That's something I have been pondering after what I would describe as a near-perfect evening we had a couple weekends ago. It's been almost a year since the same group of people convened at this hideaway, private kitchen in Central for a phenomenal feast featuring some of the best Cantonese dishes, so our friend and unofficial convener RC proposed that we do a repeat, and we managed to find one Sunday evening before the summer ended when everyone's in town and available.
|"Buddha Jumps Over the Wall" Casserole - Individual Portion|
|Sauteed Yunnan Mushrooms|
|Sauteed Pig Tripe with Vegetables and Bamboo Shoots|
|Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapples|
|Crystal King Prawn|
|Steamed Wild Sole|
|Special-Edition Mooncakes - Lotus Seed Paste with Lard Filling, with Indian Almonds and 3 Salted Egg Yolks|
Granted, the food tonight was more than delectable and we were quite tipsy after the whole evening of drinking excellent wines, so yes, we were sufficiently full and drunk, and hence satisfied. But there were definitely more to that, making the evening particularly enjoyable. After much soul-searching, I guess it came down to our shared passion for good food and drink, and we let our love for culinary pleasure radiate across the table. That accented by a little dose of humor, a bit of gossips and lots of laughter.
"Great company" sounds like such a cliché thing to say, but no doubt it played a big part. And this must work both ways - as much as you like to enjoy the company of others, you have to be a good company to others as well in order to create the atmosphere for a perfect meal for everyone. To us, it's almost as vulgar eating with people who don't like food as with people over-indulged with their own food and nothing else - a "food narcissist" so to speak. Sometimes I wonder how well I did in being a good dining companion to others, but from my points of view, this is a great night with everything right - food, drink and company. I reckon this happens not often enough - never enough, unfortunately.
More photos on my Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/g4gary/albums/72157657942623942 or read what my friend P has to say for the same evening on his blog: http://www.diarygrowingboy.com/2015/08/private-buddha.html, especially if you want detailed tasting notes on the food and wines.
Menu: (* were the ones not on the original menu)
*Sauteed Mushroom Duo - termite mushrooms and matsutake *香煎雞樅松茸雙菌
Sauteed Pig Tripe with Vegetables and Bamboo Shoots 七彩炒肚尖
Crystal King Prawn 玻璃大蝦球
Traditional "Buddha Jumps Over the Wall" Cassserole 古法佛跳牆
Double-boiled Winter Melon Soup 原個燉冬瓜盅
Steamed Wild Sole 清蒸海方利
Crispy Chicken 脆皮炸子雞
Braised Chinese Cabbage with Yunnan Ham 雲腿津白菜
Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapples 菠蘿古老(咕嚕)肉
Steamed Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaves 飄香荷葉飯
Gingko and Lotus Seeds Dessert 銀杏燉湘蓮
*Mooncakes with Lotus Seed Paste with Lard Filling, with Indian Almonds and 3 Salted Egg Yolks *三黃欖仁豬油蓮蓉月餅
Champagne Jacques Selosse Brut Initial NV
Champagne Tarlant Saga Extra Brut 1996
Chateau Rieussec 2009
Domaine Bernard Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Vide Bourse 2000
La Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion 2000 (Magnum)
Luciano Sandrone Barolo DOCG "Le Vigne" 2003 (Magnum)
Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Altenbourg Quintessence de Grains Nobles Cuvée d'Or 2005 (Half-Bottle)
Chateau Bouscaut 2004Chateau Bouscaut 2005