April 24, 2009

An imperial bash(ing)

Pin It

Tonight was my friend's 30th birthday party. This was held in one of the function rooms at the Mandarin Oriental, and the food came from the menu of Man Wah, the hotel's Cantonese restaurant.

We started with a magnum of Krug Grand Cuvée that I'd brought along. Magnums like this are rare, especially this one - I snapped this up just around the time when Krug changed their labels, as a rumor was going around that the older stock was actually better. Of course anyone from Krug would vehemently deny this...

My only regret was that I didn't arrive early enough, and only ended up with one glass of this nectar...but it was so delicious! From the very first whiff a big toasty nose hits you, with plenty of yeast and caramel and toffee notes. There's just a slight tilt towards acidity on the palate. I am now going to hang on to my remaining magnum and save it for a special occasion...

We sat down and started dinner with drunken prawns (醉翁生中蝦), which were nicely blanched and accompanied by delicious soy sauce for dipping.

The roast whole suckling pig (原隻化皮乳豬) was not bad, and curiously came with cucumbers that were pickled instead of fresh.

Shark's fin in brown sauce (紅燒大鮑翅) was pretty good, but then again I'm hardly a connoisseur.

The tea smoked chicken (羊城太爺雞) was really good - even the breast meat was succulent in the sweet sauce.

The beef tenderloin in black pepper sauce (黑椒牛柳粒) was pretty good, and the sauce here again was surprisingly on the sweet side.

I have to say that the steamed spotted garoupa (清蒸東星斑) was a little overcooked, but I guess it's always tough to steam a big fish so they haven't done too badly.

I enjoyed the bean curd in shrimp roe sauce with assorted mushrooms (蝦籽珍菌紅燒豆腐). The shrimp roe made the dish.

The summer spinach in supreme stock (上湯莧菜) was great, as they used very young bunches.

The fried noodles in soya sauce (豉油皇炒麵) grew on me as I emptied my bowl, and I ended up having a second helping.

The longevity bun (鴻運壽飽) was really, really good - possibly the best I've had in memory. The sweet white lotus seed paste combined with the salty egg yolk was perfect harmony.

The birthday cake was nice and I pretty much inhaled the thing...

The wine served during dinner was an imperial of 2004 d'Armailhac. It was decanted into four magnum decanters. The nose was classic Bordeaux, with mint, a bit of ripe fruit, a bit of smoke and even a hint of soy sauce on the nose. It was a bit alcoholic at first. Not many of us were big drinkers, and some of us who were unfortunately couldn't step up. I was getting a bit sleepy for some reason, and we ended up struggling to finish three decanters... As I expected, we were beaten by the big imperial.

Towards the end of the dinner, Chef Pierre Gagnaire (no, he wasn't cooking our dinner) made a surprise appearance and signed on the big imperial bottle. Unfortunately he will be in Korea when we are all in Paris next week...

It's nice to finally enjoy some Cantonese at the Mandarin, as I haven't been back to Man Wah in about 10 years...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map