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Perceel in Capelle aan den IJssel, near Rotterdam - 1 Michelin star (2014 review)

Rating: 92.
Rating index:
Extraordinary (96-100)
Outstanding (93-95)
Very good to Excellent (89-92)
Above average to Good (86-88)
Below Average to Average (80-85)
Avoid (below 80)
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In my last review of Perceel (April 2012), I concluded that this establishment was one to follow over the coming years and that is precisely what I've been trying to do. I have been back twice since, the first time in January 2013 (see slideshow) and most recently in July 2014. During my last meal I noticed subtle changes, significant enough to warrant a new review.


Perceel is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday till Sunday (no lunch on Saturday) and you can choose between the a la carte menu and the 'Perceel' tasting menu (4 courses €49,50, 6 courses €69,50). I had lunch with my husband at Perceel on Sunday 13 July 2014 and we ordered the 6-course 'Perceel' menu plus one extra course and the restaurant's signature oyster dish. *I was recognised.

A bowl of emping crackers, elegantly spiced with Ras el Hanout, was waiting on the table when we arrived. Shortly after, we were served three  appetisers: golden churros with a goat's cheese and rosemary dip, thick slices of pickled cucumbers topped with tarragon and a raspberry puree and a crisp tartelette filled with parsley root puree and topped with dried blueberries. Three terrific bites with original flavour combinations.


 

 

 

Perceel offers you the opportunity to order an extra oyster dish. The preparation and flavour combination of this dish vary. This time the oyster was served in the shell with smoked butter, radish and sorrel. An elegant dish, delivering a wonderful balance between brininess and richness.


The meal continued with more appetisers. First there were sardines covered with crisp, buttery toast, served with a sharp nasturtium dressing, a marinated skinned cherry tomato and some creamy artichoke puree. A wonderfully balanced dish with precise flavours and a great textural contrast. This was followed by a crisp sandwich with a creamy chicken offal (liver, heart and stomach) crème filling and coated with a mixture of ground "kruidkoek" (Pain d'éspice). A really lovely combination of flavours and textures. The filling was nice and intense, with mild liver notes and the kruidkoek delivered a nice warm finish.


 

Last to arrive was a fabulous, velvety peach gazpacho with sugar snap pea strips. Lovely sweet peach flavours, but also the right amount of acidity to get the characteristic 'gazpacho' flavour experience. Lovely crunch and flavour from the sugar snap peas - a clever and original touch.


First course of the tasting menu was fresh sea bream tartare, topped with layer of finely chopped cucumber, a layer of yoghurt foam and decorated with fresh green apple, purslane and borage flowers. The tartare was served with a green shiso dressing, some cooked rice and a puffed rice crisp. A dish with superb, clean and fresh flavours; the rice added a lovely touch of comfort that completed the dish. The texture of the yoghurt foam was nice and fluffy, but certainly not too foamy, leaving the yoghurt flavours unspoilt.


Second course was duck foie gras mousse, elegantly flavoured with allspice and sprinkled with rose hip powder, and served with chopped caramelised almonds and pecan nuts, skinned white grapes, a light avocado cream and a creamy dressing of almond milk, olive oil and chickweed. The foie gras had a beautiful smooth and silky texture, the smoothness creating a wonderful creaminess. The allspice added a nice touch of spicy warmth and the floral freshness of the grapes and the dressing balanced the dish perfectly. I had the predecessor of this dish during my lunch in January 2013, and as lovely as that version was, I think this one is slightly more refined and sophisticated still.


Cod and lobster followed. Slow-cooked moist cod, served with a piece of succulent lobster, broccoli tartare, a lightly creamy horseradish and dill sauce and a daikon and lime puree. The cod had quite an intense taste, but this was balanced by the horseradish and dill sauce, that had a nice level of acidity and freshened the overall taste. A well-conceived dish with balanced, bright and clean flavours, the anchovy cracker delivering a nice touch of saltiness.


Next up was the extra course: Perceel's signature beef tartare. It is possibly one of the finest beef tartares currently on offer in the Netherlands. Delicately creamy beef tartare (Simmental sirloin), topped with a delicious fermented vegetable mayonnaise, chopped cornichons and shallots, puffed quinoa and fresh leaves. A brilliant interplay between the silky texture of the meat and the crunch of accompaniments, and a nice sharp finish from the mayonnaise.


Back to the tasting menu, which featured two more meat dishes. First there was meltingly tender veal, served with a cauliflower puree, sliced cauliflower, halved cherries, chopped hazelnuts and some mushrooms. Also on the plate was a superb veal jus, lightly flavoured with lavender, that complemented the veal beautifully. A wonderful dish with an ideal balance between comfort and elegance. Great cooking on all levels.


This was followed by pigeon, accompanied by broad beans, girolle mushrooms, a pigeon jus, some toasty crisp black quinoa and a delightful aubergine puree, flavoured with rice vinegar and coffee. An airy potato mousseline with crackling and finely chopped chives was served on the side. An exceptionally elegant dish with impeccable flavours and the acidity and bitters in the aubergine balanced the richness of pigeon nicely.


Last course was a carefully executed and nicely presented dessert of fresh strawberries, a delicious fresh-tasting buttermilk ice cream, a lemon verbena crisp, strawberry mousse, crumble, strawberry meringues and some dots of lemon verbena cream. A lovely but also slightly safe dessert that tasted of summer.


Perceel is a restaurant with its own, individual style of cooking, all about precision and finesse. Here is a chef who consistently delivers skillfully engineered dishes, which he continues to develop and improve - gradually and steadily. The focus is firmly on the natural flavour of the main ingredient, which he embellishes and enhances with creative touches. The styilistic unity throughout the menu is impressive and reflects the chef's confidence in his own, composed approach and vision. Jos Grootscholten and his wife and maître d'hôtel Sharon Tettero (who make a perfect team) allow themselves to be inspired by what they encounter on their international travels, but they are certainly not eager to follow every single new trend in the world of gastronomy. With its finely etched food, Perceel arguably performs well above its current, one Michelin star level.


Posted 29-08-2014




 
 
 
 

 
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