February 26, 2024

Not a blind tasting

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I was planning on hosting my blind tasting wine dinner at Andō tonight, getting Carlito gor gor involved in the fun of tricking the boys. Unfortunately something came up a few days ago and forced me to postpone the gig, and I had to scramble to grab a couple of people on short notice. The last thing I wanted to do was to be an asshole and cancel on a chef friend's restaurant with 2 days' notice. Thankfully DaRC called in a friend and Foursheets also came in to help, so it wasn't a total disaster.

I had previously asked for a menu that was red wine-friendly, but told Goldfinger that this was no longer necessary. Always happy to see what they have in store for us.

Bocaditos: as usual, we started with a trio of bites.

Shiroebi tart - we've got some yuzu (柚子) cream in the tart below the raw Japanese glass shrimp (白海老).

Lomo curado - from Joselito, on a piece of fried dough. Nice combination.

Tilefish tart - very nice and creamy, with a nice little kick from fermented chiles.

Kristal caviar, aonori cream, king crab - while the shredded king crab meat was seasoned with olive oil and citrus juice, the inclusion of perilla (紫蘇) salt was perhaps the reason it felt a little more heavy-handed and the flavors were no longer so delicate. No doubt the aonori (青海苔) cream contributed to the umami.

Rye bread, katsuobushi butter - I prefer bread that's simpler, and black olive has never been among my favorite ingredients. Oh well. They have also switched their olive oil from the extremely limited production El Mil del Poaig to the more accessible Carmen del Poaig.

Blue lobster, chimichurri, coral sauce - pretty, and pretty tasty.

Threadfin, salicornia, peas - fourfinger threadfin (馬友) is a dish I usually love, especially when cooked in a Chinese restaurant. Tonight the texture was OK, but I think it just comes down to the way the fish is cooked. I do love salicornia, and together with the shredded snow pea pods they gave us some very nice crunch. The parsley emulsion came with a white wine-based sauce with dashi and sofrito.

Secret dish - I wondered if Goldfinger had put this together for the wine dinner I was originally hosting, as this combination of braised beef tripe and pig trotter tendons would have gone really well. Of course, since DaRC reminded Nicolas about gold foil, Goldfinger decided to show his love for me...

Argentinian beef, crosnes and mirasol chiles - underneath the tasty hunk of Angus beef from Cabañas Monvale were some crosnes and cavolo nero, along with some garlic butter and beef jus. Some black truffle shavings helped to get the dish better.

Cracker with beef - this was pretty interesting.

Sin Lola : caldoso rice, abalone and chorizo - it's been a while, and tonight this seemed a tad more spicy than usual, which was OK by me!

Mikan, white sesame and kinome sorbet - a really refreshing dessert, with fresh Japanese mikan (蜜柑) and a mikan jelly, along with a white sesame cream and kinome (木の芽) sorbet. Definitely tasted very sesame-y, while the light flavors of sansho (山椒) leaves in the sorbet were pretty interesting.

Pink pepper, chocolate, beetroot and raspberry ice cream - chocolate and olive oil sponge cake at the bottom, with what seemed to be a raspberry ice cream encased in a chocolate mousse.

Dulces - as usual there is a whole series, with pear cake and Amaou (あまおう) strawberries among them.

We were pretty civilized when it came to wines tonight. In fact, Carlito gor gor even advised me against ordering an additional bottle from their wine list!

As a Krug Ambassade, they very kindly offered us a complimentary glass of Krug to start off our evening:

Krug Grande Cuvée, 171ème Édition, ID 322022 - very toasty nose, and also pretty yeasty.

2002 Bollinger Grande Année, dégorgée en mars 2011 - the nose was much bigger and much more open, pretty ripe now as the wine has aged nicely. Notes of Chinese licorice, caramelized sugar, and marmalade. Drinking well.

2017 Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo - drank after decanting for more than 45 minutes. The nose was so nice and open, with big toasty notes, along with some flint. In fact, we all felt that the nose could have been mistaken for a Meursault from Coche-Dury.

1998 Grange des Pères Rouge - served about 1½ hours after opening. Very nice and elegant, with plenty of leather along with a little medicinal and savory minerals on the nose. Just so smooth and drinking beautifully.

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