Eskis, a three-Michelin-star restaurant located in Lyon, France, is quite a tiny and cozy place with very innovative cuisine. A table should be reserved as much in advance as possible. We did it half a year before.
A week before the flight to Lyon I received a letter from Eskis requesting my confirmation: Am I going to visit them at 9 p.m. August 2nd? I confirmed. However, the same request appeared a day before the flight. Well, I answered that we would definitely arrive at 9 p.m. unless our plane crashed in the Alps.
At last, we are in the Michelin star restaurant, the first in our lives. The sequence is as follows: there are several sets in the menu; menu set, a set of three dishes, and a set of four dishes, apart from the desserts, starters and cheese platters. You make your choice. They start to serve the dishes along with a glass of wine (you may vary the number of glasses and rely on the chef’s choice of wine for each of the dishes). The chef follows the concept of molecular gastronomy: to pass the taste of a big dish through the microscopic one. You are supposed to feel the whole range with the first bite.
Unlike the plates, the portions are hardly ever bigger than a mid-sized molecule. It seems to me, this is the rule for every Michelin star restaurant.
At the beginning, they serve special cocktails (the red one is a champagne mixed with something), calvados, and some other stuff intended to stress a sort of flavour concept. They really do.
Let’s take these red blobs. It was some kind of well-spiced tomato gel stuff. A waitress brought the following cousin masterpiece and explained what it was made of and how. She could speak either French or English. She called these gelled tomatoes a soup. (!) They were darned good.
Then they brought this:
There were three “molecular” mussels under the unimaginable avocado-lime-pear sauce. Our taste buds were pleased with the basil and mint leaves on top.
Afterwards, there were several starters, first and second courses, complemented with even more incongruous ingredients.
Nevertheless this Thai soup was definitely Thai.
This red concept turned out to be a vinegret.
Well, I definitely tasted a slight piece of a beet somewhere in the middle, in the sweet mango sauce. However, I do not even remember the rest of the ingredients.
Desserts. Yummy. Well, it’s no wonder: a lot of sugar does the trick.
Something writhed under the cover. What was it? Cheese. I guess it’s supposed to be smoked.
According to the French mode all this was served together with something sweet and olive oil in a pipette. This region is not glorious for its cheese varieties (mostly goat cheeses), so it did not boggle my mind either. (Definitely, it is not Brittany, Ladies and Gentlemen.)
Another dessert. Is it a McDonalds advertisement? In fact, it is hardly bigger than a box of matches.
One ice cream ball and some sweet concept to keep your pancreas awake.
The most important thing about the ice cream—the last dessert—is the preparation process. They roll out the whole plant and freeze the mousse right in front of your eyes. Watch the video and guess how they do it.
Coffee. This is not a photo illusion. The shapes of the cups at Eskis really are skewed like this.
What about the coffee concept? Hmm The French are bad at making coffee anywhere.
It is reasonable that people come to the Michelin star restaurants to taste rather than eat. But when it takes up to 40 minutes between each concept, only those who haven’t seen each other for ages and wish not to be disturbed can deal with such a long wait. In Eskis, they really do not disturb you. You will have a good long talk.
The whole dinner took nearly four hours and cost 220 Euros for two. (Dear credit card, I am so sorry! This will never happen again.)
However, I feel the desire to visit one more Michelin star restaurant just to check will it be the same?
As for the chef. He is a young man who loves his job, and puts his heart into it. He is a Master!