April 23, 2013

Poodle kitchen

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It's been a while since I caught up with a friend over a proper dinner, and I miss opening up some interesting wines with him.  For convenience's (and old time's) sake we ended up at The Legend Concept.  My friend is very friendly with the owners of this private kitchen, and has been playing with the resident poodles for years.  And it really has been years since my last visit...

We started out with a couple of White Pearl oysters.  These were kinda briny in the middle, but also sweet and creamy at the same time.

The red pepper soup was not bad.

We shared two dishes in the middle:
Baked escargot and portobello mushroom - not bad at all.  The flavors definitely worked well together.

I can't remember the cut of wagyu, but these cubes were pretty tender and still a little raw inside.  I joked that the flavors reminded me of Chinese-style pan-fried beef (中式牛柳), but it's absolutely true!  Pretty yummy.  The only fault was that I thought the beef was not as fresh as it could have been, and because it was still a little raw, it was pretty obvious to me.

The lychee sorbet was absolutely delicious, with bits of the fruit inside.  I'd happily inhale 4 scoops of this… maybe more.

The baked French spring chicken with truffle cream sauce was pretty decent.  How could you not like something made with truffle?!

The mash and veggie "tart" on the side looked interesting, using an onion ring to hold the mash in...

I was perfectly content, but my friend was still hungry… and asked for more food.  What showed up in front of us was a plate of angel hair with truffle cream sauce.  I didn't think I was hungry anymore, but in the end I found myself unable to resist the wonderful fragrance which launched wave after wave of assault on my olfactory system…

At the end of the evening, a little panna cotta that wobbled so beautifully… with delicious mango sauce and berries on the side.  Slurp.

I gave my friend a choice of what wine he wanted me to bring, and he chose what he thought was the more interesting bottle…

2003 Pax Syrah Griffin's Lair - this was a gift from Pax Mahle when I visited him back in 2006.  Lots of sweet, ripe fruits, forest, alcoholic (15.5%), a little sharp, vanilla and metallic.  Still pretty full-bodied after almost 10 years.  Not quite grippy, but the tannins are still there.  Drinking fairly nicely now, and pretty classic Cali Syrah.

1994 Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc Botrytis from half bottle - my friend and I love this wine when we discovered it years ago, and treasure every bottle we drink together.  Nose of really ripe honeydew melon, manuka honey, pecan, concentrated grape and raisins, apricot, orange blossoms and a little marmalade on the finish.  What an absolutely amazing wine!

A very enjoyable casual evening… and I got a chance to play with the poodles - well, one of them anyway - after a few years of being away.  Glad to see nothing's changed!

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