November 26, 2011

No way this is better than sex

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I'm back in HK for a very short weekend trip, and accepted a very kind invitation from the Specialist to have dinner at her home.  After our dinner in Paris, she very swiftly acquired a SousVide Supreme and began trying out sous vide cooking at home.  She claimed that all her family members had been satisfied customers, so I agreed to be the next guinea pig.  Well, truth is that I had placed an order for my very own SousVide Supreme for my new kitchen in Taipei...

We started with some 48-month jamón ibérico, which was certainly delicious.  There were a few of those hardened clumps of protein that one finds in aged ham.  Mmm mmm good.

November 22, 2011

Fish is a way of life

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It's been a while since I met up with Big Mac, and when I found out a couple of days ago that I'd have a free evening tonight, I decided to ping him and see if he's available for dinner.  I was sure glad he said yes!  Unfortunately, he left it up to me to choose the venue, whereas I would normally have appreciated for others to suggest new and interesting places for me.

I thought this would be a good chance for me to check out Gyodoike (魚道生), a Japanese restaurant that came highly recommended by the Ox.  I never found the right opportunity to try this place, but I was pretty sure Big Mac would appreciate it.

We asked for omakase, and wanted to get a couple of hot dishes.  What followed was a feast that left both of us stuffed but smiling all the way...

As a start we were offered some sea grapes (海ぶどう) along with pickled ginger and radish pickled with perilla leaves (紫蘇) and yuzu (柚子).  The radish was particularly yummy.

November 21, 2011

Perrrty seafood

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Tigger came into town today, and I managed to catch up with him for dinner.  It's been years since I was last in Pearl Liang Seafood (漂亮海鮮) at the Grand Hyatt, so I was curious to see what the food was like nowadays.

Ever the connoisseur, he chose from one of four set menus put together by the restaurant.  There was definitely a little too much food...

The appetisers combination (漂亮前菜開胃碟) came with three different bites:

Pan-fried scallop with radish cake - the single scallop was nicely pan-fried so that it was slightly brown on the outside.  There was a small piece of radish cake (蘿蔔糕) below the scallop, which was unfortunately a little mushy.

November 19, 2011

Ich bin ein Berliner

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OK, so I'm not really from Berlin... nor am I really a jelly donut, the way JFK is reputedly to have proclaimed himself to be.  For years I have been cracking a stupid joke by telling people that this is the only complete sentence of German that I can speak... thanks to the attention and controversy about the grammatical accuracy of JFK's speech back in 1963.

Anyway.  I had a rare dose of culture tonight thanks to the parental units.  They had received tickets to a concert tonight by the Berliner Philharmoniker, and thought a little classical music would do me some good.  After my 6-hour ordeal earlier today, dad and I rushed over to the National Concert Hall and made it just in time for the event.

We had extremely good seats - front row center circle.  We had a bird's eye view of the stage, and there was nothing to complain about in terms of acoustics.  The concert was being simulcast to 2 other venues in Taiwan, and was also being recorded for a future DVD or as a concert in Digital Concert Hall - Berliner Philharmoniker's online concert library.

November 10, 2011

Huit par Hermé

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I never miss a chance to load up on Pierre Hermé's macarons whenever I see them, and this past trip to Paris was no exception.  I was glad to be able to try out a few new flavors.

Truffe Blanche et Noisette - the most awesome flavor, EVER.  Once the lid is open on the box, it's hard not to notice the fragrance of white truffles hitting you...  My second year of grabbing these when they are in season.

November 8, 2011

The cousin from the north

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Dyson 2000 was in town on business, and was kind enough to stick around for an extra evening after traversing our little beautiful isle visiting clients in the space of a day.  I, of course, tried to be a good host and took her to a couple of local places.  The poor thing had nothing to eat but bentos (便當) bought at the various train stations!

Our first stop was at Lu Sang (呂桑), the same place I took David when he was in town a few months ago.  I decided to let the starving woman choose her own dinner, so didn't make any recommendations at first...

November 2, 2011

100-point dinner

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About a month ago one of my friends hosted a dinner party at her home.  When I browsed through the pictures she posted on Facebook, I jokingly commented that she and her friends were committing "infanticide" by drinking wines like 2001 Lafite-Rothschild and 2003 Montrose much, much too young.

That, of course, drew swift reaction from the participants... including the contributors of the wines who vehemently defended their decisions to pop open a bottle of First Growth at the tender age of 10 - and using Robert Parker's comments as ammunition.  Well, just because a wine can be drunk now doesn't mean now is the right time to drink it... unless, of course, you've got a warehouse full of cases of the same First Growths that you can age.

My friend the host then challenged me to bring a 100-point wine at our next dinner - a wine that is old and mature enough so it wouldn't be infanticide.  I accepted the challenge, and agreed to meet up for dinner the evening that I return from France.


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