Friday, January 18, 2013

Michelin in Kwun Tong

It's true, Kwun Tong now has a restaurant with a Michelin rated chef; Alvin Leung, of Bo Innovation fame.  This is big news for our restaurant sparse hood, and here at HOFWs we welcome this new addition with open arms.

I was first in line when they announced there would be a wine tasting.  What I didn't realize at the time is that this new restaurant, MC Kitchen, falls under the same umbrella as Bo Innovation.  And Ben's Cigar.   And Tina Cellar. 
The selection

Tina Cellar is a wine import cpmpany with a focus on cult, healthy, and boutique wines.  Christina Keung, CEO, has been in the Hong Kong wine trade for 30 years and she knows her stuff, and this tasting was no exception.  I joined my fellow Kwun Tong compatriot, Patrick, for an evening of exceptional food and wines.

The premise behind this tasting was to showcase both the food of MC Kitchen, and also to introduce Xavier Vignon and his wines to Hong Kong.  Unfortunately Xavier wasn't able to make it, but more on that later.  Xavier is one of the top 15 winemakers in the South of France and has served as a wine consultant for wineries across the world.  But, as I learned later on, he had never been to Asia before this trip!

Onto the wines and food!

tomato, ham, and spring roll
We started off with Xavier Vins Cotes du Rhone Rose 2011.  Just one scent of this salmon colored vino, and I was immediately brought back to my childhood.  Something about this wine smelled exactly how my young self percieved all wine to smell.  I don't know how to describe that other than winey.   This is for sure a wine you need to be outside in a field drinking.  For sure.

Next up was my absolutely favorite!  Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2010.  Perhaps it was the 14% booze level.  Or perhaps the truffley nose.  No, no, it was definitley the toastiness and the looong finish.   I sipped on this with a pesto chicken spring roll.  Why have I never seen a pesto chicken spring roll before?  Perfection.
I then munched on a cherry tomato marinated in Chinese sweet wine with mozz with the peppery Xavier Vins Vacqueryras 2009 (RP 92).  I was more impressed with the tomato.

This was followed by Korean japchae noodles wrapped in Iberco ham and an accompanied Xavier Vins Cote du Rhone 2010 (RP90).  The spring roll and Blanc (7 grapes, mostly Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Viognier) totally stole the show.

Popcorn intermission with Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 2009 (RP91) and then..

Round 2.

Toast with cheese sauce, amazing, fried pork balls and lemongrass, again brilliant, and the Bo Innovation signature, molecular xiao long bao.  These were all phenomenal, but the clutch end to the evening was the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme.  Delishly complex and earthy, I could drink this every night.

The very next evening...

And I hit up another Tina Cellar tasting.  Different venue, different wines, different delicious Bo Innovation food.

I was welcomed into Tincati Milano with a beautiful glass of Jose Dhondt Mes Vielles Vignes Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2007. Ain't that a mouth full.  Well, yes it was.  Toasty and...Chamagney!
gai daan jai surrounding the wines

Tincati Milano is an Italian menswear store.  Everything looked nice (especially the shoes) but seeing as there was nothing for me to wear, I focused my attention elsewhere; food and beverage. 

Let's talk about the food; amazing chicken rice rolls with chili sauce and my not so favorite, beef rolls, and my absolute favorite, gai daan jai with Iberco ham middle.  Superb.

Now the wines.  We enjoyed 3 Super Tuscans, Carnasciale 2009, Antrinori Tignanello 2009, and Fattoria Petrolo Galatrona 2009.  What a treat all of these wines were!

And as icing on the cake, Xavier was able to pop in for a few moments to tell us a little about his background in wine making and why he decided to park it in the Rhone.  What was the most interest to me was the new (only 6 or so years now) ways of judging wine quality.  Instead of looking just to tannin, ripeness, sugar, etc, now there is a push to look at the water content.  More importantly the mineral content in the wine.  This is something for some further investigation....

Thank you Tina Cellar for some truly excellent wine tastings!

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