Bison & Reindeer @ Bistro a Table

May 10, 2012

"Siberia: Mystery Meats" was this month's degustation dinner theme at Bistro a Table, which was transformed into an enchanting showcase of ice sculptures of penguins, dolphins and rabbits while the air-conditioning was set to full blast.

Customers parking outside witnessed young, placard-waving protesters hollering "Save a cow, eat a vegan!" Turns out that Chef Isadora hired them to furnish a dramatic flourish. Thankfully, police failed to rush here to tear-gas them.

Two starters to break the ice before the "Mystery Meats" portion of the meal. Massive enough to be a main course for light eaters, here's house-smoked salmon topped with avruga caviar and scallop "bombe," a plump sphere of yolk-oozing mollusk.

More scallops, this time as a ceviche with duck foie gras and soy mirin vinaigrette. The warm, coarsely seared liver played very interestingly off the cool, smooth slices of scallop.

Finally, Mystery Meats! For a contest with bottles of wine for the victors, we were instructed to guess what each meat was, with the answers revealed at the end of the night. Our table thought this first one might be quail or partridge, but it was guinea fowl, marinated in 50-year-old cognac for a remarkable richness.

Our guess: guinea fowl (so close!) or emu. The reality: pheasant, prepared torchon-style, with fennel and peaches and a "potato flower." Tasted like a cross between roast pork and duck, with lovably crisp skin and lusciously fleshy-fatty meat.

Our guess: mouse-deer or kangaroo. The reality: horse meat, imported from Italy, served as a tangy, blood-soaked tartare.

Our guess: camel or mountain goat. The reality: bison from Alaska, coffee-glazed and served with purple Japanese corn. Succulent, while still offering an enjoyably solid chew, with a dark, deep flavor that sets it apart from beef.

Our guess: squirrel or possum. The reality: reindeer from Canada, with chocolate juice and creamy savoy cabbage as a coleslaw. Turns out, Rudolph kinda tastes like a cross between lamb and liver, with musky undertones.

Raspberry and sheep yogurt ripple, for a creamy finish to a memorable meal.

Russian Beluga Gold Line vodka, to kick off the evening.

Courses were paired with wines from around the world, including Switzerland, Japan and India. But in the end, no participant of these reindeer games managed to win any wine.

The Holy Rabbit incarnated in icy flesh!

Bistro a Table,
Section 17, Petaling Jaya.