July 3, 2009

Doggie bag dinner

Pin It

Got up early this morning, washed up, put on the clothes I wore yesterday and went out to buy some clean clothes. I’m not too picky and I easily find some things on sale to tide me over.

By noon I had called Pudong Airport three times, and thankfully I was told that the owner of the other Rimowa finally contacted the Airport and brought my suitcase back to them. They confirmed my address and said that they would be delivering it to the house. Of course, it would be more than 4 hours before my stuff actually showed up at my doorstep.

I met up with my friend David at his new house, which incidentally is just a few minutes from ours. It's a huge house that is almost done with the renovations. 4 stories split into three separate units, and they have a nice pool and garden.

We sat on the balcony overlooking the pool, and David decanted a bottle of red for us. Of course he would have me guess the identity of the wine...this being a meeting of 2 MNSC members and all... I thought it was French from a weaker recent vintage like 2004, and those two answers alone got me 3 points - higher than your average MNSC score... Turned out to be a very drinkable 2004 Lascombes with a pretty smoky nose and soft tannins.

After finishing the bottle of wine, David headed out to meet other friends while I walked a bit further to have dinner at Fu 1039 (福一零三九). I came here 2 years ago when I first started looking at properties in Shanghai, and I thought the food was pretty decent. The setting was also pretty nice.

As I walked through the door without a reservation, I was told by the staff that there was a RMB 150 per person minimum charge, and that this does not include beverages. I was kinda surprised, but as we really wanted to eat here I decided we would just order the expensive stuff. A quick glance at the menu, though, and I realized that I would have to order things like shark's fin, bird's nest, expensive steamed fish - none of which are actually Shanghainese - to get to the minimum. It was more of a challenge since there were three of us who walked in the door, but one person wasn't eating at all. In the end here was what we ordered:

Stewed pork in sweet soy sauce (招牌紅燒肉) - of course the braised pork in a must in Shanghainese restaurants. The fatty pork belly is cut into larger squares here and braised with julienned bamboo shoots. Very sweet and yummy.

Sautéed string beans with minced pork and chilli (干煸四季豆) - this was a failure by my standards. The beans were still too juicy and crunchy, because not enough time has been spent to cook and dry out the moisture. There was also only a hint of minced pork. I guess nothing will ever compare with mom's version of this dish, which I still think is the best in the world.

Steamed "shi" fish with ham in rice wine sauce (清蒸鰣魚) - the fish is actually called Reeve's shad and is a delicacy in Shanghainese cuisine. Initially I missed it on the menu, but ordered this after I saw the people at the next table having it. This is served in very few restaurants and the last time I had it was quite a while ago. Half of this fish was definitely way too much for two people, especially since we were already filled up with braised pork and rice by this point. I chewed on the oily fish scales for flavor, then I had a couple of chunks of the flesh from the back of the fish, where there was more flavorful dark meat. The texture of the flesh was a bit chewier, unlike the juicy and moist garoupas that one finds in Cantonese cuisine. The presence of a ton of bones - both big and tiny ones - also turn off lots of people who don't want to work at eating fish. But I loved the dish - with the ham providing lots of savory flavors and the rice wine adding a bit of sweetness.

Braised sea cucumber in sweet soy sauce (蔥烤大烏參) - this arrived last but we were already full. I had a small piece and thought it was a bit subpar... the medicinal / hospital disinfectant taste was too prominent.

We barely finished half the food we had ordered, so we asked the restaurant to pack up the leftovers and took them home with us. This would be a whole other meal...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map