June 9, 2023

Duck and Diane

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V is back in town for a few days, and we agreed to catch up over dinner tonight along with the Film Buff. As it was just the three of us guys, I figured we could go a little casual and not hit one of the usual fine dining spots. Much to my surprise, I was able to book us a table at Jean May, one of the darlings of the Hong Kong dining scene over the last 3 years that opened not long after the pandemic began. It had always seemed impossible to book a table, which was why I had never had the opportunity to dine here - until now.

Unfortunately, the Film Buff had to attend a last-minute "early dinner" at work, so he ended up joing us. With just the two of us, the number of dishes we could try dropped significantly. Oh well.

Steak tartare - I was pretty happy with this. Very old school, with plenty of acidity and crunch from red onions, pickles, and capers. Of course came with a raw egg yolk on top.

Ham hock terrine, gherkins - a good terrine is always nice, and this one came with chicken hearts stuffed inside, which gave a very different texture.

Smoked mackerel rillettes, soft-boiled egg - I do love me some rillettes whenever I see it offered, and while this came with nice and smoky flavors, I had forgotten that old school versions often veer towards the salty side.

Beef fillet, sauce Diane - STEAK DIANE!!!!! How nostalgic! Just look at this hunk of fillet glistening in that brown sauce!

This may not be the most premium piece of fillet you'll ever have - in fact, at this price point it cannot be - but it was very well-executed and remained extremely tender and succulent. It did, however, come with some sinew which required extra effort to slice through the chunk of meat... which did not detract from how delicious this was. The beefy flavors was so nice that we wondered about the origin of the meat.

Hand-cut pommes frites - can't have steak without some frites, and these were very, very nice and crispy on the outside.

Duck à l'orange - another nostalgic dish that I had to order. Yes, the duck was tender and tasty, but it was the carrots that really stood out for me. These were particularly tasty.

Pavlova, rhubarb, yoghurt chantilly - had to order one dessert, and there were only two on offer. This was pretty decent, and actually paired very well with our rosé Champagne.

As it was only the two of us, we decided to open just two bottles... and drank them very slowly.

Emmanuel Brochet Rosé de Saignée - nose of red fruits, plenty of raspberries. Flinty. Very lively and fizzy. So easy to drink.

2005 Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin - started drinking 45 minutes after double-decanting. Still tannic on the palate. Nose of cassis, definitely lots of forest pine. Second pour 1½ hours after decanting and the nose was more open and fragrant, with nice woodsy notes along with leather. After two hours the nose opened up even more and got more alluring, but the palate was still relatively tight.

We had a late seating and since were took our time drinking the wines, became the last table to leave the restaurant a little more than 2 hours after we sat down. While I didn't get to taste everything I wanted to try, I was happy enough with what we got. I love that there are now more places like this serving tasty, simple food in this city where high rents force people to go upscale. Sometimes you just want to sit down and relax over a bottle or two without going through a 10-course menu.

I'll be back with Foursheets for sure, in the not-too-distant future.

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