I'm a terrible friend.
A group of old friends - all of whom have known each other for 15-20 years - got together for one of several annual birthday gatherings tonight. The dinner was fixed about a month ago, and I was looking forward to catching up with the boys (and girl) over some delicious yakitori.
Then the Great One pinged me and told me that our friend Gaggan Anand is in town, and he'd like to go out for a Cantonese dinner tonight. Since a proper Cantonese meal - unlike some of those single-portion tasting menus offered by certain hotel restaurants - require more than a couple of mouths around the table, I decided to bail on my old friends on less than twelve hours' notice to accommodate Gaggan. I was out of town and missed the opportunity to join the party when Gaggan came to town last, and I didn't want to miss it a second time. Besides, I figured (perhaps it is presumptuous of me) that my old friends would forgive me for ditching them...
Coming up with an interesting venue for Cantonese food on same-day notice is tough, especially when it's Friday night. None of our favorite high-end private kitchen could be secured on short notice, especially when there were so few of us. We tossed out another couple of popular options, and I suggested Kin's Kitchen (留家廚房). The food there can be interesting, especially with off-menu items that we won't find on many of the high-end restaurants in town. So the Great One arranged a table with the boss.
I was the last person to arrive at dinner, and I could see that owner Lau Kin-wai (劉健威) was already seated at our table, sipping from a wine glass. I greeted our guest of honor, plopped my bottle of wine on the table, and waited for our food to arrive.
We declined the generous offer of dessert, although I saw Gaggan try out the coconut milk jelly (椰汁糕) brought out as mignardises.
The Kat and I each brought a bottle of wine to dinner, which was a pretty relaxed evening for us...
Roses de Jeanne Côte de Val Vilaine Blanc de Noirs, vintage unknown - very smooth and slightly sweet on the palate.