Friday, December 16, 2022

The Second Auor

Just so happened I returned to Auor for a second meal there in these few months. I love the food and dining experience in my first visit so I set my expectation higher this time given it's an invited tasting of some of Chef Edward's new dishes. 

With a single tasting menu available during dinner service, I am impressed that many of the dishes were different from last time already just by glancing through the menu, presented as a "Six Rounds" of dishes (plus a few add-on courses as part of their degustation option). 

But then the dinner started with a couple dishes making its repeat appearance. First it was the amuse-bouche of "Pei Dan Chawanmushi" with the delightful bowl of cool egg custard topped with century eggs and salmon roes for the clean umami flavor. It's quickly followed by the beautifully plated ocean trout with caviar and pickled green chili. The piece of Gillardeau oyster was served on its shell topped with pickles and shreds of lettuce plus drizzle of infused oil. I love that slight touch of spiciness with the mineral rich fresh oyster taste. 

Loaf of sourdough was then served with a chili crab dip - I appreciate that nice Singaporean touch with the familiar flavor. The Ezo black abalone was slow-cooked to perfect texture and served on a bed of sweet ginger, battered and deep-fried tempura style, and at the table, the rich bouillon was poured on the side of the deep dish. The bouillon did remind me of the traditional abalone sauce in Cantonese cuisine made from ham and scores of other ingredients said to be accompanied well with the abalone. 

The langoustine was cooked just right and served with a quenelle of butternut squash mousse with the aromatic sauce underneath. That touch of sweetness from the mousse contrasted well with the umami flavor of the langoustine in this straight-forward combination. The crab au gratin course seems to be the one that chef uses to rotate with different flavor and cooking method to keep the menu afresh. Last time we had it in tandoori spices, this time, it's done with Sarawak black pepper, a tribute to the famous Singaporean black pepper crab dish. The bomba rice dish was another hearty and well-executed course, with the rice cooked with the aromatic crustacean broth with pieces of seared Hokkaido scallops on top. 

Our main course was lamb this time, with a piece of Aveyron lamb frenched and seared, and served with the witty "mala" chutney on the side and jus reduction. The sauce was done a tad less rich than a traditional demi-glace so that allowed the meaty flavor of the lamb came out nicely. And we finished with a couple of desserts, inspired by the traditional "yuen-yeung" - a mix of coffee and milk tea, and the Southeast-Asian inspired petit fours, including the kaya dacquoise. 

We went for the wine pairing option this time, and I enjoyed the interesting selection, ranging from their private label champagne to a Japanese koshu white, a Chinese Xiaoxing rice wine and finished with a Mekhong (known as "The Spirit of Thailand") which tasted like a sweet rum but a tad bit milder. Of course, one couldn't go wrong with a 10-year-old Sena from Chile, with its medium to full body and good red fruits characters with a hint of cedar and spices working well with the lamb main course. 

When? December 5 2022
Where? Auor, 4/F, 88 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights?
Champagne M. Hostomme Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut (Private Label) NV
2018 Domaine Francois et Julien Pinon Vouvray
2018 Tomi no Oka Koshu, Yamanashi, Japan
Guyue Longshan 10-year-old Hua Diao (古越龍山10年陳花雕酒), Zhejiang, China
2018 Domaine Michel Bouzereau "Les Grands Charrons" Meursault
2020 Kuheiji Ka no chi Junmai Daiginjo - Banjou Jozo Brewery, Aichi Prefecture
2020 醸し人九平次 彼の地 純米大吟醸酒 - 愛知県 萬乗醸造
2011 Sena, Aconcagua Valley, Chile

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