Chinese New Year brought an opportunity to explore cuisine our Bailliage has rarely enjoyed by visiting a local institution, China Gourmet. Their tradition of classic Chinese dishes in an atmosphere of fine dining was established over 30 years ago and has carried them through the decades. Although we were entering the Year of the Ox we would not find any ox or beef on the menu, but instead were to relish other timeless dishes meant to impart good luck for the coming calendar cycle.
Chicken spring rolls and 5 spice battered shrimp appetizers called for a start of imaginative wine pairings so we had these with a light hearted Prosecco from a Veneto DOC north of Treviso, Italy. The sparkler matched the mild, well blended flavors of the spring rolls as well as the spicy, juicy crunch of the ultra-fresh shrimp. Upon seating we were served family style with one or two large servings per table. Passing and sharing the dishes made for a relaxed communal atmosphere while the more adventurous made use of provided chopsticks.
A delicate golden wok seared trout arrived dressed with a nice counterpoint of ginger sauce accompanied by hearts of bok choy which were tender, sweet and topped with oyster sauce. Another inventive wine pairing came as an Austrian Grüner Veltliner was poured for us. This had rounded subtle acidity that cut through the various sauces with great success. Next up was a pan fried noodle course with a variety of shellfish and vegetables, this time with a garlic sauce. Our international wine journey now stopped in Napa courtesy of a Honig Sauvignon Blanc featuring lush body and ripe fruit.
The main course featured roast duck that was hacked and served with bone. This made for a grand mess that rewarded diligence to worship the culinary elixir of duck fat flavoring the tender meat. Long beans and tianjin vegetables cooked to perfection complemented this and were served with a French Volnay from Burgundy. The voluptuous wine brought out the best in this savory dish.
To finish our evening of artfully presented quality preparations we indulged in locally made opera crème cake and lychee sorbet. With immaculate service and attention to detail the staff at China Gourmet brought an exclusive gastronomic journey of the Far East in this Year of the Ox signified by attributes of patience, intelligence, and prosperity through fortitude.
J.T. Mayer, Vice Chargé de Presse