July 16, 2012

Finally, the right Danny

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I'm back in Taipei and met up with a friend for dinner and some wine.  I was introduced to a fellow wine lover over dinner, and this would turn out to be a very enjoyable evening for the 3 of us.  I finally got my chance to check out Danny and Company, run by the famous steak specialist Danny Deng.

Believe it or not, I'm at a restaurant famous for their steaks and I actually didn't want any.  These guys only serve wagyu, which I try to stay away from due to the cows being grain-fed.  So I chose the set menu which offered an appealing alternative.

Amuse bouche - ho hum.  I guess the acidity helps bring out the appetite...

Foie gras crème brûlée, caramelized pineapple purée, brioche point, berries, arugula - interesting to start with something on the sweet side.  The swoosh was made from local pineapples, and had a little of that acidity to cut through the fat.

Carrot soup, ginger, cream, milk foam - very ho hum.  Would have preferred to skip this course…

Seared tiger prawn, romesco sauce, scallion, fried capers - not bad at all.  The prawns were nice, and interesting to see romesco on the plate.

King crab salad, avocado, grapefruit segments, Asian vinaigrette - the flavors of the crab meat were lovely, although the mirin (味醂) vinaigrette was a little too strong.

Grilled greater amberjack - the sauce was very interesting.  It was sweet and creamy, made with onions, chives and button mushrooms. But I could have sworn that I tasted ginger and Chinese ham, and the flavors were somehow so Shanghainese, like the garnish I would find on top of a steamed Reeve's shad (鰣魚)…  Weird…

Teppan sous vide race of lamb, sautéed edamame bean, lamb jus, polenta cake - this item on the menu caught my way, not the least because it said "sous vide"... and was translated into Chinese as "舒肥"...  It was not wagyu, and that was good enough for me.

The lamb chops were delicious.  It certainly looked like it was done sous vide, with consistent "doneness" radiating from the center.  The edges were browned, and the "bottom" side were a little more well done thanks to the chops laying on a hot pan in front of me.  There was just enough fat around the edges to make it appealing to me.

Some of the green soybeans looked a little charred, and the polenta was fairly "eggy" and tasted on the sweet side.  Overall, though, this was very good and satisfying.

Out of the four desserts - two of which involved chocolate - I chose the vanilla crème brûlée.  I guess this was the creative version, since I didn't quite recognize it when it arrived.  I can see the seeds from vanilla pods that our waitress so proudly highlighted to us, but there was no brûlée here...

The vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of caramel sauce melted quickly, but in general it was pretty good.

I ended up pouring the little bit of espresso sauce onto the vanilla crème.

Each of us brought a bottle to share tonight, and there was even a half bottle of sticky for us just to have a taste...

2002 Fleurot Le Montrachet - nose was initially toasty and smoky, with some sweetness.  While toasty notes faded it became buttery, coconut, pineapple, apricot and straw.  Sweetness remained throughout in the nose. Opened 1 hour prior to dinner and decanted at the start of dinner. Not bad for the price I paid.

1999 Geantet-Pansiot Charmes-Chambertin - eucalyptus, mint, pine needle and sweet.  Very enjoyable.

1998 Jaboulet La Chapelle - forest, dried herbs, potpourri, fragrant and beautiful.  Acidity was surprisingly a little high. Opened 4 hours prior to dinner but not decanted.

2006 De Bortoli Noble One - honey, marmalade and a little acetone.

This was a really enjoyable evening.  I'm glad I finally made it here, as my earlier excursion to the wrong restaurant ended in disaster.  The wines were also all drinking well, and I was very grateful for the company and the interesting conversations.  Must do it again, and soon...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's have it next time. :)


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