"Hot & Sour" Soup - Pressed Okra, Cilantro, Peppercorn
To start off our meal, we were serve a pressed "soup" of Chinese okra with cilantro and peppercorn. To my surprise the soup is neither hot nor sour, it's actually more sweet and peppery. Regardless, it's actually a good soup as it's refreshing and tasty.
Bamboo Shoot & Lily Bulb - Crispy tofu chip with citrus, swet corn puree and sorrel, pickled bamboo and lily bulb, and burnt corn husk gelee
The bamboo shoot is fun to eat as it's a bit crunchy and the lily bulb is quite tasty. However, I didn't quite understand the rest of the dish.
"Dim Sum Trio"
After our tofu dish, it's a trio of "dim sum"!
Congee as a Hot Foam with Pork Floss
The first of the dim sum is a congee in foam form. This congee foam is quite delicious as it carries a nice taro flavor, with a little pork and apple to balance out the heaviness from the rice with textural difference and sweetness.
Scallop Dumpling with Watercress and White Fungus
One of my favorite of the night, a nice little dumpling with scallop at its center. This little dumpling carried the scallop's sweetness with an earthy tone from the watercress and fungus.
Pork Dumpling with Jujube and Cuttlefish
The pork dumpling is an interesting dish as the meat feels more like a meatball instead of the softer dumpling meat.
Sturgeon with Leek in a Roasted Spine Broth
Another one of my favorite of the night, the sturgeon is beautifully cooked; tender, moist and light. It's complimented with a well seasoned broth, which has a bit of heat to go with it.
Crab with Green Chili Paste and Fresh Coconut, Mushroom
Another one of my favorite of the night. This coconut salad is mixed in with a chili paste that carry a nice lemongrass flavor with it. The mushroom and crab mixture provides a nice "meaty" texture to this dish. It definitely reminds me of a nice "tom yum" soup.
Skate Chops in the Style of Muslim Lamb
This skate wing is also another winner of the night. A nice tender fried skatewing coated and paired with a variety of spice, Szechuan spice included, which numbed my tongue. Although, it's spicy, it carries a nice flavor to it.
Tiger Salad with Cold Skin Noodles and Seitan
A little salad to comes after the spicy wing, I enjoyed the noodles the most as its a little chewy to go with the fish sauce that comes with the salad.
Tingly Squab with Tarragon and Sumac with Sichuan peppercorn
A playful version of popcorn chicken. This little squad has a nice texture and is juicy at the same time. The Sichuan peppercorn definitely adds in a nice heat to this dish. It's probably one of the best Asian style popcorn chicken I've ever had.
Lettuce with Spicy Shrimp Ju
An interesting pallet cleanser before our next course. Tasted like light mayo.
Shrimp in a Salted Duck Yolk "Sand" - Fried Head and Sashimi body
Another one of my favorite of the night, the shrimp head and tail are fried while the body is sahimi. The sashimi portion is definitely tasty; light and sweet. The duck yolk is flavorful and is a nice compliment with the sashimi. My favorite part is the crunchy head and tail. It's nicely seasoned and it lets you taste the shrimp's sweetness from another angle.
Beef & Broccoli in Liquid and Solid State (Jerky & broth)
A playful version of beef & broccoli. The soup is a nice beef stock that's really beefy, while the Jerky is really light and tasty. My favorite part is the little fried broccoli, it's light, crunchy and flavorful. I can eat a whole bag of these easily.
Duck in Layers
Our main Duck course has multiple components.
Steamed bun stuffed with duck rillettes, fermented beans and prune
A nice little steamed bun with duck rillette in it. The bun is light and fluffy to go with tasty duck meat.
Poached duck egg on a bed of walnuts, charred scallion, braised red cabbate and chives
A interesting pairing to the main duck course. It's a nice vegetable dish with walnut in it.
Smoked duck breast
My absolutely favorite of the night, this smoked duck breast was juicy, flavorful and delicious. It was light, and I had no problem eating all of these.
Red plum jam with Fresno chilies
A sweet little jam to go with the duck.
A nice little pickled green to help cut into the duck's fatness.
1) Passion fruit Vinaigrette (iced)
2) "Pulling Threads" with Sweetbreads, Taro Root, and Plantain
One of the most fun course of the night, we were instructed to dip the sweetbread, taro root and plantain into the ice cold passionfruit juice so the sugar coating can stick,which create a nice exterior with warm interior of sweetbread, taro root and plantain.
Frozen Rice Soup with Legumes and Whipped Vinegar - Puffed Jasmine Rice, English Peas
An interesting dessert as the puff rice has a nice "peanut butter" flavor to it. I like the crunchiness that comes with the puff rice and peas though.
Dragon's Beard Candy with a Pressing of Honey - Cashew, Black Sesame, ice cream
Another "nutty" dessert, the dragon's beard candy is a stringy, nutty candy. You combine the cashew, honey, sesame to go along with this. Flavorful, sweet and nutty. It's a nice way to end the meal.
Giant Fortune Cookie
How can you step away from a chinese dinner without fortune cookie! We were gifted a giant fortune cookie as parting gift. It's a nice vanilla and honey cookie, which makes it that much more delicious.
I actually had a different expectation coming into the chinese menu since I don't know which style they would use. However, Next did an excellent job creating a modern version of a chinese meal. There's definitely alot of great dishes that I truly enjoy but there's also some that fell flat. Given the complexity of chinese food, I would say this meal has exceeded my expectation. I'm looking forward to coming back to the last menu of the year.