“Pepper Potts” & Louie DePalma” wanted to try Hippopotamus after “Winifred” went there to celebrate their Birthday a while back. After all of us saved some cash we all decided to go have dinner there. We all went in thinking that we would go for the a la carte menu besides “Winifred”. Once Winifred suggested it, I wanted to have it as well. We then managed to convince “Pepper Potts” & Louie DePalma”, but I originally only wanted to do the five plate degustation, but we ended up having the eight plate degustation.
This was a very nice beginning, a warm tomato soup like served with chickpeas. It was very nice and also creamy and the crostini was a very nice addition. However, it was hard to dip it into the little jar. Also the pea shoot was also a nice addition and gave it a bit of an earthy taste when added.
There were two types of bread offered. One was a small normal baguette and the other was a fig and honey roll. I decided to go for the second one. I was surprised to see how black the top of the bun was. However, with the home churned butter the bun was very nice.
First Plate; Saumon mariné à l’encre de seiche, gelée au gingembre, crumble de crème fraiche, gelée à l’orange et concombre au vinaigre
Thinly sliced cured Salmon in Squid ink with ginger jelly, cream fraiche crumble, orange gel and pickled cucumber. This dish was very nice. The salmon was nicely cured and the jelly had a subtle hint of ginger in it. The creme fraiche crumble was something I have never tried before and was a nice addition. However, what really surprised me and Winifred was the sprinkles of toffee in the dish, that gave it a different texture and a nice sweetness.
Plate Two; Parfait de foie de canard, confiture d’oignon, gelée de fruit de la passion et popcorn au piment
This dish was a Duck liver parfait, onion jam, passionfruit jelly and chili popcorn. Also on the dish was a passionfruit puree and mushroom powder. This was completely out of this world. The parfait just melted in my mouth, it was unbelievable. Adding in the passionfruit jelly and the onion jam was a beautiful combination. I also liked the addition of the popcorn that gave texture and also the mushroom powder that added an earthy flavour when eaten with the parfait.
Plate Three; Tartare de thon, rhum et ananas, panacotta de noix de coco et mousse de pinacolada
A Tuna tartare with rum and pineapple, coconut panacotta and pinacolada foam and rum syrup. I would say this was my least favourite dish of the eight plates, but it was still nice. I think the main reason is because I am not really a fan of rum. The tuna was fresh and the coconut and pineapple was also good, just not the rum.
Plate Four; Filet de Saint Pierre, petites carottes caramélisées, risotto aux palourdes de Cloudy Bay et crème de cresson
A John Dory fillet with caramelised baby carrots, Cloudy Bay clam risotto and watercress cream. This was another unbelievable dish. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked with it being slightly pink. The clams was a great addition and the risotto was just a great addition. Put the carrots and carrot puree together and it was a perfect dish. I honestly wanted to lick the plate afterwards but got a bit of Pepper Potts uneaten bread and used it to soak up the left over juices.
A Raspberry and galangal sorbet with galangal gel. This was presented very nicely with dried ice. The sorbet was a great palette cleanser and a great interlude between the two main courses.
Plate Five; Filet de chevreuil, petites betteraves au vinaigre, pruneaux au porto, ganache de caramel au beurre salé et réduction de vin chaud, crumble de chocolat pimenté
Seared venison short loin with pickled baby beetroot, port wine drunken prunes, salted caramel ganache, and spiced red wine jus reduction, chili and chocolate crumble all on top of a parsnip puree. This was another great dish. Separately there were a few things that I did not like. However, when you add everything together it is a good dish. The version was also cooked perfectly and the prunes were nice. The salted caramel ganache evened out the pickled beetroot and the parsnip puree toned down the red wine jus reduction. The addition of the chocolate and chilli crumble I felt heightened the flavours, which they added at the top with a grater.
Plate Six; Tomme de chèvre cendrée, glace à la Tomme de chèvre et tarte Provençale
Goat cheese Tomme, Provençal vegetable pie and goat cheese ice cream. This was a very interesting dish and something I would have never of ordered. The goat cheese was coated in ash and the vegetable pie was like a mille feuille with caramelised onions in-between the layers. The Goat cheese ice-cream was my least favourite part of the dish though. Winifred loved the dish but Pepper and Louie were not a fan and I ended up eating Pepper’s goat cheese.
Added to the cheese was a fig and honey brioche and went really well with the goat cheese.
Plate Seven; Autour de la pomme
Cream fraiche Mousse, grape and apple jelly and apple cider sorbet with buckwheat flower, nut crumble. I was starting to feel a bit full, but I had to continue. This was a nice refreshing dessert. The grape apple was filled with cream fraiche and nicely poached. I thought the apple cider sorbet was the standout of the dish and wished I could have had more.
Plate Eight; Mousse au chocolat fumé
Mocha biscuit, coffee mousse with white chocolate, crunchy feuillantine and white chocolate ice cream. I thought this was going to be a very rich dessert but it was not. Pepper Potts and Louie were not fans of this dish either but Winifred and I loved this dish and ended up finishing their plates. The coffee in the mocha was not overpowering and had a good balance between the two main flavours. The white chocolate ice-cream was a great match and I loved the praline on top and inside the feuillantine.
We all had a great dinning experience at Hippopotamus. I was overall very impressed with the degustation menu. I absolutely loved the duck parfait and the John Dory fish. The flavour combinations were all very good, nicely cooked and fresh. The service was second to know and it was always interesting to see two people serve the food to the table and take the food away. Louie had the wine match with the degustation and their wine server was very knowledgeable. I had a few sips of the wine here and there and we were presented with some very good wines from NZ and around the world. Overall a great dining experience and i was surprised I did not actually feel like I had over eaten. Unfortunately I will not be going their anytime soon though due to the large dent the meal made on my wallet.