Taipei: M Cuisine Private Dining by Le Cordon Bleu Chef Mike Li
Don’t confuse M Cuisine with Cuisine M from Xinyi branch of Taipei’s Japanese restaurant Mitsui, for this is not a place where you have to dress up to enjoy a fine dining meal, nor do you have to break a bank to eat quality food. M Cuisine is at a private residence which belongs to a pair of lovebirds – Chef Mike Li and Taiwanese Blogger Ada Li.
I got the opportunity to visit their humble abode when I was in Taiwan, accompanying Jessie Ting for her rhinoplasty surgery. It was a little freezing and when I heard that it was French-Italian fine dining, I was a little worried as I wasn’t prepared to dress for a meal like that. Thank goodness, M Cuisine is a home-based restaurant which aims to allow guests to enjoy exquisite food without the worry of being scrutinised for what you wear or how you behave!
Cooking is a joyful, cheerful, and blissful thing to do. It’s the simple things in life that brings out enjoyment within. We don’t have a (standard) set menu. just bondage between the ingredient(s) with our heart and soul.
M Cuisine is the Italian-French version of Omakase, which means “I’ll leave it up to you”. When one make an appointment, they can inform the chef of their dietary restrictions, and be surprised by what turns out! So what we had was 7 course meal for 4 pax.
For starters, Baby Squid with Bamboo, Chayote, Leeks and Paprika was served. It was pretty interesting how the chayote and crispy bamboo compliment the fresh baby squid sprinkled with paprika.
Next we had Scallop with Baby corn, Fava Beans, English Peas, Coppa and Beurre Blanc. The plump juicy scallop was so sweet that I wished I could have more than one portion. Crunchy sweet corn and fava beans provided a different texture to the bite-size dish.
For those who have been following my articles, you guys know that I don’t write a dedicated article for food nowadays. But M Cuisine is one of the rare few where I feel that food was prepared with love, and the chef truly enjoys delighting his guests with his creations. If you think I’m exaggerating, read on!
Soup of the day was served next and can I say this is a dish you can’t forget even a year after tasting it? Soup du jour with Yam, Kielbasa, Fregola, was thick, creamy, very french but with a hint of Chinese style with the yam slice. It is definitely comfort food, something you will want to have on a cold day while cuddling in your bed.
Risotto is a dish where I’m usually carefully about. The creamy texture when not cooked properly will make one feel nauseous. Here, we were served Risotto with carnaroli, wild mushrooms, parmesan and Truffle oil. It’s a dish I can easily have on it’s on. The truffle oil makes this amazing sinfully delicious and so decadent and paired with assorted mushrooms (my favourite), the sweet wild fungi simply balanced the dish nicely!
For daily catch, Red Snapper with Asparagus, baby cabbage, cherry tomato, onion foam was served. Nicely portioned with a thin layer of skin still nicely attached, the fresh low-calorie protein is tender good. I had to say, Chef Mike Li was really smart. with the beautiful assorted vegetables as garnish, I subconsciously nibbled them all as the four of us chatted. enjoying the different textures – crunchy asparagus, mouth-filling baby cabbage and sweet-sour baby tomatoes.
A little background information about Chef Mike Li before we go on to the main course selections. Graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland with the Associate of Occupational Studies, the chef is also a food consultant and culinary teacher, for anyone who wish to learn how to prepare exquisite cuisine for their loved one.
This concept was so well-received that they are usually fully booked 1-2 months ahead. So imagine how privileged I felt when Ada actually shifted her appointments to accommodate our arrival!
Here’s the close-up for the individual dish. All paired with yellow squash, wild rice, zucchini, onion and demi-glace (rich brown sauce in French cuisine used by itself or as a base for other sauces), they were my favourite part of the main course (vegetable-lover over here). The Pork Tenderloin was tender and lightly seasoned.
The New York Steak was something I didn’t try as I don’t take beef, so I had the wild rice as nibbles! From what I heard, the beef was tender and the demi-glace served as a great accompaniment for the meat.
If anyone tells you Chicken Breast are dry, Chef Mike Li will prove you wrong. The chicken breast taste almost as tender and juice as chicken thigh, and we wouldn’t have believed that it was chicken breast if not for the fine strands on the meat and the words on the menu.
The Lamb Duo was something interesting. Without much gamy flavour, the meat was done just nice. What made this dish different from the rest was the lamb bones. You can either to crunch it up, or just enjoy the meat bits on the savoury bone. Yes, the silver foil makes it easier for us to hold it without dirtying our hands! Thoughtful right?
Fruit Crepe is a dish which surprised me the most. I was about to give the dessert a miss (not a fan of whipped cream or fresh cream) when the chef finally walked out from the kitchen and did a little performance with the fruits. All placed in a cocktail shaker, Mike performed magic by putting bubbles into the fresh fruits. Think having grapes, orange and grapefruit in your mouth while you drink a mouthful of coke, that fizzle? yes, that’s how it felt like! The sweet fruits were infused with gas and when placed together with the soft crepe and a bit of fresh whip cream – light and fluffy as foam, the combination ended the whole meal on a perfect note.
Address: Lane 311, Section 2, Heping E Rd, Da’an District
大安區和平東路二段311巷, Taipei, Taiwan
Tel: +886 981 128 913
Before I forgot, if you are wondering how much this 7 amazing-course meal cost, it’s NT$2800 (Taiwanese Dollars) per person ≈ SGD$129 ≈ $91 USD.
So if you are thinking of a cozy gathering with friends, enjoying healthy and delicious food without having to dress-up, or if you wish to learn to make any of the above dishes in my article, feel free to contact Chef Mike Li!
Next up: something related to the ladies I’m with!
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