Sunday, April 18, 2010

April Wine & Dine

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Belacan is a Malaysian restaurant in Redondo Beach and we have been here several times before. 19 of us gathered tonight. CJ started us off the 4 appetizers and then 5 entrees.

Roti Canai - Crispy flat bread with curry dipping sauce - always good

Satey Tofu - Fried Tofu stuffed with vegetables & peanut sauce - a new dish and quite tasty

Crab Rangoon - Crispy wonton pockets filled with crab salad - The sauce they served was way to spicy for me but the wonton's were ok. I'm not sure where the crab was

Lamb Satay - seasoned lamb charcoal grilled on bamboo skewers with peanut sauce - always good and tonight they were cooked correctly. Not dry but very moist

Mamak Mae Goreng - Indian style stir fried yellow egg noodles with chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, tofu, tomato and eggs in a spicy tamarind sauce - I found it way to spicy for a wine dinner. Even the white wines were having a hard time with this dish. I also thought there was way too much noodle and not enough of the other ingredients. A lot of this dish was left on the platters so I was not the only one that had an opinion

Vegetable fried rice - this was good but plain which made it a good side dish for the other entrees

Daging Kicap Manis - Tender cuts of beef sauteed with onions and red chilies in a sweet thick soy sauce - this dish was very good, the meat was tender and the sauce was tasty

Vegetable Delight Curry - Vegetables and tofu simmered in a rich coconut milk curry gravy - this has never been a dish I liked, I had a few green beans and a mushroom and that was it. I do not like this particular curry, others did.

Belacan Crab - Lightly battered crab , stir fried with dried shrimp and chilies in a a toasted shrimp paste - this was a new dish and I really liked it. I ate more of this than anything else.

Since this is a "Wine & Dine" group, we naturally all bring wine (a bottle per person) which is shared. A mix of white, red & bubblies usually show up so you have a choice of picking out something that you feel would go with a particular dish.

My big problem tonight was the sequence in which the food was brought out. You were going back and forth between the three types of wine on the table. Once I start drinking red wine I do not want to go back to a white or bubbly. I personally thinks it really screws up your palate to jump around between the different dishes and the wines. It should be a progression of light to heavy.

To me the crab should have been served first to go with whites & bubblies, then the first 3 appetizers, then the noodle dish. That takes care of the white & bubbly wine. Then serve the lamb satay which would switch you to red wine and have the balance of the entrees.

Food taste's better with the correct wine , you have a gradual progression of light to heavy and it becomes a better balanced dinner.

That is only my humble opinion.

Next month the "Wine & Dine" group will be off the Franco's Italian Restaurant in Cypress. But I will be dining there next week so I will have two separate posts on this restaurant.