January 9, 2014

Expensive menu change

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It's the start of January, and that means it's time to celebrate a couple of birthdays with the gang.  No prize for guessing that the restaurant of choice was Fook Lam Moon (福臨門)...  What was different tonight, though, was that our resident VIP wasn't able to join us.  With BM out of commission, only a couple of key items were pre-ordered, and the enviable task of deciding what we were eating fell onto my shoulders.

I decided that we should have a menu change, and order a bunch of dishes that I like but don't get to eat with this crowd.

Roast suckling pig (大紅片皮乳豬) - de rigueur.  As good and enjoyable as it ever was.

I did allow myself to take a piece or two of the meat tonight.  It's been a while...

Baked stuffed crab shell with onions and fresh crab meat (釀焗鮮蟹蓋) - it's been a looong time since I last had these.  I really do love the version they do here - with plenty of onions to add texture and different flavors.  No silly curry powder added here, so you can take the sweetness of the fresh crab on its own.

Deep-fried sliced pomfret (古法炸鯧魚) - one of the gang's favorite dishes, and it's been a while since we all had it.  I'm happy just to have this on its own, without the mayo.  It's just awesome when you see giant slices like these... real satisfying.

Stir-fried lobster with black beans and green peppers (豉椒炒龍蝦球) - it's been a real long time since I last had this, and it's been one of my favorite dishes here.  I have always loved how fresh and sweet the lobster meat is... and how the flavors are brought out by the black beans and peppers.  But... I've never checked the cost of the lobsters before, and it quickly dawned on me why the gang never orders it - it's too damn expensive!  This dish alone was about 1/3 of the cost of dinner...

Long braised beef brisket and tendon in casserole (炆牛筋腩煲) - this has always been very good here...

Steamed chicken with 'Kim Wah' ham wrapped in fresh lotus leaf (荷葉雲腿蒸雞) - I've never had this preparation before, and it was kinda disappointing.  Yes, the chicken was moist, with mushrooms and ham, but it just wasn't anything special... and I think the crowd had expected more from the lotus leaf.  Oh and I'm still scratching my head about why FLM chose to put down 'Kim Wah' in English while calling it 雲腿 in Chinese... since the town of Jinhua isn't anywhere near Yunnan Province...

Pea shoots in superior broth (上湯豆苗) - since the old man complained about having "tough" veggies at our last dinner, we decided to stick with these young and tender pea shoots so that he'd have nothing to bitch about...

Fried glutinous rice with preserved meats (生炒糯米飯) - gobble gobble gobble... Gotta get enuf of this while they serve it in season.

Home made egg noodles in Fook Lam Moon's stock and served with shredded 'Kim Wah" ham (上湯生麵) - it's a birthday.  Gotta have noodles...

Yolk and sesame paste birthday buns (蛋黃麻茸壽飽) - two different fillings.

Sesame seed paste and yolk

Lotus seed paste and yolk

Can't celebrate birthdays without a little vino.  So I brought a little something.

2001 Alvario Palacios Les Terrasses from magnum - sweet on the palate and very forward.  Spices, woody, a little smoky, and a little potpourri in the nose.  Still got plenty of concentration but not tannic.

1970 La Lagune - ex-château stock purchased from Sotheby's.  Opened 30 minutes before decanting.  A little savory on the nose, a little smoky.  Initially the nose was a little muted, an opened up after 20 minutes after decanting.  Very smooth on the palate.  Towards the end showed minty nose with tea leaves.

A very good dinner, and I surprised myself by over-ordering... as the waitress kept suggesting dishes.  Next time I'll control myself for our wallets' sake!

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