April 27, 2012

Trip to the Principal's office

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It's been more than 2 months since the boys of MNSC gathered for dinner, and we finally managed to get 6 out of the 7 of us together last night.  I have never been to the Principal since it opened last year, but it seemed a natural venue for this gathering when one of the principals behind the venture was hosting the dinner.  I was pretty excited to see what was in store for us tonight.

There were some snacks on the table, including gougères, sweet popcorn and macadamia nuts coated with green tea powder.

Amuse bouche - saffron panna cotta, crayfish, and caviar.  I could taste a little bit of the saffron flavors coming through.

Scampi : tomato tartare, dates, ajoblanco - the shellfish flavors were so prominent that they permeated the air around us.  The scampi was pretty yummy, although I would have preferred for it to have a little more spring on the bite.  The acidity of the tomato and the sweetness of the dates kinda created an interesting mix with the thick, powdery texture of the ajoblanco.

Egg and bean : egg, fava beans, truffle, pancetta - pretty interesting.  There were little cubes of beef tongue mixed in, which were a little salty.

The translucent layer on top was, essentially, cured pork fat.  The menu says pancetta, but I didn't see any trace of lean meat… which essentially makes it about the same thing as my beloved lardo.  Heavenly.

Bone marrow : roasted bone marrow with caviar and cauliflower - I love bone marrow, and this was right up my alley.  Amazingly rich.  A fantastic dish.  Loved the sweetness of the cauliflower cream.

Dover sole : pan-seared Dover sole with capers, snow peas and orange oil emulsion - I'm generally not a fan of Dover sole because of its texture, so this was never gonna be my favorite dish.  The strong, fishy flavors from the deep-fried fish skin definitely interfered with our olfactory senses and palate for wine…  Lots of acidity here.

Rice : creamy rice with sautéed ceps and truffle - yum.  Very nicely done.  Al dente.

Kobe : grilled Kobe sirloin with foie royal, black garlic and sautéed baby carrots and turnip - A5 Kobe.  Very nice.  The crunchy bits on top were interesting.  The black garlic was really nice, and I wished there were more of it!

Violet : violet sponge with strawberries, yoghurt sorbet, pistachio purée and honeycomb - this is the second time I've been served sponge cake from a pastry chef, and I still don't get it.  The sorbet was good, though.

Yuzu : dark chocolate aero with yuzu curd, coffee polvorón, matcha crumbs and Ovaltine sorbet - citrus flavors like yuzu (柚子) would always work with chocolate.  I did think, though, that this was a little too busy… and a little overboard with the powder thing.

An excellent meal overall, and I'd love to come back another day to look through the menu to hand pick other dishes to try.

Lord Rayas served us an interesting array of wines, and the selection this evening was a little larger than usual.  This was due to the unfortunate circumstance of having two corked bottles, and our host being well-prepared and pulling out reserve bottles.

2005 Roulot Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes - a little dusty, oaky and lemon.  Medium acidity.

First flight:
1988 Hubert Lignier Clos de la Roche - sweet grass, a little green and vegetal.  Smoky with some coffee. This bottle was deemed a little faulty and corked, so was taken out of scoring.

1988 Rayas - of course Lord Rayas had to bring out a namesake bottle…  Really sweet and tropical, with pineapple and mango (but no lychee).  Kinda alcoholic.

Second flight:
1996 Dujac Charmes-Chambertin - leather, smoky, minty, dried herbs, potpourri, plum and animal.  Really lovely, and my favorite wine of the flight.

1996 Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin - nose was a bit muted.  Grassy, dusty, corked.  Also taken out from scoring.

1996 Joseph Roty Charmes-Chambertin Cuvée de «très vieilles vignes» - nose was a little muted.  A hint of medicinal notes, dusty, smoky.  Pretty disappointing at first.  Later on strawberries and tropical fruit notes revealed themselves.

Third flight:
1990 Clos du Mont-Olivet La Cuvee du Papet - soy sauce, mineral, salty plum.  Later on a little exotic fruit.  Slightly alcoholic and sharp.

1990 Beauséjour-Duffau - very mineral, grass, smoky, salty, minty and medicinal.  A very lovely wine.

1990 Montrose - funky, manure, smoke, medicinal, farmy, mineral, toasty and inky.  Also a very good wine.

Many thanks to Lord Rayas for such a wonderful evening, especially the trio of 100-point wines in the last flight - all of which were drinking well.

1 comment:

Michelle Chin said...

I never had sponge cake as dessert before. I would find it really weird man!


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