October 28, 2007

French food in Shanghai

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Last weekend I went up to Shanghai since it was a long weekend in HK. There were two primary reasons for the trip: the Chateau Lynch-Bages dinner organized by the Commanderie du Bordeaux, and house hunting. What was surprising about my trip was that, of the 4 meals I had in Shanghai, both dinners were French! But what a pleasant surprise!

The venue for the Lynch-Bages dinner was Allure at the Royal Meridien. The pre-dinner tasting consisted of the lower-end wines made by the Cazes family, such as Villa Bel-Air in Graves and L'Ostal Cazes in Minervois. Interesting to taste but not exactly the reason why we were there.

The wines served for dinner were the 2005 Blanc de Lynch-Bages (always an excellent dry white), the 2004 Cordeillan-Bages (glad to have finally drunk this wine), the 2003 Ormes de Pez (not a bad effort), and finally the 2001 and the 1996 Lynch-Bages. The 2001 was still a bit tight, but the 1996 was just beautiful to drink now and is a classic Pauillac.

But the highlight of the evening was actually the food. I was very impressed with the menu. The oxtail and goose liver tart was excellent. The sauteed cod was very yummy, especially with the little slices of bone marrow on top. And the lamb shank was very, very nice.

On Saturday, my friend Kevin invited me to a dinner at La Platane in Xintiandi, run by Justin Quek (formerly of Les Amis and Au Jardin in Singapore). The food is therefore unsurprisingly excellent.

We took it a bit easy in terms of wine, sharing two bottles between 5 of us. The first is a house Australian syrah made for the restaurant. Incredibly, it tasted so much like a Cote-Rotie I would never have guessed it was Aussie! The wine was drinking beautifully and I am sure that it would not have cost an arm and a leg.

The second bottle of the night was the 1999 Sine Qua Non The Marauder, which was part of the case that I shared with Kevin. The wine had obviously softened quite a bit since I last drank it a few years ago, but it still packed a wallop of minerals (to me the nose is still full of iron and hence reminds me of blood...)

We shared a few delicious appetizers but the main event was the cote de boeuf, a big hunk of beef that was just done perfectly. It was charred at the edges and tender and juicy inside. Wow! Makes me want to go back for more.

I'm definitely going to pay these restaurants more visits in the future when I'm up there...


Catherine said...

Great experience. You should also try Château d'Yqueme. A really expressive wine.

French online

Peech said...

Thank you. Yes, Yquem is great and so is Ygrec...


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