Sunday, October 8, 2017

Loading up on Canto

I was back at Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira in TST just a few days before we embarked on our long trip to the Middle East in October. I was lucky to have a series of fine Chinese meals around town lately and this one was definitely ranked right up there. I was here only a couple months ago attending a wine tasting followed by a sumptuous feast and I loved the food prepared by Chef Edwin Tang then, so I was interested in checking out more of his creative dishes, this time over dinner with the hotel's PR team.

Our menu was based on some of the new dishes either recently added or some that are going to in the coming months. Coincidentally, quite a number of them have rather rich flavor with a tint of spiciness influenced by the Sichuan cooking and spices. We started with the crispy frog legs with fried garlic and chilies with the hint of the tingling Sichuan pepper and a gentle squeeze of lime.

The double-boiled soup was similar to the one I had the other day served in a young coconut but with abalone and bamboo pith instead of fish maw this time. It has a soothing flavor with bits of honey locust fruit at the bottom for the bouncy texture.

The lobster dish was the one I loved most this evening. It's cooked just right, moist and tender and smothered with chilies and olive-pickled vegetables for the intense flavor. It's followed by the wagyu beef, diced and pan-seared with garlic and the rich black termite mushrooms, an import from China's Yunnan province.

More mushroom dish came our way, this time with white maitake served with peach gum and seasonal vegetables in broth for a colorful and refreshing presentation. I had peach gum for the first time at the restaurant on my last visit and it has a funny firm texture. It's said to be rich in collagen and good for blood vessel health etc etc, so it's healthy AND delicious.

We finished with a generous bowl of Sichuan Dan Dan noodles in a slightly spicy soup base with just the balanced tastes of chilies and pork and garnished with green onions and crushed peanuts. Many places loaded their soup with peanut/peanut butter for the richer texture, but here it's much more balanced.

Our dessert arrived with much fanfare, completed with the dry ice effect infused with a pleasant jasmine tea aroma. In the bowl was champagne jelly with mango pudding topped with sago, pomelo and coconut milk for a twist of the modern-style Cantonese dessert.

This year's hotel's 8th anniversary (since the major renovation and the name change) so they commissioned a special-labeled wine from Gaja to commemorate the occasion, which we got to try this evening with our dishes. The 2013 Sito Moresco is a blend of Nebbiolo-Merlot-Cabernat Sauvignon. Medium-bodied dominated by red fruits and a mild tannin made this a good pairing with the intense flavor of the dishes we had.

This sure would help me going through the weeks without Chinese food.

When? September 25 2017
Where? Cuisine Cuisine, The Mira Hong Kong, 118 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Menu Highlights? Fresh lobster with chili and preserved vegetable 欖菜辣子爆龍蝦
Drinks? 2013 Gaja Sito Moresco Rosso Langhe

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