Friday, November 28, 2014

Chi Fan for Charity Dinner

"To the people, eating is heaven" (民以食爲天)says an old Chinese proverb. So it's a genius idea really to utilize our favorite pasttime - eating - for something good, and this is what Chi Fan for Charity event is about.




The charity event - now also held annually in Beijing and Shanghai - ran on a simple concept: each participating restaurant around town will donate a dinner table on a particular Saturday evening, and guests will purchase seats to enjoy the meal, and 100% of the proceeds will go to a designated local-based, non-profit organization to help the people in need. (The name of the event - Chi Fan - litearlly means eating in Mandarin) This year they dedicated the Hong Kong event to a charitable organization called Enlighten, which provides non-medical support to Epilepsy patients and their family, and to bring public awareness to the disease. 

So last Saturday, we joined the table at Fofo by El Willy hosted by our friend Janice. 12 of us gathered upon the private kitchen section of the restaurant, Fofo Privat, inside the building next door near Lan Kwai Fong to enjoyed a multi-course meal prepared by Chef Alex Fargas. 


The menu consists of a number of classic and creative dishes. One of my favorite of the evening were the scallop crudo with avocado and black truffles, in which thinly-sliced raw scallops were served in a deep dish with avocado purees, splash of olive oil and with sumptuous amount of autumn black truffles on top. I liked its balanced flavor, scallops were fresh and not overly acidic like a ceviche; black truffles has a subtle earthy aroma (not as much as white truffles but they came in sizable portion), and the avocado puree was creamy and tasty.



Both main courses were great too. First was the suckling pig, served with caramelized pineapple, lemon puree and zucchini. The crackling wasn't that crispy but nonetheless flavorful, and I love the tanginess of the pineapple and lemon tastes working with the well-seasoned and tender meat. The second main course was dry-aged beef cooked 2 ways (sous vide and roast), served with pan-fried foie gras, grilled asparagus and port reduction. The combination was hardly original but chef executed it to perfection.

I am not sure how "Spanish" the dessert of apple tart with toffee icecream is, but it's delicious and beautifully presented, with rolled puff pastry served underneath apple cream and a soft toffee icecream with caramel sauce on the plate.

Our menu tonight came with wine pairings, and I think they did alright, except I found it "interesting" they chose 2 wines of the same varietals for both our seafood courses and dessert, but both were decent. I liked the mature Rioja poured from a magnum bottle with good complexity of subtle blackberry and smokey flavors with medium, smooth tannins.

We had good experiences with Chef Alex's cooking at Fofo in the past and this was definitely on par with what we expected. And we appreciate them donating the table for a good cause, and that we got to enjoy a great meal with great company in the process. Bravo to the organizers of this successful and meaningful event and we look forward to joining them again next year.

My previous visits at the restaurant
http://g4gary.blogspot.com/2014/03/restaurant-week-menu-at-fofo-by-el-willy.html
http://g4gary.blogspot.com/2014/04/encore-at-fofo-privat.html

When? November 22 2014
Where? Fofo Privat, 4th-5th Floor, 10 Wellington Street, Central
Menu Highlights? Scallops, Avocado and Black Truffles
Drinks?
Tio Pepe Fino En Rama 2014
Jorge Ordonez Moscatel Seco 2012
Conde de Valdermar Rioja Gran Reserva 1995
Gran Feudo Blanco Dulce de Moscatel 2012
Web:
Chi Fan For Charity: chifanforcharity.org/hongkong
Enlighten HK: www.enlightenhk.org
Fofo by El Willy: www.fofo.hk

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