Go Big or Go Home (Part 3 of 6)

November Birthday Month Celebrations Not For The Faint of Heart

(Part 1 – Day 1 to Day 5)

(Part 2 – Day 6 – Day 10)

Part 3

Day 11: Cantonese seafood

We have dined all over the world from street nibbles to Michelin Three Star restaurants of various cuisines.  With that in mind, we are confident when saying the Cantonese, particularly of Hong Kong, know their seafood and especially their steamed fish.  Simple, flavourful, perfect texture…nothing beats a properly prepared Garoupa in Lau Fau Shan.  Of course, you have to be willing to suffer the less the hygienic eating environment and please do not get us started about the toilets aka the place you would find unacceptable even to be buried.  Equally, you need to bring your own wine and glasses to pair with the delicious food.  Never mind, all in an evening’s work.  We were joined by our local friends at the place they have frequented for nearly three decades.

A Champagne Challenge was at hand with (in order of preference on the evening) White – Sparkling
NV Pierre Péters Champagne Blanc de Blancs Perle du Mesnil,
NV Vouette et Sorbée Champagne Fidèle,
NV Zoémie de Sousa Champagne Brut Precieuse and
NV Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut.

Magic!!!

Lau Fau Shan

Lau Fau Shan
Steamed Fish
Lau Fau Shan
A Champagne Challenge

Day 12: Master Kid Chefs

Our friends are special sort of parents.  First, if it is not obvious, they are not poor.  Second, they buck conventional wisdom in that they have no problem with their young kids (since they were around 6) sipping a thimbleful of wine now and again.  Finally, they constantly introduce their boys to the BEST restaurants, chefs and wine on the planet.  When we say “best”, we really mean it.  These young fellas have more Michelin Stars under their belts spanning three continents than most skies can boast similar constellations.  Truly fascinating.  More importantly, at least from our perspective, was their visit to our home to prepare a feast for an all day tapas dining experience.  We handled the wine.  They designed, prepared and cooked the food…supervised, of course.  It was a delightful process where two young “master kid chefs” combined veggies, fish, noodles and everything in our cupboard – which never is bare – to bestow upon us a simply awesome all day, dining extravaganza!  The wines, in order of sipping, did not suck and the master kid chefs sipped a bit of each:

1999 Alfred Gratien Champagne Brut Millésimé
2008 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard
1962 Château La Tour Haut-Brion
2011 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Annum and
2002 Château d’Yquem.

Wow, rockstars we were…

Day 13: Bibo bamboozles…in a good way

We hopped our Uber chariot around 11amish Sunday morning to visit Bibo in the now very trendy district of Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island.  To say scepticism was cascading through our minds would be an understatement.  This largely reflected the fact that “excellent” and “exceptional” dining in Hong Kong has been dying a fairly rapid death in recent years due to a fine blend of reasons including, but not limited to, high rents, poor service staff, cost-cutting on ingredients for obvious reasons, etc.  Simply stated, we have sadly happened upon too many a hyped-up restaurant, particularly in the trendy areas such as Sheung Wan, and we have not been impressed.  Couple that with the concept of Sunday brunch, which might include children – poorly behaved and not properly seasoned and cooked – and we were engaged in a journey of fear and loathing.

Not to worry as Bibo stepped up to the plate and went yard (for non-Yanks, let’s just say you cannot do much better).  First, the place is simply too cool for school.  An eclectic collection of original artwork – whether or not you like it – just feels right for brunch.  Second, free-flow Ruinart Blanc de Blancs!? Seriously!? They lost money on us!  Third, excellent, perfectly proportioned four course meal.  Fourth, attentive and, in most instances, professional service particularly from the French staff.  Finally, the cool vibe music being mixed by the DJ.  All the elements were there and, to our delight, they all came together as well as we have seen anywhere in Hong Kong in years. Kudos to Bibo!

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

Despite arriving home five hours or so after brunch, we managed to pop open another two bottles to share with our neighbours before their departure to Southeast Asia for a month.  Great people.  Great Indonesian chef.  Great wine.  Exceptional sleep…the simplicity of math, i.e. Great + Great + Great = Exceptional…our school boy days were not wasted, mom!

Day 14: Bo Innovation…if you have visited, then you know we already have finished the explanation

For those who have not experienced Bo Innovation, we weep.  The brainchild of Alvin Leung, the “Demon Chef” and TV celebrity who was less than classically trained as an engineer, and now owns the world’s best – in our opinion – “X-treme Chinese” cuisine.  Wow, wow, wow!!!  Alvin’s play on various Chinese culinary concepts, i.e. Xiao Long Bao without pork, demands an open-mind, knowledgable nose and patient palate.  How about munching on a version of hairy crab in a small baby-food jar with a Hello Kitty spoon?  Dig into a Shark Fin soup like concoction with absolutely no violation of international fishing laws but all the flavours?  Or a glass of ginger tea that requires you to blow out smoke in a manner reminiscent of the favourite daily sport of those in Amsterdam?  Out of control, off the hook, exceedingly exceptional, mind blowing…the list cannot be too long for what Alvin has done.  Of course, you need to contact your credit card company to ensure your limit will not be exceeded as the set menus – especially when you choose the wine pairing – are, well, not cheap.  Never mind…if you only go once, you should go big…Bo Innovation, when in Hong Kong, is where you should go!!!

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

Day 15: Wednesday sippin’ ’n snackin’ at home

After nearly six hours at Bo Innovation the night before, we decided awakening before 12 Noon was, well, uncivilised!  Nay, the idea of getting out of bed before 2pm was gut-wrenching.  Alas, we sallied forth as our Beagle was seeking to relieve himself and our previously full bellies were yearning for sustenance.  So, we opened a bottle of wine, steamed some white rice and sashimi-grade salmon, cut and nibbled on some raw carrots and cucumbers and fastened ourselves down to the couch for a day of Netflix. The bottle of 2014 Domaine Ludovic Belin Pernand-Vergelesses Les Combottes did not suck!

To be continued…

 Follow Gastronaughties on Instagram

Read
(Part 1 – Day 1 to Day 5)
(Part 2 – Day 6 – Day 10)

1999 Château Corbin Michotte

TASTING NOTE

We sipped at Bibo in Hong Kong as an after-free-flow-brunch glass via Coravin.  A touch tired both in terms of nose (obscure veggies, no fruit) and texture (no tannins).

Reasonably pleasant, albeit uninspiring, was to end a mucho-marvie brunch.

(VineNaughties’ Rating: 87 points)

1999 Château Corbin MichotteFrance, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (11/13/2016)

Posted from CellarTracker

FOLLOW us on Instagram @buzzzzoff

If you like this wine, click on LIKE!

2011 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Annum

TASTING NOTE

We shocked our friends when opening a bottle of 2011 California Cabernet Sauvignon after the 1962 La Tour Haut Brion.  Our reasoning, which proved correct, was the desire, if not need, for some tannins and vibrant fruit. Et voila, Ramey delivered.

Opaque purple on the eye.  One might even think a Malbec.  Aromas of liquorice, vibrant berries, espresso and milk chocolate.

Broad shoulders with sweet, well-developed, nicely gripping tannins and wonderful vibrant red fruits.  Tres yummy.

No doubt will benefit from several more years in the cellar.

(VineNaughties’ Rating: 93 points)

2011 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon AnnumUSA, California, Napa Valley (11/12/2016)

Posted from CellarTracker

FOLLOW us on Instagram @buzzzzoff

If you like this wine, click on LIKE!

1962 Château La Tour Haut-Brion

TASTING NOTE

WOTN, our birth year bottle was excellent.  You cannot beat the provenance of “Ex-Chateau”.  We were pleased to experience absolutely no difficulties removing the perfectly preserved cork. Blessed!

We let her breath for an hour before dipping in.  We had stood her upright for 48 hours so the sediment remained under control throughout the pour.  Light brownish red on the eye. She looks perfect.  The original old musty law books blew off after an hour and we had pure, Chinese preserved veggies on the nose.

Liquorice, burnt coffee, dark chocolate.  Oh my…too many things going on!

The palate was silky smooth with virtually no tannins (sad a bit as we like a little grip).  Chinese herbal tea flavours overwhelm with preserved mushrooms and other root veggies.  We enjoy this flavour.  We equally would have preferred just a hint of fruit…nary a drop.

Et voila, the finish was as though Her Majesty was gliding down the runway to greet her subjects…elegance on steroids.

(VineNaughties Rating: 94 points)

1962 Château La Tour Haut-BrionFrance, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (11/12/2016)

Posted from CellarTracker

FOLLOW us on Instagram @buzzzzoff

If you like this wine, click on LIKE!

2008 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard

TASTING NOTE

Our friend visited with his family for a sip ‘n snack birthday month event.  Followed very nicely after 1999 Champagne Alfred Gratien Brut.

Golden, yellowish-grown.  The first sister was elegant on the eye.

Aromas of vibrant blend of citrus, burnt caramel and toasted almonds.  Very, very inviting on the nose…someone needs to make a perfume with that smell! The ultimate second sister!!!

Palate was buttery, vanilla cream with a hint too much acidity.  A bit too perky third sister, but we waited a little to ensure she acted appropriately.  Yes, we think this wine needs another year or two of cellaring before hitting on all cylinders. 97+ in the future!!!

(VineNaughties’ Rating: 95 points)

2008 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin VineyardUSA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/12/2016)

Posted from CellarTracker

FOLLOW us on Instagram @buzzzzoff

If you like this wine, click on LIKE!

1999 Alfred Gratien Champagne Brut Millésimé

TASTING NOTE

We visited Alfred Gratien several years ago. The winemaker (Nicholas) is great fun, loves to make wine in a “gourmand” style and opened several bottles for our sipping pleasure.  Suffice it to say, we wobbled to our hotel, which was fortunately only a 15 minute stumble.

This is not the 1996 statuesque bubble, but certainly a spectacular wine with excellent balance of acidity, fruit and alcohol.  Fairly transparent green apple on the eye served properly in white Burgundy glasses.

Aromas of toasted almonds and yeasty vanilla cream.  Simply yummy and screaming “sip me, baby, sip me!”  Smooth, creamy vanilla on the palate and dry as a baby’s bum.  Lingering finish that almost convinced us to open another bottle!!! Awesomesauce!!

A winner!!! The song “I am hot for teacher” is playing as we sip…we missed a lot of education in champagne in our day, but not our homework is soo delightful that we are “hot” for this luvly!

Great QPR!

(VineNaughties’ Rating: 94 points)

1999 Alfred Gratien Champagne Brut MillésiméFrance, Champagne (11/12/2016)

Posted from CellarTracker

FOLLOW us on Instagram @buzzzzoff

If you like this wine, click on LIKE!