October 13, 2018

Leftovers for dinner

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Our friend Sébastien has decided to leave Asia for the glitz and glamor of Dubai, and a couple of us got together for a send-off dinner at one of his favorite restaurants.  As luck would have it, DaRC is also entertaining a guest at Neighborhood tonight... so even though I was unable to accept his invitation, we ended up sitting at adjacent tables and ended up sharing some wines...

Someone had to drop out at the last minute, and so our table consisted only of our friend, Hairy Legs, and myself.  I was wondering how we would survive the onslaught of dishes with just the three of us, when The Man in White T-shirt came over and told me that DaRC's table would probably have an overflow of food.  That's just... what I wanted to hear... NOT.

Culatello di zibello "Massimo Spigaroli" - always a welcome sight.  Sooooo tasty!

October 7, 2018

Dad's bday 2018: ex-château is better

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So... we finally got to the main event for the weekend.  I needed a venue where they knew how to properly take care of dad's wine, yet offered dishes à la carte to accommodate mom.  As it turns out, Épure was such a place.  It has been way too long since Hello Kitty and I were last there, and this was a good opportunity to check out what Chef Nicolas Boutin has been up to.

I was contacted a few days ago by Sebastien Allano, and while he would not be on duty tonight, I asked him to ensure that his people would take good care of our wine.

When we arrived, we were informed that Chef Nicolas had already prepared a menu for us.  Of course, mom wouldn't have the capacity to handle all those courses, so she chose two courses à la carte.

We were also poured a glass of Champagne on the house.  Jacquesson Cuvée n° 739 en magnum was nice and a little yeasty, almost like bread.

Dad's bday 2018: going casual

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The Parental Units asked for something local and casual, so Hello Kitty decided that we should take them to check out Yat Lok (一樂燒鵝).  I'm sure it had absolutely nothing to do with Hello Kitty wanting some of that roast goose on her birthday...

I wasn't sure we could finish half a goose, so I just ordered up a lower quarter of roast goose (燒鵝下庄).  Still love that crispy skin with the seasoning, and the Parental Units liked it, too.

October 6, 2018

Dad's bday 2018: a Tasting gone awry

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Given the lack of decent Cantonese restaurants in Taipei, I wanted to bring mom to one of my favorite places while they were in town.  I thought there were a few dishes at Tasting Court (天一閣) mom would find interesting, so that became my choice for tonight. A menu was proposed, and as usual I made a few changes, then cut the number of dishes down by one to accommodate the old fogeys.

Steamed orange stuffed with crab meat (白玉紅蟳釀金盞) - one of my favorite dishes here.  As instructed, I spooned some of the Huadiao wine from the bowl onto the contents inside the orange, which included diced onions, Chinese celery, water chestnuts, kaffir lime leaves, and egg white.  Good dose of fruitiness and acidity.

October 5, 2018

Dad's bday 2018: familiar flavors

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When I dined at Xin Rong Ji (新榮記) in Hong Kong for the first time, I was struck by how familiar some of those flavors were.  Some of this reminded me of dishes mom cooked when I was a kid, and I probably haven't tasted those in more than 3 decades. So I figured it would be interesting to bring the Parental Units here while they're in town.

With only the four of us, I just picked out a few simple dishes for mom to try.  We were first presented with this pomegranate, whose acidity worked well to whet our appetites.

Seaweed tossed with baby dried shrimps (頭水紫菜拌芒種蝦皮) - this was kinda refreshing, with acidity balancing out the umami from the seaweed.

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