Address: Trump Hotel Central Park, 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023
Telephone: (212) 299-3900
Jean Georges is a Michelin three-starred restaurant in New York and is part of Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s huge culinary empire. The restaurant is renowned for their clean and precise take on fine-dining, and serves seasonal dishes that have influences from French, American, and Asian cuisine. I was impressed with Jean Georges in Shanghai (see my review here), and was therefore very excited about going to Jean Georges in New York, which according to my friend was an unmissable place.
Located centrally in Trump Hotel, the decor of Jean Georges, in tones of olive, cream, yellow and grey, is sleek, modern and luxurious in an understated way. The service at the restaurant was highly professional, with knowledgeable staff effortlessly briefing us on each of our courses. However, as the restaurant was very popular, it is worth noting that even with a reservation we had to wait at the reception area for 10 to 15 minutes before being seated, which was slightly disappointing for a restaurant of such calibre.
We ordered a terrific-value set lunch which cost US$38 for 2 courses, with the desserts ordered separately.
Even though the staff took a while to get us seated, the service from that point onwards was smooth. We were swiftly presented with the menu and later on the bread basket.
(1) The colourful amuse bouche arrived, and it comprised of a broccili soup, which was nicely creamy but not overly buttery, a picked rhubarb with sushi rice, which was not as sour as we had feared and was delightfully touched by some sesame and a sweet pea and carrot puree, which was gorgeously smooth and subtle and was served with some almond crumble.
(2) The restaurant is famous for their meticulous calibration of flavours, and their Sea Trout and Oyster Tartar, Lemon, Horseradish and Chive definitely lived up to expectations, as the flavours were perfectly balanced. The sea trout and oyster tartar was startlingly fresh, and tasted vibrant and invigorating. The toasted bread was crispy and ethereal, and formed a magnificent contrast with the softness of the tartar.
(3) The Peekytoe Crab Dumplings, Celeriac-Meyer Lemon Tea was an Asian-inspired dish. The crab dumplings had a rather creamy filling, and the seasoning was a tad sour which was reminiscent of flavouring in Thai dishes.
(4) Presented on a big seashell, the Diver Scallop Carpaccio, Sea Beans, Green Chilies and Spring Herbs was aesthetically pleasing, and tasted equally attractive. The thinly-sliced scallop carpaccio was exquisitely fresh and tender, and its flavours were accentuated by a light touch of herbs.
(5) The Steamed Cod with Potato-Leek Puree and Clams with Green Chili was a clean-tasting dish. A piece of meltingly tender and fabulously juicy cod was dressed in a simplistic, water-based sauce, and the tastes of green chilli and lime gave this dish a Thai touch.
(6) The Sauteed Veal Scallopine, Flying Pig Ham, Mushrooms and Lavender was much more tangy than the cod above. The veal scallopine was of an appropriate thickness, and was crispy on the surface. The seasoning was flavourful and tasted quite peppery, and a hint of lavender gave it a floral scent.
(7) The Crispy Confit of Suckling Pig, Rutabaga Pudding, Smoked Bacon Marmalade (US$10 Supplement) had an attractive composition of colours, and the sucking pig was well-grilled – crunchy on the surface and tender underneath. I thought it was accomplished, but my friend A thought that she had had better suckling pigs at other Michelin-starred restaurants.
(8) The desserts are called “Dessert Tastings” (US$12), as they are categorised into themes and each platter has little sample-size desserts. A, K and I shared the Caramel-themed dessert. The Black Pepper Creme Caramel was velvety, and the black pepper gave it zing; the Hazelnut Sponge with Crunchy Praline was my favourite, as it was buttery and satisfying and an element of crunch made it more interesting. The Milk Chocolate ice cream was rich and enticing.
Our magnificent meal ended with some petit fours, and amongst them, I liked the exuberantly fluffy and pillowy housemade marshmallows and the lavender and white chocolate cluster the most – the lavender and white chocolate flavours were delicate and refined. The rose macaron and grapefruit macaron were also refreshing and delightful.
Conclusion: Dining at Jean Georges was a seamless, opulent experience. French, American and Asian cooking techniques and ingredients have been ingeniously incorporated to produce an innovative menu, and the meticulously prepared dishes were precise and delectable.