January 8, 2008

MNSC Annual Dinner

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Last night we had our annual dinner for MNSC to kick off 2008. The venue this year was Cuisine Cuisine at IFC, which is not a restaurant I would normally go to. But they have recently hired Chef Lee who used to work at Hang Seng, and we had arranged for a menu with all his specialties.

The menu for the evening:
Sauteed Crystal King Prawns (水晶大蝦球) - a huge prawn that was very tender and delicious, perhaps even a bit better than the one at China Club last month

Traditional Braised Assorted Snake Soup with Shark's Fin (魚翅燴五蛇羹) - I am not a big fan of either shark's fin or snake soup, but I loved this soup. The clear broth was so unusual for snake soup (in my limited experience anyway)

Stewed Whole "Yoshihama" Abalone with Premium Oyster Sauce (二十五頭原隻皇冠鮑魚炆鵝掌) - wonderfully tender abalone, and the goose feet was nicely done, too

Braised Back Fin of Giant Grouper (生炆龍躉翅) - I had never had this dish before, since this is a giant fish and having it means lots of people are being served at the same time. Although there was a hint of dirt in the flesh, it was done quite nicely - lightly breaded and fried, drizzled with shredded ham

Traditional Baked Chicken with Rock Salt in Ancient Method (正宗鹽焗雞) - done just right

Poached Green Pea Shoots (上湯浸豆苗) - a welcome change of pace after all the heavy hitters

Stir-fried Glutinous Rice with Assorted Preserved Meat (生炒糯米飯) - sooo wonderful, one of my favorites, and the sausage was just so nice

Sweetened Almond Cream with Egg White (蛋白杏仁茶) - very rich but surprisingly not too sweet

As for the wines, the line up this evening was:

1996 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal - a nice way to start off the evening

2004 Verget Batard Montrachet - we decanted it and it drank beautifully, with lots of butter, minerals and sweet corn on the nose

1966 La Lagune - not from the best vintage or the chateau, but nevertheless drank reasonably well. Not a lot of sweet fruit left in the nose, but rather a bit medicinal

2000 DRC Echezeaux - this drank sooo well and I loved it so. Color was pretty light and a bit cloudy. If I had this in a blind tasting, I would definitely have called it a Cote-Rotie and not a Burgundy! The nose of violet was so prominent, and it's exactly what I love.

1999 Emmanuel Rouget Echezeaux - we always knew this was going to be heavier and more closed than the 2000, so we saved it for last. Much more powerful than the DRC, unfortunately this wine never opened fully.

This was a wonderful dinner - we left the restaurant that night as fans of Chef Lee, and vow to host more dinners in 2008 at Chinese restaurants.

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