May 12, 2015

Seven at six

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It's been a year, and the Locusts are back in town.  As usual we had a discussion about which new restaurant they would like to check out, and not surprisingly Neighborhood was the choice was seemed most appealing to Mr. Locust.  So I got ourselves a table during the first seating, figuring that we can always adjourn to somewhere else for drinks afterwards...

I insisted that I would have nothing to do with ordering tonight.  I wanted my friends to be able to pick what they wanted to eat, and I know that Mr. Locust would have picked up a few ideas from my numerous posts about this place, anyway...

Hanger steak tartare / capers / orange / fennel - we squeezed a little juice from the orange wedge, and it did add a nice touch to the flavors. I do like tartare from hanger steak, since it's got more texture and flavor.  Very interesting to find the capers were dried.

Sea urchin / flounder / octopus ceviche - ahhhhh... no surprise that this was chosen.  Tonight, though, I thought the acidity was even a little stronger than usual.  I liked the addition of octopus into the mix.

Toyama firefly squid / borlotti beans - no complaints about having this again, either... I'd take these firefly squid (螢烏賊) anyday... Loooove the richness of flavor, especially with the squid ink.

Black Forest white asparagus / morel / egg - apparently someone can't resist things that are long and white... Anyway, I liked the asparagus a lot.  And of course the morels are always nice.  The slow-cooked egg yolk worked as a "dipping sauce", which was nice.

Baby razor clams / pork belly / red chili - no surprise, again, that this was ordered.  I do love these baby razor clams, but tonight I felt a few more grains of sand... which kinda detracted from the overall experience.  But this was still delish... the pork belly, the chili flakes, and of course that sauce!  That fatty, buttery sauce tempered with what I can only guess to be lemon juice.

Handmade tagliatelle / octopus ragu / bone marrow - just wonderful.  The tagliatelle had this beautiful bite to it.  The ragu was hearty and rich.  So easy to just inhale a whole bowl of this if you're not careful.

Boudin basque "Christian Parra" / grilled pepper - I'm glad this was also ordered, because it's something that I won't get tired of any time soon.  This was the dish that first won me over at On Lot 10 on my first visit, and I'm still in love with it.  I'll take blood sausage of any kind, any day...

We were kinda full, so we just nibbled on the canelés and passed on cheese and dessert.  After all, we did have another stop to make...

I did bring along a bottle tonight, and the 1985 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde drank as well as I expected from this wine.  Classic nose of leather, bacon fat, smoke, and some prunes.  Acidity was a little high at first, but the palate softened up later.  Yum.

We ended up Ozone in the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.  This was clearly a touristy place, given its panoramic views and the existence of an "outdoor" deck.  I ended up enjoying a couple of glasses of something called Hong Kong Rooftop - a cocktail with salted caramel, strawberries, kumquat, and grapefruit juice.  Nice and sweet.

It was good to catch up with the Locusts after such a long time, but I was a little sad because I wouldn't be going with them on a trip to an exotic country.  We discussed the trip last year, but unfortunately I'm so busy at work that I've cancelled all my non-work travel plans since February... Sigh...

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