Happy New Year!
Replenished regularly, along with the prosecco.
Hot rice wine
Prosecco started the night, followed by a pot of hot rice wine for the table. It was sweet, kind of like mulled wine, but more intense and far less fruity.
After Pok Pok moved up the block to a larger space, the original cozy restaurant was kept as a site for events.
The dumpling on the left has lamb; the dumpling on the right has spinach, egg and mung bean vermicelli. They're both sitting in a spicy and sour soy dressing.
The lamb in this was surprisingly mild, playing second fiddle to the strong spices.
For a vegetable dumpling, this was actually very hearty (it's a well-stuffed dumpling.) The spinach was fairly mild, but it held its own against the sharp, sweet spice of the dressing.
"Pork broth with Chinese spinach, egg tofu (yes it's a thing), and pork, flavored with fermented tofu and white pepper." The broth was surprisingly clean (especially considering the bits of pork fat in it,) allowing the cilantro to emanate as the salt took a back seat. The tofu was soft and smooth like custard, and as the soup progressed, the bits of pork fat increasingly lent their flavor, as well as some texture. Simple and balanced, but still quite interesting.
Muu Sam Chan Pha Lo
"Pork belly stewed in herbal broth with five-spice, rock candy, pandan leaf and soy, served on stewed pickled mustard greens with steamed buns."
Stewed pork belly
Steamed buns and green sour tomatillo sauce
Pork belly buns, assembled
Mount Qi Pork Longevity Noodles
Easily the most intense dish of the night, with a strong Sichuan spice that just wouldn't die down.
It pooled in abundant quantities in the bottom of the bowl.
Chinese tradition says that long noodles are the key to a long life, and accordingly, this dish seemed to have just one very, very long noodle. Judging by the photo, longevity can be a perplexing concept.
Deep fried tang yuan
Tang yuan are sweet rice dumplings usually served boiled, but here they were deep fried. One came filled with black sesame and walnuts, the other sour hawberry. Both had a side of pomegranate syrup.
Deep fried tang yuan
Frying the tang yuan made for something like a gooey sesame ball served at dim sum, but with even more exciting fillings.
Birthday tang yuan
Now that's good hosting.
A traditional gift given to celebrate holidays and special occasions, a nice finishing touch for the evening. They're usually filled with money...