Monday, January 02, 2006

Waterfowl week

Peking Duck at Mainland on Wednesday was followed by risotto with braised duck, among other things, at Barbounia on Thursday. I had Friday off but a friend called me in need of Peking duck. Never let it be said that I would let a friend down, especially one jonesing for duck, which we had at Peking Duck House in Chinatown.
We also stopped by Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for dessert. There the menu board posts "regular" flavors of ginger, lychee and durian. "Exotic" flavors are chocolate, vanilla etc. Cute.
On Saturday to celebrate New Year's Eve I finally managed to find something to do with the goose that had been in my freezer for a year or more. I lugged it to a friend's house and roasted it after brushing it in a glaze of kecap manis, grated ginger, red pepper flakes, salt and cider vinegar.
The first word of kecap manis is pronounced "ketchup." It's a Malay word for sauce, and I'm pretty sure it's where we got our own word, ketchup. Manis means "sweet," and kecap manis is a thick, molasses-like soy sauce that when mixed with ginger, chile and vinegar makes what I think is the perfect glaze for goose or duck. You won't hear me comment on the quality of food in restaurants, but I'm happy to comment on my own, and I must say that I make the second-best waterfowl glaze I've ever tasted. The best can be had at virtually any street corner in Bangkok. Order khao nah pet ("rice with duck on it"), and you'll see what I mean.

What I ate at Barbounia:

Marinated anchovies with smoked bacon vinaigrette on sautéed spinach
An assortment of spreads: baba ghanoush, taramosalata, hummus and apricot-truffle yogurt.
Charred octopus confit with kalamata tapenade, fava beans, celery leaves and crystallized lemon
Crispy barbounia (red mullet) with red wine-shallot reduction, chervil and lemon segments
Saganaki - baked cheese, truffled fig marmalade, fresh fruit and cherry and walnut breads
Lamb chops
Risotto with braised duck, cinnamon, butternut squash, red Swiss chard, pecorino and truffle oil
Horta (greens)
Mascarpone polenta


i_write_sins_not_tragedies said...

i find your blog quite interesting.

Bret Thorn said...

Thanks, i_write_sins_not_tragedies. Tell your friends.