August is a glorious time to be alive in France, but for food lovers the joys are particularly exquisite. This is the time of year when earthy mushrooms burst through soft field and forest soils, delicate summer truffles tickle the whiskers of dedicated truffle-hunting dogs, and of course, let us not forget the wine harvest which often kicks off as the long summer days begin to wane. With all this in mind, Topaz’s Executive Chef Sopheak POV has crafted a special range of dishes for the upcoming restaurant’s new menu that evoke all these delicious flavours, and much more besides.
The menu opens with a light but rich Double Beef Consommé with Five Kinds of Mushrooms (the “double” means the stock at the base of the soup has been clarified in order to create cleaner, fuller flavours). Chef Sopheak designed his version of this healthy and rightly popular soup in order to create a balanced dish that will appeal to all and it includes shiitake, golden, morel and shimeji mushrooms alongside a generous measure of fresh black truffle.
Topaz regulars will recognise the next dish with which we treated our guests on New Year’s Eve last year. Pan-fried Fillet of Black Angus Beef with a White Wine, Cream and Morel Sauce is every bit as good as it sounds and definitely a dish for all occasions, great and small. If you want to really enjoy it at its best, try it with a bottle of Château d’Aiguilhe Querre 2010, a juicy Bordeaux packed with fresh fruit flavours that balance out the rich flavours of this stunning dish.
For those who love beef, but are in the mood for something a little lighter and healthier, Chef Sopheak offers a Black Angus Strip Loin Tartare, freshly spiced and seasoned the moment you order it. The strip loin (faux filet in French) is similar to fillet steak but comes riven with light seams of fat that are a delicious trove of juicy beefy flavours.
Truffles are back again with Chef Sopheak’s sublime Truffled Veal Matignon, a dish that should not under any circumstances be missed. A seductive blend of earthy-rich vegetable and forest flavours that complement the tender, delicate veal, this dish pairs beautifully with a light-to-medium bodied red such as a pinot noir, or you could even go for a refreshing glass of our House Rosé which is great value.
Smooth and tender with mild and creamy flavours, veal sweetbreads are a truly luxurious delicacy. Served with Foie Gras, Sautéed Potatoes and a Périgourdine Sauce they will lift you to new heights of delight. A genuinely breathtakingly beautiful part of France, the Périgord is studded with medieval fortified towns and is renowned for its rich culinary traditions. The “land of 1001 castles” also happens to be at the heart of truffle hunting in France. A Sauce Périgourdine incorporates those delicate truffle flavours together with a generous garnish of chopped black winter truffle, for which the region is so famous. Veal sweetbreads go beautifully with Bordeaux reds, and to really appreciate the flavours from the edge of the Périgord, we can heartily recommend a bottle of Château Hostens-Picante Lucullus from Saint-Foy to bring out the best in this dish.
Staying with the rich flavours of the Périgord, Chef Sopheak has also conjured up a Pantoufle Du Cardinal (originally from the Vendée) which he has perfected with a Périgeux Sauce, enriched with madeira and black truffle shavings. With layers of juicy, pink duck breast interspersed with foie gras de canard wrapped up in a flaky puff pastry crust, you’re going to need the appetite of an ancien régime Cardinal to do this dish the justice it deserves.
Finally, we round things off with a sweet memory from our Michelin dinner in January this year and Chef Christian Têtedoie’s magnificent tangy Coconut Baba Cake with Clementine Sorbet and Marmalade. We served it then with a Domaine Labranche Laffont Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec.
We look forward to seeing you soon!