Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Birthday Dinner

Last Sunday, we were invited to a Birthday dinner of our friend Rene. The dinner was held in his mother in laws house. Tita B is known to cook very well and he specialty is Chinese and french food. I have had the chance to try several times her cooking and it was always superb. For this dinner she was going to prepare a french menu - so I knew this was going to be excellent.

For starters, they served us Dom Perignon perfectly chilled. With the champagne we had Parmigiano Reggiano (aged 3 years) which was hand carried from Parma. What a perfect way to start a dinner. As the other guests arrived and we finished the 2 bottles of Dom Perignon, we proceeded to the dinning room.

As usual, the dinning room was perfectly decorated. All the plates and silverware carefully prepared and ready. For the appetizers, we had 2007 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé, from Bandol in Provençe. One of the best rose wines I've tried and considered by many as one of the best in the world. With that they served us the Popcorn crusted Foie Gras with butter cake and burnt orange sauce. Perfectly seared Foie on top of a slice of butter cake and the orange sauce - heavenly.

Immediately after, we had the Foie Gras cappuccino with Pan fried Cod fish. The contrast of the Foie cappuccino went very well with the cod which is salty. I continued this with the Rose wine and a white Cotes du Rhone that was also served.

After a short break, next dish was a twice baked souffle and Grilled Tiger prawns with Salsa Verde. The prawns were grilled just right and the salsa verde had hints of basil. The souffle I think had several types of cheese. Both dishes excellent. I continued to drink the Rose and the White Cotes du Rhone.

For the main course, we had Three Cheese Ravioli, with sage brown butter and glazed beets. I normally do not like beets but the combination with the cheese and sage brown butter made me like this dish very much. With this the red wines for the dinner were served: Les case. This wine was decanted 3 hours before serving. This is the "big brother" of Clos Du Marquis which I have tried several times. This one much more full bodied and worth the 3 hour wait.

The last Main Course: Melt in your mouth Kurobota Pork Belly, Truffle Balsamic, Marmalade and Mushroom sauce. With a name like this, how can you not like this dish?? Noel suggested we pair this dish with a 2003 Alion from Ribera del Duero. Alion is a vineyard owned by the same people as the well known Vega Sicilia. We had initially thought of pairing this with old Bordeaux but Noel suggested we pair this fresh yet earth red. The wine was perfect for this dish. Obviously Noel and I had seconds. The Pork was really - melt in your mouth - and the contrast between the marmalade/truffle balsamic with the mushroom sauce was perfect.

For dessert, Souffle Glace - like a frozen souffle. Sweet and with a little cocoa powder. Perfect way to end a fantastic meal. I do hope we get invited again to dinner like this - this are once in a lifetime menus that cannot be tried anywhere else. I'd say better than some so called french restaurants that I've tried in the Philippines.

To end the night, we had a little Absynthe. A drink with a long and controversial history, enjoyed its greatest popularity in late 19th century Paris, when Vincent Van Gogh, Ernest Hemmingway and Oscar Wilde were among its most ardent fans. It was an inseparable part of artistic life during that period of time. It is said to have inspired fine literature and great paintings. We had it with a little water (1 part Absynthe to 3 parts water). Noel mentioned that if you take too much, you may have weird dreams, so we were quite careful drinking. We enjoyed that last drink and headed home after.

Definitely I night I enjoyed and hope to repeat again soon. Happy Birthday Rene.
And thank you Tita B for preparing this delightful dinner...Bravo.


Noel said...

Great post, Miguel, and such wonderful pictures! They make my pictures of the evening look like crap!

It was an excellent dinner! I can't stop thinking about that Kurobota! And I think Tita B's making rice available to go with it was an absolutely perfect touch!!! I would have eaten that last extra piece of pork if not for my blood pressure issues.

Now I'm pressured to post something half as nice as this!



Miguel said...

I also wanted to eat the last piece - but was jahe hahahaha...definitely the rice was a perfect touch to that dinner...

Tita B sent me an SMS and she said we shouod try her japanese menu (Ill email you her menu) she says its excellent.

Lets go for it.

Noel said...

Just say when.