Sometimes a chance meeting becomes surreal. I have this blog, but I am not a member of the food blogger community. I don’t attend any group events, not that I am antisocial, just much, much older. This blog is for my memory book and I share it with others in the hope that they will enjoy my adventures vicariously or even better yet go and experience my restaurant forays for themselves.

We attended the first Ludo Bites at 3rd street. Krissy was kind enough to seat us in front of Ludo, knowing full well I would talk his ear off all night. Towards the middle of the meal, Krissy asked us if we minded sharing our table with a nice young couple. Of course our answer was yes. This handsome young man sat down and immediately commented on the Krug champagne we had brought. This had the beginnings of a good match. It turned out that this was none other than super food blogger, Mattatatouille. Since, then we have been fortunate to share quite a few meals together.  Then another accident of fate – Matt met my son at Vertical Wine Bar and Bistro and they became instant friends.

This will be a dual post of Matt’s photos (most of John’s stuff was blurry) and thoughts plus my comments as well.

We have been going to Chinois for years. This was Matt’s first introduction to Chinois. Unfortunately Chef Rene Mata as well as a lot of the regular staff were not in the house as they were preparing for a major private party for the upcoming Laker/Celtic Game.

The room at Chinois

BYO Champagne

Crispy Spring Rolls stuffed with Stir-fried Duck and Vegetables, Mint leaves to be eaten in the lettuce leaf. The accompanying sauces were a sweet and sour and a mustard sauce – Matt declared the that the mustard was very hot. This was a gift from Bella – one of the best GM’s in the business who has been at Chinois from the beginning – 27 years. One of the disadvantages of being short-staffed is that we are very spoiled as Huel normally delivers our food and instead of eating family style, he plates the food for us. Huel was unfortunately taking orders.

Warm Sweet Curried Oysters with Cucumber Sauce and Salmon Pearls – this is one of our favorites and Matt liked it as much as we did.

Close-up of the Oyster

Tempura Ahi Tuna Sashimi with Fresh Uni Sauce – Normally the tempura coating on the uni is crisp; this was a bit too limp. Also this is when I really missed Huel – he plates this dish for us and the sauce is on the bottom not spooned on top as John served it.

The tuna dish from an earlier visit at Chinois. The “wrapping” was much crisper and the sauce was more delicately seasoned plus lighter so it coated the tuna perfectly.

BYO White Wine

The special of the evening – Soft Shells with a sauce of ?????  This just didn’t work for me. The soft shell meat was mushy and the coating was a cross between very crispy in some places and barely coated in other places. I don’t know if the mushy meat was a result of frozen soft shells or not enough coating or a frying temperature too low.


Soft Shells made by Puck from ABC News found on Google Image search.

BYO Red Wine

Crispy Glazed Quail with Grilled Pineapple and Red and Yellow Pepper Strips – this was the dish of the night – absolutely perfect – crunchy skin, the glaze was spicy, but not too sweet – just delicious

Roasted Cantonese Duck with Fresh Plum Sauce and Steamed Bao – the duck was excellent, but I am just not a lover of all the vegetables in the Bao. I tend to deep-six the vegetables – personal preference


Duck Fried Rice

A gift from Bella – dessert – the stars were the creme brulee

This was a good meal at Chinois, but definitely not the best I have had. I am assuming this is a result of the B team being in the kitchen. But it was a fun evening with Matt in spite of some missteps from the kitchen.


1 Response to “Chinois”

  1. 1 Jai Kohli June 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Matt’s a terrific, terrific guy. Very passionate about food & wine. I’m certain he must have gotten so much enjoyment sharing a meal with you and your husband and learning from your dining & culinary experiences! And I have to admit, it’s really funny to watch the interaction between him & David on twitter — David absolutely treats Matt like a little brother. Quite endearing!

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