April 30, 2024

Simple dinner for two

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Foursheets didn't feel like cooking tonight, as we were on the eve of a public holiday. I was in the mood to pop open a simple bottle over dinner. With the last-minute decision to find somewhere to eat out, it was natural that we would end up at La Maison. I've been there a couple of times, and sometimes the combination of simple food, casual atmosphere, ease of booking, and zero corkage (important to some friends) just makes it a great place to go.

We always start with some bread that is piping hot, and we slice it up ourselves and spread with some butter.

Shrimp toast - this is always a good idea.

Grilled diced salted ox tongue - a dish that I've ordered each time I've dined here. Never fails.

Homestyle pork's knuckle stew - I'd never ordered this before and didn't know what to expect. This came with radicchio, chickpeas, red kidney beans, and what tasted like chouriço.

I love pork knuckles so I was reasonably happy. Interesting, though, that the skin tasted a lot like the pig skin that one finds in Cantonese cart noodles (車仔麵)... where it's been deep-fried before braising. Very bouncy and springy. This was OK but probably wouldn't order it again. Would go back to ordering suckling pig instead.

Confit de canard - always reliable and tasty here.

Stir-fried cabbage Portuguese style

I brought a simple bottle to drink over dinner.

1995 Hospices de Beaune Corton Cuvée Charlotte Dumay, élevé par Dominique Laurent - drank 30 minutes after double-decanting. Kinda astringent and grippy on the palate, but got better after tasting some butter and bread. Nice nose of cassis, with a little leather. There was still some sweetness on the palate amidst the acidity.

Happy to have come back here tonight. Sometimes, simple and casual is just what we need.

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