Located in the trendy Oasis Square which, Brasserie Enfin has a lovely cheerful interior, suited to the bright orange theme that characterises Veuve Cliquot. Cute plastic champagne flutes veer away from the traditional sleek and slender crystal flutes, as Veuve seeked to create an atmosphere of casual conviviality, and there is something about the bright oranginess that lightens the spirit...even before the contents does so.
And finally, a context to the picture that is on the metal clasp of every Veuve bottle of champagne, Madame Clicquot herself, the first French lady entrepreneur and business woman, according to Wine Maker Pierre Casenave.
To start, an amuse bouche of chicken liver parfait. James explained that he does not use foie gras, (I guess this is quite a divisive issue between chefs), but promised us a treat to the palate with this smooth buttery parfait. Indeed, one morsel of this was not enough, and paired with the Yellow Label, a perfect match.
As we ate, Pierre Casenave did enlighten us on some facts about VC... founded in 1772, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin has stayed true to its motto "Only One Quality, The Finest" and the Maison is effectively the hard work of the exceptional Barbe Nicole Ponsardin, also known as Madame Veuve Clicquot, whose portrait I alluded to earlier.
The second entree was the Lamb Eye of Short Loin Carpaccio, confit strawberries, puff cherry, champagne mustard, paired with the gorgeous and elegant Veuve Clicquot Rose. Very interestingly using lamb instead of beef, this rather primal dish is an acquired taste. Whilst there was miraculously absolutely no ovine odour, which I find as I age, I am more averse to, I still feel that the gift of fire to Prometheus was specifically for use on meats...so thankfully I had copious amounts of Rose to wash down that troglodyte rawness. However, if you do like carpaccios, (isn't that the surname of the Titanic guy? Leonardo De Carpaccio?), then you would LOVE this.
The host, Pierre Casenave and the Chef James Won
And then, we were in for a treat, with the piece de resistance of the day, the Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, which till now, I've only ever heard about.
The luminous body is shimmering gold with amber glints, abundantly effervescent, with elegant fruity notes of white peach and bergamot, with a crisp and silky texture.
It really was quite a delightful treat, and the pairing of the La Grande Dame with that Trio of Pork, together with the wonderful ambience of the afternoon made it a winning trifecta.
For dessert, Citrus Textures and cloud, ...the dehydrated orange was gorgeous, and the varying textures of citrus were fascinating. Paired with the Yellow Label, it was a wonderful end to a wonderful meal.
To end, Pierre reminded us that good champagne isn't only a good oparing for any food adventure, but it's also a bond which unites daring, confident and sophisticated individuals ..just like the woman behind this quality and fine champagne, Madame Clicquot.