October 13, 2013

A taste of national fortune

Pin It

We had another full house at MSNC tonight.  Fortunately for me, our host dispensed with his usual choice of venue and booked somewhere that was new to me, which also necessitated him to forgo wearing his favorite flip-flops to dinner.  For some reason, I never made it to Guo Fu Lou (國福樓) - neither the original location in iSquare nor its new "branch" in Wanchai.  It's already been a few years, and actually long enough to earn the location on the Dark Side a macaron.

I arrived a few minutes early and found myself alone with Dayliao.  About a minute later I realized Pineapple was in the next room, as I started hearing his voice coming through the partition.  Apparently he got a little worried that our host wasn't serving enough wines tonight, and decide to send over a bottle of Le Pauillac de Château Latour - the third wine of the château.  Such generosity…

I was a little hungry, and since we were still waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive, I decided to snack on some candied walnuts.  Not exactly kosher for my diet, but then again this IS a cheat meal after all...

I skipped the usual century eggs and pickled ginger (皮蛋酸薑), since that was sure to screw with my palate for wine.  Instead I started with deep-fried bean curd with spicy salt (椒鹽脆豆腐).  These were very good… crispy exterior with a little bit of deep-fried minced garlic and chili to tickle the tip of my tongue.

Pan-fried lotus root cake (香煎蓮藕餅) - this was totally awesome.  There was a ton of finely diced cubes of lotus root, which made the whole thing really crunchy - one had to make a real effort to chew.  Meanwhile the minced pork that held it together was pan-fried to perfection, bringing out that wonderful fragrance.  Yum.  I loved this but only allowed myself 1 little patty.

BBQ suckling pig (大紅片皮乳豬) - Fook Lam Moon is known for their amazing suckling pig, so naturally ya can't come here without trying it out, too.

I think the crackling is pretty much on par with FLM… Three wonderful pieces today.

Unlike the other night, I allowed myself a little piece of meat today… Very tender with a layer of glistening oil…

Some time during the middle of dinner, the door opened and three little girls showed up in the doorway, chiding us for using foul language.  Turns out the cuties were Pineapple's nieces, so naturally we all pointed the finger at Pineapple as the offender…  Yes, there usually are a lot of expletives flying around when the boys get together, which is the reason why we always get a private room...

Steamed crab claw with white egg and Huadiao wine (花雕蛋白蒸肉蟹鉗) - Wow!  This was very, very nice… and now I've had crab claw two nights in a row.  The fragrance from Huadiao (花雕) was very alluring, and the slight bitter flavor actually brought the sweetness of crab meat more out in the open.

Braised goose web and pomelo skin with shrimp roe (蝦子柚皮炆波蘭鵝掌) - the goose web was wonderfully soft and just about falling off the bones.  The pomelo skin was nice, too, with a ton of shrimp roe.  In fact I chastised the waitress for trying to take my plate away.  There may seem to be nothing but bones left on my plate, but I tilted it so I could pour the starchy sauce with all the shrimp roe into my spoon.  I fed myself two spoonfuls.

Smoked chicken with jasmine (茶燻雞) - our ever-thoughtful host decided that, since we all had such super wine tasting abilities, that we didn't really need to smell the wines to figure out what they were.  Once this dish was brought to the table, it was basically the end of the blind-tasting part of dinner.  This was amazingly smoky and fragrant.  And the smoky flavors went more than skin-deep, so some of it reached the meat, too.  Delish.

Sweet and sour pork with pineapple (菠蘿咕嚕肉) - FLM always had one of the best versions of sweet and sour pork in town, and it looks like the chefs here also do an awesome job.  Yes, it's bad for my diet because it's deep fried, with batter, and with that thick, starchy sauce.  But it was so damn good I had to take more than one piece… or was it three?  And of course it was only natural for Pineapple to photo bomb my pic of the dish with pineapple…

Stir-fried kailan with ham (火腿炒芥藍) - I kept picking up pieces of dried ham to accompany my bowl of white rice…

Steamed birthday buns (蒸壽包) - as the dinner was meant to celebrate Dayliao's birthday, he ordered up a bunch of these yummy buns.

The filling was perfect - sweet lotus seed paste plus salty egg yolk.  The "skin" was nice and fluffy.

So what exactly was the line up that our generous host had in mind for us, such that we needed reinforcements in the form of the third wine of a Bordeaux château?

Flight 1:  opened one hour prior to serving
1985 Mouton-Rothschild - earthy, pretty sweet, dried herbs, a little coffee, tobacco, cigar nose.  Palate a little on the light side.  93 points.

1985 Dujac Clos St-Denis - nose much more open, oxidized a little, a little caramelized, very plummy, almost like Chinese preserved plum (話梅).  Sweet like jujube.  Very nice.  94 points.

1985 Margaux - smoky, more vegetal like green pepper.  Minty with potpourri notes.  Very nice, and more body here.  92 points.

Flight 2: opened for 2½ hours prior to serving
1991 Vogüé Bonnes-Mares - very weird nose at first.  Stewed prunes, cough syrup, really sweet and a little meaty.

1991 Vogüé Musigny Cuvée Vieilles Vignes - nose a little muted at first.  Also smelled and tasted like cough syrup.  Nose still a little sharp.  Got better with more time.

1991 Mugnier Musigny - another cough syrup, this time cherry flavor… also a little potpourri.

Flight 3: opened and decanted for 3½ hours prior to serving
1994 Araujo Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard - metallic, mineral, herbs, sweet, alcoholic, a little chalky on the nose, and slightly off on the palate.

1994 Harlan Estate - a little ripe, minty, smoky, a little stewed.  Still fairly tannic here but acidity relatively high.

Wow… this was such an enjoyable evening!  The food was excellent, and of course the wines were very special and tasty.  Many thanks to our generous host, and I'm glad I finally had occasion to check out Guo Fu Lou.  Now looking forward to the next gathering!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map