December 1, 2017

Week of drunkenness: young and old rieslings

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Three hours after I finished my 4-hour lunch at Robuchon au Dôme, I found myself sitting down to dinner at The 8 Restaurant (8餐廳).  Despite having taken a broken nap in the room that the Grand Lisboa Hotel had generously provided me in between the two meals, I was still pretty drunk from lunch... and running at about 50% of my normal capacity for food.  

This was supposed to be a "casual" dinner, without the burden of lots of pre-arranged dishes.  So we tried to take it easy and ordered a few things we wanted to try.  Of course, Chef Joseph Tse (謝錦松) did send along a few courses that he wanted us (read: The Great One) to try.

Abalone with pomelo jelly - with yuzu zest.

Steamed morel with beef - stuffed with broccoli and crunchy water chestnuts.

Steamed Shanghainese dumplings with hairy crab roes (鮮蟹粉小籠包) - very, very delicious as always.  Perfectly thin and soft wrapper.

Barbecued pork (玫瑰蜜汁叉燒) - how blessed am I to be able to have this twice in the span of 7 days?!  The best of pork collar (脢頭肉), with wonderful marbling.  So, so, sooooo tender.  And just a touch of charring.

Deep-fried Macau sole with spicy salt (椒鹽龍脷仔) - this was recommended by one of our hosts, and they were indeed delicious.  Hey, what's not to like about crispy, deep-fried fish?!

Crispy frog leg with spicy salt (酥炸椒鹽田雞腿) - the beer batter coating the frog's legs reminded me of what one may find on fish and chips, and these were pretty juicy and tender, and certainly delicious.

Underneath the frog's legs one could fine a little "nest" (more like a net, actually...) made of deep-fried bait.  Of course this was also very, very delish.

Double-boiled sea whelk, abalone, silky fowl (滋補鮑魚響螺燉竹絲雞) - I had already tried the soup with the chrysanthemum tofu last week, so I got a different bowl this time.  I found it curious that they served it by pouring the soup from a tea pot into a bowl with the "dregs (湯渣)" when, traditionally, service staff would be fishing the dregs out of the big pot before serving the clear soup.

No surprise that the silky chicken meat was tough.

Sauteed lobster ball in homemade chili sauce with crispy rice served with romaine lettuce (脆米龍蝦球) - this was kinda interesting.  I'm usually not impressed by lobster dishes at Chinese restaurants, but the lobster tonight was stir-fried with chili sauce with a kick.

We were also meant to wrap each piece with a romaine lettuce leaf, and add some crispy rice for added crunch and flavors.  Pretty tasty.

Stir-fried garoupa fillet (炒斑球) - pretty plain and simple dish, with asparagus and mushroom.  Not how I would have preferred to have garoupa, but I guess this makes it easier to serve individual portions.

Crispy beef with homemade cream sauce (黃金雪花牛) - I remember Chef Tse's crispy beef well from his days at Above and Beyond (天外天), and this was even better.  Ada commented that with this presentation, there was no way anyone would be confused as to where this dish was being served...

I loved how the beef was now being served in thick slices, as it was just so much more satisfying to bite into each piece.  The batter was crispy as expected, and the beef inside was so, so tender...  Curiously for a Chinese dish, this was served with cream sauce on the side.

Pea shoots in superior broth (上湯豆苗) - simple comfort food.  So delicious.

Sesame ice cream (芝麻雪糕) - we got 2 orders of the black and white sesame pudding to share, but somehow each of us got a little scoop of the delicious ice cream.

Portuguese egg tart (葡式蛋撻) - always loved these, but wish they were a little more caramelized and burnt.

And of course, a small cup of my favorite milk tea (奶茶)!

Manager and sommelier Nigel Chan came over with 2 wine suggestions from Jonas, and I decided we should start dinner with something a little easier to drink...

2014 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett - nice minerality.  Still off-dry with slight sweetness, with good acidity.

I then proceeded to order a bottle from the list.  I have had my eye on this wine since my visit last week, and finally decided to try it out.  It's nearly 100 years old and I was curious to see what it would be like...

1921 Schloss Johannisberg Erntebringer Riesling Auslese - served 40 minutes after opening.  Very nutty and honey nose, with exotic spices.  Not very sweet at all, actually almost savory with a little Chinese preserved plum... and a little polyurethane.  Not as thick and viscous on the tongue as expected.  30 minutes after serving, the palate was already feeling a little short.

Once again I should thank Jonas for letting us tag along as he rolled out the red carpet for The Great One today... stuffing me and making sure I had a buzz starting at lunch.  To be able to dine at two of my favorite restaurants in the world - both with 3 Michelin stars - on the same day is quite a treat!  And I'm grateful that I was allowed to pay for the bottle of old riesling without much protest.  Many thanks to Kenneth, Nigel, Chef Joseph Tse and the team for the pampering.

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