November 30, 2023

Let's live a little

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It's been far, far too long since I last saw my friend, which was some time last year while trying out a nice pizza joint. When he suggested that we meet for lunch at One Harbour Road (港灣壹號) in Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, I was happy to oblige. It's a restaurant that is somehow off my map, so I relished the rare opportunity when someone actually suggests that we dine there.

I thought the two of us would just have some casual dim sum, but my friend saw a tasting menu with Champagne pairing and wanted to "live a little"... so we ended up doing a long lunch with plenty of food - on a day when I was due to have a big dinner. Things got taken up a notch when Billy saw me and decided to upgrade our Champagne selection... I am ever so grateful for the kindness of friends.

Crispy suckling pig, foie gras mousse, caviar (鵝肝魚子醬脆皮乳豬件) - this was an interesting combination... we've got a nice piece of deep-fried toast at the bottom, on which sits a slab of foie gras mousse, and a little sauce for suckling pig, then a wafer-thin piece of crackling from the roast suckling pig, and finally topped with some caviar. Very rich and sinful for a first bite.

Crispy Australian quail leg, chilli pepper salt (椒鹽澳洲鵪鶉腿) - quail is always a good idea, and I'm actually not sure I've ever had it prepared this way... but no surprise that this was pretty tasty!

We did have a "steamer" with some dim sum treats:

Steamed pork and shrimp dumpling, abalone (鮑魚蒸燒賣) - the little abalone was surprisingly tasty.

Steamed dumpling, morel mushroom, matsutake, amberwood ear, bamboo pith (竹影山珍如意粿) - this was very nice, with lots of different fungus stuffed inside.

Steamed shrimp and bamboo shoot dumpling, vegetables (碧綠鮮蝦餃) - can't miss the chunks of bamboo shoots, and this had a very nice balance between the amount of shrimp and bamboo.

Shrimp dumpling in lobster broth, fish maw and conpoy (龍蝦湯花膠灌湯餃) - the big dumpling came with fish maw, shrimp, fish fillets, and scallops. Must admit the lobster broth was pretty tasty. That piece of fish maw was pretty decent in terms of size!

Wok fried prawns, flat glass noodles, fermented rice sauce (酒釀乾燒水晶明蝦球) - not something I would normally order, but this was pretty decent. The addition of fermented rice lees (酒釀) in the sweet and sour sauce was curious, and the flat noodles both added bulk and also soaked up some of that sauce.

Poached garoupa fillet, wolfberries, pea shoots, fish broth (魚湯杞子豆苗泡東星斑球) - this is another one of those dishes that can be a comfort dish to some, but one I am unlikely to order myself. For me, if the garoupa is going to be served as fillet and not whole, this had better be a damn good preparation. While the combination of pea shoots and wolfberries in fish broth is very classic, I actually don't like my garoupa in fish broth...

Scallop fried rice, preserved liver sausage, pumpkin, porcini mushrooms (牛肝菌醬南瓜膶腸帶子粒炒脆米飯) - pretty decent.

Chestnut cream, egg white (蛋白栗子露) - happy to have chestnut cream during season.

Chinese petits fours (君悅甜點心)

I definitely drank too much today... and I blame it all on Billy.

2018 Tellier Les Massales, dégorgée en Novembre 2022 - lean with a decent amount of acidity, but reasonably easy to drink.

Tarlant Zero, en demi-bouteille - apparently from somewhere in the 2000s, there's good maturity here, and the acidity is still here without being sharp despite being a brut nature. Tasted great on the palate. Nose was so fragrant with plenty of Chinese salted plum, lemons, and oranges that were not quite marmalade. Also plenty of toasty brioche. What a wonderful Champagne!

Jean Vesselle Œil de Perdrix, dégorgée le 26 Juin 2023 - really nice red fruits, and paired very well with the prawn.

It was so good to catch up with my friend today, giving me another opportunity to return to a restaurant and tasty dishes I otherwise would not have tried. And grateful to my friend Billy who knows of my love for aged Champagne!

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