May 18, 2019

My precious

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Little Uncle has been staying in my pad for the last few months while on assignment, and wanted to take me out to lunch as a token of his appreciation.  When my first two picks didn't work out, the relatives suggested we check out Chou Chou - the casual brasserie run by Lam Ming Kin (林明健).

We dispensed with the long tasting menu and went with the 3-course set lunch to keep things simple.  But I was curious about more dishes, so I took the liberty of ordering an extra starter to share with everyone.

Crunchy scallop with quinoa, fregola, and gremolata - YES, I am Pavlov's dog... The word 'fregola' appeared on the menu and I dutifully ordered the dish.  And yes, I did enjoy the fregola with diced carrots and gremolata gel.

The scallops - all two of them - were done actually a little more raw than mi-cuit, and the kitchen cut one of them in half to show us.  The crunchy quinoa crust was pretty nice.

Smoked milkfish beignets with spring pea and dill - I was really curious about how the kitchen would make beignets out of the local milkfish (虱目魚), so I had to order this as extra.  They came on a bed of peas, fava beans, and what seemed to be diced bamboo shoots.  The sauce was a little spicy with some paprika.

The milkfish has been mixed with tartar sauce, which gave the deep-fried balls some acidity.  The fish was certainly smoky, which was pretty nice.

Duck confit with lentil stew and red wine mustard sauce - it's amazing that 4 out of the 5 of us ordered this.  Well, it's been a long time since I last had duck confit, and I could just imagine that liquid duck fat oozing out of the crispy skin as I bite down on it...

I liked this.  It was just what I wanted.  I described it to mom as the French version of the Chinese crispy duck (香酥鴨), which it really is.  It was never meant to be a light dish, and it was done just about right.  The lentil stew with red wine and mustard seeds came with diced chorizo and mushrooms.  This tasted fine, and I suppose it was better than mashed potatoes...  Very satisfying and filling.

Longan honey crème caramel with apple-tamarind sorbet - this, on the other hand, was a little disappointing.  I couldn't really taste the longan (龍眼) honey, and although the sorbet tasted of apple I had a tough time making out the tamarind.

Not a bad lunch, and it was good to spend time with family members I don't see often.

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