March 23, 2023

Da Doctor iz in da haus

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It's been more than 3 years since some of us were last in the presence of Dr. Poon, as he hasn't been back in Hong Kong during the pandemic. While the rest of us have had sporadic gatherings of the MNSC gang, he hasn't been able to join us for any of those. We have heard many tales of his wanderings, including one regarding a bottle of fake wine in London, but tonight we finally got the chance to meet the man, the legend, our friend... once again.

Our friend decided to host a casual dinner at MIÁN (紅棉), and I was pretty happy to return. The food is pretty decent and there are a few dishes I am always happy to have.

Mian's roasted barbecue Iberico pork (別不同叉燒) - with a ton of shredded coriander coating the pork.

This was actually pretty tasty, as the marinade had enough time to impart its flavors on the meat. And yes, the Ibérico pork was nice and fatty and tender.

Stir-fried minced pigeon ∙ pork liver sausage ∙ crispy rice (脆米膶腸炒鴿崧) - OK la...

Steamed yellow fourfinger threadfin ∙ Chinese wine ∙ spring onion (花雕雞油蒸馬友) - I really, really love this dish, and I've ordered it on my last two visits. Tonight it was just as good as I remembered, as the fish was just so, so fatty and tasty. The fact that it was covered in a combination of chicken fat and Huadiao wine (花雕) didn't hurt, either... and the diced spring onions certainly added some sweetness to it.

Sautéed A4 Saga wagyu ∙ sea salt ∙ black garlic (黑蒜海鹽煎焗佐賀A4和牛粒) - I guess there was some black garlic purée on the side, but when the beef was served the staff neglected to include some. Beef was OK, as were the haricot verts.

Deep fried crispy chicken ∙ scallions sauce (紅棉䓤油雞) - this is a perennial favorite. Love the paper-thin crispy skin, and the flavors from both the raw diced spring onions and the mash of caramelized spring onions really make the dish. Would have been even better to spoon the spring onions onto a bowl of steamed rice.

Baked Japan Kagoshima pork chop rice ∙ organic tomato (有機蕃茄焗日本黑豚豬扒飯) - of course we would have this... one of the most famous, if not most expensive, baked pork chop rice in town.

Still very good, especially with that fried egg on top. Good acidity from the tomatoes.

But the night is all about wine, and our generous host treated us to some very nice stuff.

First flight: served around 2 hours after opening without decanting.

1982 Mouton-Rothschild - nice, smoky nose with good fruit. Nice and cedar wood nose, also minty. Second pour showed more elegance along with more coconut butter. Really, really beautiful. 100 points.

1986 Mouton-Rothschild - initially more opulent than the '82, with sweet fruit. Good acidity. Then got heavier with more weight, more smoky, more concentration, with a little ripe fruit on the edges. 96 points.

Second flight: served around 1 hour and 15 minutes after decanting.

2000 Beaucastel Hommage a Jacques Perrin - really, really sweet, soooo fragrant, kinda sugary on the nose. Sooo sweet and jammy, almost like muscovado. Love it. More than 2 hours in the decanter and this showed some burnt rubber.

2000 Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins - very savory nose, gamey, more oxidized. Got better and showed a sweeter nose, and a little exotic.

2000 Fonsalette Rouge - a little dusty and chalky, showing strong notes of American ginseng and Chinese angelica as well as leather. Nose cleared up with the second pour and was pretty clean, and was a bit ripe. Unfortunately with more aeration the Chinese medicine notes came back, and was almost bitter on the palate.

1999 Coche-Dury Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères - popped and poured. Soooo beautiful. Nice with orange marmalade, sweet notes of straw, nice and toasty. Very elegant, lovely buttery nose, and a little metallic.

Really happy to catch up with our friend again, and grateful for his generosity. We'll catch up again soon.

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