August 3, 2019

Macau quickie: the filling Moon

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With just three hours between our long lunch and dinner, I needed to walk around a little to kill time.  Thankfully there is an art exhibit entitled "Garden of Earthy Delights" at the Wynn Resorts, so we crossed the road and headed to Wynn Palace Cotai.

There had been plenty of posts by "influencers/KOLs" on Instagram of the pieces here, and most of them have been focused on just one piece - Refik Anadol's "Melting Memories".  Of course, lots of people - yours truly included - were here trying to capture the mesmerizing transformations in pictures and on video.  There were only plenty of IG hoes who inserted themselves into the pictures pretending to be cultured.

While Refik Andol's pieces were undoubtedly interesting, for me the more striking work was actually Edoardo Tresoldi's "Sacral".

I joined Hello Kitty on her shopping tour to kill more time, but we got tired of walking in circles around the corridors with our luggage... so we arrived at Sichuan Moon (川江月) about 20 minutes before the appointed time and parked our bags at the table.

After being bowled over a few months ago during the pre-opening phase of the restaurant - when I was treated to the full, 26-course menu which completely overwhelmed me - I knew I had to take Hello Kitty back here.  Only this time, we wouldn't go through the full menu... but would try out the "more concise" menu that I had been told about on my last visit.  This doesn't seem to be well-advertised, though, as it's not on the website.  Compared to the full degustation menu, it is missing 4 dishes and is priced some MOP 200 less.

As I had written previously detailed descriptions of most of the dishes and the inspirations/philosophies behind them, I'm not going to repeat them.  You can check for them here.

Pu Er flower buds tea, old altar pickles, signature snack (啟:普洱花茶 老罈泡菜 川江點) - very nice as a welcome drink at the bar, while we waited for V to arrive.

The pickle trolley was rolled up to our table and each jar was introduced.  We were each meant to choose 3, but the 3 of us decided to take them all and share.

From the sweet and sour (酸甜) flavor, we have the following:

Orange juice-marinated corn (橙汁粟米) - definitely tasted the OJ...

Fruit tomatoes (水果蕃茄) - very nice and helps to soothe the burning tongue.

Cherry radish (櫻桃蘿蔔) - this was actually pretty spicy.

From the spicy and sour (酸辣) flavor section, we have:

Water bamboo (茭白筍)

Fennel (茴香) - from Australia.

Black and white wood ear fungus (黑白木耳) - from Yunnan (雲南).

From the fermented sauce (醬香) flavor section, we have:

Marinated radish (醬香蘿蔔) - from Japan.

From the zaolu (糟鹵) flavor section, we have:

Sliced conch marinated in zaolu sauce (糟鹵螺片) - interesting and rather soft texture, also interesting flavors.

Beef and potato pancake (牛肉焦餅) - a modern take on the classic Chengdu (成都) snack, using more "luxe" ingredients such as Japanese A4 wagyu, Japanese tuna, and sturgeon caviar from Lake Qiandao (千島湖) in China.

I tried to stay under the radar and didn't let anyone at Wynn know I was coming.  But somehow Mr. White Sneakers still found out... even though he wasn't even in town.  We ended up being offered Champagne on the house...

Delamotte Brut - riper on palate than expected.

88 fortune treasures (味:88富貴涼菜) - just like last time, a set of 8 rectangular containers stacked together was presented, and the staff proceeded to disassemble them and laid them out in front of each of us.

Signature cordyceps flowers with fermented bean sauce (招牌豆瓣蟲草花) - enjoyed it as much as last time, with a nice crunch.  A hint of Sichuan peppercorns numbs the tongue along with sweet and sour flavors.

Deep-fried shredded beef (酥炸牛肉絲) - U.S. Angus beef is deep-fried and shredded, with some chili chiffonade on top.  This was sweet and spicy. Hidden underneath was a smoked quail egg, which for some reason came with gold foil...  This was a new dish.

Oyster with kelp (昆布生蠔) - the oyster came from Kumamoto Prefecture (熊本県), and sat on top of some raw Japanese tiger prawns (花竹蝦) while topped with deep-fried Japanese tiger prawns and kelp.  Kelp chiffonade on the side.  This was OK, but came with sauce that numbed the tongue.  Also new to the menu.

Cuttlefish balls in wasabi (芥末花枝丸) - these cuttlefish balls handmade with chopsticks were very fine, and came with some mustard sauce which numbed the tongue.

Classic feipian with chili oil (經典紅油牛肺片) - with ox tongue, honeycomb tripe, and beef shank.  Very spicy as I remembered.

Pig's ear terrine (豬耳凍) - the gelée is made with chicken stock seasoned with Sichuan peppercorns, with pig's ears, and Japanese flowers...

Chili peppers - stuffed with crushed peanuts.  Very tasty as I remembered.

Duck tongues (鴨舌) - slurp.  Second-most spicy dish among the eight.

Hot and sour soup (湯:錦繡酸辣湯) - even though the element of surprise was no longer a factor today, I still really liked this interpretation of the classic hot and sour soup.  Hello Kitty, though, wasn't as impressed.

Signature Pipachá 1987 Niepoort Port cask (茶:川江枇杷茶) - I left with some of this as a gift on my last visit.

Secret recipe∙ king crab leg (鮮:秘制香辣帝王蟹) - one of my favorite dishes from my last visit, and I was certainly happy to taste it again.  The condiment on the side - made by roasting tuna bones over charcoal - delivered some very intense flavors.

The crust was made with 5-year-old Pixian doubanjiang (郫縣豆瓣醬) and a type of typhoon shelter sauce (避風塘醬).  This made the whole thing very sweet, just as I remembered.

Masterpiece∙ma-po tofu (麻:經典麻婆豆腐) - the bowl was so hot that the hot oil and sauce was bubbling after being poured in.  There were crunchy bits in the topping, so texture-wise it was pretty interesting.  The staff tonight did not explain to us about the four different types of tofu being used, although the one made with black beans certainly had the most depth of flavors as well as firmer texture.

Tsingdao Original 13° (青島啤酒原漿), bottled August 1st - so light and elegant. Even softer than a witbier.

Crispy sea cucumber with stuffed 'jia chang' oxtail in peanut broth (醇:家常脆皮海參燉花生) - the only new main dish on the menu.  Apparently a tribute to Oncle Joël's iconic crispy egg, this was served with a sauce made with chicken stock and peanuts.

The spiny sea cucumber (遼參) from Bohai Sea (渤海).  It came stuffed with oxtail seasoned with Pixian doubanjiang to present jiachang flavor (家常味) - one of the 24 flavors - that was wrapped in layers of spinach and shrimp paste.  The sea cucumber itself was covered with crispy strips of pastry, so the crunchy exterior with soft and wobbly interior definitely reminded me of the Robuchon deep-fried crispy egg.

The top was covered in a layer of mixed herbs along with a dollop of caviar.  Honestly, the caviar didn't add much to the dish other than salt. The dish was certainly tasty enough without it.

These little dried spiny suckers sure became pretty tasty after rehydration!

Burnt scallop with green chili (潮:二荊條椒香扇貝) - I really liked this dish the last time I had it, and sure enough, it was a hit tonight with Hello Kitty.  She practically inhaled it!  Meanwhile, I was enjoying the heat from the green foam - a combination of green Sichuan peppercorns as well as green erjingtiao (二荊條) chilis.  I was only brave enough to nibble on a couple of pieces of the chilis...  Oh, the slices of scallops were perfectly done.

Wood roasted meat in unusual flavor (狩:柴燒怪味龍鳳餅) - my least favorite dish from my first visit, and I gotta say it wasn't much better this time around.  I suppose I should be happier that this time, the chunk of Japanese A4 wagyu was a little more cooked... which meant it didn't feel as fatty and heavy.

We were meant to wrap the pieces in thin flour pancakes the way one would Peking duck, and instead of hoisin sauce (海鮮醬) we now have 'strange flavor sauce (怪味醬)'.

Rice is gold (米:稻米是金) - a good combination of almond cream, almond tofu, espuma, meringue, and rice sorbet along with grains of puffed rice that we decorate it with.

Sour, sweet, bitter, spicy (嚐:酸甜苦辣) - just as it was last time, we placed the jelly in our mouths and just let our saliva and heat do their job of slowly melting it.  And yes, you do taste the four flavors of sour, sweet, bitter, and spicy in sequential order.  The sweetness was very similar to Anjou pears and came with some of that mineral flavor, while the bitterness was reminiscent of bitter gourd (苦瓜).

The candy/mignardises trolley was rolled up to our table, and even though I was pretty full by this point, I was still kinda greedy.

Sesame lollipop

Lychee and raspberry

Kumquat marshmallow

Kumquat meringue

Ginger candy

Not sure why the gold foil was needed...

Puer with incense (沈香普洱)

Besides the beer, I decided to order up the same riesling I just had exactly a week ago.  This was one of the more reasonably-priced choices on the wine list.

2015 Keller Dalsheim Hubacker Riesling Trocken Großes Gewächs - nice minerality, good acidity with some ripeness.

Even though the kitchen had taken out 4 whole courses from the full degustation menu, this was still plenty of food... and certainly a little too much for anyone who finished lunch merely 3 hours before the start of the meal.  I was glad to have come back here so that Hello Kitty and V had the chance to check it out, and I know someone will be back very soon...


Richard H. Black said...
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