Dinner at Bilson’s in January 2011 with Bocuse d’Or winning guest chef Serge Vieira of the 1 Michelin star (and noted as a rising star in the latest guide) Restaurant Serge Vieira in Chaudes-Aigues, France.

Went on the second night of his one-week guest stint here. The restaurant was probably about half full.

Served a glass of 2002 Moet Grand Vintage on arrival, which was drinkable and not bad. I know it has got good/great local reviews but it didn’t really do it for me.

Next was the 2007 Joh. Jos. PrĂ¼m Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett which was obviously very young but after some time in the decanter it started to open up and was very enjoyable with mango and smoke on the nose, with impeccable balance on the palate – 90 points or so and give it 7-8 years.

Finished with a 2006 Maison Alex Gambal Corton-Charlemagne which is a lovely wine. Vanilla, stonefruit and a slight earthy edge. Palate is layered and complex. Nice richness without going over the top. 92 points.

The food was very, very impressive. A lot of thought had been put into the flavours on each dish and even though he was in an unfamiliar kitchen and working with a different kitchen crew the high level technique was evident and executed very well. The courses were on-par with the top Sydney places and the “Homage to the Great Barrier Reef” (apparently a signature dish for the restaurant in France) was easily one of the best dishes I’ve ever had. Would love to visit his restaurant in France sometime.

Duck and Ginger

“Ravioli” with Blue Swimmer Crab
Wagyu Beef, celeriac and fennel seed yoghurt
Cantal tuille ham and fingerling potato salad, aligot croquet

“Homage to the Great Barrier Reef” – Roast gambas, oysters, vongole, mussels, abalone and razor clams under “the sea”, a fine film of citron jelly

Butter roasted marron lobster, beetroot three ways and crayfish ravioli with coconut milk pasta

John Dory, Kohlrabi dressed with thyme and lemon grass

Rose lamb saddle with braised lamb belly croquet and eggplant

Apricot clafoutis, apricot cream, cannelloni, yoghurt and wattle seed ice cream

Strawberry and rhubarb tartlet, with szechuan pepper and honey ice cream

Mignardises

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