June 30, 2015

Days without smell: premium dim sum

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I was updating Doc on my condition this morning when he suggested we meet for lunch at one of his usual spots.  I haven't been a frequent visitor to Duddell's (都爹利會館), as it's not a natural choice for me.  But I'm always happy to have occasion to try the food, and it's been a good 6 months since my last visit.

I took the liberty of ordering a few dim sum items, picking out ones with unusual ingredients, to see whether the kitchen can deliver.

Spring roll with shrimp and black truffle (松露鮮蝦春卷) - sure, I could taste a little bit of the truffle, but it didn't add all that much to the spring rolls.

June 29, 2015

Days without smell: old school dim sum

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Sheets pinged me bright and early this morning, reminding me of our lunch date.  I had the privilege of lunching with him and Uncle Six at the family's famed Lin Heung Tea House (蓮香樓) last year, but I've been waiting for another opportunity to have dim sum with them.  I finally got my chance today, and I roped in another friend to join us.

We walked through to the very back of the restaurant to the usual table.  The placard announcing that the table is occupied for "employee lunch" was prominently displayed, in the vain hopes that customers fighting for a table would have the good sense to leave us alone.  To no one's surprise, not everyone got that message...

The elders have already started, so we quickly took our seats and dug into the food...

Steamed rice flour rolls with minced beef (牛肉腸粉)

Siu mai (燒賣)

June 28, 2015

Days without smell: MNSC wine dinner

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It's the third day I haven't been able to smell much of anything, and I'm joining the MNSC boys for dinner.  I already gave them a heads up that my olfactory receptors have been knocked offline, and it would be pointless for me to participate in the regular tasting format.  I did want to try the wines, since I knew that Dr. Poon was bringing out some good stuff as usual, but asked for half pours since any wine was technically wasted on me...  But since I could still taste, albeit with somewhat diminished capacity, I still showed up to dinner at The Pawn.

House-made ricotta, olive oil, dried herbs, aged balsamic - something familiar to start us off.  Not surprisingly the herbs didn't taste as fragrant to me tonight, but I could still tell there were rosemary and thyme.  I took down a nice slice of bread with this.

There was also the usual charcuterie board: ibérico shoulder, grape chutney, pickle, grilled toast, home-cured meats - duck breast, salami, pancetta, pork rillettes.  Plus the duck liver parfait that I love so much.  I must have been pretty hungry, because I had trouble stopping.  I wanted to devour 3 slices of bread with the rillettes and parfait...  And that lardo...

June 26, 2015

Days without smell: old school Shanghainese

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I'm in pretty bad shape tonight.  Thanks to the oft-occurring flight delays from Shanghai, I got home at 5:15 a.m. this morning.  Needless to say, I didn't get a whole lotta sleep.  Then my sinusitus got worse, so my doc sprayed some stuff up my nose to get release the congestion, and prescribed some antibiotics.  The combination of these things suddenly knocked my olfactory receptors offline, and soon I was no longer able to smell much.  Not even the glass of 2007 Verget Corton-Charlemagne Vieilles Vignes that my doc treated me after my visit.

But I had agreed to join a friend for dinner to celebrate our birthdays - since hers is just one day after mine.  And dinner was gonna be at Kiangsu Chekiang and Shanghai Residents (Hong Kong) Association Restaurant (香港蘇浙同鄉會餐廳) - an old favorite member's club I haven't visited in nearly a decade.  So in spite of my lack of sleep and my clogged up nose, I dragged my ass over to dinner.

There were quite a few hungry mouths to feed, and the food kinda just kept coming... and there was even a second round when some of us (not yours truly) still felt hungry.

Drunken chicken (花彫醉雞) - not bad, although the flavors from Huadiao wine (花彫) didn't stand out.

Smoked fish (上海燻魚) - I took a piece from the belly with those big bones, and it seemed particularly wet and juicy.

June 24, 2015

Zero expectations = no disappointment

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It's the first day of the conference, and my friendly neighborhood prime broker organized a dinner at Hakkasan.  I secretly chuckled when I first heard about the choice of venue, because when I took some Taiwanese clients on my only visit to the London original 10 years ago, I dismissed it as a place serving Chinese food that appealed to foreigners.  But I guess given the make up of the conference attendees, and the fact that it's in a historic building on the Bund, made it a natural choice for an event like this.  And hey, who am I to complain when someone else is footing the bill for dinner?  Just shut up and eat...

Our hosts have arranged a set menu for us, which seemed draw primarily on the restaurant's "Taste of Hakkasan" menu - no doubt kind of a "greatest hits" selection.  So I guess it's fair to judge their food based on this selection then...

Deep fried squid salt and pepper (椒盐鲜鱿) - can't go too wrong with this stuff.  Deep-fried food FTW!


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