July 21, 2015

Not getting the memo

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A friend is back in town for a few days and decided to round up a few people for dinner and open a few bottles.  I found out earlier today that we would be dining at Hong Kong Cuisine 1983 (壹玖捌叁), a place in Happy Valley that I'm not familiar with.  After moving out of the valley 3 years ago, there are few reasons to draw me back...

The place was mostly empty tonight, and together with the fact that my friend is a regular customer, meant that we got very attentive service.  I was also very relieved to not have the responsibility for ordering the food...

Marinated jellyfish (香蔥油海蜇花) - pretty crunchy, and marinated in sesame oil.

Deep-fried tofu with bonito (木魚椒鹽脆豆腐) - pretty forgettable and nothing really special, other than the bonito flakes on top.

Crystal pork terrine (水晶餚肉) - classic Shanghainese dish of shredded cured pork, aspic, and pork skin.  Not too bad.

Braised giant grouper fin (生炆龍躉撥水翅) - loved this.  I picked up the tail which, like all the other pieces, were battered and fried before being braised in the casserole.  And all that garlic and stuff didn't hurt.

Tea-smoked duck (樟茶鴨) - pretty good, actually.  A dish I always love for the smoky flavors.

Barbecued pork in honey marinade (蜜餞叉燒) - some of these pieces were clearly very fatty, and I love fatty char siu.  Yum.

This dish of stir-fried beef with mixed vegetables was OK.

Steamed tofu with sautéed termite mushrooms (油雞樅野菌千頁豆腐) - this was OK. The sautéed termite mushrooms were pretty tasty, but I just don't see the point of the tofu... other than to show up some knife skills.

Cabbage and ham in superior broth (上湯雲腿浸娃娃菜)

Maitake mushroom and mixed vegetables with glass vermicelli in casserole (蝦乾舞茸粉絲雜菜煲) - thankfully not as much MSG here as the versions I'm used to.  The maitake mushrooms were a nice touch.

Pork ribs with salty egg yolk (金沙肉排) - nice to see that this came in a bird's nest... which I started to dismantle and devour at the end of the evening.  I was kinda surprised at how fatty and tender the pork was, and of course being covered in that golden, salty egg yolk only made it even better.  Cholesterol city is what this was...

Beef fried rice with shrimp paste (蝦醬生炒牛崧飯) - very tasty thanks to the shrimp paste, as well as tenderized bits of beef and crunchy lettuce.

The organizer asked us to bring a bottle, and wrap it up in foil so that we can taste them blind.  No theme or price range was announced, so it would be totally random and also double-blind.  Once the wines were revealed, it was obvious that a memo had been circulated, and yours truly was not among the recipients of that memo...

2003 Pazo Señorans Selección de Añada - a little lean, some toasty oak, a little beeswax, somewhat floral like orange blossom.  Nice ripeness on the palate.  With a little age to this wine, no longer as fresh and tropical.

2002 Faiveley Latricières-Chambertin - minty, still tannic.  Too closed down.

2006 Henri Boillot Volnay 1er Cru Les Caillerets - very open and showy.  Really fruity, and showing cool fruit, with a little forest and certainly leather notes.  Drinking very nicely.

2003 DRC Romanée-St-Vivant - opened 5 hours before serving.  Very metallic nose, but also really floral and perfumed, with a little leather and plenty of eucalyptus.  Absolutely stunning and beautiful.

2006 Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée Clos du Château - another wine that's drinking well after decanting for 2 hours.  Sweet and fruity with notes of cherries, and fragrant like cedar.

2008 Joseph Voillot Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens - really sweet and ripe, with plum and forest pine notes.  What a nice surprise!

A nice and casual evening, with lots of wines drinking very well.  Next time, though, I'll make sure I get the memo and don't end up bringing something out of line...

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