The Mandarin Oriental – CityZen, Sou’Wester & Top Chef: Just Desserts

Mandarin Oriental Hotel is a luxury Washington DC hotel overlooking the Tidal Basin – it features 5 Star accommodations, spa, dining and meeting facilities.


During my time in Washington, DC we had the opportunity to visit the Mandarin Hotel and spend the morning there.


Gina, Tina & I enjoyed the beautiful views the hotel had to offer!


Our first stop inside the hotel included a visit to the beautiful CityZen restaurant.




We didn’t eat at CityZen – we were there for an extra special treat!


Chef Matthew Petersen, the Executive Pastry Chef at the Mandarin is currently competing on Top Chef Just Desserts. We got to spend a little time with him during our trip and he even whipped up a special treat for us!


Chef Matt walked us through his winning dessert from episode 2 on Top Chef Just Desserts – Lemon Curd with Almond Sable, Sweet Basil Sauce Topped with Creme Fresh


It was a real treat to watch Chef Matt in action.


Side Note: I think he kinda looks like my brother-in-law, Robert! At least from the side!


And the recipe he taught us was pretty simple – I definitely want to try to recreate it at home!



After all our pastry learnings we had worked up an appetite!


The Sou’Wester is another restaurant inside the Mandarin, created a special tasting menu just for our lunch.


Sou’Wester is home to American comfort food inspired by the surrounding region as well as waterfront views.


Our meal started off with a baby spinach salad with granny smith apples, candied walnuts , blue cheese, a crostini with red onion jam and warm bacon vinaigrette.


The crostini was pretty incredible.


We also started off with a platter of fried oysters with smoked pepper aioli and grilled oysters with bacon vinaigrette. The presentation was lovely.


The hush puppies with honey butter were amazing as well! It was great to share a few starters to try different things.


For our entree we had a choice of tuna, shrimp or chicken & waffles.

Obviously the choice was an easy one.  

If you are ever given the chance to try this tasty dish – DO IT! It will surprise you.


It is officially called Ayrshire Farms Fried Chicken & Waffles – cornmeal waffles, sorghum syrup and peach butter.


It was savory with a light sweetness – comfort food to the MAX!


But I must say that my favorite part of the meal, and the best thing I ate during my time in DC was the incredible dessert.


I can’t say enough good things about this dessert. The sweet basil was the perfect pairing with the lemon curd.


Seriously, it was AH-mazing.  


Thank you Mandarin for a TASTY day!


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  • Reply Emily G. October 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Chicken & Waffles is where it’s at!! Drizzle a little honey on top and it’s quite possibly the best meal!..and that lemon curd looks just as amazing!

  • Reply Patty O October 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    What an honor to meet one of the Top Chefs! His dessert really looked amazing! The Spinach Salad caught my eye as well!

  • Reply Ashley October 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    You take the most AMAZING photos! You could be a professional! And your pictures really make me want to move there/nova to be closer to my parents!!! Looks like you guys had an amazing time! I’ve never been to a fresh market of any kind before. It’s def going on my short bucket list of things to do in the new year!

  • Reply Katie October 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Oh…drooool! All of that food looks amazing! I haven’t ever had chicken and waffles before, and that plate looks amazing!

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