May 23, 2014

La mejor carne del mundo

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Another dinner at my favorite On Lot 10.  Another instance of someone saying "Can I please go to On Lot 10 with you?"  Another happy evening.  Another case of falling asleep while sitting upright, although thankfully not at the dinner table this time.

A few of us were at a birthday dinner several weeks ago, right across the street from On Lot 10.  There was a piece of Australian wagyu that just seemed completely tasteless to me... and since we had already booked a table here by that time, I ran over during that dinner to ask David to make sure we get the real beef tonight.  I wanted to show my friends how much flavor this aged beef can actually pack in.

Another reason why I looked forward to this dinner - besides the selection of wines - was for a menu change.  One of us is allergic to shellfish, so that meant we wouldn't be having paella or bouillabaisse.  Not to complain about my #firstworldproblems - especially since those are some of David's most kick-ass creations - but I do miss having a little more variety.

Whole steamed Breton artichoke - these skinny-ass artichokes weren't as good as they usually are... especially the outermost layers where too little was edible.

Jamón ibérico, aged 48 months - one can always count on this delicious ham, as well as the pickled chili peppers from Spain.

Asparagus with sweetbreads and morels - it's asparagus season, and we had not just green but also white asparagus tonight.  Add some sweetbreads, morels, peas, soft-boiled eggs... and some yummy mushroom [and beurre noisette?] foam, and it just tastes incredible.  Quintessentially David Lai, with a shade of Ducasse.

Sea urchin and girolle risotto - oh this was just too good.  Incredible comfort food, and even more than the last dish.  The sweet corn kernels mixed in with the rice added a nice amount of texture here.  Absolutely wonderful.

My Favorite Cousin complained that there was no sea urchin in the bowl on her side of the table - possibly an oversight by the kitchen - so we switched bowls halfway...  Anything for My Favorite Cousin, of course!

David had prepared to give us a fish course, but decided that we should instead save our stomach space for the beef.  After all, that was the main event and we shouldn't be stuffed before we get to it...

Chuleta de Rubia Galega - it is not often that I find myself looking at a hunk of meat and drooling, but I honestly think this is the best slab of beef I can find in Hong Kong - coming from someone who is not a steak kinda guy.  The last time I had the 120-day dry-aged chop from a 12-year old Galician ox I was absolutely blown away.

Tonight this was almost like two steaks.  The half closer to me was really tender, and showcased the beef flavors in their purest form.  For a beef novice, I keep getting reminded that some of the best steaks I've ever had in my life have been French (and now Spanish) breeds done very rare.  Charolais taken bleu is awesome, and this is simply kick-ass.  The half of the pan that was away from me was clearly more chewy, and delivered even more intensified beefy flavors.  I liked both, but preferred the softer side.

Once again the taters were just stupidly good, and I noticed the ladies kept stabbing at the remaining ones in the pan with their forks...  And yes, again, the green stuff may just look like nothing more than romaine lettuce leaves, but that sauce and seasoning transform them into something that's sooo much more.

I'm so glad we didn't have fish, because this time I was actually able to enjoy more than one piece of the beef.  And just to show you what a great cousin I am, I made sure that no one else took the bone so that My Favorite Cousin can take it home to Wolfie.

A dessert platter came for us to share:
This isn't a bad effort for cheesecake in Hong Kong.  Well, it's the pretty, French pâtisserie version...

Montblanc - yum.

Dark chocolate tart - nice with that acidity on the finish.

Tarte Bourdaloue - one of my favorite tarts here, but when I got back to the table, the damn thing had all but disappeared.  A couple of hungry mice had taken care of it.  I protested loudly, and thankfully the kitchen sent us another slice.

No specific theme was set for wine tonight, other than wanting to bring stuff that many of us wouldn't normally drink.

2012 Shäfer-Fröhlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese - very floral, peachy, tropical, with minerals and a little sulfur.  A little fizzy on the tongue.

2004 Nicolas Potel Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Gaudichots - lovely fruit here, black cherries.  Fragrant and a little floral.  Initially body was a little light but built up over time.

1991 Jaboulet Le Chevalier de Sterimberg en magnum - big nose of heavy toast, with polyurethane.  Ripe on palate.  A pretty big wine.

2002 Saltram Shiraz The Eighth Maker - a total Aussie Shiraz.  Minty, sweet and exotic, like tropical coconut.

2000 Tyrell's Pinot Chardonnay Vat 47 - lots of toasty oak, lemon.  Ripe on the palate but still got nice acidity here.

1970 Penfolds Dalwood Hermitage - a little stinky, like manure, or "barnyard".  A little dusty.  Very soft on the palate.

1997 Chapoutier Hermitage Vin de Paille en demi-bouteille - color has turned dark brown, which was unexpected.  Very nutty, lots of marmalade, a little botrytis.  Very unctuous and viscous.

As if we didn't have enough wine, we ended up adjourning to Barsmith nearby.  I was, of course, already pretty buzzed by now, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that I fell asleep in the dark environment while I sipped on some whisky.  Oh well... As I've said before, that's usually a sign that you've had a pretty good night!

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