June 29, 2021

8 stories

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It's been years since I last treated my friendly neighborhood prime broker to a nice meal, and with the help they've given me lately, I felt it was high time I did something nice for them.   I wanted to choose a place that isn't too far from the office so that it would be relatively convenient, so I figured Andō would fit the bill pretty nicely.  I haven't been back to see Goldfinger in quite some time so it was time to rectify that situation.

The meal started with a trio of little bites:

Monaka with fruit tomato and jamón ibérico - jamón from Joselito.

Chocolate tart with Manchego and green peas - there wasn't that much Manchego but the smell and flavors were certainly very strong. Nice sweet peas.

Tomato water with zucchini

We were then introduced to a procession of 8 stories, illustrated with 8 postcards and represented by individual dishes:

Tardes en Palermo - ceviche of razor clams and sweet shrimp (甘エビ) with leche de tigre with shiso (紫蘇), some sweet potato, fresh goji (枸杞), and these little paprika that I loved so much from my last visit. I don't think many people have actually tasted fresh goji, and I think the sweetness worked very well with the acidity here.

Que raro este flan - chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) with a twist. This time we had chipirones and espardenyas, along with some shredded snow pea pods. I honestly thought this was a fantastic dish. The chipirones was simply amazing... packed sooo full of big, strong flavors with lots of umami. And the espardenyas were pretty nice, too, with wonderful crunch. Some minced garlic also helped bring a little kick.

Another reason I loved the dish was that it showed that the chefs tried to cut down on food waste by using the pea pods - something us Asians eat regularly with the peas - leftover from another dish and incorporating them here. Helps with sustainability.

Partie - we get 5 different types of sashimi.

Scallop - from Hokkaido, with lily bulb and mustard.

Yellowtail - with ponzu (ポン酢), ginger, chives, and perilla flowers.

Roughscale sole (鮫鰈) - with akegarashi (あけがらし).

Flathead (真鯒) - with white vinegar and dashi.

Squid - with smoky soy sauce, wasabi, and chives.

Cien años no son nada - this was, of course, about the El Mil del Poaig olive oil made with Farga olives coming from trees which are more than a thousand years old. Absolutely lovely. Served with three types of bread which now come from Bakehouse.

Sea salt butter - paired with seeded sourdough.

Butter with sakura shrimp XO sauce - paired with brioche.

Sesame butter - paired with honey oat sourdough.

Medio mundo - the Tasmanian trout was cooked a la plancha and came with asparagus, peas, Daikoku honshimeji (大黒本占地), and mushroom purée. Sauce was made with fish bones. The trout was surprisingly earthy and muddy, especially the skin.

Risas del jardin - we finally get some Argentinian beef here - Hereford from Entre Todos - served on top of some humita made with purple corn. Sauce made with the beef bones, coffee, and yuzukosho (柚子胡椒). Needless to say, the beef itself was very, very succulent.

Sin Lola - always one of my favorite dishes from Goldfinger. The stock was made with clams, chicken, and lobster. The proteins that came with the Yumepirika (ゆめぴりか) rice today were homard bleu from Brittany and chistorra. SLURP.

Nunca paso - the cylinder came with Kyoho (巨峰) grapes, yoghurt foam, and meringue, while we also had grape sorbet on the side. Very nice and refreshing.

At this point, I'd like to mention that I have yet to taste the supposed "signature" wagashi (和菓子) that EVERYONE ELSE has been posting. AHEM!

Finally, it was time for some mignardises:

Houjicha tart

Sakura mochi - with sour cherry inside.

Mint jelly - with apple purée in the center. Very nice and refreshing.

Goldfinger was very, very generous in offering us some very nice bubbly to start.

2006 Krug, ID 418040 - really fragrant and floral, toasty, definitely savory minerals. Big on the palate and beautiful.

2011 Paul Déthune Cuvée à l'Ancienne, dégorgée en novembre 2017 - acidity was a little higher than expected. Almost a little vanilla in the nose. Pretty nice.

2005 Kongsgaard Cabernet Sauvignon - decanted 2 hours prior to serving. Opened up nicely and definitely softer and a little more lush now on the palate. Ripe and jammy but acidity still high.

A very, very happy meal. I think my friendly neighborhood prime brokers were happy, and for a second time my staff proved to be a weakling in terms of his food intake despite his size. I may need to reconsider bringing him out again if he can't even measure up to the ladies...

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