April 8, 2010

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I went back to the China Club (中國會) to meet up with a few ex-colleagues for dinner, in part to celebrate the impending sabbatical of a friend.  One of my friends is about to lose her membership with the club, so we decided it would be easy for a few of them to walk across the street to dinner.

Unfortunately, we didn't book a private room and ended up in the main dining room.  It was loud...not just from the crowd but from the band and the singer in the room.  I've never sat in the main dining room for dinner, and this would probably be the last time that I do so.  Not what I had in mind.

I came up with a list of a few dishes I liked and had them pre-ordered.  Started with a plate of fatty char siu (肥叉燒) while we waited for the last person to arrive.  A little sub-par tonight...while there was enough caramelized fat, the exterior - which is usually a little dry and crispy - was too dry and hard.  The pork was just too chewy...

Conch baked with goose liver (鮮鵝肝焗格蘭嚮螺) - this was not bad, but nowhere near the level that I remembered from last time.

Roast duck (掛爐琵琶鴨) - the duck was very, very nicely roasted.  The skin was thin and crispy, while the meat was soft and succulent.  But I seemed to be the only one who kept eating it...

Wolfberry leaves with sliced pork in superior broth (上湯枸杞葉肉片) - always nice to have wolfberry leaves - along with some wolfberries (枸杞子).

Stir-fried thin noodles with shredded chicken in soy sauce (豉油皇雞絲炒麵) - very, very yummy with lots of wok hei (鑊氣) from frying with high heat.  The only drawback here is that they used too much oil tonight, and the whole thing was a little greasy.

For dessert I had some deep-fried egg cuillers (蛋散), which were very nice and fluffy.  I didn't have any deep-fried glutinous rice balls (煎堆).

I pushed this gathering from lunch to dinner because I wanted to drink, and brought along a bottle of 1999 Roger Sabon Le Secret de Sabon.  Nose was pretty farmy, with mint, a little smoke, sweet fruit, earthy and minerals.  The combination with char siu made the smokiness much more prominent.  Medium acidity.  Not bad to drink now.

Half way through dinner, I realized that we were the only Asian table in the dining room - every other table was either all or predominantly Caucasian, with the occasional token Asian.  That felt a little weird.  Yes, I realize that the setting of the China Club caters to expats and visitors, but I didn't expect things to be so one-sided.  I guess most of the local clientele - like me - weren't exactly looking forward to watching the waiter showing off kung fu his skills with his tea pot...


Anonymous said...

Hope you know what 蛋散 means!

Lambda said...

I wanted to show my Kung Fu Panda move but they would not allow me!


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