Sherman's Food Adventures: Septime


Originally, I was trying to make a reservation for Septime to no avail.  You see, like many other restaurants in Paris, Septime was on their Summer break in August.  Hence, it looked like I was out-of-luck in making a reso to this 1-Star Michelin establishment.  But hold on, upon further inspection, I could make a reso since they were re-opening on the last few days we were in Paris.  I was on my computer as the time ticked to when I could book and snagged a table for lunch on our last day in Paris.

At Septime, they only have set menus, for both lunch and dinner.  As such, we had their Menu Carte Blanche for 70 Euros each.  We started our meal with the Vegetable Broth with raspberries.  This was so clean and pure where the flavour was intense, yet subtle.  Now that might not make sense, but believe me, it was all that and more.  The level of umaminess and impact was pretty impressive without the use of any protein.  The addition of raspberries didn't interfere with the broth, rather it enhanced it with a fresh and light brightness.

In a beautiful shade of rose, the Cured Red Tuna was bathed in a peach vinaigrette with rose oil.  Slightly cured with kombu for a week, this aged tuna was buttery soft while having a fermented fish sweetness.  It was bordering on funky, but didn't get there.  Instead, it was full of depth and umami.  Complimenting the natural flavours of the tuna, the fruity vinaigrette provided both acidity and sweetness.  The addition of rose oil was mildly floral and in reality, was mostly in the background.

Next up, we had the Cocos de Paimpol with butter, sea asparagus, seaweed and pickles.  Tender with a bite, these beans took on the butter in terms of flavour and also the silky and nutty film on the outside.  The other ingredients were mild and didn't add much in terms of overall flavour except for the pickles.  The acidity and saltiness did bring impact to the dish.  In addition, it added crunch.  The seaweed and sea asparagus provided some colour contrast and a just a touch of salt.

The best course of the bunch had to be the Tomatoes in poultry broth, satay sauce, coriander flowers and Thai basil.  Normally, I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes due to their bland flavour.  However, these were flavour bombs with acidity and sweetness.  The plump tomatoes sat in a broth that was full-on umami where it was almost like chicken bouillon except completely natural-tasting.  Concentrated flavours were complimented by the slight spice and aromatics from the flowers and basil.  Background lemongrass also came through.

The "meat" of the meal was the Veal Sweetbreads glazed on the BBQ with veal jus.  It was topped with crispy tarragon, sorrel and red pepper.  For me, I love sweetbreads, to this was right up my alley.  It was properly prepared (as in before it was cooked and after it was cooked), where the texture was soft with a rebound.  The intensity of the meatiness from the veal jus was amplified by the caramelization off the grill.  The reduced jus helped add even more meatiness and silkiness.  Add in the aromatic tarragon, tart sorrel and sweet peppers, we had layers of flavour going on.

For dessert, we were served a Fig Ice Cream with extra virgin olive oil, figs, blackberries and almonds.  This was a refreshing end to an intricately-prepared meal.  The ice cream was light and creamy with purposeful sweetness.  The blackberries and figs provided sweetness and at ouch of tang.  Almonds added texture while the olive oil afforded some aromatics and ever-so-slight pepperiness.  Overall, this was a thoughtful and expertly-prepared meal.  No wonder Septime clocks in at 11 on the world's best restaurant list.

The Good:
- Intricate dishes
- Balanced
- Excellent, unpretentious service

The Bad:
- With a set tasting menu, it might not appeal to everyone
- Hard to get a reservation!  


Search this Site