March 17, 2024

B's detour day 4: birthday menagerie

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One of the places I really wanted to take my friend on her trip was The 8 (8餐廳), since it's one of my favorite restaurants when it comes to Cantonese food. We have not been able to get some dim sum for my friend so far, and this happens to be the perfect place to get that checked off. Nobody does dim sum like the way they do it here.

But first, I took us on a short sightseeing tour around Largo do Senado with its historic buildings, as it's part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then we strolled around and made a stop at the Porthos Macau shop for some interesting almond cookies made with Porthos canned sardines.

After a few days of my eating program, I have been instructed to cut down on the ordering. This is pretty easy to do with dim sum, and I figured we could focus on the wines instead...

Abalone with celtuce stem

Blackberry and passion fruit jelly

Steamed dumplings with crystal blue shrimp in goldfish shape (藍天使蝦金魚餃) - BUT OF COURSE we would start our lunch with this! I've been loving these "goldfish" for years, and they continue to deliver. Lately they've added a dab of goldfoil on the dorsal fin.

I still love the flavors so much. Not only are the New Caledonian shrimp tasty, the chunks of bamboo shoots inside are nice, too.

Steamed "Shanghainese" dumplings with chicken essence and vintage dried tangerine peel (老陳皮雞汁小籠包) - another one of my favorites, because these aren't just any xiaolongbao (小籠包)... they come with aged tangarine peel, which bring a wonderful depth of flavor thanks to their smokiness and fermented flavor profile.

Steamed dumplings with shark's fin, scallop and asparagus (金翅帶子海棠餃) - my friend chose something that I would normally never choose, and in fact, I made an exception today to take in a little shark's fin that was in the dumpling. Texture-wise the small chunks of water chestnuts added a little crunch to an otherwise soft stuffing, as did some diced Chinese celery. The decorative flying fish roe on top were OK.

Pan-fried drumplings filled with wagyu beef and enoki mushrooms (濃汁金菇和牛煎鍋貼) - I was pretty sure the Swiss gentleman at the table would enjoy this, and I wasn't wrong. Big flavors, juicy filling.

Deep-fried shrimp rolls filled with black fungus and black truffle paste (脆炸松露蝦卷) - another item chosen by my friend. I could definitely taste the black truffle paste.

Crispy barbecued pork buns with preserved vegetables (脆香叉燒包) - another favorite dim sum of mine. Not only are the buns really tasty, but the amount of effort spent by the chefs in the kitchen snipping and shaping the spikes of the porcupines... I'm so grateful that they take so much care.

Chilled razor clam with Sichuan green pepper (青花椒聖子皇) - this was something Foursheets enjoyed a lot on our last visit, when it was served as an appetizer. Foursheets practically insisted on ordering the dish, and it turned out to be a big hit with my friend. Razor clams are very common in Spain, but we were told that this was the best version she's ever had. I could certainly understand why... with the wonderful fragrance and numbing sensation coming from the Sichuan green peppercorn oil, but there's no heat. The okra and the finely-shredded green papaya at the bottom provided additiona crunch as well as refreshing flavors.

Steamed dumplings in cuttlefish shape with satay sauce (像形沙爹墨魚餃) - I love these "cuttlefish", too. Especially their strong flavors with "satay" sauce.

Puff pastry with river shrimp in purse shape (河蝦肉鬆手袋酥) - sadly, these weren't mini Birkins... but still tasted very good.

Poached pea shoots with lily bulb and wolf berry (日本鮮百合杞子浸豆苗) - we insisted on ordering this for our friend, because she definitely can't find pea shoots like this in Taiwan...

Coffee jelly (咖啡啫喱) - I'm soooo boring. I ALWAYS order this for dessert when I come. But I love the coffee flavors so much.

I had asked them to arrange a birthday cake for my friend, and I have to say this was pretty good. Fruit in a cake is always nice.

Portuguese egg tart (葡式蛋撻) and milk tea (奶茶) - the usual ending. Love this milk tea.

Per SOP, I discussed the wine selection with my friends and pre-ordered the bottles for today. One of them from their anniversary vintage.

1994 Zind Humbrecht Riesling Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain - lots of polyurethane and some petrol on the nose, and plenty of apricot. The wine turned a little bitter on the palate when it got too warm. Later on this showed some marmalade, too.

2006 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune - served around 1 hour after opening. Nose of white truffle, petrol, and a little flint. Slightly caramelized on the edges. A little grippy on the palate, and certainly more ripe on the nose than I had expected from this wine, but still has the acidity.

1987 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - showing nicely some 30 minutes after opening without decanting, with minty and earthy notes, some smoke, and cassis. There was a nice level of acidity on the palate to balance out the tannins that were still around after all these years. About an hour in, this was showing more meaty, leather, and animal notes. Tannins were still noticeable, and the nose was now very smoky.

I think my friends were pretty happy. This is not the kind of dim sum that can be found easily, let alone when one lives in Europe. Very happy to have checked this off the list for her. And always grateful for the team at Lisboa for taking such good care of us.

1 comment:

Fabrice DELORME Tavel France said...

I'm impressed by the precision of the decoration, the chefs are more than just cooks, they're artists, masters of their craft. The ability to draw and carve out such minute details is a masterpiece !


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