It is only Thursday, but it is my deepest belief this one single plate of 4 shrimps will be the worst thing I’ll eat this week, even with 6 (or 8 ) meals to go. Behold:

Petrossian West Hollywood Shrimp Papillote

Despite being a Franco ignoramus, save for the casual following of www.frogsmoke.com, even this person, despite barely able to pronounce and spell the word, knows papillote, translates loosely to parchment, ie, parchment paper, ie, cooking in paper bag. With that, it’s not difficult to see the pun which the chef/menu writer wished to thrust onto the diner: shrimp wrapped in wonton paper. Except this dish wasn’t baked nor steam. It was wrapped in wonton wrapper, freakin’ deep fried, then drizzled with a sugary reduction the color of Cantonese duck sauce.

A better play on the cooking method (albeit shown in between quotes on menu) would’ve been to encase the shrimp in banana leaf (ala cuisine Vietnam, hello! a French colony!), then perhaps steam with French tarragon and/or other Euro-centric herbs .

What came out instead, was something fit for PF Chang’s menu, and plated like it belonged at TGI Friday (tablemate’s simile, not mine). The sauce, marketed as passion fruit, chili & ginger, registered like gooey sweet & sour syrup, with a hint of ginger, on my tongue.

Petrossian needs to purge this atrocious French (in name only) Chinese dish ASAP. It undermines everything else they do on the menu; champagne & caviar – natch – foie, burrata salad, caviar pizzas, chicken “paillard” – unless that’s euphemism for chicken “terriyaki”, then this entry should just simply self-destruct.

Ruined my night this did. In reality, I should’ve asked, I should take 100% responsibility. Who else is stupid enough to order shrimp wontons at a French-Armenian bistro?

[NB: checked exactly 2 blog posts before leaving for dinner, Food, she Thought’s here, and Refined Palate’s here. Hey! They’re both written by Lizzies!]

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  • I agree! Everyone luurves this dish but I reminded me of something from Thai takeout. Good, but not for the price or the Petrossian expectation.
    .-= stuffycheaks´s last blog ..Furaibo: Cheap, fried and delicious- that’s all that matters =-.

  • Boooooooooo. I blame your poor ordering! Everything we had was great (and not Asian).
    .-= weezermonkey´s last blog ..Flickering Beacon =-.

  • It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I actually liked this dish when I went. I blame my PF Chang’s-style upbringing.
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Top Chef Season 7, Episode 2: "It’s just rice and all that nasty stuff" =-.

  • TonyC

    Apparently there are positive reports of this monstrosity from as far back as January. Maybe I should read other posts before visiting. Totally my fault. The fried egg is clearly more interesting, as is the Napolean tartare.

  • I haven’t tried this one eventhough DTAB told me to. The shroom cap was great. I enjoy the controversy you bring.
    .-= Banana Wonder´s last blog ..Finally! (Proof Cupcakes Exist): Susie Cakes, Newport Beach + Manhattan Beach =-.

  • Liz

    I f*cking hated it. Luckily, I was smart enough not to order it. D liked it, but then again he limes Panda Express.

  • Liz

    The shrimp papillote is a “take” on a dish made famous by Robuchon that he served first at Atelier de Robuchon in Paris. For the record, Chef Ben Bailly worked at Robuchon.

  • TonyC

    (2nd) Liz, thank you so much for historical background on said papillote. While the homage is tremendous, after Googling, one sees various Robuchons serves this using brik dough, with a single basil leaf, and some pesto on the side. While it’s obvious chefs do not want to imitate exactly, the difference between pesto and some Asian “sweet & sour” sauce is… well.. a few thousand miles wide.

    It’s also worth mentioning the dish is nearly universally panned as “fried wonton”-esque.

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