November 24, 2021

Out of quarantine

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The Compatriot is back in town after more than a year, and I was so looking forward to seeing him that I took him out to dinner on his first day out after the 21-day hotel quarantine.  I figured he would be missing some good Chinese food, so Howard's Gourmet (好酒好蔡) was my choice for that all-important first dinner.

I asked the restaurant not to serve us any shark's fin, but otherwise the menu was set by the chef based on seasonal ingredients. I was curious to see what we would be getting tonight.

Chaozhou snacks (時令兩小菜) included preserved radish with diced pork (菜脯肉丁) - which was fatty, crunchy, and chewy - as well as bamboo shoots marinated with chili.

Chef's espresso (特色暖胃湯) is a staple here, and tonight this was made with pumpkin, carrots, and potatoes. Certainly does the job of warming one's stomach in advance of the dishes coming our way.

November 23, 2021

Tea, shrimp, and wine

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A few days after celebrating her third birthday, we are celebrating our little dogcow CC's "gotcha day".  A year ago we welcomed her into our home, and I can't even begin to talk about how much happiness she's brought into our lives.  So Sankala and I decided to take a day off work just to hang with her.

It just happens that the Man in White T-shirt is taking a group to lunch at the Genuine Lamma Hilton Fishing Village Restaurant (漁村酒家), and I asked if we could tag along - with CC in tow.  I've heard about this place for, oh, I don't know how long... and figured it was finally time to check it out for myself.  The added bonus, of course, was that we could take CC along for this adventure.

After a short ride on a speedboat, we arrived at the private pier in Sok Kwu Wan (索罟灣) which leads us directly to the restaurant. This was CC's first ride in a boat, and she was very, very happy when she finally stepped foot on land.

The Man in White T-shirt had stopped at the Ap Lei Chau Market for some seafood, and the kitchen would be cooking some of these for us. Tina came especially to entertain us, so I knew this was gonna be pretty special.

First up was our welcome drink - cold brewed Dianhong spring tea (滇紅春茶) whose leaves come from 500-year-old ancient arbor from Baoshan (保山) in Yunnan.  This was from the 2021 vintage, and I don't remember ever tasting tea quite like this.  Definitely showing some lychee, orange, and even longan flower later on.

November 17, 2021

Autumn in the 'hood

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It has been a long, long time since I was last at my favorite restaurant in town with the Great One, and I was pretty happy when she asked me to join her at Neighborhood. I was more excited, however, at the thought of seeing Sweetheart, because I haven't seen very much of him at all this year. So when I found out that the group would be split and two of us would have to sit at a separate table, I volunteered to spend some quality time with Sweetheart and left the ladies in DaRC's care.

One of us is coming for her second night in a row, so the Man in White T-shirt promised that she would get different dishes tonight. As for me... I was just happy to be here.

Saucisson and lardo rillettes - rillettes is always a great idea, and this one was made by whipping lardo together with diced saucisson.

This is, of course, best taken on sourdough bread. I am already a happy camper with this humble combination, but of course the Man in White T-shirt has to shave some white truffle on top...

November 13, 2021

The bird with the golden wing

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Thanks to a friend who miscalculated regarding her quarantine stay, the Great One was offered a coveted table at Wing (永), the Chinese restaurant run by Vicky Cheng (鄭永麒) of VEA. This has been one of the hottest new places in town, and seats have been impossible to come by since the very beginning. I am never in a hurry to visit new restaurants, especially when they're so busy it would take some effort just to get a table. So it worked out pretty perfectly when the Great One asked us to join her tonight... with the added bonus of being able to seeing Sweetheart.

Knowing Vicky's penchant to ply us with tons of food, the Great One apparently did ask that he try not to kill us. Of course, we got a ton of food, anyway...

Abalone • Yunnan chili • bull kelp (南非鮑魚配雲南皺皮椒及海茸) - the abalone was slow-cooked for 5 hours, and indeed turned out to be very tender. The chili peppers from Yunnan added a little kick.

There was a dish with fish cum, but of course I didn't touch it with the proverbial 10-foot pole.

November 12, 2021

Le dîner de cons

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It was a few years ago that I got to celebrate Fergie and Chocoball's birthdays with them, and this year the boys decided to do it in style.  After months of hearing me bitch about it, Fergie finally decided to invite me for a meal at Derby Restaurant in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Happy Valley Clubhouse, so that I could get a taste of the new dishes from Chef Francky Semblat.

I haven't been here in a couple of years, and certainly not since Francky landed here after leaving le monde de Joël Robuchon. The first dishes I saw on social media looked like they came from Oncle Joël, and then there was talk that the menu didn't change very much in the beginning. Tonight, though, we were getting something entirely different. This was a menu that was meant to go with white truffle... all of 12 grams.

Our amuse bouche was a French onion soup tart, with white truffle on top.

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