October 15, 2022

White Night

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The Zhongmeister pinged and told us that there was an opening in a private room at Wing Restaurant (永) for tonight, and asked whether we would be interested in joining. As the restaurant is notoriously difficult to book, and I haven't been back in a few months, I figured we could join them and grab a few more friends for a night out.

We were offered 3 different menus, but with a minimum spending amount to meet, we opted for the one whose price fell in the middle.

I didn't tell Vicky that I was coming to dinner because, well, there was absolutely no need to. I'm neither a loyal customer of the restaurant nor a VIP. And the booking wasn't under my name. Unfortunately, though, I was recognized by Swiss Sung... who even remembered the date of my last visit. So... I spent the whole of the meal wondering whether there was gonna be a little something extra coming my way...

Our seasonal drink tonight was made with red jujube, apple, and hawthorn (山楂蘋果紅棗茶).

We began with four starters:

Drunken South African abalone (醉南非鮑魚) - marinated in two types of Chinese wine. Very tender as usual.

Geoduck • Yunnan chili • bull kelp (象拔蚌配雲南皺皮椒及海茸) - the spiciness of the shredded chili helped to cover up some of the iodine flavors that I don't like in geoduck, so this is good.

Chili Iwate oyster • century egg (香辣岩手蠔伴溏心皮蛋) - the mala (麻辣) sauce wasn't too strong, and was perfect in complementing the oysters.

Smoked eggplant • house made sour sauce (煙燻酸汁茄子) - smoked with apple wood. The sauce was tasty but I did hope there were just a tiny bit more.

Chinese almond soup • egg white • Japanese yam (杏汁蛋白淮山湯) - since I had gold foil on the yam on my last visit, I figured I was safe tonight. He wouldn't do the same prank twice. I liked the fragrance of the almond apricot kernel soup.

Steamed Japanese pomfret • preserved vegetable (梅菜蒸日本燕子鯧) - I really like this the last time I had it, so I was pretty glad to see it on the menu again.

The slices were served with finely diced Japanese spring onions as well as Cantonese preserved leafy mustard (梅菜), which added layers of flavors. The fish was smooth and tender, although we did get some bones which was somewhat unavoidable.

The tableside service of the night saw us presented with a claypot full of braised fish maw.

Abalone sauce fish maw steak (鮑汁花膠扒) - nice and thick "steak" of fish maw, served with some leafy mustard (芥菜). We didn't want to waste the wonderful collagen-filled sauce, so we got some steamed rice to soak it up. Unfortunately, the steamed rice was rather mushy... which surprised me.

Signature crispy chicken (招牌脆皮雞) - I do like their chicken, and for the next tableside service one of the chefs came to chop it up for us.

As per SOP we each got a piece from the legs, before the rest of the bird was plated for us. Love that crispy skin, and the marinade penetrated the meat pretty well.

Winter melon • sour soup pot (酸湯冬瓜煲) - besides winter melon, we had tomatoes from Taiwan, Tonkin jasmine (夜香花), and house made preserved leafy mustard (咸菜).

Wing clay pot rice, 1st serving: house preserved pork and Tai-O dried velvet shrimp clay pot rice (永煲仔飯,一食:自製白臘肉赤米蝦乾煲仔飯) - we then had the main event... RICE! A big pot that would make all of us happy! I was giddy as the sight of the dried baby sardines (白飯魚) and the dried whiskered velvet shrimp (赤米蝦).

The pork belly that was preserved in-house was plated separately so we could add to it as we saw fit.

Some of the rice crispies (飯焦) was plated and presented.

We were, of course, encouraged to add these to our bowl of rice. Very yum.

Wing clay pot rice, 2nd serving: king crab soupy rice (永煲仔飯,二食:皇帝蟹飯焦泡飯) - the second service was also very nice. I love soupy rice, especially when we've got rice crispies added and, of course, king crab. Coriander added fragrance and Chiuchow-style preserved radish (潮州菜脯) brought some added flavors.

Snow gum • coconut sorbet • osmanthus (桂花雪膠椰子雪芭)
- I noticed that my bowl had the glass cover on while the bowls for the others did not. That was the moment I realized I was gonna get the gold foil... Vicky IS in da haus, and he waited till now to strike!

Look at the glitter!

Then we had the mignardises:

The fruits tonight included fresh winter jujube (冬棗) from Shandong (山東) which had been peeled, Japanese pear, Japanese Kyoho (巨峰) grapes.

The restaurant - and I'll credit Swiss for this one - remembered that Four Sheets doesn't eat desserts and doesn't like fruits that are too sweet, so we also got some pink guava from Taiwan. Amazing service.

Vicky came by to say hello, and brought us a plate of Chiuchow crispy sweet taro (反沙芋) that they have been testing in the kitchen. Besides the sugar coating - which was done by melting the sugar crystals into a syrup before getting it to re-crystallize on the exterior of the taro - we've also got coriander, spring onions, and some cured pork. Gotta say this was pretty nice, and that should mean something coming from a guy who doesn't care much for taro.

Donuts with lotus seed cream (蓮蓉冬甩) - so after two previous visits where I bitched about the lack of filling for the donuts, this time there was finally plenty that have been injected.

Black sesame mochi (黑芝麻麻糬)

I asked the guys to bring more whites and bubblies, and somehow we ended up without a single bottle of red wine...

2002 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill - I didn't get much from the nose, which was disappointing, but this had a beautiful palate. Still young and vibrant, not too oxidized given the age, and well-integrated on the palate.

Henri Giraud Fût de Chêne MV10, en magnum, dégorgée le 18 novembre 2016 - nose was really open, with a very nice mousse. Very fresh and lively. Drinking so well.

2011 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Aligoté - really, really big nose of toast. A bit heavy and pungent.

2019 De Montille Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières - nice and toasty nose, very classic, very buttery and creamy.

2019 Penfolds Yattarna - even bigger toasty nose, much more intense. A little bit of ripeness and buttery on the palate, but the acidity was still here. Still young.

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