April 8, 2021

A night of surprises

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The MNSC boys are trying to get back to a more regular schedule for our gatherings, and The Ox very kindly hosted us after flying back into town for the Easter holidays.  The last time I had a proper meal at The Porn Pawn was a few years ago, so it would be interesting to see what the kitchen is delivering these days.

Burrata, arugula, cherry tomatoes, aged vinegar - this was OK.

Beef carpaccio: Japanese wagyu, truffle - very, very thin. Very well-marbled, and definitely not kosher for my current diet. Pretty tasty, though.

Linguine gamberoni - the pasta was pretty nice, and the shrimps were good, too. There was a little more heat than I had expected and I thought that made this interesting.

Braised beef short rib: 72-hours slow cooked - I did a double take when the servers showed up with a tray bearing bamboo steamers, as I had no idea how this dish was going to be presented.

So the short ribs were definitely very, very tender and tasty, but the real surprise came in the form of steamed rice flour rolls (腸粉) underneath. A nice Cantonese twist.

Roasted chicken: Earl Gray infused local yellow chicken - other than the thought of Lord Grey rolling over in his grave upon seeing this menu, lifting the lid of the cocotte while presenting the chicken released so much smoke that we had no hope of smelling any of the wines in front of us. One of us had to take his glasses out to the balcony for a few minutes...

Once again, I was pleasantly surprised with the finishing of the dish. The chicken was carved and served with fried glutinous rice with preserved sausage (炒糯米飯).  The chicken itself was very tender, and I only had the breast meat.  The rice underneath was absolutely delicious, with some of the grains hardened into rice crispies (飯焦).  I gave up trying to be a good boy in terms of my diet, as I was unable to fight my sudden craving for the rice.  I ended up scooping more and more of it onto my plate...

The wines tonight drank exceptionally well overall, with some nice surprises...

1999 Bouchard Montrachet
- served after 2 hours in the decanter.  Nose was a little reductive and dusty at first.  A little caramelized, some what sweet and oxidized but the acidity was there.  After 2 hours in glass, showing more water chestnut.

First flight: served 1½ hours after opening without decanting.

1999 Dominique Laurent Richebourg - very fragrant, a little bubblegum, exotic and beautiful nose. 95 points.

1999 Dominique Laurent Charmes-Chambertin - this was more clean, slightly more elgant and floral, a littl toast. Showing mor floral notes some 40 minutes in glass. 96 points.

1999 Dominique Laurent Bonnes-Mares - exotic notes like coconut. Sweet, toasty, and pretty fragrant. 96 points.

Second flight: served 2½ hours after opening without decanting.

1999 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Bonnes-Mares - very clean, very savory, lean on the palate and kinda tannic. 93 points.

1999 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées - very savory and clean. More funky, a little stinky and barnyard, but then opened up to some sweet fruit. 94 points.

Third flight: served 3½ hours after opening without decanting.

2004 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard - really floral, beautiful nose of cherries almost like cough syrup, and a little alcoholic. 97 points.

2005 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard - very dusty nose with savory notes. 91 points.

2007 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard - cleaner nose with floral notes and more concentration, sweet, black cherries, also bubblegum, later on very sweet and exotic. 97 points.

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