Have I ever said that I was a vegetarian for a full month in September? I had been deeply inspired by a friend who had amazing energy and who always looked great so I thought I could give it a go since I have been feeling lethargic and just meh for the longest time. Let's just say that I was naive to think that not only would I be transformed into a different person, I would enjoy the process. I have never been the biggest carnivore growing up and have always ate my veggies (including notable kids' dislikes such as broccoli, spinach and even bitter melon). It was a surprise for me that I struggled to keep myself sane and satiated, even when I stretched the definition of vegetarian to include eggs and seafood. Not only is a lot of local foods not vegetarian friendly but as a person new to a diet, it was hard to keep things interesting–there was a regular rotation of curry, halloumi and veggie burgers–but more importantly full. Eating minimal carbs before (mostly 40% meat and 60% vegetables), I would consume great quantities of carbs and cheese just to quell the inevitable rumbling.
That was an unintended long introduction into how I ended the month having intense meat dreams–succulent patties, juicy steaks, savoury tartares, velvety carpaccios. So I could not have been more excited when I was able to go to Beefbar, a restaurant that has been opened in Hong Kong since 2015 and received their first Michelin star in 2017. They are well known, of course, first and foremost for their amazing meat dishes but also a fantastic wine list however I have never paid a visit, until now.
During the colder months (if the Hong Kong November average of ~20ºc can be described as such), I hunger for deeper richer wines. For such a meat heavy dinner, I wanted something lush like a Northern Rhone beauty. I made the poor choice of the suggested Syrah in Italy wine, the name of which I helpfully forgot because it was too oak-y but thankfully the powers that be granted us a gorgeous bottle of Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2009 🙌 . This was a wine that gave, gave and gave. I have never paid much attention to Italian wines apart from Tuscany, Sicily and Piedmont though clearly this needs to change. It had heft, complexity and enough depth to go well with our fattiest porterhouse. Out of sheer dumb luck, we happened upon this rare bottle from the ‘Master of Veneto’, who died in 2012 at the ripe age of 84.
This was an eyeopener of a dinner not only for the carnal satisfaction of my meat dreams but also, to keep all the sexual metaphors going, my personal awakening for Valpolicella and potential of anything made from this lascivious grape.
Psss... I have just interviewed someone very special and need a bit of time to finish transcribing the interview so until then, bear with me for the slower posting lately!