April 9, 2021

Friday night party crasher

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Tonight wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

Sankala took her second Covid vaccine today. We had planned on her developing some reaction to the vaccine, and we were meant to have a quiet evening at home.  Which was why I had initially turned down an invitation to join my VIP friend for dinner at Ren Ren Heping Restaurant (人人和平小飯店). But Sankala seemed to be doing fine most of the day, and she suggested that we go and join our friends for dinner. So that's how we wound up at the feast...

Award-winning honey char siu (本地蜂蜜叉燒) - pretty decent.

Poached foie gras with goose sauce (鵝汁浸鵝肝) - I guess it makes sense that they would serve up goose liver, given the number of geese they run through each day.  This wasn't the fine dining version, but tasty nonetheless.

Sautéed pork spareribs in Taiwanese pineapple bowl (招牌鮮菠蘿船 - 台灣金鑽鳳梨咕嚕肉) - who doesn't like food that comes in a pineapple?  And who doesn't like sweet and sour pork?

OK, I'll admit that I used to frown at the sight of sweet and sour pork, as I kept thinking it's a dish mostly ordered by laowai... until I realized that a lot of ladies around me love it, and grew to appreciate versions that are nicely done.  As for this ohe?  OK la...

We also had some eel (白鱔) which, to be honestly, is not my thing when it's served in Cantonese restaurants.  At least this came with a heavy enough sauce to distract from the usual muddy flavors.

Lychee wood chargrilled goose in Xinhui Gujing style (荔枝柴燒新會古井燒鵝) - this was the upper quarter (上庄) of a goose.  Pretty nice.

Double-boiled soup with pigeon, duck gizzard, and 10 years dried tangrine peel (新會10年陳皮桂圓陳腎燉頂鴿湯) - OK la...

Shuande oyster omelette (好順得你嘅順德煎蠔餅) - this sounded interesting, and it turned out to be very different from our expectations.  These came in rectangular blocks.  Not bad, but not exactly what I was looking for.

Braised duck in casserole (家鄉碌鴨) - the sight of the duck sizzling in a clay pot was pretty impressive.

And it was pretty tasty, too.

Sichuan spicy chicken (麻辣口水雞) - this, unfortunately, was bland.  Not at all fragrant with the chilis, peppercorns, or spices.  Wouldn't bother with this again.

Braised abalone, sea cucumber, oudemansiella raphanipies and tofu in clay pot (黑皮雞㙡菌鮑魚海參豆腐煲) - not bad la... especially with the termite mushrooms.

Stir-fried morning glory with belacan (馬拉盞炒通菜) 

Braised tofu (紅燒豆腐) - nice with different types of shrooms.

Casserole of fried rice in goose sauce (砂窩鵝汁炒飯) - this, of course, is just fantastic.  So, so much flavor thanks to the roast goose and goose sauce.  Great texture with crunchy rice crispies.

Lots of food that we couldn't finish, but pretty good for a casual gathering. Not surprisingly, we did bring a few bottles to dinner. And once again, we didn't finish all the bottles we brought...

Pascal Agrapart Complantée, dégorgée octobre 2017 - medium body, very balanced with slightly more ripeness than acidity. A little mineral.

Sharaku Tokubetsu Junmai Daiginjo (写楽  特別純米大吟醸) - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%. Pretty sweet, very banana with lots of rich, rice flavors.

1998 Kay Brothers Shiraz Block 6 Amery Vineyards - unfortunately corked.

1996 Guigal Château d'Ampuis - really floral and violet nose, along with leather notes. Just beautiful.

1996 R et L Legras Saint-Vincent - this was really nice. A little desiccated coconut and sugar cane on the nose. Great depth on the palate, with some sharp acidity balancing the ripeness.

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