October 20, 2017

A happy introduction

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As unbelievable as it sounds, I still have a number of friends who have never been to Neighborhood.  So once again, a couple of us regulars were tasked with initiating a couple of newbies.  We were surprised to find The Man in White T-shirt in the house, but happy that we could spend a little time with him on a busy evening.

Needless to say, we didn't do any ordering and just waited for the kitchen to start sending us our food...

200 day aged rump / Hokkaido melon - the beef from Rangers Valley was marinated in classic Chiuchow masterstock (滷水), and rubbed with black truffles.  The chunks of Hokkaido Yubari melon (夕張メロン) were very sweet.

Hokkaido tomato carpaccio / plum salt - this was, as always, delicious.

Culatello di zibello "Massimo Spigaroli" - ...and I can never find cause to complain about the depth of flavor that hits my tongue when I have a piece of this in my mouth...

Amberjack crudo - beautifully drenched in olive oil, with chili flakes on top.

Padron peppers / cheddar - the cheddar sauce was a little spicy, and I actually got a spicy pepper for once!

Pigeon eggs / escargot butter - I've always loved the soft, jelly-like texture of these pigeon egg whites... along with the liquid yolk inside.  Of course, serving it with the herb gratin full of crispy bacon bits don't hurt, either!

Buchot mussels "Mont St Michel" - they've switched back from the Hokkaido mussels to ones from Mont St.-Michel, but the sauce still retains the curry flavor...

Black truffle chicken wings - oh yes.  The table fell silent for a couple of minutes.  NOM NOM NOM

Kinki paella - another perennial crowd-pleaser.  The broadbanded thornyhead (喜知次) never disappoints with its succulence, and tonight the rice wasn't as soggy as it usually is.  INHALED.

Colvert duck - it's game season, so this showed up out of the blue.  Perfect execution, and very, very tasty.  Guess who got to chomp on the leg?

Roast autumn fruits and vegetables "Mr. Ducasse" - green apples, chestnut, carrots, endives, pumpkin, and black truffles.

Salt baked morel chicken / giblet rice - not the least bit surprised when this was brought to our table and Shirley started breaking down the salt crust.  No truffle under the skin today...

The chicken was sent back to the kitchen for the final preparation, and this 'chicken rice' delivered as much "WOW" as it has ever done.  The morels were beautiful, and herbs like chervil and dill added their wonderful fragrances to the dish.  Yes, there were chicken testicles buried in the dish.  In fact, there were so many of them that some at the table started wondering about what kind of chicken we were having...

100 days dry aged Spanish Rubia Gallega chuleta steak - OH YES!  Rubia Gallega... currently among the top cattle breeds for me.  The chuleta was very, very delicious... although I did not try to gnaw on the bone this time.

Chocolate palette - it's been a while since I last had this dessert, and it's as rich as ever.


Someone did ask the "stupid question" of whether we were bringing wine...

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs - riper and sweeter on the palate than expected.  Toasty nose.

2008 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame - corked.

2013 Château de Puligny-Montrachet Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly - lots of toasty oak in the nose, and fairly dry on the attack.

2005 Pax Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard The Terraces, from magnum - very sweet on the nose with cedar and minty notes.  A little jammy after 2 hours.  Later on showed floral and almost 'soapy' notes.

VERY, VERY FULL. But surprisingly, not very drunk...

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