January 28, 2015

Hell week day 3: full flavors without the salt

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I'm back at the private entertainment facility tonight, satisfying another craving for my favorite winter warmer.  After introducing the Tiggers to this place last month, it was time to come back with more members of the extended family.  It was also important that we revisit while it was still snake season...

Barbecued Iberico pork (黑毛豬叉燒) - much, much fattier than what I've had on previous visits.  In fact, dare I say a little too fatty?  Although that hardly sounds like something that could possibly come out of my mouth...  Yes, love those burnt bits on the edges... 肥燶叉 iz da best!

Bamboo piths stuffed with bird's nest (官燕釀竹笙) - this was such a delicate dish.  Neither bird's nest nor bamboo pith have much flavor on their own, so the flavors actually come from the ham broth.  I could definitely taste the ham fat here, which is something very familiar to me since childhood.  Very, very good.  Even the choy sum (菜心) is top-notch.

Crystal king prawn (玻璃大蝦球) - I normally wouldn't order this at other restaurants, but I wouldn't say no when it's on the menu here.  Very large tiger prawns, and tonight they were a little more salty than usual.  Still delicious.

Imperial scholar's five-snake soup (太史五蛇羹) - the pièce de résistance tonight.  The snake soup by which I measure every other version by.  I decided to take it easy tonight and only had one bowl.  This way the others could have the opportunity to take a bowl (or two) home.  I've raved enough about this already - about how fine the ingredients are shredded, how perfectly balanced the flavors are, how the soup packs in the flavors that are deep yet appears light (but not quite ethereal) at the same time... Yeah, I love this.

Steamed sole (清蒸海方利) - another familiar dish, and I'm having fresh caught sole for the second evening in a row.  As usual the wings were incredibly yummy with collagen, and I think the back isn't as overcooked as on previous occasions.

Traditional salt-baked chicken (古法鹽焗雞) - a very good chicken, and once again this came without the head.  The ladies were all excited about the gizzard and liver - in fact they were more excited about them than the meat itself...  Not surprisingly Tigger - being a gweilo when it comes to Chinese food - kept going for the breast, while I took a mixture of white and dark meat.

Four treasure vegetables with superior broth (上湯四寶蔬) - yup, as delicious as they were on my last visit a couple of weeks ago.  Yes, I'm talking about a plate of veggies, but flavored with superior broth (上湯) - which is made with ham.   The mustard greens (芥菜) were actually pretty sweet instead of being bitter.  And the radish... sooooo delish!

Sautéed rice rolls with minced beef, bean sprouts in satay sauce (沙爹牛肉炒腸粉) - something else that's totally up Tigger's alley.  Tonight I think the ratio between the rice rolls and the beef was better, so what I had in my bowl wasn't too bland.  If only I could have taken a second bowl of this... Must.Have.Self.Control.

Red bean purée with aged mandarin peel (陳皮紅豆沙) - this was probably the thickest, densest red bean purée I have ever had... Seriously, this was almost paste-like.  Unfortunately, this wasn't that enjoyable, even though it was the purest form of red beans, because the texture was just too rough and "sandy".  Seriously, it felt like I was rubbing my tongue on sandpaper, in a way...

Chartogne-Taillet Rosé - a little caramelized, nice nose of strawberries, and slightly savory.  A good match with the char siu.

Very, very good meal.  I'm already looking forward to coming back next week...

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