January 6, 2010

The first 40th birthday of the year

Pin It

A few of us are turning 40 this year, and an old friend in particular hit the 4-handle on Jan 1.  It became an occasion for us to get together and celebrate the big event, belatedly.  Where else would this group gather except at Fook Lam Moon(福臨門)?

In true Cantonese fashion, we started with some conch soup (螺頭湯), which was double-boiled with chicken feet, wolfberries (枸杞), ham and Chinese yam (山藥).  Slight bittersweet aftertaste.  Very nice way to kick off the dinner.

By tradition we also had the roast suckling pig (大紅片皮乳豬) to start, and even though they do a better job than just about anywhere else, somehow it didn't quite do it for me tonight.

Deep-fried crab claw (百花炸釀蟹拑) came next.  It's always a pleasure to chomp on a big crab claw, especially when it's really fresh and the meat is sweet.  But in all honesty, I always felt that it's a shame to deep-fry the claw with all that coating of starch...

One of my favorite dishes here is the stir-fried lobster with black beans and green peppers (豉椒炒龍蝦球), and tonight the execution was just about perfect.  The meat of the lobster was so fresh and sweet, and that chewy/bouncy texture (彈牙) was so enjoyable. The flavors of the black beans and peppers complemented the lobster well.

The fried giant pomfret (沙律煙鯧魚) was requested for the evening, and was as impressive as ever in terms of size.  Taste-wise it was far superior to what I had 2 nights ago at Palace Kitchen (廚藝).  The only shame is that the staff decided to break up the pieces before laying the plate on our table, so visually it was no longer stunning.

A plate of stir-fried canola (清炒菜遠) was a nice and refreshing break from the oily dishes.

The fried glutinous rice with preserved meats (生炒糯米飯) here is just about the best in town, and the big serving bowl was empty in no time as people chomped down 2 to 3 bowls... The individual rice grains were dry enough not to be mushed together, yet moist enough to provide that chewy texture that's not quite al dente, but equally enjoyable.

The claypot of baked chicken in Huadiao wine (花雕焗雞) was largely ignored, which is a shame.  It's not the best chicken they do here, but the fragrance of the Huadiao (花雕) was pretty nice.

As we were celebrating a birthday, the yolk and lotus paste birthday buns (蛋黃蓮蓉壽包) came at the end.  These were very good, but somehow not as good as I remembered.  We also had some glutinous rice balls steamed in apple leaves (蘋葉果).  This was very nice... delicate flavors from the red bean paste inside.  A large plate of fresh fruits wrapped up the evening for us.

In terms of wine I brought a bottle of 1996 Dom Pérignon to toast the birthday boy.  The nose was yeasty, and the wine was pretty ripe on the attack, with some minerals mid-palate  and a slightly dry finish.

To celebrate the birthday properly, I took out a magnum of 1970 Lynch-Bages, which I bought around 10 years ago.  I decanted it at home and, as I broke the cork and it dropped into the bottle, brought both the empty bottle and the decanter to the restaurant.  It was a classic claret, with the usual nose of smoke, grilled meats, mint, a hint of caramel and sweet fruit.  It was obviously an old vintage, but the body was still there. Finish was a little dry at times.

Spending time with old friends is always a pleasure, and there are many more birthdays to celebrate this year.  Looking forward to those...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

man, i love FLM... have been having too many western meals over the holidays, just reading your blog makes me want to go have a chinese meal asap!



Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map