Fook Lam Moon

This is the third time I have eaten at this restaurant in Hong Kong (they also have other venues in both China and Japan), which was founded in 1948 and serves classic Cantonese cuisine. Their signature dishes include amazing baby suckling pig, stuffed hairy crab in season, crispy chicken and duck and, a first for us, snake soup. The food is impressively rich and fresh, and the attention to detail is obvious from the service to the quality of the ingredients. I was a bit hesitant about trying snake soup, but it is a speciality of the restaurant and is beloved by the Cantonese. Like the old joke, the snake, in fact, tasted like chicken. It was delicious and I had no trouble finishing an entire bowl. However, the real highlights were the stuffed hairy crab, crispy duck and a remarkable baby pig (a real baby, not a teenager like we see in the United States).

We enjoyed some spectacular wines, including a youthful 1996 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachetthat has years of life ahead of it. Hopefully, it will not fall victim to the scandal of early death and oxidation. I doubt it will since at age sixteen it remains young, vibrant and concentrated. Both the 1982 Mouton Rothschild and 1988 Guigal La Turque are still relatively young wines. At 30 years of age, the Mouton remains an adolescent. It possesses a dense ruby/purple color as well as classic, pure, intense notes of crème de cassis and a more opulent, riper, richer, fuller-bodied style than one sees in many vintages. This all-time great classic continues to age at a glacial pace. Drinking the 1988 La Turque is like drinking beef blood intermixed with toast, bacon fat, licorice and spring flowers. This sensational, full-bodied wine is even richer than the Mouton Rothschild. Its youthfulness at age 24 years of age is remarkable, particularly since it was made from young vines (the first vintage of La Turque was only 1985).

This was a memorable night of great wine, animated conversation with our Chinese hosts, and stunning classic Cantonese cuisine that would clearly merit two to three stars in a Michelin Guide.

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