May 12, 2016

Is it really THAT hard?!

Pin It

The boys of MNSC gathered for another dinner tonight, and not surprisingly our host the Ox chose the Pawn Kitchen by Tom Aikens as the venue.  The food from Tom Aikens has always been solid, and I wondered what would be on our menu tonight.

House-made ricotta, broad bean, green peas, sorrel emulsion - the ricotta here has always been tasty, but now they've taken it up a notch by replacing the olive oil with sorrel emulsion - which adds a nice touch of acidity.  They've also introduced some texture to the normally smooth spread with the inclusion of broad beans and peas.  Gone are the dried herbs of old, and now we have chives and pea shoots.  A very, very tasty way to start.

Charcuterie board: Ibérico shoulder, grape chutney, pickle, grilled toast, home-cured meats - duck breast, salami, pancetta, pork rillettes - another staple of our dinners here.  Since I've already eaten a good amount of bread with the ricotta, I decided to take it easy with the rillettes and foie gras parfait.

Flat iron chicken, tarragon and parsley - this is a new dish, and while I liked the charred and crispy skin, it was a little too burnt - which meant the carbon tasted a little too bitter.  I liked the pile of herbs on top, though... They naturally went well with the kitchen.  And those two cloves of garlic...

Lamb cutlet, peas, white garlic puree - another new dish, and we were pretty surprised by the size of these cutlets.  Plenty of lamb fat here, and that was just heavenly to me.  The meat itself was very tender and succulent... I wonder if it was cooked sous vide.  Pretty interesting to have both split peas and pea mash, along with pea shoots.  Worked very nicely here.  The deep-fried cube was supposed to be coconut panna cotta, but somehow I didn't taste any coconut... It was a little more like a diluted tartar sauce... with herbs and acidity.

Chocolate brownie, red bean, green tea ice cream - I liked the combination of the dense brownie with the green tea ice cream, but I couldn't taste much red bean in the liquid nitrogen-frozen pellets.

Once again our host was very generous, and the lineup was thought-provoking.  We were wondering if he was mind-fucking us... and it turned out he was!  And in the middle of dinner, the Ox actually dissed us by quoting from a movie... and asked: "Is it really that hard (有那麼難嗎)?"

1999 Salon - a little tight and not showing to much.  Not too oxidized, nice with a little caramel.  Later on it got nicer, showing some minerals and ripeness on the palate.

First pair: popped and poured from bottle.
1945 Haut-Brion - smoky, a little brett.  Ripe and sweet on the nose, very upfront.  Also a little sweet grass.  Soft and kinda sweet on the palate.  Beautiful with the first pour, but actually went downhill with the second pour.

1985 Haut-Brion - nose of sweet grass, fruity, a little smoky and earthy.  A little more oxidized.  More fragrant with cedar notes, and a little stewed prunes.  93 points.

Second pair: decanted for 1½ hours prior to serving.
1982 Haut-Brion - smoky, a little brett, a little oaky, fragrant, and nice.  Somewhat medicinal, a little savory, and leather.  93 points.

1990 Haut-Brion - nice with cedar notes, some savory soy sauce, slightly medicinal with leather notes.  94 points.

Third pair: decanted for 1 hour and 40 minutes prior to serving.
1994 Dominus - more concentration here.  A little more mint, a little fragrant cedar.  A hint of leather but also pungent.  Later on more medicinal notes.  95 points.

1994 Latour - tighter, showing a little burnt rubber.  92 points.

Fourth pair: decanted for almost 2 hours prior to serving.
1994 Henri Jayer Echezeaux - really grassy and vegetal nose, and I believed this was corked.  Underneath there was a little fruit.

1994 Beaucastel Hommage à Jacques Perrin - leather, violet, sweet on the nose.  Really nice.  95 points.

What a wonderful lineup!  How sad that the Jayer wasn't enjoyable (to me), but of course none of us would waste of drop of this rare nectar...  Many thanks to our generous friend!  And judging by our guesses for the blind-tasting... when many of us made the mistake of taking a pair of wines 4 decades apart as a horizontal... it IS really that hard!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map