November 23, 2021

Tea, shrimp, and wine

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A few days after celebrating her third birthday, we are celebrating our little dogcow CC's "gotcha day".  A year ago we welcomed her into our home, and I can't even begin to talk about how much happiness she's brought into our lives.  So Sankala and I decided to take a day off work just to hang with her.

It just happens that the Man in White T-shirt is taking a group to lunch at the Genuine Lamma Hilton Fishing Village Restaurant (漁村酒家), and I asked if we could tag along - with CC in tow.  I've heard about this place for, oh, I don't know how long... and figured it was finally time to check it out for myself.  The added bonus, of course, was that we could take CC along for this adventure.

After a short ride on a speedboat, we arrived at the private pier in Sok Kwu Wan (索罟灣) which leads us directly to the restaurant. This was CC's first ride in a boat, and she was very, very happy when she finally stepped foot on land.

The Man in White T-shirt had stopped at the Ap Lei Chau Market for some seafood, and the kitchen would be cooking some of these for us. Tina came especially to entertain us, so I knew this was gonna be pretty special.

First up was our welcome drink - cold brewed Dianhong spring tea (滇紅春茶) whose leaves come from 500-year-old ancient arbor from Baoshan (保山) in Yunnan.  This was from the 2021 vintage, and I don't remember ever tasting tea quite like this.  Definitely showing some lychee, orange, and even longan flower later on.

Blanched whiskered velvet shrimps (白灼赤米蝦) - this big plate of blanched shrimps were really beautiful, and even though we had to put the same amount of effort in removing the shells but getting less yield, I didn't mind one bit. I always find these to be extra tasty.

Of course, one of the reasons we brought CC today was to feed her shrimp... and these happen to be her favorite!

Deep-fried cuttlefish (椒鹽鮮魷) - very nice. Not a lot of batter here, and the fresh cuttlefish was so nice.

I'm not a big fan of babylonia 花螺 so I only took one.

Yellow croakers steamed with black bean sauce (豆豉蒸黃花魚) - quite a few of these were female and came with eggs, and in any case all of them had their bladders in their bellies. Pretty interesting to have the black bean sauce... not something I had expected.

Local lobster - always a treat when we can get some. Size is perfect as they're not too big.

Double-boiled soup with abalone and papaya (鮑魚木瓜湯) - this was really nice. Love the sight of all the abalone on top.

The papaya in the soup really made it sweet, and worked very well with the flavors of the abalone.

Fried chicken with red fermented bean curd (南乳雞) - nice and flavorful, and far from boring.

Steamed egg - the Man in White T-shirt asked the kitchen to take the leftover jus and goodies from the lobster and make steamed egg. Certainly a lot tastier thanks to lobster jus!

Wafer shrimp (威化蝦) - this was really cool. Tiny shrimp had their shells removed and wrapped inside these thin wafers - whose textures remind me of Southeast Asian shrimp crackers - and deep-fried at high heat. One is meant to eat these as soon as they are served, since the crackers get soggy easily. I was on a work call when these arrived, and took the very last piece which was, no doubt, not as crunchy as the first piece on the plate.

Clay pot rice with preserved meats (臘味煲仔飯) - this was a big pot for our group, and certainly came with a lot of goodies on top... like preserved sausage (臘腸), preserved liver sausage (膶腸), preserved duck (臘鴨), salted fish (鹹魚), and dried shrimp (蝦乾).

It was a little on the salty side - especially since Sankala had given me her piece of the very salty preserved duck... so I asked for more of that rather wet rice.

Blanched choy sum (菜心)

Someone brought these tangerines to share with the group. Apparently they come from Zhejiang and are very sought after... Pretty sweet and tasty.

Deep-fried tofu skin with fermented tofu (腐乳炸腐竹) - definitely fried at very high heat, and I certainly tasted the oil. Didn't think this was special.

I thought it was gonna be a casual lunch when it came to wine, but I didn't realize we had a serious Burg lover in our group...

2012 Laurent Bannwarth Pinot Gris Qvevri - definitely alcoholic, plenty of mineral and metallic notes, and drank like liquid pear that's been oxidized.

2006 Malartic Lagraviere Blanc - muscat grapes, flinty. Later on the buttery notes came out after aeration.

2017 Laurent Ponsot Griotte-Chambertin Cuvée du Saule - opened about 1 hour before serving. This was chilled and showeing lots of cool fruit, strawberries, and eucalyptus.

We whiled away the time while Tina generously shared some of her tea with us, with two separate vintages (1985 and I think 2020?) coming from trees which are reputed to be 3,000 years old. A pretty relaxing day for us, and we certainly enjoyed taking CC out for an outing.

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