March 14, 2017

Senpai's big birthday

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Senpai is back in town, and I haven't been able to catch up with him in a while.  As he just celebrated a big birthday earlier in the month, we managed to round up the troops for a dinner at Fook Lam Moon (福臨門).  It's been about half a year since I was last there, and I was curious to see how much of an impact the departure of Chef Gordon Leung (梁燊龍) had on the quality of the food.

Our usual organizer and restaurant VIP kept things simple - sticking to very traditional dishes and especially the ones that Senpai would like.

Barbecued suckling pig (大紅片皮乳豬全體) - I couldn't believe it when Senpai said that it was his first time having suckling pig outside of a Chinese wedding banquet.  I guess we're just much too spoiled here in Hong Kong.  The piggy was nice, but I thought the crackling was a little over-roasted today... The color was darker, and a little too charred.  Still very tasty, though.

Soup of the day (例湯) - didn't check what the soup was, but there was clearly pork belly, cucumber-like gourd, and different types of legumes and grains.

Wok-fried king prawns (油泡大蝦球) - prawns stir-fried without their shells along with spring onion, ginger, and carrots.  The texture was a little crunchy.

Wolfberry leaves in superior stock with pig's liver (上湯豬膶枸杞葉) - I always like to order wolfberry leaves when they're in season, and of course they come with rehydrated wolfberries.  I do like them with pig's liver, even though technically the dish is no longer pure veg.

Traditional baked chicken in rock salt (正宗連雑鹽焗雞) - I generally prefer this over the crispy chicken, and I was happy to find that tonight the chicken wasn't too salty.  In fact the chicken was pretty fatty, and I was surprised by the amount of chicken fat oozing out in some of the pieces.  I do like it served with the giblets...

Fried egg noodles with shredded pork, bean sprouts and yellow chives (韮王銀芽肉絲炒麵) - this being a birthday dinner and all, noodles are definitely in order.  Senpai loves these fried noodles, and we both like to get it from Wong Chi Kei (黃枝記).

The noodles here seem thicker than the ones at Wong Chi Kei, and not as crunchy and crispy.  But this was still very delicious.

Yolk and sesame paste birthday buns (蛋黃麻茸壽飽) - I picked one with sesame paste filling and was pretty happy with it.  The ones with yolk filling are good, too, but I didn't need the calories today...

Lady M rose mille crepes - our host never ceases to surprise me... I knew that he loves Lady M, but I still didn't expect him to pick the rose-flavored offering.  I thought *I* was always the guy who liked the girlie stuff... Anyway, you've got rose flavored pastry cream between the layers, plus a layer of rose jelly on top with rose petals.  Pretty good.

As usual, I brought some wine to go with dinner.  And since we were celebrating Senpai's birthday, I made sure I brought a nice bottle of bubbly...

Jacques Selosse Version Originale - can't read the disgorgement date on the back label... Very nice mousse, with yeasty notes.  Very mineral and savory, and much more salty than expected on the palate.

2004 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm, from magnum - served a little warm, and decanted shortly before serving.  Tons of vanilla and coconut butter in the nose.  Very sweet.  Pretty much as expected from this wine.

Very happy to have had the opportunity to celebrate Senpai's birthday, and glad to be back at FLM.

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