November 19, 2020

Memories of Spain

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Following the footsteps of his bromance twin, Goldfinger has also decided to open up a new restaurant with the same restaurant group as financial backers.  I am, as usual, in no hurry to check out Andō.  Plenty of others who are itching to go can report back, and I'd just sit back and see if it's the same ol' shit from HAKU, or if it's going in a different direction.

Well, it's been about 4 months, so I guess it was time to go see Goldfinger.  I rounded up Mr. and Mrs. Birdiegolf as we were overdue for a meal together, and chalked it down as part of the month-long birthday celebrations.

We decided to take the 8-course menu because, well, we came to try out some dishes.  

Beef tartare with Kristal caviar - the Argentinian Angus was aged for 21 days and seasoned with orange, lime, and lemon zest.  Topped with crispy shallots, Kaviari Kristal caviar, and perilla flowers.  Good combination of textures, and the flavors were lighter than expected.

Chawanmushi with morcilla - I loooooove morcilla!  And I was ever so thankful that the purplish, reddish stuff on top wasn't beetroot.

So happy to have the steamed egg custard with chunks of fat from the blood sausage.

I had a feeling that I wasn't gonna get any gold foil tonight when this golden crane was laid down in front of me...

Hamachi with leche de tigre - the Peruvian factor comes into play with the young yellowtail marinated in leche de tigre, which used ingredients like red onions, garlic, coriander, dashi (出汁), clam juice, and even kinmedai (金目鯛) juice - the latter causing me to scratch my head a little.  The sansho leaves (木の芽) were not a surprise, but the baby orange and red paprika definitely were.  They were really interesting!

The cereal bread is actually imported pre-baked from Spain before being finished at the restaurant.  Gotta say it was pretty damn good.

El Mil del Poaig, bottle #314 of 398 - the Farga olives come from trees more than 1,000 years old, and delivered slightly bitter notes mid-palate with almost a spicy finish.  There seemed to be some confusion, though, regarding whether these were made with Farga or Alberquina olives... 

Anyway, this was so nice that Birdiegolf and I soaked it all up with bread, which led to the two of us getting a second pour from the precious bottle... and naturally that meant us needing more broad to wipe up the delicious oil.   

Pistachio butter - from Hokkaido but whipped in-house with pistachio.

Bottarga butter - initially this was for someone who doesn't take pistachios, but when we all wanted to share the lone serving, we were each given our own serving!  More bread in my tummy...

Sautéed baby squid - the sauce was made by reducing the liquid from sautéing the squid, clam stock, and squid ink.  With crispy onions and parsnip purée at the bottom.

This was so, sooooo FUCKING GOOD.  The chipirones from Catalunya were so tender and delicious, the textural contrast from the crispy onions were nice, and that sauce was just beautiful! I was transported back to Bar Pinotxo inside La Boqueria, where I had breakfast on consecutive days with beautiful chipirones washed down with bottles of Erre Punto Blanco from Remirez de Ganuza.

Japanese daikon, jamón, and cordyceps flowers - the daikon was cooked in a broth made with the leg bone that came with a Joselito jamón (this would have been a Joselito Vintage, since it was supposed aged for more than 80 months), along with Chinese chives, black pepper, and cordyceps flowers (蟲草花).  Topped with some jamón ibérico from Joselito, cordyceps flowers from J's Garden (菁雲), Chinese chives, and deep-fried shredded white konbu (白板昆布).  Pretty tasty.

Kinki with romesco - the broadbanded thornyhead (喜知次) was simply succulent and incredibly tender, with a romesco made with piquillos and sundried tomatoes, and burnt leeks on the side.  So simple yet delicious.

Venison with chimichurri, banana shallots, mushrooms - garnished with sautéed chanterelles and termite mushrooms (雞盅菌) from J's Garden.  While the center of the venison was certainly tender and juicy, the edges were unfortunately very well-done and delivered a grainy texture.  There was almost no seasoning in the venison, and needed help from the chimichurri.  My least favorite dish of the evening.

Arroz caldoso - those who know Goldfinger's cuisine would be familiar with his arroz caldoso, but now he's switched the headline ingredients.  Instead of the usual abalone, we now have clams, scallops, and espardenyas - the latter with a very nice crunch.  Very, very delicious.

Apple sorbet with lemon mousse - the Orin (王林) apple was diced and cooked, with chunks of walnuts at the bottom.  Then we've got apple sorbet, lemon mousse, and a white chocolate tuile on top.  Very nice and refreshing with good acidity.

Crème caramel, chawanmushi, sea salt ice cream - apparently some Suntory Hibiki (サントリー 響) was used to make the crème caramel.  The interplay with the sea salt ice cream was interesting.  The "chip" on top came with some candied orange rind that was pretty nice.

Mignardises - dark chocolate with Whisky, shortbread with yuzu cream
We were pretty civilized in terms of wine consumption, since it was a school night and someone was running at reduced capacity.

The first bottle was a real treat. I had asked Goldfinger to save me a bottle so I could pop this open when I came for my first visit, so I'm sooooo happy I was able to enjoy it tonight!

2019 L.A.S Vino Chenin Blanc Fuck Him - first whiff was a little pungent and mineral, with some banana tropical notes like pineapple and stone fruit.  Reasonably high acidity on the palate.  Not a bad drink at all.

2002 Arietta Variation One - served 45 minutes after decanting.  Nice and fragrant, a little minty, cool, with woodsy notes.  Tannins are still here.

1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia - served 50 minutes after decanting.  Definitely showed more green pepper, there was still sweet fruit underneath.  Very smooth and elegant now, pretty ripe on the palate but not quite stewed prunes.  Definitely lots of sweetness on the palate.  Opened up really nicely 2 hours later.

A very happy first visit to Goldfinger's new joint, and great to see some familiar faces around. Many thanks to the team for pampering us.

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