December 15, 2013

Goin' off the reservation

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A friend of mine pinged us out of the blue a couple of days ago, announcing that he was back in Hong Kong for a few days and that he would like to get together with us for dinner.  While I haven't seen him in a while and always enjoy dining with him, this is kinda bad news for me.

I'm about to go on a week-long trip to Singapore, where I'm just gonna hang out with friends and just eat.  It's no longer about having a couple of cheat meals next week - I'm totally going off the reservation - and tonight's meal just gets me started one day early...

Since the cholesterol sandwich was no longer an option, I suggested that we meet at Guo Fu Lou (國福樓).  These guys have earned themselves a well-deserved macaron, and I was excited about going back after my first visit 2 months ago.

Our friend's moved to Korea for the last couple of years, and we got to talking about how, when you move to other countries, it's always the really cheap and local Cantonese stuff that you miss... because it can't be found elsewhere.  High-end Cantonese isn't an issue in many countries, but just you try ordering a simple plate of good char siu...  With that in mind, we decided to go for some of the more homey dishes tonight.

Deep-fried bean curd with spicy salt (椒鹽脆豆腐) - uh... methinks they were a little overzealous with the frying...  I don't need my tofu to be THAT crispy...

Smoked chicken with jasmin (茶燻雞) - pretty nicely done.  Always love the smoky flavors, and the chicken itself was very tender and moist.

Scrambled egg with 'kei wai' prawns, century egg and spring onions (蔥花皮蛋基圍蝦炒滑蛋) - a homey dish with a twist.  Absolutely looooved this!  Adding century eggs into the mix made a delicious dish even better.  All I need is a plate of this and 2 bowls of rice... and I'll be a happy man.

Pan-fried lotus root cake (香煎蓮藕餅) - not as mind-blowing as when I had it the first time, but still pretty damn tasty with those crunchy cubes of lotus root.

Mutton brisket casserole with tofu skin, winter mushroom and winter bamboo (枝竹雙冬燜羊腩煲) - a classic winter dish to warm you up.  This was pretty good... and really fatty!  I had to cut out some of the fat...

Stir-fried pea shoots (清炒豆苗) - 'tis the season for this delicious veggie, and one might be hard pressed to find something like this in Seoul.

Deep-fried spare ribs in Champagne (香檳肉排) - kinda interesting... a different type of sweet and sour.  In fact more sweet and fragrant.

Fried glutinous rice with preserved pork sausage and liver sausage (生炒糯米飯) - pretty good, but a little too wet and soggy for me.  I would have preferred the individual rice grains to be more dry and chewy.

We were all kinda full, but couldn't resist having some dessert - especially after we saw our neighbors having theirs delivered!

Deep-fried sesame balls (燈影煎堆) - these marvelous golden globes looked simply amazing.  While they looked like they were just full of hot air (and they were), I really don't wanna know how much oil the thin layer of dough had actually absorbed in the deep-frying process...  I think this may be the reason why my stomach felt a little queasy a couple of hours later...

Crispy egg pastry glazed with honey (蜂蜜金絲脆麻花) - damn good, but I didn't need any more deep-fried food tonight...

Steamed "longevity buns" with lotus paste and salty egg yolk (低糖蛋黃蓮蓉壽桃包) - not sure I noticed that I was "low sugar"... Pretty damn good, too.

We brought along a few bottles tonight, but not surprisingly this was a weak crowd... even with our Korean friend around.

2005 Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières - a little toasty, pretty buttery, sweet and grassy on the nose.  Very ripe on the palate, full-bodied with a long finish.

2007 Cloudy Bay Te Koko - really smoky and oaky, pipi de chat, some green apple.  Very pungent and in-your-face with sulfur.

I was pretty full and satiated, and it looks like I went off the reservation a little early...

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