January 14, 2016

More swimming scallops from Japan

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Senpai is back in town, and I found myself having dinner at Heichinrou (聘珍樓) in Central again with a group of old friends.  We all used to work together for the same firm many years ago - well, all except ILove Lubutin - and we were supporting Senpai's efforts to support Kamaishi (釜石市).  I had previously attended a dinner here focused on the swimming scallops from the area, and I was happy to come back again for some more.

Once again we were shown the swimming scallops from Kamaishi, supplied by Yamakiichi Shouten (ヤマキイチ商店) and air-flown in saltwater.

Japanese scallop sashimi (岩手縣鮮活元貝) - having the scallops raw really brings out the natural sweetness.  Absolutely delicious.  Thankfully they have chosen to serve it in thicker slices compared to my first visit, and it was indeed a lot more satisfying.

Pan-fried Japanese scallop with black truffle lemon sauce (岩手鮮活元貝香煎配黑松露香檸汁) - this, however, is the more interesting preparation.  Plenty of black truffle paste, and the acidity from the lemon sauce stimulated the appetite further.  Wonderful dish.

Cooked mi cuit.

Double-boiled fish maw clear soup with whelk and black mushrooms (花膠北菰燉螺頭雞湯) - I always love a chicken soup cooked with ingredients like whelk, but I really didn't care for the fish maw today... as they were a little fishy and pungent.

Pan-fried king prawn with soya sauce (頭抽煎大花蝦) - such a beautiful prawn, simply pan-fried in premium soy sauce with a little diced spring onion.  Classic and perfect.

Steamed whole fresh spotted garoupa (清蒸東星斑) - the steamed fish was also nicely done.  Delicious on its own, but I should have asked for a little bit of steamed rice...

Deep-fried crispy Heichinrou chicken (手吊脆皮雞) - the chicken was pretty good.

Poached organic vegetables with supreme soup (上湯高山有機時蔬) - I like the fact that the restaurant sources organic vegetables grown on a mountain farm, and they really do taste delicious.

Yeung Chow fried rice (楊州炒飯) - this was actually very delicious, and I couldn't believe how quickly I inhaled this bowl.

We had some fresh fruit, and also the mango pudding (芒果布甸).  ILove Lubutin and I couldn't help reminiscing reliving the nightmare about that time we were given mango dessert at a restaurant with a chef named Mango...

As the owner of the restaurant is an alumnus of the same school Senpai and I attended, the corkage was very kindly waived for our dinner.  So I figured I'd grab a few moderately-priced bottles from my cellar to clear some inventory...

Chartogne-Taillet Brut Rosé - nose of strawberries, a little caramelized.  Medium to full-bodied.

2003 Françoise Bedel L'Âme de la Terre - caramelized nose.  Nice and ripe on the palate.

2004 Léoville Poyferré - nose of forest, herbs, a little oaky, sweet fruit, with a little smoke and almost a hint of shoe polish.

2003 Arietta Variation One - very sweet and ripe on the nose, almost grapey.  Very minty.  Full-bodied.

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