March 17, 2016

A request for Buddha

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Sooo... before I had a chance to fully digest my huge dinner at Amber last night, I had to go eat another huge meal... at my favorite Cantonese private dining space.  Apparently I have a fan in North America who is sadly deprived of good Chinese/Cantonese food, and asked to be taken to what is now my favorite spot for Cantonese cuisine.  So here we are.

This was a group of newbies... as only three of us have been here before.  Expectations were pretty high, and as usual I worked with the chef to come up with a menu that worked for everyone...

Barbecued Iberico pork (黑毛豬叉燒) - this was one of the two requested dishes, and it certainly did not disappoint our first-timers.  Without the usual reddish honey glaze, the soy sauce-dominated flavors were more pleasing to the palate.

There was just enough fat to make things interesting, and also just the right amount of charring in some places.  The flavors of the pork itself registered well with the guests.  As ILove Lubutin will say : 豬有豬味!

Crystal king prawn (玻璃大蝦球) - I asked for this because not only is it a classic dish that showcases the chef's skills (including knife-skills), the sheer size of these prawns are bound to impress!  There was enough flavor here without the need for any additional condiments.

Traditional Buddha jumps over the wall (古法佛跳牆) - the main event of the evening.  Ever since I was first introduced to this dish, it has been included on the menu on every subsequent visit.  That's how much I love this.

As usual each of us got an abalone, a piece of fish maw, a piece of sea cucumber, a goose web, along with some braised crispy pork belly, pig's tendon, and bamboo shoots.  Of course, we also got plenty of the sticky, lip-smacking-good sauce... which we used plenty of steamed rice to mop up.

The abalone was very, very tender and delish... although I'll freely admit that I'm not an expert when it comes to them.

Double-boiled chicken soup with whelk (淮杞響螺燉雞湯) - one of the guests requested soup, so we got something very classic... which tasted sweet thanks to the Chinese yam (淮山).

The dregs were served up separately, and we picked on this pile...

Steamed brown-marbled grouper (清蒸老虎斑) - this baby was pretty big... more than 3 catties at least.  It was slightly overcooked - which isn't uncommon when steaming a fish of this size - but still very tasty.

Steamed minced beef patty with aged mandarin peel (陳皮蒸牛肉餅) - I was pretty excited when I found that this was gonna be on the menu, because this was a dish I'd heard about but never had... and this place is famous for their stock of aged mandarin peel.

And I wasn't the least bit disappointed.  The beef patty was very, very tender... with a soft and bouncy texture, and plenty of diced water chestnut for sweetness and crunch.  The fragrance from the aged mandarin peel was incredible.  Yup, wolfed down even more steamed rice with this.  Just had to be done.

Four treasure vegetables with superior broth (上湯四寶蔬) - the veggies here are often one of the highlights of the meal, and this combination of mushrooms, radish, broccoli, and choy sum (菜心) was cooked by slowly adding superior broth (read: ham stock) to the pile.  That makes for some incredibly tasty veg, especially the radish.

Steamed fragrant rice in lotus leaf (飄香荷葉飯) - we were honestly too full by this point, and had already eaten a ton of rice, so we only had small spoonfuls here.  This was very, very good... with lots of flavor and lovely fragrance.

Almond cream with lotus seeds and egg white (蓮子蛋白杏仁茶) - this is always a nice end to our meals here... especially when the lotus seeds have been cooked until soft and almost mushy.

I brought along a bunch of wines for the gang... knowing that they can drink.

1989 von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Auslese 137 - nose of petrol, white flowers, lemon, with a hint of polyurethane.  Nice acidity here, and almost a little fizzy.  Rounded on the palate.

2001 Kracher Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese No. 9 Zwischen den Seen, from half-bottle - big, grapey and raisin nose, with honeydew and marmalade.  Sooo incredibly sweet on the nose and the palate.

1985 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine-Collignon par Bouchard - very disappointing as the fresh fruit never showed.  Instead we got very savory black olives, leather, and stewed fruit.

2003 Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux, en magnum -  decanted for more than an hour.  A little exotic, a little toasty, somewhat chalky and toasty.  Later on some smoke emerged.  Tannins still here.  Disappointing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Food looks really good. May I know where's this place?


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