Sunday, December 30, 2018

Decadent Beef Hotpot

A bunch of us ventured out to Tsuen Wan on a random weeknight for some decadent beef hotpot at a speakeasy style restaurant inside an industrial building. The place went by the name of "Prime Team"  (傲嚐) and it could be a bit hard to get to, even when we decided to drive and park, but at the end, I am sure everyone at the dinner thought it’s well worth the hassle.

For most at the table it was a repeat of what they did a few years back with a similar menu organized by our friends J and KC. This time, we started with a few cooked seafood dishes. The abalones came in pretty decent size, steamed then served chilled with soy sauce served on the side and that’s all it’s needed for the mild umami flavor and excellent texture. The deep-fried squid and tofu with salt and pepper was done in true dai pai dong style, and so was the giant prawns, sautéed in soy sauce, fried garlic and green onions. Each of us had a small whiting fish which was deep-fried and lined up nicely on a big plate – and we all thought they were well-cooked and tasty.

Of course, the main highlight was the beef hotpot which J specifically requested with the owner-chef of the restaurant. After we were done with our cooked seafood dish, the table was cleared up with a few plates of beef in various cuts showed up along with the soup in a casserole on a portable stove. There were the more meaty cuts such as the shoulder blades or the rump and flank, to the more marbled ones such as the hump (the back near the neck) and the shank. There’s another one called the “white meat” – what looked like slices of fat were actually muscles taken in the rib area, and with a quick dip in the boiling soup, it became curled up slightly with a somewhat crunchy/bouncy texture, and excellent flavor. I also enjoyed those beef meatballs, mixed with black peppers and tendons, and later asked for a few more plates of those just towards the end of our meal to go with some vegetables and a few packs of instant noodles.

We came to celebrate double birthdays of J and F, and their better halves got them a cake from Lady M, and the slice of milk tea mousse cake was great – I regret not having rooms to eat more of those that evening. We also went for quite a few bottles throughout the evening, ranging from a vintage XO to a few sakes and then wine. I brought along something we haven’t tried before from our recent purchase from Japan, and turned out that Junmai Daiginjo from Niigata was pretty pleasant, with profound nose and well-balanced and rounded taste with a hint of fruity flavor at the back. Thought it stood up to the beef and went well side-by-side with the bottles of Isojiman and Kokuryu which we had. And thank God we had a designated driver to take us home safely afterwards because most of us were just having a few more glasses too many (but certainly in a good way).

When? November 29 2018
Where? Prime Team 傲嚐, Room 409, 4/F, Wing Hing Industrial Building, 83 Chai Wan Kok Street, Tsuen Wan, Kowloon
Menu Highlights? Beef Hotpot with some rarer cuts
Hatsukame "Kame" Junmai Daiginjo, Hatsukame Jozo, Shizuoka Prefecture
(初亀 亀 秘蔵純米大吟醸 - 静岡県 初亀醸造)
Kamo Nishiki "Tojo Yamadanishiki 35" Junmai Daiginjo 29BY - Kamo Nishiki Shuzo, Niigata Prefecture
(加茂錦 東条山田錦35 純米大吟醸 29BY - 新潟県 加茂錦酒造)
Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo 42 - Isojiman Shuzo, Shizuoka Prefecture
(磯自慢 純米大吟醸 42 - 静岡県 磯自慢酒造)
Kokuryu "Ryu" Daiginjo - Kokuryu Shuzo, Fukui Prefecture
(黒龍 龍 大吟醸 - 福井縣 黑龍酒造)
2009 Alvaro Palacios Priorat Finca Dofí, Priorat, Spain
2010 Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso Ca' del Merlo Veneto IGT
Remy Martin XO Special, Cognac

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