January 27, 2015

Hell week day 2: almost the end of the line

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It was supposed to be one of my "off" nights, designed to allow my body to recover in between nights of indulgence.  But when a long-time foodie friend comes to town and discovers that everyone else is busy or out of town (including jetting off to Noma in Tokyo), I felt obligated to keep him company.  After all this was the friend who introduced me to Candlenut in Singapore, which has become one of my favorite places.

As we are counting down the last days of operations at On Lot 10 - quite literally - it seemed only right that I take him there for one last visit.  Thankfully I was also able to round up the Great One, so that it wouldn't just be the two of us having an impossible meal at a restaurant whose best dishes are meant to be shared.  David has very kindly arranged the menu for us, as usual, so all we did was sit back and wait for the food to arrive...

Frog legs meunière - I never have cause for complaint when it comes to David's frog legs, and tonight it was perfect as a snack to nibble on.  Love the slight kick.

Boudin Basque "Christian Parra", pimente d'Espelette - is there a universe in which I wouldn't like this?  Probably not.  I would never refuse any type of blood sausage, especially one as rich and this.

Pan-fried sole in lemon caper sauce - not quite sole meunière, but rather David's signature preparation for fish.  A beautiful specimen, and David's got all the right connections to have the freshest seafood from local waters.

We've got a chef with us at the table, who expertly boned the sole while the rest of us just stared.  Amazing job.

Of course, I can't say enough about this preparation.  The crispy skin, the richness of butter, the acidity helping to cut that richness down, the croûtons that have soaked up all the sauce... and even the potatoes that I normally stay away from.  Needless to say, we picked every bit of the fish clean...

Flower crab paella - WOW!  This is one giant crab!  I definitely wanted David's seafood paella one last time, and tonight he delivered with this local flower crab that was one of the largest I've ever had.  I just had to put one of the large dinner spoons next to one of the claws to provide scale.  Pretty damn big claws...

The meat of the crab was full of natural flavors of the ocean - at once salty with a sweetness underneath.  It was easy to taste the freshness.  The shell also contained plenty of tomalley, and we greedily scraped it with a spoon.  Just wonderful.  And for the second evening in a row, I had the pleasure of feeling the crunch of burnt, crispy rice between my teeth... as I enjoyed scraping the soccarat off the bottom of the pan.  The flavors here - coming from chopped chorizo, pimento, as well as clams and the crab - are always wonderful.

We also got a plate of pea shoots, which my friend found a little odd considering we're not in a Chinese restaurant.  But a little green veg never did anyone harm...

We would have been happy to stop here, but the kitchen sent out a slice of tarte bourdaloue along with a slice of blueberry tart.  So we nibbled on these.  Yum.

As I was still recovering from last night's overindulgence, we took it easy and just sipped on one bottle of Louis Roederer Champagne... which went well with our seafood.

It was good to come out tonight and see my friend.  It was also good to have a rare chance to take things easy while dining at On Lot 10 - none of us felt stuffed.  I'll be back in a few days for my final meal... which would be the end of an era for some of us.

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