July 23, 2019

Floored at dinner

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I had promised to take Fat Donkey out to celebrate his fourth finish in the Cape Epic, but we just hadn't gotten around to it.  We finally decided we should grab a casual dinner tonight, but where to go on such short notice??  Well, fortunately the bar counter at Neighborhood is usually available, so I decided to meet my friend there.  As they weren't completely full tonight, we ended up getting seated at a proper table instead of snuggling up to The Man in White T-shirt.

It was just the two of us, so there was no point getting one of the larger dishes.  Which was just as well, as it's been a while since I last had the opportunity to just come for a casual meal.  The Man in White T-shirt did make a few suggestions, and it usually pays to listen.

Sardines / Jerez vinegar - YASSSSS!!! The last time I came, the boss served us sardines that I described as "melt-in-your-mouth".  Since then he's change the cut from squares to long, thin strips reminiscent of Cantabrian anchovies.

...which prompted me to put them on those delicious pieces of sourdough bread made by Daniel Calvert.  To me, this was just seriously fucking good.  And yes, they really were deliciously fatty and melt-in-your-mouth.

Fat Donkey followed my lead and took his sardines with bread.  In fact, he wouldn't stop eating the bread!  I had to ask them not to bring us any more bread so he would have room for the food...

Mochida tomato / salted plum / peach - these tomatoes from Mochida Farms (持田農園) are always a good idea.  Tonight they came with crunchy slices of peaches, and there's a good balance among sweet, sour, and salty flavors.

Deep-fried matsutake - these were pretty damn good.  Nice enough on their own, and more interesting with the dip which was a mix of tapenade and mayo.

Acquerello carnaroli risotto / bone marrow / baby oyster - OK, so this looks like a gooey mess at first glance, but the bone marrow risotto here has always been one of my favorites.

Tonight we've also got a bunch of baby oysters in the mix which, thanks to the way "risotto" is done here, started to remind me of Chiuchow oyster congee (蠔仔粥)...  Very, very good.

Boudin basque / fried egg / pickled peppers - we still had some room after the first four dishes we had ordered, so The Man in White T-shirt suggested boudin basque in lieu of the onglet.  This was a great idea.  It has been one of my favorite dishes ever since my first visit to On Lot 10.  It's only gotten better with the addition of a fried egg and pickled peppers.

French toast / vanilla ice cream / black truffle - if memory serves, this was the first time I've had their version.  And how could this not be good when you've got crushed hazelnuts and sliced black truffle in the mix???


I grabbed a casual bottle from the office for tonight, which I had purchased from the winery more than a decade ago...

2002 Pax Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard 'The Terraces' - at almost 17 years old, the wine was softer now but still concentrated.  Nose of ripe fruits but also dried herbs and stewed prunes.  A bit bitter on the palate.  Was kinda hoping for a little better.

The Man in White T-shirt came over and chatted with us, and we ended up exchanging views on the current political situation in Hong Kong... and lamented at the administration's utter failure to keep things under control.  In fact, I was so overcome with the government's incompetence that I literally fell off my chair... which was our cue to call it a night.

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