June 19, 2021

No winter warmers in summer

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The Zhongmeister was dining at my favorite private dining facility and asked whether Sankala and I would like to join them.  It has been months since I last dined there, and we figured Big Mac should come and meet up with old friends, too.

Since I wasn't organizing dinner this time, I didn't want to dictate the dishes for the group - except to request one dish which Sankala absolutely loves in the summer.  Very happy that the chef obliged us.

Barbecued kurobuta pork (黑毛豬叉燒) - never, ever have cause for complaint when a meal starts with a big plate of these delicious char siu (叉燒).

The Japanese kurobuta is nice and fatty, with good charring and lots of flavor from the soy sauce instead of honey glaze.

Pan-fried medallions with birds' nest (琵琶燕窩盞) - I always love the sight of a big plate of these... as the arrangement looks very pretty.

Always happy to have these "savory madeleines". Made of egg white, bird's nest, and crab meat, the texture is soft and spongey, but the crab adds a little more bite.

Stir-fried lobster with bell peppers (豉椒炒龍蝦球) - a dish I don't remember having here before, but one that we are familiar with from years of dining at Fook Lam Moon (福臨門). The lobster meat was springy, but I kinda remember Fook Lam Moon's version being a little sweeter.

Double-boiled winter melon soup with shrimps, Yunnan ham, fresh crab meat and lotus seeds (百寶燉冬瓜盅) - Sankala was so, sooo happy to see this. And it's always impressive to see a giant winter melon with the middle hollowed out so it can become the cooking/serving vessel.

Love how refreshing winter melon is... The flavors are just so delicate, clean, and pure. The use of tonkin jasmine flowers (夜香花) is always a nice touch. Then you've got chunks of crab meat to deliver some umami.

Steamed wild humpback grouper (清蒸海老鼠斑) - this was about 3 catties, which made cooking it a challenge. I thought my first piece was very nicely done, although some other parts were a little more firm but not overcooked.

Traditional salt-baked chicken (古法鹽焗雞) - I thought the chicken was really damn tender and tasty, although the seasoning was a little uneven. Some thought this was really salty, and having tasted a piece of leg with the skin, I could see why they felt that way... and the giblets were certainly well-salted - especially the liver. But I started with two pieces of breast with skin on, and those were perfectly seasoned.

Stir-fried kailan with crab roe (蟹皇扒蘭度) - the kailan (芥蘭) was really tender and sweet, and I didn't think the crab roe was needed tonight. It's the wrong season for crab roe, so the type and quality wasn't up to par.

Steamed rice wrapped in lotus leaf (飄香荷葉飯) - it's been a while since I last had this dish here, and I forgot how fragrant the lotus leaf could be. Only half a bowl because I was already too full.

Almond cream with lotus seeds and egg white (蓮子蛋白杏仁茶) - always nice and rich, great with egg white and lotus seeds.

I was surprised at how little alcohol we polished off...

2004 Moët et Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon Luminous - nice and easy to drink, actually pretty delicious. Some toasty notes, with good depth on the palate and a reasonably long finish.

Taittinger Brut Réserve - obviously less refined, more in-your-face.

1996 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auselese Fuder 10, from magnum - lots of petrol, orange blossom, white flowers. Actually the acidity was pretty high in spite of the sweetness upfront. Thick and viscous, almost oily. Very nice.

1985 Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi, from magnum - decanted more than 1 hour before serving. Somewhat stinky nose, smoky, with leather, prune, woodsy notes. Acidity on the high side but still a little grippy on the palate, and pretty savory.

2016 La Clarté de Haut-Brion - really weird as I thought I was drinking clarified pineapple juice from Sunnyhills! Very tropical, really oxidized and ripe on the palate, with acetone.

Very happy to have been back. Gotta do more of these meals come fall and winter...

1 comment:

Joy said...

Hi there! Where is this ?


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