[New York] Bouley – Skipping out New York’s Restaurant Week for this!

20 07 2011

Restaurant Week 2011 for New York is held between 12th to 25th July, but instead of going for discounted set meals (US$24.07 for lunch and US$35 for dinner) offered at some restaurants, I figured that this week would divert some attention away from the many Michelin Star restaurants not participating in restaurant week and provide the opportunity for successful last minute reservations. That’s how I stumbled upon Bouley, a French Michelin 1-Star fine dining restaurant.

On a side note, given the success of Singapore’s Restaurant Week in March 2011, a 2nd installment will be held here in October this year, making it a bi-annual affair.

Unlike the chichi restaurants in Singapore and those I visited in London, the dress code for fine dining in New York is more strictly enforced, so even in the heat of summer where temperatures soar as high as Singapore’s, formal jackets are still required for gentlemen dining at Bouley.

My group of 5 was seated at a dimly lit side of the restaurant so the photos are kind of grainy and dark even after some editing 😦

From start till finish, service was top notch and bordering on stifling but after getting some awesome food in our tumtums as the meal started, we immediately abandoned our unusually reticent selves in unending ravings.

Bouley offers ala-carte lunch as well as a 5-Course Tasting Menu (US$55). Given that a 2 course ala-carte meal here already costs more than the Tasting Menu, almost everyone in the restaurant opted for the tasting menu.

Can’t remember the exact constituents to the complimentary amuse bouche but there was definitely Celery Sorbet, Beetroot, Avocado with Cherry Sauce. A truly refreshing dish with great complementary natural flavours. Even my friends who usually avoid celery proclaimed that this was good and cleaned out their bowls.

Amuse Bouche

All except one of my friends ordered the trio of sashimi as their starting course. Kampachi is a Hawaiian Yellowtail best known as Almaco Jack which tastes and looks almost exactly like the Tuna. My favourite sashimi though was the white flesh from the Striped Amberjack which had a much fattier and creamier texture.

1st Course: Carpaccio of Kampachi, Young Big Eye Tuna and Striped Amberjack (Mediterranean style)

This was prepared with the Flan (custard) at the base, with the dashi (soup stock) poured over it. While we often use Sri Lankan crabs for our local Singapore dishes, the Dungeness Crab, named after the the town of Dungeness in Washington, is most often used in the Pacific Northwest which includes areas such as Vancouver, Seattle and Alaska.

2nd Course: Porcini Flan, Alaska Live Dungeness Crab & Black Truffle Dashi

2nd Course: Wild Alaskan Salmon with a Rainbow of Early Baby Beets & Macadamia Nut Dressing

2nd Course: Black Cod marinated with Pistachio Miso, Organic Buckwheat & Ginger Aromatic Sauce

B ordered the chicken which she gave positive feedback on. I thought it was good, but not great. Pain D’Epices is a type of bread or cake so I’m not really sure how the dressing for this dish is made. B thought that the dressing tasted like a mere pumpkin puree sauce though. Chanterelles are a type of mushroom commonly used in French Cuisine and had a notable earthly flavour.

3rd Course: All Natural Pennsylvania Chicken, Spring Carrot Ravioli, Chanterelles & Pain D'Epices Dressing

3rd Course: Organic Long Island Duck Roasted with White Truffle Honey with Puree of Organic Dates and White Turnips

I think most of us got fooled that this was Kobe beef given the name of the dish but judging from the extent of marbling, I highly doubt it. Still, everyone found it very tender and tasty, going well with the Gnocchi which acted as a staple for this dish.

3rd Course: Slow Braised Kobe Style Beef Cheeks with Blue Kale Gnocchi

This really reminded me of the Honeydew and Rock Melon Sago dessert that we get in Chinese restaurants, especially after the Ricotta Sorbet started melting and replacing what would have been the Coconut Milk.

4th Course: California Organic Orange Flesh Melon Soup with Fresh Ricotta Sorbet

My friends called this “Heaven on a Plate”, nuff said.

Hot Valrhona Chocolate Souffle 2011 with White Coffee Cloud and Chocolate Sorbet

Hot Caramelized Anjou Pear with Valrhona Chocolate, Biscuit Breton, Hot Toffee Sauce, Lemon Verbena and Tahitian Ice Cream

Petit Fours

Gems such as Bouley are best left for special occasions when you want everything to be perfect, but since perfection is relative, never should meals here be an everyday affair.

Bon Appetit!


163 Duane Street, New York

Tel: 212 964 2525



3 responses

20 07 2011
In Western Europe The Grass is Juicy

The desserts look delicious!

22 07 2011

they were! very very very dark choc 😀

16 02 2013

[…] Peter Oh of Yum Yum for my Tum Tum Read more about a meal for five […]

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