July 23, 2022

Diary of a Quarantined Boy part 2, day 7

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Today is the day! The last day! We get out at midnight!

Scrambled eggs ∙ pork banger sausages ∙ cherry tomatoes ∙ hash brown ∙ croissant ∙ sliced fresh fruit - croissant OK, and no real complaints about the other items.

I had a mid-morning snack which I brought back from Taiwan. For years I have loved the creamy butter cracker sandwiches from Kid-O, but this was the first time I had seen it as wafer. Not bad, but I think I prefer the crackers.

My last lunch in quarantine:

Steamed pork with cordyceps flower ∙ beef short ribs in black pepper sauce ∙ sautéed broccoli ∙ steamed rice ∙ kudzu, mud carp and pork shank soup ∙ Vita Cold Brew No Sugar Dong Ding Oolong Tea Drink (蟲草花蒸肉片 ∙ 黑椒牛仔骨 ∙ 清炒西蘭花 ∙ 絲苗白飯 ∙ 粉葛鯪魚湯 ∙ 維他冷泡無糖茶凍頂烏龍) - the pork was just so-so, but the beef shortribs were definitely tasty.

Unfortunately, there was a piece of cellophane in my beef. I am grateful, however, that it wasn't a piece of metal wire like what was found in my friend's meal in quarantine in a government facility.

Lemon and green tea palmier (檸檬綠茶蝴蝶酥) from The Artisan (明玥). Decent.

I also had a bite of the chocolate from MONO, which is made in-house.

We have 3 bottles of wine left, so I decided to pop open the final bottle of Taiwanese bongwater - knowing that we probably wouldn't drink more than a glass of it - just so I could taste it.

WE by Weightstone White W°3 - 44% Golden Muscat, 31% Musann Blanc, 25% Mehone. Like drinking muscat grape juice... definitely sweet on the nose but surprisingly medium-dry on the palate. A little flinty and mineral, and much later on a pretty big polyurethane nose showed up. Acidity developed further later on.

We opened the Champagne Sankala bought in Taipei and saved up for tonight, to celebrate our impending freedom.

Laherte Frères Ultradition, dégorgée juillet 2021 - yeasty, mineral, with red fruits. Pas mal.

Here it is! My final dinner in quarantine!

Mixed green salad balsamico ∙ pan seared sea bream with miso butter sauce ∙ edamame with shimeji ∙ quinoa with wakame - the fish was surprisingly nice, certainly succulent, and that miso butter wasn't bad. The quinoa was totally bland, though.

I tried a piece of char siu from Sankala's Chinese dinner. This was much, much better than what I got 3 days ago. Definitely more fat, more tender, but still kinda hard when it comes to the lean meat. Having said that, I totally didn't expect this quality when it comes to quarantine food.

I also had Sankala's papaya and snow fungus sweetened soup (雪耳木瓜糖水). The soup was diluted but I ate the papaya and the snow fungus.

Just as we did last night, we chose to order some extra dishes from Ming Court (明閣).

Shredded chicken, green bean nodle, cucumber, chilli, spring onion, sesame, peppercorn, chilled (辣子雞絲) - this was pretty nice, and just the right level of heat for me.

Supreme pork loin, honey, barbecued (至尊蜜汁叉燒) - well... we just had to order the good stuff so that we could compare between the quality difference between what comes from a Michelin-starred restaurant and the quarantine kitchen.

The good stuff from the restaurant definitely has more fat, and much more moist and tender. The end cuts with more charring were definitely really, really tasty. Even when we had to reheat it with a microwave a couple of hours later, this was still really, really satisfying.

New Caledonia blue prawn, vermicelli, black pepper, braised in a clay pot (藍天使蝦黑椒粉絲煲) - I thought this was pretty decent. Of course the prawns aren't fresh but frozen, but I didn't mind. The black pepper flavor of the glass vermicelli was nice and strong, and I wasn't surprised that it was a little on the oily side.

We saved the best bottle for last - and very grateful to the Film Buff for this.

2018 Frédéric Cossard Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes - nice and ripe fruit, very floral like roses, a little mineral. Later on the fruit transformed into cooler fruit.

We spent the last few hours watching TV, including the qualifying sessions of the French Grand Prix. We packed up our luggage, including all the waste that we have accumulated over the last 7 days which we would take to the recycling station - including 12 large PET bottles, 28 Tetra Paks, lots of plastic container lids, 11 empty wine bottles, 8 empty beer bottles, and other miscellaneous plastic.  Everything that has entered our room would be thrown away by the hotel as trash upon our exit, so we figured we would do as we normally would - bring everything home to recycle.

The phone call came at 12:01 a.m. to let us know that the elevator has arrived on our floor, and we would be free to leave. We quickly wheeled our luggage out the door, bid a quick farewell to our room, and went down to the lobby to check out. We were finally free! We could have stayed until the next morning, but it would be much better to sleep in our own bed tonight. We were finally home after a month. Sweet dreams!

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