FRIDAY, JAN. 11: The Point restaurant is known for its beautiful floor to ceiling Pan Am Sky Club Murals and it was only a matter of time that a menu would be inspired by the artistry.
Chef Guido Brambilla recently introduced a ten-course menu that takes diners on a trans-continental journey highlighting the ingredients and culinary style of 19th century ports of call featured in the mural. From the sweet and sour lobster of Canton to the lamp lollipops of Istanbul, diners have the choice of ordering a five, seven, or ten-course selection from the new Point 360 menu.
I was invited to enjoy a complimentary meal at the restaurant, along with a guest, to review the menu. We decided to go with seven courses from the menu including a locally inspired dish from Bermuda.
First up was the Ahi Poke from Maui, a combination of yellow fin tuna, sesame oil, scallions, black quinoa and pineapple.
I would never have thought of serving raw tuna with pineapple, I usually go with more citrusy flavours, but it was a perfect match.
The black quinoa was something new for both my guest and I and we each had different opinions of it. They are hard and crunchy with a slightly bitter, yet pleasant taste. Paired with the other food, the dish offers a good range of textures to the plate.
For me, there was too much quinoa for the serving — there should have been more pineapple as it was such a great match with the fresh local tuna. My dinner guest was happy with the portion size of quinoa but agreed it needed more pineapple.
On to the fish chowder fritter — we couldn’t take a trip around the world without stopping by Bermuda of course! While they were called fritters they were really just like little fishcake balls. However, the filling was like no ordinary fishcake filling. This was traditional Bermuda fish chowder reduced to a sauce so thick that it could be rolled up, fried and crisped off in the oven.
The fritters combined a delicious balance of tangy and spicy flavours and were served with a sweet spicy Bermuda Jalapeno Jam. They were perhaps the best fish cakes I have tasted and my guest, not usually a fishcake fan, wholeheartedly agreed.
The next course, as relatively unadventurous as it was, was one of my favourite out of our seven choices. The Striploin from New York brought together simple, homely ingredients but were cooked to absolute perfection. Tender strips of medium rare Angus beef lay on a bed of creamy, puréed mash potato and topped with a cute little fried quail egg. Under the strip loin was a surprise — a rich, meaty gravy that topped the course off.
Next up was the Sweet and Sour Lobster from Canton. The sauce had a good balance of sweet and sour where often the sweetness is the overpowering flavour in this sauce. The lobster came with a thin batter which gave it a lovely, crispy, sticky texture with the sauce drizzled over it.
The lobster, being local, was fresh though not as tender as it could have been, I believe. The slithers of chili, orange and shoots gave a pretty tri-colour garnish to the dish.
At this point we were starting to get a little bloated so took we ten minutes out to let the food go down which was not a problem with the friendly staff.
When we returned we sat down to my favourite dish of the evening — the Lamb Lillipop from Istanbul made with lamb chop meat, thyme, paprika, mint, yogurt, lemon and goat’s cheese. The spices in the meat were outstanding and the combination of everything else on the plate I would not have changed for anything — not the refreshing mint and mini chunks of fresh lemon, not the creamy goats cheese that tempered the sharpness, nor the pomegranate seeds that added spark to the flavour. The sad thing was that the lamb was a little too rare for me at the centre and I had to leave a tiny bit of it. You can ask for it to be cooked further if that is your preference.
The Landaff from New England of New Hampshire Holstein cheese, walnut croutons, grapes and port wine was reasonably good aside from the overly salty taste of the cheese.
Finally, the Green Tea Souffle from Hong Kong was a great end to the evening. The souffle itself had a strong tanning taste, maybe a touch too strong for me, but the iced 72 per cent chocolate was the perfect antidote.
The three courses we skipped were the Caipirinha from Rio de Janeiro (cachaca, lime, scallop ceviche, tapioca), the Moutabel from Beirut (smoked eggplant. Tahini, fried pita crouton and heritage tomatoes) and the Posset from London (lemon, double cream and berries).
There is also an option to pay extra for a wine pairing for the different courses which it will add an extra $100 to the bill.
I left the wine choices to the somellier and everything paired well.
The desert wine complemented the soufflé particularly well as did the acidic sauvignon blanc with the fish courses. The ten-course meal is priced at $150, seven courses, $115 and five courses $95.