May 9, 2011

The ox and the hog

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Yet another gathering with the Specialist and friends.  I had the honor of booking the venue, and since Bistronomique isn't open on Mondays, we went for sister restaurant On Lot 10.  As usual, I contacted David ahead of time and asked him to prepare something a little special...

We didn't book early enough to get a table inside, so we ended up sitting outdoors next to the street.  I actually enjoy al fresco dining and have done it a few times here, but the ladies were on their toes pretty much since the time they sat down.   The guys were tasked with looking out for anything dangerous and unsavory that can cause the ladies to scream... such as dogs, rats, cockroaches... Fortunately we were spared any disasters during our meal.

Gooseneck barnacles - I had seen some celebs eat percebes in Galicia on a food travel show, but didn't think I'd see them here.  The staff showed us how to get to the flesh inside, and soon I was getting the flavors of the ocean in my mouth.  Both the smell and the flavors were clearly of the sea shore and shallow waters - and not from the depths of the ocean - thanks to the habitat of the creatures and their feeding habits.  Interesting to eat, but I can see that most of us didn't quite see them as a delicacy like the Spaniards.

Octopus and pork belly terrine with lentils - this was very good... I am normally not a fan of chewy octopus, but tonight the pieces of octopus were delicate and soft, without any trace of the hard, chewy textures I had come to expect.  The pork belly cubes were, of course, very welcome, as was the mildly acidic aspic which bonded everything together.  All of this seemed to work with the bed of lentils beneath.

Roasted asparagus, creamed morels, chicken wing and jus - this looked very interesting as David's version of oyakodon (親子丼).  The chicken wings were boned and nicely pan-fried.  The egg was delicious and had a gorgeous orange yolk.  Morels are in season, and these were big and yummy just like the asparagus.  A very homey dish, and totally enjoyable.

Pan-fried frog legs with spring garlic - very delish... and that garlic sure was tasty.

Watercress velouté - in addition to having the frog legs on their own, we could also dip them into the velouté to combine the flavors.  I chose to enjoy them separately.

Roasted mangalitsa pork collar - we had two big plates of this and we were already getting full.  I really enjoyed this cut of meat, as it was very juicy but there was only a little strip of fat on the side.  These sheep-like, woolly pigs were originally bred for their lard, and I can kinda see why...

Sautéed and shaved cèpes mushroom, creamy polentacèpes are always yummy, but I didn't have a lot of room for this...

Stewed oxtail and beef marrow - I am fortunate to count David as one of my readers, and he knew all about my quest for grass-fed oxtail as well as my subsequent botched attempt for the stew.  So he very kindly made me some stewed oxtail, and I was informed that the cow came from Shandong (山東) so it was almost certainly grass-fed.  The meat was falling off the bone, which made it easy for me to share a big piece with a friend.  Absolutely delicious.  I was in the throes of ecstasy after taking just one bite of the gorgeous bone marrow...  I could eat this all day, although I would need some bread to go along.  There was so much of everything I asked for a doggie bag...

Fuyu persimmon - these Fuyu persimmon (富有柿) from Japan were slightly on the raw side... very crunchy but I wish they were slightly sweeter.  Very refreshing on ice.

This group is more keen on what there was to drink than what there was to eat, so there was yet another line up of interesting wines...

2005 Louise Brison Brut - yeasty and mineral notes, with a slightly acidic finish.

1994 Von Schubert Riesling Auslese Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg - I didn't want to bring something French and the Specialist warned me against bringing anything Californian or Chinese, so I wasn't left with a whole lotta choice from my cellar at home... This was perfect - a huge nose with loads of plastic, polyurethane and petrol - everything an aged Riesling should be. Also notes of honey, white flowers and white pepper. This was still drinking beautifully 5 hours after I first opened it. Wow!

1999 Vogüé Bourgogne Blanc - a little sweet on the nose, with pineapple and coconut notes like a piña colada... didn't open up for a while.

2000 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles - a little sweet on the nose with lemon and straw notes, very hot and alcoholic, and kinda acidic mid-palate.

1999 Lucien Boillot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cherbaudes - smoky, nice and fruity with black prunes.

1997 Dujac Clos de la Roche - nice and open, plummy, black fruits, slightly sour on the nose, with a little dried herbs like Chinese licorice (甘草). Lovely.

2004 Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins - lots of potpourri, pine needle and mint. Huge, sweet, concentrated and alcoholic nose. This was a little young but I could see the potential in another 10 years or so.

Waaay too much food, and definitely too much wine.  But I'm beginning to sound like a broken record...


Anonymous said...


Love ur blog, would like to ask any corkage charge at On Lot 10 ?


Peech said...

There is corkage but it's relatively cheap

German said...

Guauu. Octopus and pork belly? That sound very interesting. I really like octopus but in most places they dont get right, for that reason i am not ask for them in restaurant, i just cook in home in the Galicia Style.


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