December 14, 2014

Classic Chiuchow + classic wines

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It's nearing the end of the year, and that means we get a series of MNSC dinners bunched together.  Tonight it was Juli's turn, and we are back at Chiu Tang (潮廳) - arguably the most exclusive Chiuchow restaurant in town.  The karaoke session of our neighbors next door was already in full swing, and over the course of the evening we would be treated to some pretty off-key tunes every time the door to our private room opened...

There was a lot of food tonight, which was ruining my week of weight loss... Oh well, first world problems!

Chiu Tang appetizer platter (潮廳四彩盤)

Sautéed string beans with minced pork and preserved olive (欖菜肉碎四季豆) - love the strong flavors of the preserved vegetables here.
Deep-fried home made mashed shrimp ball (炸蝦棗) - deep-fried is always good...

Loved the finely diced bits of water chestnuts, which added a little crunch.
Marinated jelly fish with sesame oil (麻香海蜇)
Deep-fried oyster roll (炸蠔卷) - pretty good, too...

Lots of spring onions in addition to the little oysters.

Chilled giant flower crab Chiuchow-style (潮式大凍蟹) - always one of the highlights at a Chiuchow restaurant.  This time I made sure that I had more than just one measly piece of the body... Very, very good... so much so that I didn't bother with the vinegar, because I wanted to taste the purity of the crabmeat.

Soy-marinated duck liver platter (鹵水鴨肝拼盤) - always another highlight here.  We've got strips of pig's ear, duck web, duck intestine, duck meat, tofu, and of course... thick cuts of duck liver that melts in your mouth.  Yum.

Double-boiled wild bamboo pith with shrimp ball in soup (野生竹笙蝦丸湯) - this was meant to be shark's fin soup, but since I refuse to eat shark's fin, I chose a more environmental friendly substitute.  Loved this clear soup with bamboo pith, mushrooms, and shrimp balls with Chinese celery stems.

Pan-fried vegetable cake with duck's egg and sweet potato powder (香煎水瓜酪) - this was very interesting as I've never had it before.  The pancake was made with strips of loofah, peanuts, and preserved radish.  Could not resist picking up an extra half slice...

Pan-fried pomfret steak in soy sauce (豉油皇煎䱽魚扒) - this was alright... and almost reminds me of the miso cod found at Robuchon...  Served with sweet potato fries.

Stir-fried beef cubes in Sichuan pepper (川椒牛肉粒) - FAIL.  The beef was simply too tough and chewy.  The deep-fried leaves were a type of loosestrife called "pearl leaves (珍珠葉)".

Stir-fried pea shoots with diced preserved meats (臘味崧扒豆苗) - wow! This was really good... Stir-fried pea shoots may seem simple, but once you add in the diced preserved sausage and liver sausage, it became nothing short of divine.  I could have had another serving of this.

Pan-fried noodle with Chinese chive accompany sugar and vinegar (糖醋乾燒伊麵) - one cannot dine here without having these incredibly tasty noodles.  Pan-fried until golden and crispy on one side, and this time it seems the flip side was almost as crispy.  As usual I sprinkled sugar and drizzled black vinegar on top.  And yeah, I took a second slice...

Pan-fried dumplings (煎潮州粉粿) - for some reason Juli was still very hungry and ordered these as extra... I didn't need more food, but then again, no point in turning down these delicious pan-fried dumplings!

Dessert duo (美點薈萃) - as usual the steamed dark sugar cane honey sponge cake (蜂蜜黑糖糕) was delicious, and even the deep-fried taro with the sugar batter was light and airy.

Not surprisingly, Juli was even more generous with the wines than he was with food, and we were stunned by the very first flight he served... not to mention to bottle of white we had as an aperitif...

1988 Coche-Dury Meursault 1er Cru Perrières - beautiful and toasty, with a little ripe lemon and a little honey.  Acidic on the palate at first, followed by ripeness.  Very nicely balanced.

First pair: opened 1½ hours prior to serving, served from bottle.
1971 Cheval Blanc - sweet grass, a little dusty, ripe fruit, animal, and leather.  A little leaner than the Trotanoy.  95 points.

1971 Trotanoy - riper with more sweet fruit here, with leather and beautiful floral notes, also a little bit of grass, as well as smoke.  Turned a little leaner towards the end.  96 points.

Second pair:
1978 DRC Romanée-Saint-Vivant - very distinctive and strong Chinese medicine notes in the nose, which never dissipated.  There was fruit underneath, and actually rather pure.  No points scored.

1978 Petrus - leather and grassy notes.  A little lean.  93 points.

Third pair:
1978 Roumier Bonnes-Mares - very farmy with bacon fat.  Very fragrant and open nose with a little mint, along with ripe, sweet fruit.  95 points.

1978 Chave Hermitage - very prominent animal and leather notes, a little bit green with herbs, a little stinky with burnt rubber, and peppery.  Acidic on the palate.  95 points.

Fourth pair:
1983 Mommesin Clos de Tart - nice and ripe with sweet fruit, and a little smoky.  93 points.

1983 Ausone - peppery nose with a little leather.  93 points.

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