September 2, 2011

Mr. Cha and Mr. Tam

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A few days ago, my preeminent blogger friend Chaxiubao hollered on Twitter and asked if anyone wanted to join him for dinner at Tam Keung's Congee (健味粥).  It's been more than 2 years since my first and only visit, and I recently missed an opportunity to join him and a few friends there.  As I happen to be in Hong Kong this week, I eagerly shouted back and announced my wish to join him.

In the familiar space upstairs, two tables were set and ready.  There were fellow foodies, fellow bloggers, as well as Mr. Tam and another local organic farmer.  This is certainly an interesting mix...

Smoked pig's liver (香薰豬潤) - these were a little dry, but nicely smoked.

Pig's blood braised in Portuguese sauce (健味葡汁燴豬紅) - the pig's blood is good, and interesting that they should cook in curry powder to cover up the potentially strong taste of it.

"Slimming" eel with caul fat (網油瘦身鱔) - I'm guessing that this could be pike conger since it's in season.  It was cooked with caul fat, a little like crépinette.  The man said that he places the eels in salt water so that they would spit out the dirt in their systems, as well as firm up the flesh.  Honestly I am never a fan of eel like this, and it still tasted like a mouthful of dirt to me... Plus there was just soooo many little pieces of bone I ended up jabbing myself repeatedly in the mouth.  Not a fan.

Stir-fried salt water prawns with Indian cashews (印度腰果炒河蝦仁) - this was OK.

Seven-layered pork belly wrapped in fish maw (七花腩釀魚鰾) - this was wonderful.  The Koreans have samgyeopsal and even ohgyeopsal, but this is better... OK, so I didn't exactly open it up and count the layers, but it definitely tasted real good.  The fish maw is 沙頭角魚鰾.

Double-boiled pork shank soup with sarcodon aspratus mushrooms (黑虎掌豬蹍燉湯) - amazingly good.  The clear soup contained all the essence of the pork, large conpoy but most of all the "black tiger pawn" mushrooms.  The mushrooms themselves were kinda tough in texture, but the fragrance... wow!  Very sweet and delicious.

Braised butterfly pork brisket with morels (羊肚菌炆豬蝴蝶腩) - very delicious.  Butterfly brisket is always good, although the usual variety I have in Hong Kong is beef and not pork.  Morels, of course, are just very delicious things and made the dish.

Steamed crab with egg white and matsutake (松茸蛋白蒸蟹) - very nice.  Fresh, sweet crab with the subtle flavors of matsutake (松茸) and egg white.

Stir-fried "virgin" pig intestines with kale (芥蘭菌炒豬女生腸) - yes, the intestines come from sows which have not been impregnated.  I don't get to eat 生腸 much, and this was nice and crunchy.

Tea-smoked chicken (香薰太爺雞) - this was very good.  We had a chicken fiend among us who claimed that she could finish half the chicken by herself.  I did challenge her to the task, but in the end she chickened out... (yes, pun fully intended!)

Black truffle fried rice (黑松露炒飯) - this was soooo good!  Made with diced chicken, white and red rice, pine nuts, corn, choy sum (菜心), egg white and of course the fragrant black truffles.  Impossible to resist having a second bowl.

Stir-fried noodles in soy sauce (豉油皇炒麵) - also really, really good, with lots of wok hei (鑊氣).

We were also served a fruit plate, with organic tomatoes from Mr. Tam's farmer friend.  Very nice.

A few of us brought wine and it was a pretty mixed lot...

2007 Domaine Valette Pouilly-Vinzelles - a bit mineral and lemon.  Acidity was medium-high.

2005 Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond - sweet, nutty, rich, plum, ripe, a little smoke.  A little simple on the palate.

2006 Cloudy Bay Te Koko - minerals and flint, definitely some stinky pipi de chat, and a little bitter on the palate.

2003 Kaesler Old Bastard - herbs, mint, caramel, very ripe and concentrated on the nose. A little bitter on the palate.

1993 Langoa Barton - smoky and meaty.  A classic Left Bank wine. 

1 comment:

gary s said...

yeah she did chicken out on the chickens but finished the leftovers from both tables a few days later. ha ha.


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