May 11, 2023

A date with piglet

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One thing the Compatriot misses most after leaving Hong Kong is Cantonese cuisine, so I made sure that he would get some decent meals in. I was floored last year while making my first visit to Moon Bay Chinese Cuisine (灣悅 賞 • 中菜), as they served the best (non-stuffed) roast suckling pig I ever remember having in Hong Kong. I figured I could round up a few people to go in for that.

Unfortunately people started dropping like flies as it got closer to tonight, and in the end even My Birdbrain Cousin was a no-show because, well, she's a birdbrain. We ended up with fewer mouths for the same pig...

Barbecued suckling pig (皇牌大紅乳豬全體) - of course the pig gets served first, before anything else.

The pig in all its glory. It's been a few months since I last had the pleasure of taking down a pig like this.

As usual, the crackling is served first. Tonight this was about par for the course, which meant it wasn't as amazing as what I had last time, but I wouldn't complain, either.

The steamed wrapper for the crackling. Each person had a little steamer of them.

After all the crackling is served, the rest of the pig is cut up, with one plate comprised of legs and other bits.

Another plate serves up the tender, succulent ribs.

Deep-fried Bombay duck, chilli spicy salt (椒鹽九肚魚) - one of my favorite things to eat at a Cantonese restaurant, and it's something that is seldom seem outside Hong Kong or Cantonese restaurants. The soft, airy texture is unlike anything else.

Chinese lettuce in supreme broth (上湯浸唐生菜) - no surprise that they served this so early instead of towards the end of the meal, as they should have.

Sweet and sour pork with young ginger and pineapple (紫羅咕嚕肉) - I've had sweet and sour pork with either pineapple or ginger, but not sure if I've ever had it with both.

Steamed minced beef patty, aged tangerine peel (遠年陳皮手剁本地牛肉餅) - very thick patty and very tender. Nice bouncy texture.

Braised pipa tofu, morels (羊肚菌琵琶素豆腐)

Clay pot rice, preserved vegetables, spare ribs, black bean sauce (梅菜豉汁排骨煲仔飯) - the Compatriot missed eating clay pot rice so we ordered this towards the end and duly waited for it.

Not bad, but it fell some ways short of what one can get at the Chairman (大班樓). The topping to rice ratio was just wrong.

Steamed red dates cake (新疆棗皇糕)

Red beans paste tea cake (豆沙茶粿)

Since we had fewer mouths tonight, it also meant a reduction in wine consumption.

2003 Henri Bonneau Cuvée Marie Beurrier, en magnum - double decanted 1½ hours prior to serving. Nose showed tons of ripe fruit like blackcurrants. Once served the nose showed more leather and a slight stinkiness. A little savory on the palate. Half an hour after serving the wine showed lovely woodsy notes. About 3 hours after decanting the wine definitely had peaked and the fruity notes were no longer prominent or noticeable.

2011 Hugel Gewurztraminer Grossi Laüe - pretty floral, definitely lots of lychee. Palate was kinda off-dry and lightly sweet.

I feel obliged to mention the imcompetent service here. This place isn't exactly new, so I'm really baffled at how bad they were. There is no communication between different staff members and the captains - to the point that some of the staff weren't sure whether we had placed orders for our food. This happened more than once. I just found it difficult to communicate with the people here. Sigh...

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