August 21, 2009

The last fortysomething birthday

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A bunch of us gathered to celebrate a good friend's birthday - his last as a fortysomething person. We're back at Fook Lam Moon (福臨門) for yet another feast.

In honor of our birthday "boy", we started the meal with some deep-fried chicken testicle tofu (炸雞子) to enhance his "manliness"... The rich, semi-liquid tofu reminded me both in terms of taste and texture of the gaozha (高渣) I had at Da Shan Wu Jia (大山無價).

We followed with the roast suckling pig (脆皮乳豬), which was as good as ever. Even for a group of 9 this was a lot of pig. Beyond the very thin and crispy skin, the meat was fatty and tender. I was very tempted to take down a leg since they looked soooo good, but I knew we had a ton of food coming so I decided to pass.

It's summer time, which calls for wintermelon soup (冬瓜盅) to cool our bodies down. Besides the usual ingredients of goose, ridged gourd, crab, lotus seed, chicken, mushroom and frog legs, the flowers of 夜來香 have been added as they have detoxifying and cooling benefits.

Braised pomelo skin with vegetables (炆柚皮) - this was pretty good as the texture was very smooth, but I always prefer the addition of shrimp roe (蝦籽).

Stir-fried lobster with black beans and green peppers (豉椒炒龍蝦球) - this has been one of my favorites here. The diced red and green peppers, onions and black beans made for a very yummy combination. The texture of the lobster was nice, too - bouncy and chewy and not too dry.

Stir-fried wagyu with kailan (芥蘭心炒和牛) - the inner stems of the kailan were very, very tender, and of course the wagyu was just oh-so-soft that it melted in my mouth.

Our birthday boy requested sweet and sour pork (咕咾肉), and they do a very good job here. Some of the pieces have just enough fat to give the right balance of texture and flavor, and it's not all batter and no meat.

The chicken in Huadiao wine (花雕雞) came in a claypot. The meat was very soft and tender, infused with the distinct taste of Huadiao rice wine.

While the birthday boy enjoyed his bowl of birthday noodles, the rest of us got a taste of stir-fried rice vermicelli with duck and preserved vegetables (梅菜炒米粉). The vermicelli soaked up the flavors of preserved mui choy, and the chilli provided an extra little kick. I wish I could have taken in another bowl.

For dessert we had the longevity buns (壽包) made with lotus seed paste and egg yolk; coconut milk jelly (椰汁糕); and mochi wrapped in apple leaves (蘋葉果) - with red bean paste inside the sticky rice mochi.

I had my usual bowl of almond cream with egg white (蛋白杏仁茶) - so light and smooth. But I was so far over the edge that I couldn't fit in anything from the fruit platter...

I brought a few bottles of wine for the occasion, having been warned against bringing too much alcohol. Apparently the festivities last year - which I missed - ended disastrously as a result of over-indulgence. So only 3 bottles of wine tonight...

2006 Keller Riesling Spätlese - classic German Riesling, with nose of plastic, polyurethane, minerals, petrol and a good amount of sweetness on the palate.

1997 Beringer Merlot Bancroft Ranch Private Reserve - generally smooth on the palate, but I thought the finish was a little short and perhaps even a little acidic. Is the wine starting its decline?

1 comment:

susan said...

Peter, this meal sounds WONDERFUL. Chicken testicles - yum (seriously). Although would it make me manly? Hope not. Did I ever tell you my "turkey fries" story? If not, I will next time I see you.


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