December 28, 2009

Going for gold

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I went back to Manor Seafood Restaurant (富瑤酒家) to entertain some friends from Taipei.  They were on an short shopping and eating trip to Hong Kong, and wanted to sample some good Cantonese.

We started with half a roast suckling pig (烤乳豬) at the suggestion of the staff.  This was not bad... the skin was thin and crispy.  But for some reason they were being cheap on the condiments, and we had to ask several times for more.  I think for this style of suckling pig,  Fook Lam Moon (福臨門) is still tops in town.

Next up was the reason why I came back - the gold coin chicken (古法金錢雞). The ones tonight were even better than what I had last time!  The sandwich of char siu (叉燒), bacon (冰肉), and chicken liver was just perfect, dripping with honey glaze.

My friend loves crabs so I ordered a giant flower crab steamed with chicken fat and Huadiao wine (雞油花雕蒸蟹).  This was one of the best dishes from my last visit, and did not disappoint.  I think the crab might be even bigger than the one we had last time, and the fragrance of the Huadiao in the thick, golden sauce hit us immediately.  After we finished the crab, the leftover sauce was taken and mixed with some e-fu noodles (伊麵)...absolutely delish.

We had a plate of stir-fried kale with garlic (蒜茸炒芥蘭).  This seems like a simple dish, but it's pretty hard to get really good kale in Taiwan so my friends enjoyed it.

Winter means time for hearty food like claypot rice with preserved meats (腊味飯煲).  While I really liked the rice crispies (飯焦/鍋巴) they dug up, the rice was too healthy and didn't have enough oil from the duck (腊鴨).  The portion of preserved meats also seemed a little skimpy.

My friends wanted some almond cream with egg white (蛋白杏仁茶), but this was downright horrible.  What I had in my bowl was not almond cream, but more like almond yogurt or some other form of curdled milk... Sooooo not what I was looking for.  Guess we'll have to go back to Fook Lam Moon to get this one, too...

I brought two bottles of wine to share:  the 2000 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion was nice and simple, with classic notes of mint, eucalyptus, smoke and grilled meats on top of the fruit - right up my friend's alley.  The 2007 Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett was equally classic, with typical nose of petrol, mineals and plastic over lemon and orange.

I promised to join my friends for lunch at Fook Lam Moon before they return to Taipei tomorrow.  That would be another interesting session...

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