The first dinner at World Expo! We were spoilt for choices as many pavilions offered their country's unique cuisine! Walking around the European sector for awhile, we were tempted by German, Belgian and Spanish food, eventually deciding on 6 Sens, the exclusive fine dining restaurant at the rooftop of France Pavilion!
They initally told us that we had to queue for an hour, but it ended up much shorter as we were willing to dine in their outdoor beer garden instead. While the view was splendid as it overlooked the inside of the France pavilion and the expo ground at the edge of the building, and the weather was comfortably cooling at 10 odd degrees, I silently regretted the decision as nightfall arrived: With minimal lighting in the beer garden, I had a real hard time taking photos with no flash and long shutter time! Apologies for the out-of-focus and blurry shots!
Complimentary Bread, Amuse Bouche
I read online that the chefs had appointed Delifrance for their supply of bread. But outsourced or not, I was not impressed as it was served cold with a hardened crust and over-chewy dough.
The shot of amuse bouche turned out horrible, but it tasted very forgettable anyway. Skewered pieces of fish and mushrooms, it felt as if left out in the open for way too long.
Choice of Appetiser – Rice Salad with Skewered Prawns, Pumpkin Chestnut Soup with Foie Gras Ravioli
Redemption for the disappointing start! I liked the semi-hardened texture of my rice salad which was much like a risotto. It was tastefully coloured with diced vegetables and completed with lightly salted prawns that had a satisfying crunch.
The soup was wonderfully executed with a light creamy broth enhanced with truffle aroma. Its prized content of duck liver cube wrapped with delicate flour skin was a sinful indulgence that melted in your mouth with a buttery aftertaste. Very good stuff!
There was a third option for appetiser, Greek Salad with Chicken Chunks, that sounded well, too boring to be tried.
Choice of Main - Turbot Fillet with Tomato Cheese, Lamb Chop with Curry Sauce, Sea Bass with Cheese Risotto
My grilled turbot fillet felt a tad overcooked, while the cheese sauce was well-balanced and refreshing with the combination of tomato and tingy orange. Lamb chop was tender without much surprises, curry taste was minimal and served with a green pea puree. The sea bass on the other hand, was cheese overload for my mom with thick gooey risotto at the bottom, topped with fried cheese slice and drenched in fennel soup.
Choice of Desserts: Matcha Creme Brulee, Mango Crumble with Butter Cream, Banana Crepe in Coconut Sauce and Almond Cream
Out of the three, I thought the Creme Brulee was the most well done with a well-burnt surface and rich matcha flavoured cream. Mango crumble was alright while the banana crepe was really normal, in fact the cream in both desserts stood out unexpectedly as they had the interesting texture of frozon yogurt.
Service, on the other hand, was downright lousy for what I would have expected. While the french lady supervisor was professional in every way, telling us that the kitchen was very busy for the night and sincerely apologizing for the delay, the other waiters had the completely inexperienced part-timer feel.
Repeatedly forgetting our request to refill water, I got fed up enough to get the water flask myself, only to have an alarmed staff to take the flask back from me, ask for my table and sound as if he would be back to refill our glasses. He never came back. Later on, they even tried to serve us desserts when our main courses have not even arrived! Sheesh.
If you are wondering who are the executive chefs of 6 Sens, they are none other than the Pourcel twins, Jacques & Luarent, who were awarded 3 Michelin stars for their restaurant Le Jardin des Sens. I heard that the dinner menu at 6 Sens changes everyday, so you would never know what to expect next!
Set dinner is priced at RMB380 per set. You might be in for a disappointment if you are expecting Michelin-starred standards but to be fair, the brothers are probably working in a completely new environment and commanding a new band of kitchen crew with raw teamwork, so it might take some time for the quality to stablise. After all, the expo had barely started for a month at the time of visit. So just enjoy the view and take a good long break after an entire day of walking, you might just love what the brothers had in store for you!
6 Sens French Pavilion, World Expo Note: Look for a seperate side entrance that leads you striaght up to the restaurant. Not the long meandering queue for the main exhibition!