House-Smoked Brook Trout - The layers of flavors in this dish are a pleasure. I would start from the top: Take a mouthful of the cool smoked trout and savor its gentle smokiness and the melting flesh; for the second bite, cut into the corn blini and enjoy the sweet starchiness; for the third bite, now put a piece of the smoked trout on top of a dainty square (or not so dainty), dab a bit of sour cream, and carry this sweet, smoky, tender and solid mound on the folk (don't drop any now!) into the mouth...and just say ""Ahhhh..."" You can then start from step 1 again. Or you can be masochistic and bide your time and eat the sweet crunchy corn adorning the plate, before you lose control and attack this trout mountain head on...
Striped Bass with Pickled Beets - Did the words, ""pickled beets,"" rouse your skepticism? I totally understand and sympathize if they did. But rest assured, I can tell you that it was a surprisingly complementary. Fleshy and flaky, striped bass does not have a pronounced flavor: If we do a blind test, can you really tell the difference between a striped bass and, let's say, the sea bass? (Well, let me think about this again as I may just be able to...) Here, the beets come in: The earthiness and the sourness of the pickled beets, cool on the palate, contrast interestingly with the striped bass - both in taste and touch.
High praise for the chef for combining these two ingredients.
Salmon with Lobster Succotash - Now, salmon is a fish with unmistakeably salmony taste: Many times, cooking skill depends on balancing off the abundant fattiness of the salmon with something showing the creativity of the chef. Sometimes, the chefs go slightly overboard, however. Balancing does not mean killing the distinct flavor of a tricky, albeit unique, ingredient. If you have ever dined at Modern, you know what I mean: It was a testament to the ""modern"" culinary technology because it somehow managed to erase the original flavor of each ingredient.
This salmon was thus ""modern"" in such a way in being totally unmemorable. What is memorable then, you may ask. A dish can be good but yet easily forgotten, like a nice guy that you went out a few times with but you would not be able to remember the name 12 months later. A truly remarkable, life-changing, and beautiful dish has the power to evoke the taste and texture (and the pleasure) upon recollection - i.e. total recall (such as the Chateaubriand Rossini at Chez Matsuo in Tokyo). Total recall, this was not.
Strawberry Granita Parfait
Unfailingly my favorite dessert at Telepan. It is refreshing, full of fragrant strawberries and cream and attractive until the last bite for its bubbles on the tongue and crunchy almonds.