I didn't rush out to the restaurant and instead gave it time to settle a bit before I went. There were a lot of glowing critic and blog reviews, so I felt a bit disappointed when my experience wasn't as good, especially when I was promising excellent things to everyone.
I visited on a weeknight with my work mates John, Jordan and Xiaofeng, who was visiting from overseas. He wanted French food so I suggested there was no better place to try that than PM24. We went with the degustation meal as suggested by the waitress, which I regretted. The degustation meal seemed to be the simplest dishes, bistro style, whereas the a al carte dishes actually looked a lot better. So I may try that next time instead.
The degustation meal started with a Soft Boiled Egg in soup, which as great as it was, I wished I had eaten less than a quarter of it. It was so rich and I was a quarter full once I had finished it. I wonder why they serve something so large and heavy as a starting dish. We then moved on to this very nice Charcuterie Platter for four. Again it was deceptively filling as there were two types of pate and terrine. It was good but extremely rich.
To further add to the richness, we were served two massive Cheese Souffles next to share between the four of us. Oh man, what is going on I was thinking. Everything was so sickeningly rich that I was losing my appetite. Again the souffles were good but we hardly touched them as we just needed something a bit lighter and fresher. Following the souffles were my favourite Snails in Garlic. These were so good, just like the old days at The Brasserie.
By the time the entrees were done, I think we were all completely full already. When the Fish of The Day arrived, a Barramundi, we all just nibbled at it. While the fish was cooked extremely well, it was doused in this super rich hollandaise type sauce. What was happening here. When did Philippe's food become some one dimensional and super rich? Luckily I told myself, there was the lamb to come. Visions of Cumulus Inc or The Point or The Brasserie's lamb perfections were filling my mind. Instead, everyone was super disappointed. The lamb was not cooked well and quite chewy. Worst still, it had no ounce of flavour in it at all. So despite there being three lamb fiends at the table, we didn't get through even half of the lamb and just left it there.
Luckily desserts perked us all up. The Creme Caramel was super smooth and good. The Chocolate Marquis was amazing, luscious, velvety and intensely chocolate. The Pastries with Fruit was crispy and moreish. And the sorbets were refreshing and light, perfect finish.
We were seated in the small area near the front bar. It felt a bit isolated from the rest of the main room at first but after a while it felt quite private and nice, at least at night. I think I would hate that spot in the day time. Service, was excellent and staff were friendly and knowledgeable.
Overall, I must say I was slightly disappointed with the food. I was expecting big things and I don't think PM24 delivered. The degustation meal at least seemed to be quite lazy bistro standards, not all done perfectly either. I was expecting more from a Philippe Mouchel restaurant. I would go back to try again as it's Philippe Mouchel, but if it was based on this meal alone, I wouldn't.
Overall Rating: 13/20, Food was good at times but also extremely rich and quite plain at other times.
Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.