August 29, 2015

City of Dreams tour: lunch Tasting

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Earlier in the year I received an invitation for a junket to the City of Dreams in Macau, but I was completely buried in paperwork... working 7 days a week while trying to launch our new hedge fund, so I politely declined while citing the reason.  A few months down the road, and I'm actually not that busy at work anymore... so when the invitation came a second time, I happily accepted the offer to spend 2 days in Macau trying out 3 of the restaurants in the hotel complex.

We were picked up at the ferry terminal and whisked to Hard Rock Hotel Macau so we could check in a drop off our bags.  I had the distinct pleasure of spending a few hours here late one evening a few years ago while I conducted a key board meeting for another hedge fund - and elicited strange looks from the staff because I was checking out only a couple hours after checking in.  This time I'd actually spend the entire evening here...

Lunch was at The Tasting Room in the Crown Towers Macau next door, and I was met by Natalie from the City of Dreams who accompanied Hello Kitty and I.  We were quickly introduced to Chef Guillaume Galliot, whose cuisine I enjoyed very much on my first visit last year.  We took our seats and waited for our 4-course lunch to arrive.

But first, a little bubbly.  The house very generously offered us a glass of Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut to start, which was a little yeasty at first, medium-bodied with nice acidity, seemingly nicely balanced.  After some food, palate changed and acidity became more prominent.

Not wanting to get too drunk from lunch (like I usually do in Macau), I declined the offer of more Champagne... and also nixed the idea of ordering from the wine list.

Our amuse bouche was a beautiful beetroot ravioli, stuffed with diced beetroot and obsiblue prawns.  When we first heard the words "beetroot", both Hello Kitty and I had speech bubbles popping out of our heads with "........" inside...  Well, neither of us enjoy the earthy flavors from beetroot, but we don't hate it enough to list it among our "dietary restrictions".  Anyway, we were relieved to find out it wasn't red beetroot but white... which was basically like turnip or kohlrabi.  The diced raw obsiblue prawns were sweet and beautiful.  Dressed with crab eggs on top and a few dots of mango sauce on the side.  Lovely and clean flavors, and a refreshing start to our lunch.

August 27, 2015

Californian toast

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A night out with some of the boys, and with a fellow aficionado of Californian wines.  Our generous host decided to treat us to dinner at Fu Tung (富東粵菜), which is someplace I had never even heard of...  but I kept an open mind.  Our host ordered up a bunch of dishes which he felt would work well with our wines.

Crispy roast pork belly (脆皮燒腩仔) - a little disappointing, as it's too lean and dry... not enough fat for me.  And because of that, this was a little too salty.

Barbecued pork (蜜汁叉燒) - yeah, baby!  This was some pretty good shit!  Love the marbled fat here... I would have been happy with fewer dishes and just more of this to myself.  And the ends were nice and burnt.

August 25, 2015

A little skewering

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We've got an old biscuit celebrating his 55th birthday tonight - along with a belated 45th celebration for another member of the crew.  As usual the task of selecting the venue fell on BM's shoulders, and he quickly got us seats at Toritama (酉玉).  This Japanese import is famously difficult to book, so we were all (once again) in awe of BM's VVIP status and pull with the best restaurants in town.  And I waited patiently for my first visit to what is supposedly the best yakitori (焼き鳥) joint in Hong Kong.

We had the private room in the back, but as it turns out, Chef Hermanus van Dyk was on vacation... which meant that our food wouldn't be cooked right in front of us, but rather out front by Chef Matsumoto Hinorobu (松本浩暢).  I could only imagine how busy he was tonight...

Toritama in Japan is known for their head-to-tail philosophy, offering as many as 33 different types of chicken skewers.  There aren't as many choices in Hong Kong, but we did get to try more than a few interesting bits...

August 22, 2015

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams, premium edition

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After dipping into our first jar of Russian caviar last month, I was curious to try out the other offerings from my Russian supplier.  When I had the idea of bringing a nice tin of premium caviar to Last Minute Uncle as a gift on my trip back home last weekend, I decided to get some for myself, too.  I wanted to do a side-by-side tasting and see what the difference was... besides the price, that is.

I was due to visit my godson Bear today, and as I know Babu is a big fan of caviar - and had in fact ordered a bunch of it from my Russian supplier - I figured I'd bring the good stuff over along with a bottle of bubbly.  After all, weekend afternoons are the best time to enjoy this!


Russian malossol oscietra caviar - the control sample, the same type we had last month.  Unfortunately some of the eggs had burst, maybe due to temperature changes during transport.

August 21, 2015

Diva in the hood

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After spending 3 years in exile in the other financial hub of Asia, Diva finally managed to escape and moved back to Hong Kong.  Hello Kitty decided to help him celebrate the joyous occasion, so the three of us ended up at Neighborhood for the early seating.

Yellowfin tuna belly confit "ventresca" - apparently we didn't look at the menu carefully enough and didn't realize this was gonna be more cooked (well, it did say "confit", after all... and not "crudo").  It was very tender and delicious, and the mix of bell peppers, pickled guindilla de Ibarra, piment d'espelette powder and the garnish of lemon zest made for a pretty tasty dish.

Matsutake mushroom / egg brouille - loved these matsutake (松茸) mushrooms, and naturally they paired well with œufs brouille.  The trout caviar on the side was nice, too.

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