February 13, 2020

Supporting chef friends: five guys

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Thanks to the ongoing Covid-19 contagion and widespread policies of working from home and self-isolation, we've been holed up at home for the last few weeks.  Dining outside the home has been reduced to a minimum, and there's a little bit of "cabin fever" going around.  So when DaRC suggested we gather and support our favorite Man in White T-shirt,  none of us hesitated to raise our hands.

Neighborhood was reasonably full on a Thursday night, considering all the dismal news we've been hearing about other hospitality outlets.  It was good to see The Man in White T-shirt back in the house after his annual ski trip, and sending out tasty treats for us from the kitchen.

Foie gras and persimmon - we started off with this big bloc of foie gras terrine... with layers of preserved persimmon.  Note the layer of yellow fat on the outside...  This was perfect to spread of that wonderful sourdough.

Breakfast radishes / homemade bottarga - I love bottarga, and the fact that it sticks to my teeth.  The refreshingly crunchy breakfast radishes worked perfectly well to offset the pretty salty flavors of the bottarga.

Veal tartare / oysters / caviar - to no one's surprise, this was a crowd favorite.  Veal is often a little on the bland side, so the oysters and the caviar - not to mention the finely chopped chives - delivered plenty of flavors.

Flounder / cherries / hazelnuts - this was presented on a nice plate from the boss' collection.  The flounder carpaccio came with a nice and chewy texture.

Morisseau mussels / Sichuan pepper - the peppercorns were really fragrant, delivering just enough numbing sensation on the tongue and lips.

Cauliflower / Mimolette gratin - nice to see multi-colored cauliflowers.

Shrimp roe tagliolini / poached egg - it's been a while since I has enjoyed some pasta here, and I made a request to The Man in White T-shirt to have some.  What I didn't expect was that each of us would get our own full bowl.  Well, this was really, really good.  The texture of the tagliolini was awesome, and the shrimp roe sure was tasty.  The wobbly soft poached egg was very, very satisfying.

Shirley brought out a plate bearing something encased in salt, and at first we all thought this was just another chicken underneath the crust.  But noooo... this was something MUCH, MUCH BETTER!

Salt-baked veal kidney rice / giblets / truffle - that veal kidney was FUCKING GOOD!!  It's not the first time I've had kidney, but this was hands down the best one I've ever tasted.  The layers of fat around the kidney was really, really tasty... with plenty of gamey flavors.  Underneath we have a bed of rice with charred rice crispies, and we also had giblets like chicken hearts and livers in the mix.  Of course, the black truffle chiffonade was a nice bonus.

Warm vegetables casserole / lardon / truffle vinaigrette - always really tasty, and we were happy to have had two servings for our group.  Tonight we've got romanesco cauliflower in the mix, but for me it's always the tear drop peas that make me happy.

I was pleasantly surprised that we didn't get more food.  What we had tonight was plenty, and I couldn't think of anything that would be able to top the veal kidney.

As usual, we had a hodgepodge of wines from everyone.

2007 Cloudy Bay Te Koko - big, toasty nose.  Kinda ripe on the palate.  Muscat grape and a hint of green apple, along with some flint.  Actually this was pretty fresh for a wine this age, with some lively acidity and not too ripe.

2002 Louis Roederer Cristal - very smooth on the palate.  Nice and fragrant.

1989 Zind Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Riesling Sélection de Grains Nobles - tons of manuka honey, notes of apricot, dates, marmalade, acetone, and beeswax.  This paired well with the shrimp roe tagliolini.

2003 Henri Bonneau Cuvée Marie Beurrier, en magnum - decanted 1 hour after opening, and served 1½ hours after opening.  Very fragrant nose with eucalyptus, some ripe fruit, and a little gamey.  Still a little tannic, actually.

2003 Torbreck Run Rig - decanted more than 1 hour after opening and served almost 3 hours after opening.  Sweet and ripe, and a little smoky.  Delicious.

2005 Jonata El Alma de Jonata - decanted more than 4 hours after opening, and served 6 hours after opening.  Really sweet with lots of vanilla.

We were so happy to be back at our favorite joint in the 'hood, and for Hello Kitty and I it's been some time since we've seen our friends.  We look forward to getting more goodies here as we support our chef friends.

1 comment:

Markus Schmidt said...

thanks for the many reviews of Neighborhood. Thanks to your reviews, this is now a 'must go' destination whenever we are in HK (as also now The Chairman). We had an excellent family dinner there before David Lai took off for his ski trip.... and next time I'll see whether he can prepare us this salt-baked veal kidney rice.....


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