Do you remember what you were doing when you were 19? I vaguely recall watching too much TV, missing days at a time of University and harrumphing when the world didn’t lay down, prostrate and purring, at my feet.
I only bring it up because this weekend a teenager accompanied by a newly minted twenty year old cooked dinner for Sylee (of the blog Berlinreified), Caroline (of the hugely successful Thyme Supper Club), a friend of theirs from Copenhagen and myself.At 19, Dylan has already worked in kitchens for 5 years. Specifically at Per Se, Daniel and Eleven Madison Park . His strongest influence comes from Japan where he worked at the 3 Michelin starred kaiseki restaurant: Ryugin. “They’re my people.” the young Canadian says earnestly.
The menu is made up of 18 amuse bouche size dishes. Things look deceptively simple, 3 slices of pickling cucumber topped with a barely there jelly. Two teaspoonfuls of “Chowan mushi” that no amount of lingering can prolong and which upon finishing makes me despair.The meal unfurls to reveal dish after dish of delicate, jewel like food (in portion size and presentation). The asparagus spears look deceptively simple but turn out to have been smoked and carry as much flavour as really good bacon. It’s as subtle as smelling someone’s perfume when they have left the room, or when your hand is close enough to someone else’s so that you feel waves of heat rippling of it. You have to make an effort to tune into it, otherwise you might miss it entirely.
The last of the dishes is returned to the kitchen. We drink a green tea with roasted rice, the meal feels like it might have been a whisper you heard or maybe you just imagined the whole thing.Later on, Sylee, Caroline and I, regroup at a Turkish restaurant across the street trying to figure out if we are still hungry enough to order some food but it’s coming up to 1 am and we don’t want to sully all those exquisite impressions with something coarse. Still, we all plan to have a generous breakfast in the morning.
Sylee and I agree that we are likely to see Dylan Watson-Brawn’s name in lights some day soon. For now his Private Kitchen concept can do with some tweaking and I find the price prohibitive (although it includes some beautifully selected wines).
Menu with wine €65 – €85