December 14, 2022

Around the corner in the 'hood

Pin It

A friend is back in town with her teenage daughter for a few days. She suggested we do a casual meal together, and it just so happens that her hotel is right next to Neighborhood. I was, of course, only too happy to be back. I did hope that the Kitchen Nazi would gimme a break and let us order our own dishes for once, because we have a teenager who has a limited list of things she likes to eat.

Shirley called me a couple of times during the day so that I could figure out the big dishes. While the Man in White T-shirt offered up special options for both a meat and seafood dish, I turned down the bouillabaisse after asking the ladies for their input. Maybe we can do that another time... Good thing was, though, that we managed to order all the smaller dishes ourselves.

Burrata / red fruits / dried bonito - I always love it when the boss combines red fruits like strawberries (and also cherries tonight) with creamy burrata, but I wasn't sure that the thick flakes of katsuobushi (鰹節) delivered the best flavors and textures. Might have been better if we got the typical thin shavings.

Buffalo wings / Roquefort salad - love these simple chicken wings with their piquant sauce with a kick. The Roquefort on the sucrine lettuce was, as one would expect, pungent.

Boudin Basque / fried egg - I was surprised that My Favorite Useless Cousin requested this, but I was more than happy to go along. This was the dish that made me very happy on my very first visit to On Lot 10 all those years ago, and I still love it every bit as much today. I wouldn't mind having the whole thing to myself, since I just can't resist any kind of blood sausage.

Roast marrow bone / "Perseus" ossetra caviar - every once in a while, a hit of roasted bone marrow becomes necessary, and it's even better when there's caviar.

But there's nothing better than serving that combination on bread - especially a nice sourdough. It just adds extra complexity and works so well with the fattiness of the marrow and the salt of the caviar.

Warm vegetable casserole / Sichuan bacon / truffle - I really do love this dish, and I remember the first time I had Alain Ducasse's warm vegetable salad with truffle at Spoon+ at the Sanderson in London 20 years ago. There's something about this dish... where the earthy fragrance of the truffles just adds to the feeling of warmth one gets while enjoying this. Tonight we also had some chestnuts and Sichuan bacon (四川臘肉) in the mix for a more wintry feel.

Handmade garganelli / nduja wild boar ragu - since our teenager only likes pasta (among a few things), I decided to order this up for her. We had two portions divided up into five bowls, and she had four of the five... But I could see why. It is one of my perennial favorite dishes here, and tonight nduja has been added to the usual wild boar ragù. The spicy kick is still here, and I love it.

Japanese horsehair crab paella - WOW! Just look at the pile of crab meat! One can never go wrong with ordering the paella here, although I do wish the rice wouldn't always be so wet, and that there would be more socarrat.

But the crab was just so, sooo tasty. And mixing it all in with the rice - together with that sauce made with crab tomalley (蟹味噌) - was just heavenly. My Useless Cousin declared that she found this to be better than the tuna collar paella we had almost exactly three years ago.

Braised oxtail - this was very, very special... and I gotta thank the Man in White T-shirt for insisting that he serve us this dish instead of the Mayura Station ribeye I initially wanted. This was soooo flavorful, and soooo tender. I love the skin on the oxtail! The potatoes, carrots, pearl onions, and garlic were all wonderful.

Potato gratin - as usual, we barely had stomach space for a spoonful or two of this.

Canelé - no room for dessert, so we just had the cat anuses to finish.

We ended up with a little more wine than I thought we'd finish...

2009 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, dégorgée avril 2018 - a bit more toasty than last night's bottle, with slightly higher acidity, and a little tart on the finish.

2015 Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin Melon Le Rouge-queue - very big and toasty nose, flinty, and dry on the palate.

2003 Henri Bonneau Cuvée Marie Beurrier, en magnum - interesting nose of dried herbs and a little polyurethane. Still pretty fruity on the palate, with some leather notes.

I was very happy to see my friend after an absence of 3 years, and I couldn't believe how grown up the teenager has become! Looking forward to catching up in Singapore next time...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map