Sunday, July 4, 2021

Mian Sequel

I returned to Mian just a few weeks after eating there for the first time, and this time with Chef Shao in residence. Our friend KC has sorted out the menu with the chef and we ended up having a few new dishes along with some of the chef’s signature. 

We began with a few cold appetizer dishes. I like the subtle smoky flavor in the “veggie goose”, classic Chinese meatless dish with julienned vegetables and mushrooms wrapped in a tofu sheet roll and pan-fried. The razor clams was a surprise to me, the clam was flash blanched with the bouncy texture and nice umami flavor and served with minced “sand ginger” sauce giving it a nice touch of herbal flavor. The Fowl and Chicken was the same as the one I had before and it’s always a crowd pleaser with the nice presentation and punchy and nutty flavor from the Sichuan dan-dan sauce. 

Without a doubt, the braised sea cucumber was the winner tonight. The gigantic piece of sea cucumber was done with a good bouncy texture which I like, and its flavor (from the long and slow cooking) was augmented with the rich sauce spooned on top with just the right spicy kick to make this dish extra interesting. I very much enjoyed the Sichuan style boiled fish with chili broth the last time so I certainly didn’t mind a repeat, with the perfect balance of spiciness and rich broth taste and the silky fillets of tiger grouper, served with Japanese udon at the bottom which soaked up all the flavor. 

One brothy course led to another, and this time was beef served in a “clear broth”. That’s another memorable dish, with the tendon and tongues and the fatty brisket in a consommé-like but rich broth base along with green and red chilies and peppers, giving the dish a nice spicy kick and herbal aroma. The meat was tender with plenty of fat and tendon attached, making that extra tasty. That’s an amazing dish that I would love to come back to try again. 

After the crispy chicken – served with the caramelized scallion sauce – and the braised bitter gourd “noodles”, we finished with Baked Pork Chop Rice. No idea why this local fast-food staple is making their way to the menu at many high-end restaurants these days (often a few times more expensive). While I can’t judge whether this version was worth the price they charged, it was amazingly good, especially the rich cheeses used in au gratin, the tender Japanese pork dipped in batter and deep-fried, and served with the perfectly fried egg done over-easy. 

We finished with a trio of dessert. I like the hawthorn jelly rolls last time, and this time we got that, plus the black sesame version which was probably even more classic. With the usual peanut and wine gang we went through quite a number of bottles. Love the two reds contributed by P and F. The Napa Valley red was big, loaded with ripe black fruits and I love the smooth tannins at the finish. It’s matched by another almost as big (but younger) one from the old world, with a nice combination of red and black fruits, less sweet and a hint of nuttiness. 

When? June 8 2021
Where? Mian, Pavillion, The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Braised Crispy Sea Cucumber with Abalone-Chicken Liver Sauce (肝油乾燒遼參)
Ise No Nami Junmai Daiginjo - Shimizu Seizaburo Shoten, Mie Prefecture
(イセノナミ 純米大吟醸 - 三重県 清水清三郎商店)
2007 Champagne Charles de Cazanove Traditional Millesime Brut
2002 Bond "Matriarch", Napa Valley 
2015 Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5, Ribera del Duero

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