February 14, 2023

Chinese for Valentine

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When Mr. Locust and I were discussing the dining options for his trip back to town, I didn't hesitate to recommend Woo Cheong Tea House (和昌飯店) to him. It's a new place that he hasn't been to, and I do like the food there after 3 previous visits... although admittedly they were all hosted by my friends who own the restaurant. This would be my chance to see how they do with a "simpler" menu without any real expensive stuff.

I was a little surprised that the four of us were put in a private room upstairs. OK, I did book the table directly with the manager, but I felt for sure we wouldn't be ordering enough to meet any minimum spending limit, since we took it easy tonight and only decided on the dishes on the spot. I was assured by David that due to the spacial date, most of the tables in the main dining room downstairs were 2-tops...

Scottish razor clams with Shaoxing wine (狀元紅蘇格蘭蟶子皇) - Mr. Locust was very, very happy with this. I thought the texture was pretty nice and tender, and the flavors of Zhuangyuanhong (狀元紅) Shaoxing wine were pretty nice.

Woo Cheong premium barbecued pork (和昌炭燒叉燒) - OH YES! Hello, baby... we meet again. The char siu (叉燒) here was among the best things I enjoyed last year, so naturally I had high expectations. Not disappointed in the least. Well-marbled where it should be for tenderness, charred to deliver some smoky flavor. Thick cut so that it's particularly satisfying. Ticked all the boxes for me.

Celtuce with peppercorn flavoured oil (熗汁拌翡翠) - I'm not surprised that Foursheets ordered this, but the surprise was that it came in very thick bars - albeit scored to make them easier to handle and improve the ability to take up more sauce. Sadly, the sauce wasn't very interesting...

Deep-fried crispy baby pigeon with tea-cured pigeon egg (雙囍富貴鴿) - this is, for me, one of the better Cantonese roast pigeons in town. I specifically asked that the birds not be cut but served whole, so that one can enjoy the satisfaction of ripping the limbs off and watch the juices squirt. Very, very delicious. Oh the smoked pigeon egg wasn't bad, either.

Mantis prawn, salt and pepper (椒鹽富貴蝦) - this was the only item we pre-ordered at the request of Mr. Locust.

Very nice. So was the "seafood price (海鮮價)".

Stir-fried pork spareribs with aged manadarin peel and Modena balsamic (不知年陳皮義大利黑醋骨) - this was a dish I liked a lot from my last visit, as the flavors of balsamico really stood out. The fragrance of the mandarin peel - aged for an unknown amount of time - was still very nice. I ended up eating about half the plate, if not more...

Kale casserole with Tai O dried prawn (大澳香蝦芥蘭煲) - always nice to have the pungent shrimp with this.

Tofu pudding with specialty sugar (百變豆腐花) - so happy to have this again, which came with 4 different sugars/syrups: rare sugar (稀少糖), which I have no idea what it was; brown sugar syrup (黑糖漿); brown sugar (傳統紅糖); and ginger syrup (薑糖).

I was in a drinking mood, and told Mr. Locust not to bother bringing anything that wouldn't be better than what I was bringing...

2009 Keller Westhofener Kirchspiel Riesling Großes Gewächs - flinty, polyurethane, mineral. A little ripeness here and big on the palate, grippy and almost with a little bitter finish.

2001 Guigal La Turque - served about 30 minutes after decanting. A little dusty on the nose, with notes of leather. Not bad, with some fragrance and sweet fruit on the nose. Acidity was relatively high on the palate. Not nearly the beautiful La Turque I was hoping for.

1990 von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett - completely oxidized on the nose with Chinese licorice, and lots of white flowers. On the palate this was relatively dry and just barely off-dry, and very rounded.

I think Mr. Locust was reasonably happy with the meal, at least happy to have had a couple of the dishes. I thought we got off relatively lightly in terms of the cost of dinner on Valentine's Day, and for that I was pretty grateful.

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