May 8, 2009

A Hong Kong classic

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It's my first meal out back in Hong Kong, and I'm meeting up with some wine lover friends at Luk Yu Tea House (陸羽茶室), a Hong Kong institution. I've never been a fan of this place, having visited only twice in over 10 years of living here. This would be a chance for me to really see what this place can do.

We started with some crispy honeyed ham (蜜汁火腿), kinda like crispy bacon. This was OK. We followed with a whole series of dishes, which included:

Almond pig's lung soup (杏仁豬肺湯) - this was very, very good as the almond soup was thick and rich.

Braised fish maw and goose web (花膠炆鵝掌) - this was OK but the goose web was a bit sub-par.

Tiger prawns sautéed with superior soy sauce (頭抽煎老虎蝦) - very, very yummy...I was sucking on the head to get all the flavors out. But why did they have to cut the prawns in two?!

Braised abalone and mustard green (鮑魚芥膽) - the abalone was pretty good, with the centers deliciously soft and succulent.

Roast goose (燒鵝) was not bad.

Sweet and sour pork was pretty decent.

The kale in suprior stock (上湯芥蘭) was actually very sweet and delicious.

The stir-fried glutinous rice (生炒糯米飯) was honestly a disgrace... The rice was soggy and all stuck together. I haven't had it so bad in a long, long time, and sums up the experience of dining here.

Luk Yu is indeed living off its reputation and no longer deserves our attention. The kitchen staff knocked off at 9:45pm on a Friday night, and the only reason we got some decent service was because our host knew the place well. I'm pretty sure that my third visit will be my last...

But of course the wines were the focus of the evening, and here is the lineup:

Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle - a bit of green apple, toast with a hint of sweet grass.

1996 Jacquesson Signature - clearly a step up from the last wine, with huge nose of straw, toast, sweet grass, very wheaty and yeasty. A very lovely wine with a slightly more acidic attack.

2002 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne - sweet grass, anise, lemon with a touch of sweetness. Ripe on the palate with good acidity balance.

2004 Kongsgaard Chardonnay The Judge - I've been buying this wine since I joined the mailing list, and this was the first time I'd crack open a bottle to try it out. It's young but pretty damn good... A classic Cali Chard and typical of Kongsgaard style, with loads of toasty oak and vanilla. With the second pour came lots of sweet butter, tropical fruit and smoke. Very ripe on the palate with a slightly spicy finish.

2000 Anne Gros Richebourg - very powerful nose with mint and iron notes upfront. Very elegant on the palate with a long finish. Unfortunately the wine died in the glass pretty quickly.

2005 Comte de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru - lots of sweet fruit and iron in the nose. Acidic on the palate. Disappointing.

1995 Angelus - a classic Bordeaux with smoky, medicinal and farmy nose.

1998 Harlan Maiden - this is the oldest vintage of the Maiden that I own, and it's certainly nice to drink it after 10 years of cellaring. Lots of orange tangerine, a huge, sweet nose with lots of ripeness and slightly high in alcohol. I thought it was a beautiful wine.

1996 Clos Mimi Syrah Shell Creek - I've always loved Clos Mimi for being really quirky. My first experience 7 years ago with this wine - same vintage - yields notes like "tangerine orange, alcoholic Ribena"... and it did not disappoint today. Nose of mushrooms, smoky, grilled bacon, soy sauce, grilled meats, wax, orange and sweet fruits. A lot more mature and toned down since my last bottle, but very interesting nonetheless.

1990 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel - huge petrol nose with orange rind plastic. Kinda sweet but has an acidic finish. A perfect way to finish.

We had 10 bottles between the 11 of us, which meant that I was pretty well-buzzed when we were done. I must say that it was a great way to spend Friday night...


Sher.eats said...

no glutenous rice stuffed chicken!?!?

Peech said...

Uh...the ordering was done by the host so I took whatever was in front of me... Except for the rice - which really was a disaster - the other dishes weren't bad. But then again, I could get the same or better at many places in HK, so why come back?


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