24 November 2012

Xiao Wei Yang

Xiao Wei Yang Hotpot restaurant has been a favorite in Dubai. The only problem has been that the two branches are located in Deira and International City, far away from my apartment when the cravings kicks in. Now they have opened an eatery in JBR, opposite Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, just a 5 minutes taxi ride from my home, perfect.

Chinese hotpot is like a fondue where vegetables, meat, fish etc. of your choice is dipped in a aromatic broth, simmering on your table.

This time we choose twin herb broth and ordered beef sirloin, lotus root, beef balls, kangkong, tofu sticks and black fungus to be dipped in the aromatic liquid.

I strongly recommend to go here for a cheap, tasteful treat.

15 November 2012

Roasted Chicken

Not much beats a roasted chicken dinner at home.
Here are some tips for the most juicy, succulent chicken ever. Get the best chicken possible, so don't try to save money on that cheap stuff. More expensive = more taste. Brine the chicken in a 5% salt to water solution over night. This gives the bird more taste and makes it juicier. Smear the skin with generous amounts of butter and fill the cavity with seasoning of your choice (whole lemon, herbs, garlic...). Put the oven at 80 degrees celsius only and cook the chicken until the thickest part of the breast reaches 62 degrees celsius. Take it out and let it rest for 45-60 minutes (during this time you could use the oven to roast the potatoes). After this, crank the oven up to maximum heat and roast the chicken for 10-15 minutes, until the skin is golden and crackling. Serve with the condiments of your liking.

This evening I served the chicken with roasted potatoes, long stem broccoli and a chicken gravy made from home made chicken stock. In the glass we had 2009 Mearsault from Louis Jadot. It had a medium full body with discreet toffee notes from the oak blended with aromas of juicy pears, white flowers and minerals. Medium full in the mouth with, again, distinct flavors of ripe pears and citrus marmalade. All finished with a fresh acidity.

What a Wednesday treat.

13 November 2012

Dinner at Home 07.11.12

It was the day before my better half's birthday so I wanted to spoil her with a nice dinner at home. I was able to buy a piece of white Alba truffle from Massimo Vidoni aka "the truffle man". He used to supply chefs like Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter and Mario Batali before moving to Dubai where he now sells these white gems to the top restaurants in the city. I know I used white truffle in my last dinner, but it is in season now so what to do  ;)

I made Pansotti which i filled with spinach and ricotta cheese and seasoned with garlic, shallots and nutmeg. Served with a creamy walnut sauce and topped with generous amounts of the Alba truffle it was a  delicate starter and I wanted to serve it with a rich, food driven champagne. 

I choose Bollinger and their NV Special CuvĂ©e. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier it had a rich, toasted character with a fresh finish of apples and lemon zest.

Next wine served was 2009 Finca Remota Malbec from Mendel. This is one of the top wines from Mendoza, Argentina and is made from Malbec grapes from 60 year old vines that has matured in 150% new oak. Deep, purple colored with a rich, fruity taste of plum tart, vanilla and chocolate, almost like a liquid version of Anthon Berg. The tannins were already rounded and silky and the flavors lingered in your mouth for minutes. An impressive wine but maybe not favorite style. A few more years in the cellar and some more complexity hopefully would be shown through all that massive fruit.

With the lack of top quality Argentinian meat my choice turned to a nice Wagyu steak that i cooked medium rare and served with caramelized brussels sprouts and mushroom mayonnaise that I made from dried porcini and and trumpet mushrooms picked at my summer house. A rich jus made from a heavily reduced oxtail stock was finally poured onto the meat. Great combination with the wine.

As a sweet end of the meal I had made home made Magnum ice cream. Vanilla parfait covered with dark chocolate and caramelized hazelnuts.