The world is filled with vastly different people, and life teaches the most lucid among us that true honesty, and consequently courage, are rare and precious qualities. Beneath a gentleman’s hat all sorts of faces can be found. Let us never forget that such hats have been worn by illustrious men, but have also been found on the head of the vilest of characters. Can anyone honestly claim to know the hidden intentions of those one finds on one’s path? And so it is: appearances offer no guarantee… but taste does! Let us eat this hat found at Romain Lièvre, soberly named Le Gentleman.
Underneath a velvety black coating, the dessert is composed of a dark chocolate mousse made with Goji berry-incrusted 70% chocolate from Papua New Guinea, a pomegranate compote center, and a gluten free chocolate cake base.
Le Gentleman by Romain Lièvre has a dimeter of 73 mm and a height of 40 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 88 grams and cost 5.50€.
The dome, which is slightly deformed to simulate the shape of a real hat, is evenly covered with a velvety coating. The chocolate which makes up the hat’s rim, however, is far less regular, and features several cracks on its fragile surface. The dessert gives off the chocolate smell we would expect.
Underneath the velvety coating, the mousse has a powerful chocolate taste. The chocolate is of high quality sourcing, yet we would have preferred a more fruity variety – one from Madagascar for example – which would have better matched the tone of this dessert. While the dessert’s name suggests refinement and lightness, this mousse unfortunately comes off as too rigid and perceptibly greasy. As for the Goji berries, our expectations are also let down, as the berries go unnoticed on the palate.
In the center of the mousse, we discover the pomegranate jelly: quite firm, translucent and orangey in appearance. We would have liked much more intensity – in both color and flavor. This is a far cry from the ruby red pomegranate juice sold along the shores of the Bosphorus, whose flavor and perfume takes over one’s palate.
At the base, the gluten-free chocolate cake is the little unexpected surprise which pleases us. Thick enough to give chewing consistency to the dessert, ostensibly low in sugar, ad with a strong chocolate taste, it also seems textured with almond meal, which creates the most pleasing effect on the palate. It is coated underneath with a very thin layer of dark chocolate.
Ah, this gentleman! We really would have liked to give it a more positive verdict. Alas, its chocolate mousse fails to convince us due to its compactness, the Goji berry is undetectable, and the pomegranate jelly is insufficiently fruity, and lacks intensity on several levels. We are rarely blown away by a bloc of jelly in the middle of a mousse. The cake base, however, does have our favors – along with the dessert’s general appearance, which is original and clever. Overall, we are left with the impression that this dessert is unfortunately more ambitious than its nature allows. We nevertheless believe it could easily lend itself to a few improvements, while still keeping its identity – starting with lightning up the chocolate mousse, selecting a chocolate with fruitier notes, intensifying the pomegranate flavor in the jelly, or replacing it altogether by a slightly jellified coulis. All this, of course, while simultaneously ensuring that the Gentleman’s overall aspect is preserved and that it is free of cracks when sold.
27 rue Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris
Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11.30am to 8.30pm and on Sunday from 11.30am to 5pm.
Tel: +33 1 73 74 68 06