Elizabeth is in Hong Kong, attending the 130th anniversary of the school of medicine in the Hong Kong University, participating in the Summit of Global Health Leaders and staying on for the International Nursing Forum. Naturally she has been texting me about… the food.
The appy, for example, was whelk and crab leg and a tiny half beet and half tomato and a cracker with caviar, all very pretty with flowers on it.
Whelks[en.WT] are an edible sea snail, any of several molluscs, related to clams. I am reliably informed they also share a slight tendency toward ‘rubbery’, as a texture. Unlike, say, a crab leg and a blob of what looks like flavoured butter… Quite a range of cutlery arrayed there, too!
Then there was a whelk and melon soup…
Of course, presentation is everything in the appetizer course, and this plate is pretty gorgeous. The main course was cod served with mashed potato, and a carrot, asparagus, and turnip side. At the table where she was seated the dean of Health Sciences at Sydney University of Technology ordered bottles of Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve which she liked a lot, and a chardonnay which “was incredibly oaky, like toast, almost smoky, but went oddly well with the seafood.” And which, I should like to point out, she did not discover the name.
After every good meal a dessert course must arrive. Unless they serve great cheese, of course. The choice this night was fruit and flowers, and a moulded fruit aspic. To the right are lychee ‘pearls’, each a bit of molecular science holding a pearl of juice inside a fragile skin. In the mould were edible flowers and pear chunks, with fresh fruit and more edible flowers, and the pretty, sweet sauce whose flavours she did not identify.
Later there were additional sweets – micro-donuts (not, she defends, fairgrounds mini-donuts), macarons, and mini cakes.
And there we have the majority (or at least the highlights) of the conversation we had before her bed time. Sixteen hour time differences limit the opportunities for conversation.