Have been planning a dinner for people on the team who love to eat, and we kept rescheduling the gathering due to conflicts. Finally, we have an evening when most of us are in town, and we made it to Fook Lam Moon (福臨門) last night. My friend Dustin, who is a regular at the restuarant, very kindly made the reservation for me along with a few dishes which must be ordered in advance.
While we waited for everyone to arrive, we popped open the 2005 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Turckheim. Everyone identified the intense lychee nose immediately, and there was also a hint of minerals. The wine was so sweet on the palate, more than I expected, and tasted a bit "hot". I checked the bottle and found that it was 15% alcohol. No wonder! But given that this came from 2005 I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. They obviously picked from very, very ripe fruit.
We started with the roast suckling pig, which was rolled into the room on display. This is alwas delicious, and I love the paper-thin, crisp slices of the skin. I had a taste of the ribs, but didn't get to gnaw on one of the legs this time.
We paired the 1999 Clos Mogador with the pig. The first whiff of the nose showed lots of power, with sweet vanilla and fruit. Taking the first sip, however, I was a little disappointed. The acidity struck me, and I thought that this wine would turn out to be more traditionally Spanish than I had hoped for. Fortunately the acidity faded, but the wine was still tannic on the palate with a long finish. Not what I had hoped for.
Next up was the wintermelon soup (冬瓜盅) - a great dish for the hot summer days as it cools the body. In addition to the melon, we had lotus seeds, chicken, roast duck and frog legs in our bowls. Very freshing and I had a second serving.
Due to a miscommunication with Dustin, we ended up ordering the deep-fried chicken testicle tofu (炸雞子). Thankfully I asked them to reduce the amount being served. Some people at the table knew what this was, while others suspected something was up, but finished the tofu anyway before the answer was revealed.
We were served a big plate of fried giant pomfret (香煎大鯧魚), always my favorite. The slices are just so yummy with the crispy surface and the soft and moist interior. I chose to dip it in the mayo this time.
With the pomfret, we had the 2003 Hugel Gewurztraminer Jubilee. This was much lighter and more floral than the Zind, and still with a hint of lychee.
Each of us was served a crab shell with baked crabmeat (釀焗鮮蟹蓋), baked au gratin to perfection. Worked well with the Worcestershire Sauce and so much better than the one I had at Farm House (農圃). The crab meat was just so fresh and sweet, it was just good blended with strips of celtuce stems (萵筍).
We had sweet and sour pork (咕咾肉) at the request of the ladies, and crispy fried chicken (炸子雞) as well as wolfberry leaves with pork liver (上湯枸杞葉與豬潤). The chicken skin was nice and crispy - perfect, in fact. The wolfberry leaves were a novelty since I have never had it, but it was a little bitter.
The second red was the 1997 Pahlmeyer Red, which had plenty of sweet fruit and vanilla in the nose. The tannins were round and smooth on the palate, and I liked it better than the Mogador.
We were very full, but I took in a bowl of mung bean soup (綠豆湯) for dessert anyway. This was a long time coming, but I think we were all pretty happy by the end of the evening.
P.S. A few of us adjourned to a Korean karaoke club, and drank/smoked/sang our way to happiness past 3am...