Restaurant Review: Le Jardin des Sens**, Montpelier

Le Jardin des Sens – this is my life time food experience! A 2** Michelin restaurant located at Avenue Saint-Lazare in Montpellier. Le Jardin des Sens is one of the members of Relais & Châteaux – it is a voluntary international association for the promotion and marketing of independent hotels and restaurants with charm and individuality.

From the exterior, you can’t tell there’s a jewel residing inside the building. A step into the building has changed my view that I first perceived from the exterior look of the restaurant, that looks very common. A few more steps further brought more magnificent views of the dinning place!

There were lots of natural lights from outside that bring life to the restaurant. The room is surrounded by walls of glasses with the view of Japanese garden – the green bamboos and the running of water that bring sense of tranquility. With all these, coupled with the food that I am gonna talk about later, it will not make you wonder too much why the restaurant is called Le Jardin des Sens – The Garden of Senses.

We started off with Champagne as our aperitif. It was not purely Champagne: it’s mixed with a sweet wine from the region. It’s so easy to drink that I could feel the effect of alcohol after a few sips! During this time, we had to choose our menu. We had decided which menu to go for Menu Eclat Du Terroir En Languedoc, so, it didn’t take a lot of time to go through the pages of the menu.

The whole experience started with amuse-bouche. They look so delicate that you may think the chefs have put a lot of effort in the creation of the recipe. Each little pastry has been brought to life with passion and creativity!

Beetroot purée with egg white foam; olive and parmasen cheese biscuit; black olive feuilleté.

My mouth got bigger when part of the amuse-bouche was served. Not that I was hungry but was amazed and filled with excitement when I saw the food. It was like unwrapping a present or the butterflies in the stomach kind of sensation. This pretty thing – La soupe chaude de petits pois, émulsion de pommes de terre, tuile au jambon séché. It looked so nice that I didn’t want to eat it. The first taste was amazingly beautiful – the combination of peas and potatoes, so simple yet so indulging.

The entree – La ballottine de pintade au foie gras, pressé de poireaux au jus de truffe, caramel de Banyuls, vinaigrette à la truffe. The presentation of the dish was too exquisite. Have you ever imagined that you could have square-shape leeks on your plate? Aren’t they pretty and so appetising?

‘Pre-dessert’ before the dessert was served – there was a great selection of miniature french desserts. They were so nicely arranged, seemed so unreal! The dessert then was La fraîcheur d’ananas en mille-feuille, praliné de touron en crème légère, sorbet noix de coco, croustillant d’ananas. I must say that the dessert has a very exotic appeal but with a little touch of french taste.

Each of the dish was accomplished with wine that was specially selected to suit to the taste of the dish. How detailed it was! The list of wine:

  • Luc-Marie Michel Domaine Zelige-Caravent vin rouge Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint-Loup Cuvée “Velvet” 2005.
  • Christophe Tison Domaine Bérénas vin blanc Pays de l’Hérault Cuvée “L’Iris” 2005.
  • Jacques Guérin Domaine Les Mille Vignes vin de dessert Muscat de Rivesaltes 2003.

Overall, I have to say again, “What an experience!” I have also to admit the meal and amongst all, the wines made us smiled throughout the time of enjoyment and appreciation!