May 12, 2023

Putting the sommelier to work

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My final meal with the Compatriot is, once again, at a Cantonese restaurant. Seeing how much he enjoyed his last meal here, I chose to go back to Forum Restaurant (富臨飯店) with him and roped in a couple of others.

Since sommelier Jacky Luk had just won the Michelin Guide Sommelier Award two weeks ago, we decided to ask him for suggestions on which dishes to order that would pair well with the wines we brought.

Chilled chicken paw in Shaoxing wine (花雕醉鳳爪) - kinda surprised that Foursheets requested this. Very springy but nothing out of the ordinary other than the flavors of the wine.

Deep-fried eel in spicy salt (椒鹽大鱔球) - Zhongmeister wanted eel, and Jacky figured this could work with the Champagne.

Steamed lobster in egg white (蛋白蒸龍蝦球) - Jacky told us that they had live local lobsters and suggested we have them steamed. Getting it done with egg white is an even better idea. The lobsters were definitely fresh, judging by the texture.

Braised ox tail (燒汁焗牛尾) - I'm not a regular at the restaurant so I had no idea that this is, in fact, a signature dish. Foursheets had read about it and suggested that we take it. Best.Decision.Ever. The ox tail was very, very tender and very, very, very flavorful. I'd do this again in a heartbeat.

Chinese lettuce with shrimp paste in clay pot (啫啫唐生菜煲)

Deep-fried crispy chicken (富臨脆皮雞) - we ordered the chicken since the Compatriot didn't get to have it last night. To my surprise, Foursheets actually praised the chicken. Well, it WAS very tasty, without being overly seasoned on the underside. And I loved the krupuk udang on the side. Haven't seen those in a while!

Baked conpoy and crab meat in crab shell (瑤柱焗釀蟹蓋) - another suggestion from Jacky, and of course I love baked crab shells at high end Cantonese restaurants. Here the crust isn't full of breadcrumbs but melted cheese...

The beauty of this, though, was that in addition to the tasty shredded crab meat and cream, we've also got shredded conpoy amping up the flavors. This was just really, really good!

Ah Yat fried rice (阿一炒飯) - if it's got Ah Yat's name on it, it must be good. And I've got nothing to complain about this one... Oh, it's even better when you spoon some X.O sauce on top.

Deep-fried sesame glutinous ball (黃金煎堆仔) - can't come here without tasting these. They do a damn good job. Wonderful fragrance and flavors of sesame seeds, and good balance between the crispy exterior and the chewy under-layer.

Traditional black sesame roll (懷舊芝麻卷) - another old school dessert one should not miss.

Egg twist with honey citron (柚子蜜脆蛋散) - it's been a while since I last had these, and I love how fluffy they are... crumbling apart at the lightest pressure.

We focused on Champagne and white wine for tonight, thinking we would have more seafood than meat.

Ulysse Collin Les Pierrières, dégorgée en mars 2021 - nice and open, with some dessicated coconut, a little mineral and flint. Nice acidity on the palate, then some savory notes showed after about 30 minutes.

2007 Taittinger Comte de Champagne Blanc de Blancs - big on the palate. Really lovely nose with a good amount of toast.

2008 Sine Qua Non B 20 - 91% syrah, 6% grenache, 3% viognier. Served 2 hour after opening without decanting. Really big wine, very woodsy, a little metallic, minty. More than 3 hours after opening the nose was even more open and showed more cedar notes. Drinking very well.

2015 Keller Westhofener Kirchspiel Riesling Großes Gewächs - flinty, polyurethane, a bit more ripe on the palate than expected.

I think the Compatriot was pretty happy, and I would hope that the others were, too. Now if only we could firm up the plan for a hit-and-run in Macau...

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