July 20, 2022

Diary of a Quarantined Boy part 2, day 4

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Day 4, halfway through the ordeal. We don't get out of bed unless it's for breakfast...

Shrimp dumplings ∙ BBQ pork bun ∙ pork congee (蝦餃 ∙ 叉燒包 ∙ 豬肉粥) - the wrappers for the har gau () were pretty thick, and I counted only 10 folds. Meh. But the char siu bao (叉燒包) were pretty good. The congee with pork wasn't as good as the one with beef yesterday.

This morning's coffee was the Arabica Sumatran Mandheling from Cama Café. A much darker roast, much more intense and bitter.

I've now been conditioned to look at the time, waiting for the moment when my next meal would be delivered. Here was lunch:

Mixed green salad with Japanese sesame dressing ∙ steak sandwich with caramelized onions and cheddar ∙ potato wedges ∙ truffle mayo ∙ Vita Cold Brew No Sugar Tie Guan Yin Tea Drink (維他冷泡無糖茶鐵觀音) - I never liked fat fries much, even when they're not soggy. And I don't care for anything that says "truffle" without actual chunks of truffle inside.

The steak sandwich could have been warmer, but it wasn't too bad. The beef was still red in the middle, and it was miles better than the chewy ribeye I had on the first night. The caramelized onions and mustard were nice, and even the ciabatta was decent.

Burrata al tartufo, from The Cheese Room - there was a faint truffle flavor here, which was just as well. Almost a little too rich and milky for me.

Lunch today was pretty filling but I still wanted to try our daily afternoon tea snack, with my own coffee.

Catamona Central America - relatively mild, medium- to light-bodied, with some acidity.

Green tea cookies -

In the middle of the afternoon we received yet another delivery, this time from the kind people at MONO. Ricardo and I had talked about quarantine dining just before I went off on my trip, and he understood the dilemma faced by people who receive tons of food delivery from their friends in hospitality. When you're in quarantine and you've got people sending (or wanting to send) you food from their restaurants, the things that you actually need and crave are vegetables and fruits. Anyone can send you some steak, some roast chicken, or even caviar... but most fine dining restaurants actually don't have simple salads or fruit plates they can send. So MONO has created a care package that seems very different from those of other restaurants.

Tuna - the note I received mentioned something about my preference to not eat tuna (actually I just wild bluefin tuna as these are endangered), so they decided to send me this kind of 'tuna' instead. This is actually the fruit of the nopal cactus, which I have never seen. They have alredy peeled it and sliced it for us, and this tasted really refreshing when chilled, kinda like dragonfruit... except those seeds were a real bitch. Unlike seeds of the dragonfruit or kiwi, these were really big and hard. Spitting them out took a lot of effort, while chewing them up was even tougher.

Dinner time rolled around, and before our quarantine dinner was delivered, the Lalamove driver called to tell me that the package from RAW Yeah has been left with the hotel staff. We are a long way from Nikushou, so we definitely felt the love.

Mixed green salad - with some cracked black pepper in the dressing adding some punch.

Amela tomato (アメーラトマト) - with a pinch of salt to bring out the sweetness.

Beef curry udon - Sankala assigned me the heavier of the two udons, with a curry-based broth featuring finely-diced cubes of tender beef along with strips of fried tofu skin (油揚げ). Slurp.

Sweet potato chips

Minutes after we received the delivery, our hotel dinner came:

Sautéed chicken fillet with pickled vegetables ∙ barbecue pork ∙ sautéed broccoli ∙ steamed rice ∙ papaya and snow fungus sweetened soup ∙ HealthWorks Hawthorn Apple Drink (味菜炒雞柳 ∙ 蜜汁叉燒 ∙ 清炒西蘭花 ∙ 絲苗白飯 ∙ 雪耳木瓜糖水 ∙ 健康工房山楂蘋果飲料) - the char siu (叉燒) was, surprisingly, slightly dry but not terrible. The chicken with black bean sauce was tasty, with capsicums and shallots. The dessert soup was diluted with low levels of sugar, but I appreciated the chunks of papaya.

With two dinners tonight, it was pretty filling. But we needed to make sure we consumed the next item tonight, so we took a break of a couple of hours before unwrapping this baby:

Saba bozushi (鯖棒鮨), from Nikushou - always a pretty sight to behold.

Very fatty, very crunchy texture. Soooo good.

Time to pop open another bottle from the Film Buff - this time a white to go with the sushi.

2019 Mark Haisma Chassagne-Montrachet - pretty ripe. A little round on the palate but still got the acidity. Some flint and toast on the nose.

Alfajores, from MONO - definitely needed to finish on a sweet note.

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