May 28, 2013

Friends don't let friends explode

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Don't get me wrong.  I'm blessed to have so many friends around me, who like me enough to want to see me and eat with me.  Some of them are generous enough to treat me to fantastic meals.  But sometimes it does get a little too much, and I have the urge to be anti-social and go into hiding.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, in reality) there are some people I can't say no to...

The Growing Boy has grown too much lately.  I seriously need to cut down my intake, and restart my exercise regime.  I've been trying to go back to eating simple, small meals, but the powers that be couldn't let that happen.  The last 2 days have seen 3 unscheduled meals pop up in my schedule, and despite all intentions to the contrary, I ended up on the brink and stared into the abyss tonight…

Grandma Bear is someone who I cannot say no to.  I no longer remember the original reason for tonight's dinner, but it had something to do with an offering expiring by the end of the month.  Dining at the Mandarin Oriental with Tigger is dangerous, and nowhere more so than Mandarin Grill + Bar.  I should have known that Uwe would not neglect his VVIP.

We started with a string of nibbles, some of which I had already sampled at my dinner here three weeks ago:

Ketchup cookies with shaved Parmigiano


Spherical olives

Salmon and caviar cornet - yummy.  A little bit of Thomas Keller.

Beet root marshmallows - actually the beet root flavors were pretty mild…

Bacon and egg: Spanish, 18 weeks, suckling pig, organic, duck egg, herbs, truffle jus - I've been wanting to try out this for weeks now, and finally got my chance tonight.  Yes, I am having breakfast at 8pm… and I'm lovin' it!!!  Not exactly a light way to start the meal, though...

Spring: essence of minestrone - I started to smell trouble when waitstaff started laying down spoons for each of us, when I clearly did not order anything that required this utensil…  Uwe explained that he was trying out some dishes for the new menu, and wanted to know what we thought.  I guess there are worse things in life than being lab rats for a chef with Michelin stars to his name…

This was a lovely, lighter version of the Italian classic - with asparagus, celery, carrots, tomato, peas and oregano.

Amadai: chicken wing, girolle - next round of utensils saw all of us with the same knife… which again meant that this was something extra before our individual mains.  Uwe's amadai (甘鯛) is pretty amazing with those crispy scales that are incredibly yummy.  Now you've got a boned chicken wing sitting at the bottom, lightly flavored with cumin, truffle sauce and mash.  A single girolle sits on top of it all.

Lobster: Brittany, blue, leek, green asparagus, parsley, consommé - we finally get to the other dish I ordered, and I wasn't the least bit hungry by this point.  I took this because I wanted to compare it with what I had at André last week.  Well this wasn't exactly a tasting portion, so I guess it was not gonna be as delicate…  The homard bleu itself was a little on the raw side and texture-wise not as perfect as what I had in Singapore.  The parsley mousse was interesting, as was the fennel.

But the highlight of the dish for me was something totally unexpected.  There was a scattering of black "dirt" around the roots of a single leek, as if the leek had just been uprooted and placed on the plate.  The dirt was actually charred leek ground into powder, very much like what I found at Les Créations de Narisawa.  Once again Uwe was displaying a little of his playfulness, and I'm a total sucker for that!

I was certainly not in any shape to have dessert, but nonetheless the kitchen sent out a little something.  Besides an edible candle made of chocolate and marmalade meant to belatedly celebrate a birthday, we received another playful creation: more chocolate.  We got a bunch of chocolate truffles - made with black truffles - along with a truffle shaver made of chocolate!  Oh yes, we love to play with our food!

There were actually two kinds of chocolate truffles: the ones to the left of the shaver were made with black truffle ganache; the ones on the right were made with bits of black truffle, which meant the flavors were much stronger.  Very yummy.

I was really full.  I was posting messages on Facebook and Twitter about Tigger and Uwe stuffing me till I was on the brink of explosion.   If, after reading this post, you find that this blog was no longer being updated, you know what happened and who was responsible…  But as a friend remarked, this wouldn't be a bad way to go!


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Great to know you're still kicking and alive! And with the social or anti-social thingy, I am in the same boat. I don't go to every dinner and become bloated - plus I can't blog fast enough anyway :P


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