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14 2015

Travelers’ Choice Recipe – The French Café’s Boneless Organic Lamb

Travelers’ Choice Restaurants represent the most delectable fine-dining venues across the globe, according to millions of traveler reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor. To celebrate the awards and inspire your next culinary adventure, we’re sharing recipes from some of this year’s winners to give you an at-home sampling before you book your reservation.

Travelers’ Choice Restaurant Winner: The French Cafe – Auckland, New Zealand

“We are always delighted to be included as a recipient of the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards. For us, not only does it give a true indication of how our customers feel about the experience we offer, but also, the exposure through the TripAdvisor website opens the restaurant to a much wider audience.” –The French Café


“Only one word comes to mind when I think about the overall experience: perfect! From the greeting, the service and of course the food! It is the best restaurant in New Zealand.” 


Reviewed by TripAdvisor Traveler 7years from Melbourne, Australia


Boneless Organic Lamb, roasted figs, fennel and black olives
Serves 6
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For the Dried Olive Powder
  1. 2/3 cup (150 grams) black pitted olives
For the Lamb
  1. 3 lamb racks, weighing about ¾ lb (400 g) each
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 4 tbsp. (50 ml) olive oil
  4. 1 tsp. (5 g) thyme leaves, picked
  5. Clarified butter
  6. 4 tbsp. of water
For the Fennel
  1. 1 fennel bulb
  2. 2 tbsp. (25 g) unsalted butter
  3. 1/8 tsp (1/2 ml) of sea of sea salt
For the Roasted Figs
  1. 6 large figs
  2. Castor sugar
  3. Unsalted butter
For the Dried Olive Powder
  1. Rinse the olives in plenty of cold water to remove the brine, pat dry, chop the olives roughly and place in a dehydrator for 6 hours to dry.
  2. Once dried, process the olives to a fine crumb in a food processor and store in an airtight container until required.
For the Lamb
  1. Carefully remove the lamb loin from the bones and trim the lamb of all excess fat and sinew.
  2. Remove the lamb fat from the bones and reserve. Reserve the bones to use for sauce for another recipe.
  3. Mix the garlic, olive oil and thyme leaves together in a small bowl and coat the lamb loins in the oil.
  4. Place the lamb loins into a vacuum bag, vacuum the lamb on full pressure and refrigerate. Remove the lamb from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  5. Chop the lamb fat into small pieces and place in a small saucepan with 4 tbsp. (50 ml) of water. Place the saucepan over a low heat and render the fat for about an hour or until the water has been expelled and most of the lamb fat has dissolved. Strain the lamb fat through a fine sieve into a clean container and keep warm.
  6. Heat a digital water bath to 150°F (70°C).
  7. Place the lamb into the water bath and cook for 22 minutes. Remove the lamb from the bag, pat dry and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Heat a little clarified butter in a large frying pan, sear the lamb on all sides then remove the lamb from the frying pan and keep warm.
For the Fennel
  1. Cut the fennel bulb into quarters, remove the core, separate the fennel layers and cut the layer pieces in half so they are all roughly the same size.
  2. Place the fennel, butter, and salt into a small saucepan.
  3. Add enough water to just cover the fennel and cook over a high heat until the fennel is soft to the bite. Drain the fennel and keep warm.
For the Roasted Figs
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
  2. Cut the figs in half lengthways, press the cut side down into a small bowl of castor sugar to coat. Place the fig half cut-side up in an oven-proof dish and top with a small piece of butter.
  3. Repeat the process with the remaining figs and place in the oven for 10 minutes to roast.
  4. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
  1. Slice each lamb loin into 4 even slices and place 2 slices of lamb onto the plate next to the puree. Place 2 roasted figs next to the lamb, top the lamb with a piece of fennel, and drizzle the lamb and sauce with a little lamb fat. Garnish with fennel tips and a dusting of dried olive powder.
Adapted from The French Café
Adapted from The French Café
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