December 15, 2021

Organic team

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The year is drawing to a close, and unlike the end of 2020 when Hong Kong was under tight social distancing measures, the situation has improved a lot more these days. So I proposed to have a team dinner to wrap up what has been a very bumpy year for everyone. Having only started the planning some 4 weeks ago, it wasn't a surprise when many places have already been booked out during this busy holiday season. Once again, it was the hardest working F and B PR8 who came to my rescue, and we found ourselves at Roganic tonight.

We had to take the long menu, and I was a little concerned that it would be too much for the ladies. Thankfully the cuisine here is light enough that it didn't leave anyone stuffed or uncomfortable.

Salmon, seaweed, potato salad, togarashi and pike roe - this was OK. Very Japanese in flavor.

Yi-O rice cracker, A4 wagyu, burnt onion and K-Farm mustard - true to the philosophy of the place, they used local Yi-O rice (二澳米) to make their cracker, which carried wagyu tartare. Topped with greens from K-Farm in Kennedy Town. Pretty smoky.

Truffle pudding, birth sap, stout and Lincolnshire Poacher - very nice as always, delivering both sweet and savory flavors in the same bite. That shaving of Lincolnshire Poacher on top was very nice.

Scallop with oyster, turnip and caviar - the poached Hokkaido scallops came with pickled apples and cucumbers on top, with oyster emulsion topped with caviar and oyster leaves, along with tomato water, lemon juice, and marigold oil. Pretty nice together.

Soda bread with brown cultured English butter - still a crowd favorite. Love the sweet flavors of the bread together with the savory butter.

Salt baked celeriac with mussel, mushroom XO and HK watercress - pretty nice when it was all mixed together, especially that little bit of crunch.

Grilled New Territories vegetables, Westcombe and truffle - one thing we can count on seeing here is the local veggies, and some of them are usually dehydrated/blistered.

Poached cobia with braised enoki and kohlrabi dashi - I'm generally not a fan of cobia, but I did like all the shrooms on top - especially the crispy cordycep flowers.

7 day hay aged local pigeon with chicory, beetroot and preserved blackcurrant - pretty decent. Too bad we were too busy chatting and didn't get to the bird until it had cooled down a little.

Tunworth cheese ice cream sandwich - what's not to like about ice cream sandwiches, especially when there's cheese involved?

Roganic - pear sorbet with diced fresh pear, pear juice, and fig leaf oil. Always nice and refreshing, and I could certainly taste the fig leaf.

Whipped pecan praline, brownie fudge and cocoa nib ice cream - the richer of the two desserts, and a nice way to finish.

Boss left orders for a few of us to bring some very nice wines to dinner, and he himself would take the lead. Compared to our last team dinner earlier in the year when I brought most of the wines, tonight saw a significant upgrade...

2003 Dom Pérignon Plénitude 2 - very toasty but also very floral and fragrant. Really opened up an hour after popping.

2010 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, en magnum - some 2 hours after opening, starting to open up and get buttery and toasty. A little ripe on the palate but still got the acidity. Drinking really well just around 3 hours after opening.

1986 Lafleur - decanted and served 2 hours and 45 minutes after opening. Smoky nose, almost pencil lead, woodsy and fragrant. Drinking wonderfully.

2010 Ausone - decanted for 1 hour and served after another 2 hours in bottle. Big, big nose with lots of mint and smoke, with some ripeness underneath. Alcoholic on the nose. Showing some coconut butter some 5 hours after opening.

2000 Lafon-Rochet - popped and poured. Very fragrant nose with cedar, woodsy notes, smoky, but still have some fruit underneath it all. Pretty nice.

We had a pretty good time. It's been a rough year in our industry, and there's certainly a lot we could have done better, but we persevered through the tough times and will look forward to a better year ahead.

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