March 5, 2022

Not a home delivery birthday dinner

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Once again, our plans for a nice night out tonight was scuttled by the collective of selfish anti-vaxxers, aircrew who flouted quarantine arrangements, and consequently the Hong Kong government. Two months after the government announced a ban on dining-in service after 6 p.m., this is now an all-too-familiar experience that keeps getting stuck on repeat. The original reservation for tonight was booked on December 1st of 2021 for January 9th, which was quickly rescheduled to tonight after the dining ban announcement a few days before the original date. As the dining ban has been extended to April 20th at the earliest, we needed to look for alternative solutions for a family gathering tonight.

We normally stay away from food delivery, as it inevitably ends up generating trash and plastic waste in particular. In this case we didn't have much choice, so we looked for options which were more appealing. Thanks to collective indecision among the three of us, our first choice involving mostly cold dishes became unavailable... and I remembered that I had been tagged in a social media post about delivery from Louise. So it was decided that we would get the Charlotte Menu delivered to My Birdbrain Cousin's place.

I had spent more time than expected rearranging wines in my cellar, so Sankala and I arrived after the food had been delivered. Our query to My Birdbrain Cousin regarding reheating instructions were, apparently, not taken to heart... as she ended up only reading part of those instructions. But I suppose we shouldn't have expected too much.

Bread and spread - the sourdough is tasty and the whipped butter is equally good, although I chose not to add the sprinkling of nuts on top.

Pâté en croûte Louise - gotta say that this was pretty good. Not the same kind of game meats I get from Caprice, but tasty nonetheless.

Cheveux d’anges, caviar Kristal, truffe noire, kombu - these days I'm not such a fan of this dish, but the hope is that at least they use better truffle oil than some other places. The angel hair pasta was a little more solid than expected but paradoxically still mushy... although one cannot expect to have the same experience as dining at the restaurant.

Poulet jaune rôti, riz gourmand de Niigata en cocotte, petite salade - I find it amazing that I neglected to snap any photos of the main dish, but oh well... My Birdbrain Cousin reheated the chicken in her oven, and it came out OK. I haven't had the chicken in the restaurant before, but this was pretty decent as one would expect.

My Birdbrain Cousin, however, did not warm up the rice which was covered in chicken oil, although it tasted kinda OK when the chopped spring onions and crispy chicken skin bits were sprinkled on top. It was unfortunate that the chicken jus had also gone a little cold.

Sélection de 6 fromages fermiers affinés - this was OK but I only nibbled on some of it.

Paris Brest - this was much, much bigger than I had expected, and the hazelnut flavors were absolutely wonderful. Very, very sweet, which was fine by me. Unfortunately, My Birdbrain Cousin did not follow instructions to keep this in her fridge... which meant that over time, it got soggy as the cream in the middle basically melted as it warmed up. Sigh...

Canelés - I remember the canelés being pretty good, and I wasn't disappointed. The exterior was very crunchy, while the centers were soft enough.

This was absolutely not a birthday dinner, and we were absolutely not drinking wines from someone's birth vintage whatsoever.

1976 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs - a little dusty at first, with vanilla, Chinese licorice, honey, and marmalade in the nose. Really lovely about 50 minutes after opening, and much more open a little more than an hour after opening. Also got richer on palate. Very, very nice.

1976 Mouton-Rothschild - started drinking 25 minutes after decanting. Not as much fruit showing compared to what was showing while decanting, but pretty fragrant anyway. About 1½ hours after decanting this was much more fragrant, with coffee and leather notes as well as some sweetness underneath. Flat and boring on the palate, though, without much finish. Some mint. Faded about 2½ hours after decanting.

Given the circumstances I don't think we could have fared much better. Very happy to have spent a special day with My Favorite Cousin along with my favorite furry nephew.


True HK said...

You stay with blogging about food and wine, getting vacc is a personal choice.

Peech said...

WRONG. When someone's "personal choice" and "freedom" impacts other people's health and freedom, it is no longer a "personal choice" of that person alone. They can choose not to vaccinate but then they should stay the fuck home and away from the rest of society.

Markus Schmidt said...

I appreciate your blog and it's a little worrying to read that sidelines take over in the comments section.... We have had similar debates in Europe/Switzerland ever since vaccines became available in early 2021. In the case of HK, much of the blame must go to the govt., which has never had a consistent or clear strategy on how to fight an outbreak of true pandemic proportions...the result now is there for all to see...


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