St. Regis Bora Bora: Gifts, food-and-beverage program and everything else I can remember
PHOTO: Working lunch at St. Regis Bora Bora (c) Sery Kim
A critical part of any "site visit," what we in the food-and-travel business like to call a trip to a property, is reviewing the food-and-beverage program. While it may look glamorous to see all the food we eat, it is in fact a real chore to go through all the items presented to us. Now, don't get me wrong, I know how blessed I am to say I have to eat and drink for a living but when you consider how much time, energy and effort these restaurants put in trying to impress us writers so we will write a positive review you may feel a tiny, tiny, TINY violin playing for us.
For instance, typically, when we visit a restaurant, the Chef wants us to eat as many of his plates so we have a full vision of the kind of preparation he can make. This means, on average, 3 or 4 appetizers and 3 or 4 entrees. Plus, the Pastry Chef and Bar Manager want us to drink and eat dessert so you can't relent on the calorie count on either end of the meal. Thus, on average, a meal will go well into 4 hours with maybe 12-18 plates coming out. An average person gets three plates, at most, when they go out to eat and they don't have to remember the nuances of each plate.
Over the years, in order to not become an enormously fat human being, as well as to best remember everything I have eaten, I've perfected the art of eating a single bite of everything while not, actually, eating everything. One single bite. No matter how much I like it, I will wait until I have tried everything in that coursing before I go full-on into the/a dish. This way I am not needlessly filling myself since you can't (or shouldn't) say you won't eat a presented dish unless you are allergic.
This is particularly useful when it comes to the entree, which tends to be bigger in plating (naturally) since it is the main course.
PHOTO: Me enjoying a fresh coconut at the St. Regis Bora Bora (c) Sery Kim
As for cocktails and wine, much like with the food, I don't ever drink a full cocktail. Again, going by the "one bite, one dish" rule, I only have a sip of every cocktail brought out and only after I have tried all of them do I go for the full glass so I don't end up tipsy. THIS IS EVEN MORE TRUE FOR WINE. I love wine, and while no one would say I am a raging "connossieur" of wine, I do know what I like and I know what I don't like. I also LOVE to learn about wine so whenever there is a chance for me to talk to an expert (really, seriously, I don't consider myself an expert) I drink. LOTS OF WINE. So I have to pace myself so I can be a serious student of the meal.
In fact, this was learned the hard way by watching a colleague get so blitzed at a press dinner so she couldn't remember anything about the dinner, including her highly inappropriate behavior which I will not reveal. Needlessly to say it was so bad she got fired from her job the next day.
UH ... NO.
So I remember this woman whenever I am offered a drink at any press meal. Be judicious friends, it's still your job!
PHOTO: Multiple gifts from St. Regis Bora Bora (c) Sery Kim
Here at the St. Regis Bora Bora, the food-and-beverage program is quite good. For beverages, I didn't need to drink a lot to know this but the cocktail service is very much on-point. The famous St. Regis Bloody Mary is here, as are about 153 different varietals of wine. Honestly though the best drink I had yesterday was the coconut water. So fresh and clean. None of that heaviness of the bottled coconut water back in the U.S.
For food, during breakfast, all guests are welcome Te Pahu Restaurant for a buffet. All the favorite American items: eggs, bacon, bread, etc. The fruit is beautifully ripe and fresh. (I had a chat with the GM of St. Regis Bora Bora last night and the logistics of getting all the food-and-beverage here to the end of the world requires quit an orchestra.) In addition to the lengthy buffet of options (sorry, pun intended) -- my colleagues loved the rice best -- are a la carte choices such as nutella crepes.
Lunch is solid as well. Lots of Asian-influences. And for dinner we ate at Jean Georges' Lagoon Restaurant. Menu here: http://382d7ca407673ca34370-d999ea8b5d6b77a8445bd728729651f0.r4.cf1.rackcdn.com/lps/assets/u/LAGOON-MENU.pdf. The most interesting item on the menu, one I highly HIGHLY recommend, is the local Tahiti fish called "Uravena." One can only catch it here in Bora Bora and only the St. Regis Bora Bora makes it. So the exclusivity of the fish alone should make it something to try but the preparation -- taking a fish which has the general consistency of cod but with a firmer and richer density akin to a perfectly cooked Wagyu Steak -- means it's a real showstopper.
PHOTO: My Uravena from last night (c) Sery Kim
Some vegetables (potato and spinach) with a light and sweet sauce provided the contrasting flavor and density. Very nice.
Since I am ridiculously full from yesterday, and managed to get very little exercise in, not sure how much eating and drinking I will be doing today, but if I find anything else wonderful I will be sure to let you know! Until then, thanks again for reading the blog. Cheers!