December 31, 2012

Closing out 2012 with whispers

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It's new year's eve, and as usual I didn't make any plans to celebrate in grand fashion.  Up until yesterday I was content to just hole up at home and spend it quietly by myself.  Tigger then extended an invitation for me to spend the evening with them, and all of a sudden I found myself with plans.

In typical fashion, food for the evening was take-out, and decided very late in the game.  Upon our arrival by bus from Central, it was time to go and pick up the food.  ILL got her chance to ride in Mrs. Tigger's C 63 Black Series, and went to pick up our dinner from Fook Lam Moon (福臨門) while I stayed behind to prep the wines...

The menu was typical of the Tigger household… most of the dishes feature time and again during their meals at the restaurant.

Deep-fried frogs' legs (椒鹽田雞腿) - someone can't live without this dish.

Stir-fried garoupa fillets (油泡石斑球) 

Stir-fried beef cubes with deep-fried garlic (蒜茸牛柳粒)

Braised tofu with mushrooms and choy sum (紅燒豆腐)

Stir-fried kale with ginger sauce (薑汁生炒蘭度)

Fried glutinous rice with preserved meats (生炒糯米飯) - even though this came in a plastic box for take-out, and probably sat in here for close to an hour before serving, this still tasted damn good.  Every winter I look forward to having this over and over again.

Mrs. Tigger decided she wanted to get some use out of her wine collection, so we popped open a few bottles for the evening, starting with the 2000 Philipponnat Rosé Cuvée "1522".  I have to say that this was pretty disappointing, and everyone agreed.  Nose was virtually non-existent, with just some red fruits on the palate.

I picked up some cheese yesterday from Stan Cafe nearby, and these came in handy as we sat around the dinner table chatting over the next couple of hours.

St.-Nectaire - a huge, musty/moldy nose hit me as I unwrapped the paper, and this stayed throughout the evening.  The actual flavor was pretty mild.

Brin d'Amour - the exterior layer of rosemary, thyme and fennel tasted very strong, along with a little bit of paprika that was pretty spicy.  The center was rich, creamy and acidic, while the texture was soft and bouncy.

Brie de Meaux

For cheese I often prefer a white, and the 2009 Donnafugata Vigna di Gabri was very ripe and alcoholic.  Pretty nice and aromatic, with metallic notes and lots of toast and minerals.

When I asked the boss at Stan Cafe - upon seeing some wrappers from the famed affineur Mère Richard in Lyon -whether he had any Saint-Marcellin… he looked at me with a look that said "Are you stupid or something?!"…  This was by far the best cheese tonight, as it was running all over the place after being cut open.  There was a lot of "finger action" around the table…  Should have bought two of these… or three.

Crottin de Chavignol - a nice goat's cheese from the Loire Valley.  Flavors are more intense here, with a more pungent nose, thick and creamy texture, with a little bitterness on the finish.  Unfortunately no one else wanted any...

Duck saucisson - very, very tasty.  There were some comment around the table about preserved duck (臘鴨)…

1989 Lafite-Rothschild - decanted for 2½ hours prior to drinking.  Mineral, salty, soy sauce, smoky.  Very open and beautiful.  Opened up more with time, showing lovely black fruits and eventually lead pencil.  My wine to go with duck saucisson

Finally came the desserts.  First up was a raspberry mousse cake from the Mandarin Cake Shop, with some dried apricots.  I did an ILL and ate my piece out of my hands…

The tarte au citron from Stan Cafe was actually very good.  Good amount of acidity and tart flavors, along with a nice crust.  I eventually gave in and ate the whole thing…

…and let's not forget a box of "expired" chocolates which Cartier sourced from Jean-Paul Hevin

As the seconds ticked towards midnight, we opened up the windows and eventually heard the sounds of fireworks drifting in from the distance.  We wished each other happy new year, almost whispering so as not to wake up the kiddies sleeping upstairs.  2013 will be a better year for me.  I will make sure that it is so.

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