May 10, 2008

Bontemps au Bonheur

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Had an evening out with friends for a third night in a row. Bonheur was the venue for this evening, due to its delicious food and excellent value for money. We brought along a few bottles of wine for the evening, and I expected to be pretty well-lit by the end of the evening.

I started with the foie gras terrine as a starter, which came with 2 slices of thick, premium packaged melba toast. The terrine itself was pretty thick, and I thought it was nice and creamy as it coated my tongue.

I skipped the soup as I felt I could only manage 3 courses, and I definitely wanted dessert.

I chose the grilled kurobuta pork chop, and for some reason mine was the biggest portion out of the three of us who had ordered the same dish. It was HUMONGOUS. I actually wanted to switch with someone or give half of it away, coz it was just really intimidating. But nevermind, let me see what I can do…

First bite - very tender and juicy, looks promising. As I worked my way through this big hunk of meat, I began to realize that this just might be the best pork chop I have ever had. There is a strip of fat that runs down one side and also next to the bone, and this just provided all the flavor for the meat. It actually reminds me of the amazing char siu (叉燒) I had at Yung Kee's VIP floor - the perfect harmony achieved between the fat and the lean meat. Maybe the alcohol had affected my judgement, but I really, really, really liked that pork. I did manage to go through about 2/3 of it before finally giving up.

Desserts were served and a plate of profiteroles was presented in front of me. We weren't very excited about this. First of all, the filling was whipped cream instead of my favorite ice cream version. There was also not enough chocolate sauce on top, and the various fruit garnishes somehow didn't quite work.

I was actually crushed during the ordering process, because they had taken the croissant pudding off the menu. But now to finish with a disappointing dessert…

Naturally we had a lot of wine. We started with a Portuguese vinho verde whose name and vintage seemed totally forgettable, but in fact it was surprisingly good.

Next we drank the 2005 de Ladoucette Pouilly-Fume, with floral, perfumed nose and notes of Anjou pear, minerals and a bit of toasty oak. Medium acidity.

With the main course we had 2000 Andreas, which showed all the classic Bordeaux traits - and the reason why I originally bought the wine was because it was so "New World". It's got classic notes of smoky, pain grille and red fruits. Tannins are round and smooth, and the finish is pretty long. A nice Bordeaux.

We also had a bit of the 2004 Penfolds Bin 707, which was a bit of infanticide. This is also classic, with typical Aussie nose of cotton candy, strawberries and sweet caramel. There is no mistaking where this wine came from.

Once again I left the restaurant very stuffed, and too drunk to follow the rest of the group to another round of drinks...but I gotta go back for more pork chop!

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