July 25, 2022

The tiger Chairman

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The Tiggers are back in town after a long absence resulting from the pandemic, and I arranged to meet up with them as soon as I got out of my hotel quarantine. First up? The Chairman (大班樓). I did not realize until during the meal that none of them have ever been here. So my decision to let them choose the dishes - partly based on my recommendations, of course - was correct.

Cherry tomatoes pickled in basil reduction (九層塔甜醋醃漬小番茄) - the basil flavors in the tomatoes were really nice, and the accompanying Korean pear was marinated in wine. Very refreshing way to start our meal.

Razor clam steamed with aged lemon and garlic (廿年鹹檸檬金銀蒜蒸蟶子) - I hadn't realized that Danny would ask the kitchen to bring out their treasured aged preserved lemon, which are now nearly 30 years old. Knowing how rare this ingredient is, it is understandable that nowadays they don't add a lot of it to the dish, but it still manages to deliver some amazing flavors. They've also added dill this time around to bring along additional fragrance.

Cold soya Szechuan pepper marinated baby squid (凍鹵水花椒小吊桶) - I've always loved the Sichuan peppercorns in the marinade, which brings a wonderful fragrance while giving that tingling sensation on the tip of one's tongue.

Crispy taro cake with smoked duck (蜂巢芋泥煙鴨盒) - very happy that Mama Bear asked for this as it's one of my favorite dishes here. Today the outer shell wasn't as golden as it normally would be, but the taro flavors were still wonderful.

Slippers lobsters poached in rice broth and shrimp oil (魚米湯煮琵琶蝦) - Babu was pretty amazed with the consistency of the strained rice broth, which really is silky smooth. The flathead lobster was tasty as always, and of course the drops of shrimp oil and the sprinkle of shrimp roe all contribute to my happiness.

Steamed fresh flowery crab with aged Shao Xing wine and flat rice noodles (雞油花雕蒸大花蟹配陳村粉) - it's no wonder that the first-timers wanted the signature dish, especially when the flat rice noodles (陳村粉) are so, sooo nice. That sauce with the chicken fat and Huadiao wine (花雕酒) still delivers much happiness no matter how many times I've had it.

Camphor wood smoked 7 spiced goose (樟木菊花煙燻七味黑鵝) - this might very well have been Babu's favorite dish today. The amazing smoky fragrance just fills the air around the table.

The skin was absolutely crispy and delicious, and the amount of fat under the skin was just right. Babu remarked how the flavors permeated into the meat of the goose. Just wonderful stuff!

Pork belly and Chinese pickled clay pot rice two ways (梅乾菜扣肉煲仔飯) - Mama Bear decided to get this as soon as she saw the words pork belly with preserved leafy mustard (梅乾菜扣肉). Of course, you really can't go wrong with this. So, soooo satisfying when you've got the deep flavors of the preserved vegetable along with that fatty pork belly...

What's even better is when they do a second serving with soupy rice (泡飯), adding some clams in the process. So comforting and satisfying.

Stir fried seasonal vegetables with chicken oil (雞油炒白菜) - this was very sweet with a hint of bitterness.

Then we have the usual dessert trio (甜品三味):

Almond cream (杏仁茶)

Hawthorn berries pudding (山楂糕)

Mung bean cake (綠豆糕) - always happy to have this to finish.

This was a really happy meal. I finally got to catch up with my adopted family after so many years, and I got to see my dear godson after he's grown so much taller. We have a few new fans of the restaurant, but too bad it's so difficult to book...

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