June 28, 2019

Private Burgundy

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We have a visitor in town from Bangkok, and DaRC arranged for a gathering at Softbank Kitchen.  It's been a few months since my last visit, and this was a good chance to taste some fantastic, old school Canto dishes again.

Barbecued kurobuta pork (黑毛豬叉燒) - always delicious.  Not the stereotypical honey-glazed version, but with soy sauce.

Just look at the fat... of the pork belly.  There's always a good amount of charring, especially with the end cuts.  I was so hungry I just couldn't stop myself from grabbing an extra slice... and another... and another.

Steamed crab claw with winter melon (冬瓜蒸蟹鉗) - only my second time having this here.  This is normally a very elegant dish elsewhere, and one of my favorite ways to have crab claw.  I did jokingly ask DaRC why it was that all the claws were so small tonight...

This.was.just.beautiful.  The crab claw - undernourished as it may have been - was bursting with flavor.  Meanwhile, the block of winter melon gently and elegantly delivered flavors from the superior broth.

Sautéed shredded prawn with assorted vegetables (鳳城炒蝦絲) - another dish that I'm having for the second time only.  This was a variation of the classic from Scholar Kong (江太史)'s kitchen, with shredded prawns.

Really loved the springy textures of the prawns, and of course all the crunchy toasted Indian almonds (欖仁).  Additional crunch came from deep-fried rice vermicelli, Chinese celery, and chilis.  Very tasty, but slightly on the salty side for me.

Stir-fried minced dried oysters in lettuce cups (生菜包蠔豉崧) - another classic dish from Scholar Kong's kitchen, and one which I had the pleasure of tasting a few years ago as part of the celebration of Mrs. Pearl Kong Chen (江獻珠)'s recipes.

All the ingredients have been finely chopped, and it reminds me of one of my mom's signature dishes.  Absolutely delicious.  I had 3 servings, and our guest of honor ended up taking his fourth serving over a bowl of steamed rice.

Braised hundred-treasure duck with abalone (鮑魚百寶鴨) - another classic dish that Chef Duck does well.  Tonight, though, we've got some braised abalone added to make it a little more luxe...

It's summertime so the ingredient list is slightly different.  No chestnuts now, but still got the diced duck meat, shiitake mushrooms, lotus seeds, egg yolk, and barley.  Very, very tasty.

Bird's nest and partridge porridge (燕窩鷓鴣粥) - this was amazing... it's a porridge, but there's no rice in it whatsoever.  It's simply made of very finely diced partridge and bird's nest.  Incredibly elegant and refined, topped with a sprinkle of Jinhua ham (金華火腿) dust.

Steamed wild star snapper (清蒸海石蚌) - DaRC was pretty excited when he saw this... the star snapper isn't something we see very often, especially wild ones.  Very nice.

Four treasure vegetables in superior broth (上湯四寶蔬) - it's been a while since I last had this... Just a simple dish of vegetables - mushrooms, radish, kailan (芥蘭), and broccoli - all slowly fed with superior broth (上湯, read: ham broth).  Absolutely delicious.

Steamed rice wrapped in lotus leaf (飄香荷葉飯) - also very, very good...

Double-boiled ginkgo nuts and lotus seeds (銀杏燉湘蓮) - my preferred dessert here, since I love longan and jujube.

With a visitor who loves Burgundy, it's no surprise that our selection of wines leaned heavily towards the region...

2004 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne, en magnum - initially kinda closed, with a little mineral, flint, toast, and lemon.  Opened up well after about 40 minutes.  Still alive after 3 hours, with a little Chinese licorice.

2011 Joseph Drouhin Clos des Mouches Blanc, en magnum - very elegant and buttery.

Tesseron X.O. Exception Lot N°29 - pretty nice stuff from 1929...

2011 Arnaud Ente Meursault La Sève du Clos - much bigger and more toasty, with higher acidity.  Showing buttery notes 3½ hours after opening.

1998 Jacques Prieur Musigny - opened for 6 hours prior to serving.  Really sweet with black fruits. elegant, almost a little tea leaves.

1996 Royal Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos Blue Label - nutty, marmalade, dried tangerine peel, honey, sweet on the palate but comes with plenty of acidity, too.

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