August 11, 2009

World class desserts

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My friend and I were welcoming a couple who had just arrived in Hong Kong, and decided to take them out for a casual meal at Dim Sum (譽滿坊). We had a few items of dim sum - as this is one of the few places in Hong Kong serving dim sum at night - along with a few gweilo-friendly dishes like lemon chicken (檸檬雞), Chinese-style beef fillet (中式牛柳). Overall it was simple and pretty satisfying.

I even brought along a bottle of 2003 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard, although I found it a bit too ripe so that after the medium-acidic mid-palate, the finish was slightly tart and bitter.

Despite being reasonably full (at least I was), my friend proposed that we adjourn to Pierre to have some wonderful desserts. Dessert has always been a big thing with any meal at Pierre, and Nicolas has always been able to wow me with his creations.

Vacherin with hibiscus jelly - very, very nice...especially the hibiscus jelly whose acidity cuts through the richness of the Vacherin. Had this a few weeks ago.

Creamy apple velouté with sorbet and blackcurrant sauce - yes, it looks like baby food and the texture is similar. The blackcurrant sorbet + sauce works well together.

Redcurrant jelly, crêpe praline ganache hot on top - loved the jelly and the crème at the bottom.

Fruit and vegetable with kirsch, yoghurt sorbet with lime - the yoghurt sorbet had melted a little by the time I got to it, and it was just yummy... of course the extra dimension from the kirsch made this very special with its added kick...

I thought we were done, but I was wrong... round 2 came next. How could I refuse?

Coffee and milk jelly with butter cream - I had this a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it. Once again I enjoyed slowly smearing some of that delicious butter cream on the coffee and milk jelly... Heavenly for someone who loves coffee.

Pancake immersed in ginger and lime water - a thin layer of crêpe in a small, round disc with a layer of cream below. Definitely could taste the kick of the ginger...

Strawberry wurtz, red pepper confit, strawberry on top - kinda interesting in terms of the mix of ingredients.

9 Conduit Street: light pistachio mousseline; cachaça granité, galia melon soup, cucumber and green mango; ‘‘Parsley, coriander, arugula’’; green biscuit - now this was really something out of the ordinary. Served in the signature giant spoon of the restaurant, at first this just looks like a big blob of light green stuff. The pistachio mousseline dominates and sits on top of the mix of veggies, and the cucumber and green mango slices are at the bottom. Whole thing was topped with a thin biscuit.

In terms of flavors this was definitely the most interesting of the lot, as you've got lots of different things going on. While slurping through the mousse and getting a full taste of pistachio, you suddenly hit a bit of arugula and coriander. Digging down further with the spoon, your tastebuds are refreshed with cucumber and the acidity of the mango, not to mention the melon soup. When I was done and there was only a bit of the melon soup left, what else could I do but pick up the giant spoon and let the last remainder of the liquid flow onto my waiting tongue? I always had high expectations for dessert, but this was really "Wow!"

It was so nice to be able to swing by on the spur of the moment, and ask the kitchen to send us their dessert tasting. Once again I have to thank our friends at Pierre for making this an evening to remember... and I think our guests were very happy!

P.S. I would normally never dream of visiting Pierre without my SLR, but as this was an unscheduled stop I had nothing on me but the crappy cam on my Blackberry. So unfortunately I couldn't capture the beautiful creations. Next time...

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