put the whole chocolate in your mouth and crack the chocolate with your teeth and taste it. To than carefully eat the cherry but not crack our teeth on the pit. We both were given one and well, they were very very good and strong. What they do is take a jar of the cherries and pour out the cherry juice and then fill it with Brandy, close it up and let it sit for 13 months. As you can see from the picture below, those cherries were started in the brandy in June 2018 and will not be taken our until July 2019. At that time, they will be made into the chocolates.
At the completion of the meal, Andrea was presented with a long stem rose. We were handed a bag that had our chocolates (they only gave us one of each of the chocolates, (which we kept and sent to our TA along with a few other things as a way of saying thank you to her, so Thank you Jennifer Brown), the menus and a small loaf of Banana Nut Bread (we ended up giving that to Mouse Keeping.)
Here we are at the end our meal with the whole kitchen staff, minus Saucier Brian who left. The chef next to Andrea is Chef Matt and next to him is the Sous Chef Carmen (Her dish was the dish that there were about 7 chef’s looking and working on early in the meal). Behind them are all the other chefs that worked on our meal, or and everyone else that were in the 2 other dining rooms.
One thing to say about being there, if you think it will be like Hell’s Kitchen or any of the other cooking shows where the Head Chef is screaming and yelling and other chefs are arguing and fighting, you will be sorely disappointed. The only time you heard much of any yelling was when the Head Chef would call our for an order that had come in. It was not real loud even than. The loudest it ever was our whole night there was when one of the chefs used an electric grinder/food processor for some peppercorns and even than was not very loud and didn’t last long.
Ok, so you can see what this meal cost us. The Chef table was $250 per person, so that was the $500. The added items, the Wild Turbot and the Wagyu, that came to $90. Leaving the Bin 9025, the Moscato. Out of all this, that was the biggest surprise. We didn’t ask how much and I thought it would be about $50 or so. Was I surprised when I saw $110. The total here was $745.50. As you can also see, they suggest 18% or 20%. We walked out with a total, including tip of $900. The most expensive meal either of us have ever had.
We were led in just before 5:30pm and as you can see by the time, it was 9:15pm. By the time we walked out, it was almost 9:40pm. This truly was a special experience. 4 hours where we were taken care of and didn’t have to make any real choices. 4 hours of the best food we have had (ok, there were a few things we would not like, but over all, the very best) 4 hours where you are treated like the very reason that whole staff is there is to take care of you.
I;m sure some are asking this question, Was this meal worth the price? With what you have read, would you consider it worth the price?
If you go solely based on the food, no as they are not huge portions and the bottle of wine, I can get a very good bottle of Moscato for under $25, and many times for under $15. If you add the quality of the food, the preparation, the presentation, the service, the staff, the ambience and the total experience. YES! It was, without a doubt, the best meal experience we have ever had. Savor every moment there if you go. Try for the Chef’s Table, as it is worth the extra $15 per person.
Our only suggestions are this. Be prepared to spend more than you planned, as we were not going to do any of the added items. 2nd, Try to go at the end or later in your stay. It is unfair to any other place you will eat and if you can get the last night you are there. That would make for the most amazing last night at WDW you could have.
We left and took a Lyft back to our resort. We just relaxed. When we got back to the resort, I joked around and told Andrea this “Ok, we can go home now. Nothing can top this. I have done all I wanted to!”
Ok, so we didn’t go home and I didn’t want to really go home. We got back to the resort and to our room about 10:15pm. Got ready for bed and fell asleep pretty quickly. The morning would be here soon enough. We had been up since 5:00am CST on Friday, and it was now about 10:30pm EST on Saturday. Oh, and guess what happens tonight, it is time change, spring forward so we loose another hour. This will be so much fun.
Our next installment will be for 3/10/19 and we are going to be in Magic Kingdom, have EMM also.