March 25, 2017

Ro ro for lunch

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I was having lunch with Fergie a couple of days ago when he mentioned that he had just gone to a dinner tasting of Alexandre Polmard's beef.  This is the man running a family business that has been aging their "vintage" beef for decades - which was labelled "world's most expensive meat" a while ago.  Apparently Derby Restaurant at the Hong Kong Jockey Club was doing a promotion, and Fergie thought the beef was pretty tasty and reasonably priced.

I pinged The Man in White T-Shirt, even though I thought the promotional event was already over.  Fortunately I was wrong, and we immediately made plans for a lunch tasting today.

We looked at the tasting menu on offer, but decided that it didn't have enough beef for us, so we ended up ordering all the choices à la carte - sharing all the starters.  It was clear from the pricing of the dishes that we weren't having "the world's most expensive meat".  No vintage beef on offer here.  But everything was still aged for 4 weeks, so not exactly your run-of-the-mill beef, either...

We started with an amuse bouche of deep-fried crab ball, with mashed potatoes inside.

Air-dried Polmard beef, cornichons and pickled pearl onions - this apparently went through a transformation that saw it go from 3.5kg down to 1kg.  Nice and firm texture, and definitely pretty tasty.  I was surprised that we didn't ask for a second order.

Polmard beef traditional tartar - there was plenty of hazelnut chunks mixed in with the beef, and they drizzled both olive oil and hazelnut oil on top.  Dunno why, but I wasn't a big fan of this... and that's not even taking into account the beetroot on top.

Polmard beef carpaccio, rocket and shaved Parmesan - the carpaccio, in comparison, was excellent.  Beautiful texture with bite.  Served with shavings of 48-month Parmigiano-Reggiano, which came from the same supplier who supplies Massimo Bottura.  So good we ordered a second plate.

Grilled Polmard beef boudin blanc sausages, truffle mashed, onion sauce - we love boudin blanc, and these looked a little darker than the usual variety, but sooooo delicious.  Of course, the truffle mash didn't hurt.  We also ordered a second plate of this.

French pave Polmard beef, quinoa popcorn, Wagasagi onion, romanesco, horseradish, light pepper sauce - this was rump steak, and while we were supposed to get them rare, mine was a little more cooked than I expected.  The flavor of the beef was pretty nice, but it was the "quinoa popcorn" that stole the show.  These tasted like they had been deep-fried - just really, really crunchy and toasty.  The horseradish foam on the side was nice, too.

I brought along two bottles of red to go with the beef, while The Man in White T-Shirt ordered a bottle of bubbly from the list to start.

Franck Bonville Brut Prestige - both acidity and ripeness on the palate.  Not too acidic for a blanc de blancs.

2010 Jean Foillard Morgon Cuvée 3.14 - unfiltered and cloudy.  Nice acidity on the palate, with toasty corn, sweet fruit, animal, and leather notes.  A wine that is drinking beautifully now.

1997 Viader - decanted 1 hour prior to serving.  First whiff showed black olives and stewed prunes.  Later with vanilla, forest, and meaty notes.  Mature now and somewhat disappointing.

A long and very enjoyable lunch today. One of these days I'll need to pay up and try a piece of that vintage beef...

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