April 25, 2020

Supporting chef friends: Stereo RC

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While Hong Kong has not officially shut down, shelter-in-place, or triggered "circuit breaker" as many other cities and countries around the world have, Hong Kongers have been practicing social distancing for the last 3 months - even dispensing with the traditional Lunar New Year greetings among family and friends.  As people stay home and reduce their frequency of dining out, and with the government mandating reduced seating capacity and other measures, restaurants have been going through tough times.  Many restaurants, including those at the fine dining end of the spectrum, have followed their peers around the world to offer takeout or delivery menus for the first time.

Ricardo Chaneton at MONO has rolled out a series of boxed sets exclusively for takeout or delivery, which is offered under the punny moniker of Stereo by MONO.  Of those, I decided to take Ricardo's recommendation and ordered the Latin America Inspired Set 1.  I figured there should be enough food for Hello Kitty, My Favorite Birdbrain Cousin, and myself.  To save the restaurant from incurring delivery costs, I offered to pickup in person,

This was a pretty nice spread, with starters, a generous main course, and dessert.

Arepas with confit carabineros and avocado - we got 4 of these with the set.  The carabineros were nice, and the avocado worked very well with them.

Steamed manioc and chimichurri - never had yuca this way, but the chimichurri was definitely a nice way to dress up this root vegetable.

South American style whole roasted chicken - we got 2 of these, cut into halves.  The meat was very tender, and the spice rub was really delicious.

There was also a small jar of Ricardo's wonderful mole, which I added to the chicken.  Love the complexity of flavors here.

We also got 2 poppy seed sourdough bread, which we happily dipped into the spiced chicken jus.

Finally, we ended up with not 4 but 6 alfajores with dulce de leche.  These were thinner than the ones from Goldfinger, so as a consequence they didn't need to be scraped off one's tongue.  Still very nice with that lemon fragrance in the shortbread, and a little bit of shredded coconut with the dulce de leche.

I had been waiting to open a very special bottle of wine with My Favorite Cousin, because it comes from a château with the same name as her sister.

2009 Lucia, en magnum - very smoky, grilled meats.  Very sweet on the palate underneath the tannins, which were still a little grippy.  Big cedar nose after 2 hours in decanter.

Hakutsuru Super Selection Tenku Fukurotsuri Junmai Daiginjo Yamada Nishiki (白鶴  超特撰  天空  袋吊り  純米大吟醸  山田錦), 2019 - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 38%.  Lots of banana and also some Anjou pear, acetone, with lots of starch in the nose.  Very sweet on the palate, but turned dry when temperature warmed up.

We had a good evening at home, and grateful that we could enjoy some nice takeout food which didn't come with a ton of plastic packaging.

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