January 15, 2017

Palate killer wine dinner

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Due to scheduling issues that are becoming more and more of a problem for us, we had to postpone one of our MNSC dinner from 2016 and push it into 2017.  Juliano chose The Chin's (中華匯館), which had recently opened in the same spot that used to house the Central outlet of Sun Tung Lok (新同樂).  The chef behind the new outfit is Ringo Chow (周卓雲), who was originally the chef at China Tang (唐人館) in London, so naturally expectations are high.

The Chin's appetizer platter (中華匯館拼盤) - this included four different items:
Soft-boiled egg with caviar (黑魚子流心蛋) - pretty nice, with some caviar on top to add some savory touches.

Pan-fried tofu (金磚豆腐) - somewhat crispy on the outside while still silky inside.

Killing Hello Kitty with kids

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It's been a while since the last time a whole bunch of us got together for a meal, and our organizer figured that this was long overdue - and it's been years since we've seen the kiddies.  I was very surprised when our organizer suggested that we meet up at Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine (Hello Kitty中菜軒).  Well, given that one of the families lives just across the street from the place, and I myself would be staying only a few blocks away this weekend, it seemed pretty perfect.  And we were also bringing three kiddies with us to lunch - although they were all boys, as the only girl was now a teenager and curiously has zero interest in Hello Kitty...

I was the first to arrive and get seated at the long table spread in the private area named 林檎閣.  This was my fourth time at the restaurant, and the very first time where I've had a reservation.  But I guess with an original party of 12 (we were down to just 10 today) that made things easy.

As I seemed to be the one with the most experience - and most knowledgeable regarding the menu - I was tasked with ordering.  Thankfully our organizer has also been to the restaurant, and I was able to discuss it with her.  Always helpful to have a second opinion!

Hello Kitty bombing rice (Hello Kitty爆炸飯) - I guess I shouldn't expect this place to care about serving order... Carb dishes are meant to be served last at Chinese restaurants, but oh well...  The fried rice was made with shrimp and kailan (芥蘭), and was reasonably tasty.  Hello Kitty's whiskers were made with marinated kelp (昆布), and the bow was made from red capsicum.  Why was this called "bombing rice", you ask?  For some reason they decided to sprinkle some green pop rocks on the side...

One last thing... for some reason the restaurant served this on a plate that had clearly just come out of the fridge.  It was chilled!  Now, why would you serve a hot dish on a chilled plate?!

January 10, 2017

(Nuits-Saint) Georges at the Georg

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I usually try to meet up with Mr. QLI whenever I'm in Beijing, and this time I relied once again on his knowledge of local restaurants for our dinner together.  Having had Chinese food when we met for the last couple of times in Beijing, he decided it was time to introduce me to what he feels is the best "Western" restaurant in town at the moment.

The Georg is part of Georg Jensen Hus, one of the new luxury courtyard houses (四合院) that have been built along the banks of the historic canal known as Jade River (玉河).  As one might infer from the name, it is owned and run by the Danish brand Georg Jensen.  The space retains the charm which emanates from the classical architecture style, but the large windows and modern lighting add an unmistakable contemporary feel.  Not surprisingly, the cuisine is said to have a Nordic touch.

Since Mr. QLI is a VVIP here, I left all the arrangements up to him... and we ended up having the kitchen set us up with their tasting menu.

January 9, 2017

Beijing without Peking duck

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I'm in Beijing for an annual conference, and decided to stay at the Imperial Mansion, Beijing since it is just on the block next to the Grand Hyatt Beijing.  Not knowing exactly when I would arrive in the city, I didn't make plans to have dinner with anyone.  I figured I'd just pop into DaDong Artistic Conception Food (大董中国意境菜), as the Wangfujing branch of the chain is in the shopping mall right next to my serviced apartment.

I was handed two large menus once I got seated.  Contrary to popular belief, DaDong is not all about Peking duck.  Founder Dong Zhenxiang (董振祥) has created a whole range of modern Chinese dishes, often using non-traditional ingredients and/or cooking methods.  The dishes are often presented in an artistic fashion and accompanied by poetic descriptions.  What's more, some of the dishes rotate according to the seasons and the availability of ingredients.  I've been pretty impressed by my previous visits.

January 8, 2017

Diet chicken

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Hello Kitty wanted to lunch at Yat Lok (一樂燒鵝) today, as she has been missing their fantastic roast goose.  I, however, am on a diet.  This means that goose is out of the question for me, so I revert back to my old habit of having steamed chicken with rice (切雞飯).  The chicken here is pretty good, but as I'm on a diet, I make sure to peel off all the skin and fat of the chicken.  I also don't touch the minced spring onion and ginger on the side.

We also share a plate of blanched choy sum (菜心全走).

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