September 21, 2017

A very tasty stuffing

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I'm dining with the Locusts for a second night in a row, and tonight we chose to go to Tasting Court (天一閣) since, to my great surprise, they turned down an opportunity to visit my favorite private dining facility on account that they would be served too much food...

This was the first time I tried booking myself a table, and without a special menu being organized, Mr. Locust chose the most premium of the three options offered.

Steamed abalone with dried peel (陳皮蒸鮑魚仔) - this was pretty good, and the chiffonade of aged mandarin peel delivered the familiar fragrance.

September 20, 2017

Seafood and sake

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The Locusts are swinging through town again, and like the devoted (but long-suffering) friend that I am, I arranged for a couple of meals so they could try out some of my favorite restaurants in town.  As I had enough sufficient notice this time around, I managed to get my act together and book ourselves seats at the Godenya (ごでんや) counter.

I noticed for the last couple of months that the restaurant has been posting on social media about their seat openings, so I was guessing that business seemed to have fallen off a little here... which isn't surprising given how fickle diners are in this town.  What it means for me, though, is that I would be able to come with much shorter notice - always a plus.

But we actually started with a bottle of wine in my office just before dinner.  Out of all the refreshments I offered, Mrs. Locust preferred wine.  The 2009 Doisy-Daëne Sec showed classic green apple on the nose, ripe with a little honey.

We moved to the hole-in-the-wall for dinner.  Once again I seated myself at the end of the counter - and in front of the water bath for sake.  I would be watching Goshima-san adjust the temperatures of the sake throughout the evening.

Japan figs (いちじくの前菜) - the sweet Japanese fig was placed in the freezer for one hour to deliver a texture that wasn't quite frozen and icy.  Nice and refreshing way to start on this warm night.  Topped with dill, tarragon, and edible flowers.

September 19, 2017

Krug x Mushroom, part deux

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After our first "walking tour" last month, the powers that be once again invited me to join "part 2" of the Krug x Mushroom tour.  This time we would be going to three different restaurants.

We started our evening in the cellar behind the kitchen at Caprice.  The Four Seasons Hong Kong took this event pretty seriously, as both the F and B Manager and the PR were in attendance, in addition to Hairy Legs and others from the restaurant.  We seemed to have a smaller crew tonight, and that was just fine for this Arrogant Prick.

September 18, 2017

Chinese for Monday

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A friend is in town after a couple of years' absence and requested Asian food for dinner.  As she was bound to be exhausted from traveling, I figured we should be accommodating and do dinner on the Dark Side.  I seemed to remember that there is a Chinese restaurant at the Hyatt Regency, but have never found occasion to dine there...  So The Great One kindly booked us a table at The Chinese Restaurant (凱悅軒).

I had read about a particular set menu where we could enjoy a discount by using a certain credit card, and was interested in taking that offer.  It was interesting because - as long as the entire table took this set - each person could make his/her own personal choices for appetizer, soup, main course, rice/noodle, and dessert.  Only the veggie dish needs to be shared.  But the others didn't seem to be enthusiastic about this option, so we ended up ordering à la carte.

When the dishes started arriving, I was a little upset at first - because I thought they were being served "out of order" in terms of how a proper Chinese meal should be.  This was because I wasn't responsible for ordering and didn't know what other dishes were coming.  I later realized that all of tonight's dishes had indeed been served in the proper order.

Smoked chicken, jasmine tea (茉莉花茶燻雞) - not bad.  The chicken was tender, and the flavors were well-balanced - the smokiness was detectable without being too overpowering.  I did wish, though, that the soy sauce flavors could have been a wee bit deeper.

Long-awaited catch-up

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It has been quite a few months since Hairy Legs settled into his new role at Caprice, and we've been meaning to catch up for a while.  After months of waiting, Bilbaobab was finally back in town, and we agreed to meet up for lunch today.  I suggested we check out Arcane, as I have fond memories of my dinner there from some time ago and it's a place the others haven't been to before.

By the time I arrived, it was clear from Stefano's demeanor that Hairy Legs had been recognized, as we were offered complimentary Champagne.  Not wanting to go back to the office while red in the face, I politely declined.  I also declined to have Chef Shane Osborn create a special menu of signature dishes for us, as I'm dining out four consecutive nights this week and really didn't need the extra calories.  So set lunch for me it was.

Spinach and Parmesan tortellini with onion consommé and bellota ham - this was very nicely done.  The textures of the wrappers were pleasing, and the flavors of the fillings worked very well with the strong flavors of the consommé and jamón.  In fact, the consommé seemed to have been seasoned with something akin to Chinese five spice (五香)... and delivered a lovely and comforting familiarity.

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