Here he bookends our flight with pours from the same winery (Langhe Bianco and Moscato d’Asti from Piedmont’s Ca’ D’Gal), moves on to red early (Julien Guillot’s biodynamic Mâcon Rouge with cod and beurre blanc), only then brings in champagne (spiky, sharp and very necessary with cream ice cream, caviar and avocado – a thoughtful, purist study in fat).
Cagali’s cooking balances intelligence and indulgence. From 11 courses, some highlights: Isle of Mull scallops on the half shell with dinky pillows of cod’s roe; the ‘cheese course’ of goats’ cheese, sweet potato caramel and a caraway cracker; barbecued beef short rib dotted with minute shimeji mushrooms, bacon and banana farofa spooned over the top; finally, petits fours of caipirinha pâte de fruit and sugary dulce de leche doughnuts.
When he brings in the flavours from his native Brazil, he shares something of himself.
‘The Chicken’ – overlaid with shards of crisp skin. You tap the top, crème brûlée style, to break the yolk. Glorious.
Latin American flavours. With Da Terra and Yopo (replacing Serge at the Mandrake from this week), the spotlight’s on South America.
Da Terra, Town Hall Hotel, 8 Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF, 020 7062 2052, daterra.co.uk
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