July 11, 2019

Refreshing summer

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The King's back in town for a few days, and he was kind enough to spare an evening so we could meet up over dinner.  Even better, he offered to bring his younger daughter along as I hadn't seen her since... well, when she was a toddler.  Now she's in college!

I gave them a list of suggestions across cuisines and neighborhoods, and eventually my friends settled on Caprice.  The King had moved back to Taipei by the time Four Seasons Hong Kong opened, so I guess it made sense for him to come and try it.

Hairy Legs asked me whether he should be serving us his signatures or some new and seasonal dishes, and I suggested that he should do a mixture of both.

First came the nibbles:

Tomato concassé

Smoky balik salmon with Kristal caviar - with cauliflower mousse and dill on top, sandwiched between two thin layers of crispy pastry. Definitely nice and smoky, with good accents coming from the Kaviari Kristal.

Pita with curry chicken mousse

Tomato salad with tomato consommé gelée, burrata, fresh almonds - so... these weren't tomatoes from Hairy Legs' mom, but they nevertheless came from the Loire Valley.  Very tasty, and a perfectly refreshing summer dish.

Le crabe royale d'Alaska, gelée de crevette et huître Gillardeau, caviar osciètre prestige de «La Maison Kaviari» - with dots of fennel mousse, coriander, oyster and plankton... and of course those 3 quenelles of schrenki dauricus caviar from China.  What's not to like when you've got king crab and lots of caviar together?  The greens do manage to balance out the salty flavors of the fish eggs, and of course Hairy Legs made sure to gimme some of that gold foil that I love so much...

Tuna belly, peach, coconut and vanilla sauce - very tropical flavors, and the coconut/vanilla sauce was a nice surprise.  Reminds me of a Thai curry...

The tuna belly from the Basque region was very, very nice...  Certainly fatty and tasty.

Kinki du Marché de Toyosu façon bouillabaisse fenouil confit et pomme de terre - always happy to have this, although tonight we had butterfish in addition to the broadbanded thornyhead (喜知次).  Both fish were succulent and tasty, and the bouillabaisse was delicious as always.  Love the cuttlefish.

These croûtons came with diced fennel, and were meant to be dipped into the bouillabaisse.

Racan pigeon from Maison Bellorr cooked in cocoa pod, salsify and puffed potatoes, cocoa jus - Hairy Legs and his Racan pigeons... always fantastic.  The foie gras works so well with the strawberry jam... and of course the cocoa jus just made so much sense.  Those two little pomme soufflé were very, very good.

I didn't want to go overboard with cheese, so I only picked 4 different ones:  Abbaye de Cîteaux, Mimolette (presumed 24 months), Pérail, and Comté (presumed 48 months).  The Pérail was pretty salty and gamey.  I wanted to show the beautiful pairing of Mimolette with Hoegaarden to my friend, so I requested that the staff come up with a bottle... which they ended up grabbing from Blue Bar.  Very grateful that they were willing to indulge me.

Unfortunately I had to duck out for a conference call for work, and I ended up staying away for more than half an hour.  I felt really bad that the King and little princess had to wait for me...

When I returned, it was finally time to have some pre-dessert.  A quenelle of Granny Smith sorbet sat on top of sago and pickled celery in coconut cream.  I enjoyed this about as much as I did the last time I had it.

Hoba jelly, wild strawberry chutney, coconut biscuit, strawberry sorbet - strawberries are always good, and tonight we had it as a sorbet as well as a chutney.  What our server did not mention was the unmistakable presence of rhubarb that provided acidity and crunch for balance.  Of course, I must once again chide the kitchen for not giving me enough gold foil...



I brought a couple of casual bottles to dinner, and was very glad they drank well.

2014 Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo - very nice and toasty.  Absolutely beautiful.

2000 La Sirena Syrah - opened for 1½ hours without decanting.  Minty, fragrant, sweet fruit, and a hint of coconut butter.  Good acidity on the palate.

I was very happy to have the chance to catch up with my friend, even if the dinner dragged on for longer than necessary on account of me. Glad to see that my friends enjoyed Hairy Legs' dishes a little more than the dinner they had last night.


Unknown said...

Very interesting, thank you. Was the coconut vanilla sauce on the sweet side?

Peech said...

It was an interest mix between sweet and savory


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