The arrival of Summer brought with it more options, extra dimensions and sparks to most dinning out scenarios. In the case of my occasional seafood splurges at O’ Mei, Summer also comes with the availability of some priced tropical seafood and fish choices. After savouring some lovingly cooked and delicious seasonal BC spotted prawns a few weeks in a row. Tonight, I have decided to give a specially ordered ‘whole’ giant Grouper from Florida its turn. IMO, in capable hands and a talented kitchen, this exotic ingredient is a prime candidate for multiple ways preparation!
This evening at O’ Mei, our regular foodie group were presented with a ‘ginormous’ 9 pounder, line-caught, whole Floridian Yellow fin Grouper. Ringo, the owner, proposed to us a 4-ways preparation. An aquatic version of a head-to-tail cooking approach?!
The 4-ways comprised of the following execution:
"Fish Soup" derived from the use of the Grouper bones, Clams, Tofu, Pork slices, Chinese Celery and Chinese Mustard Green. ( What a Lovely soup! Composed of multi-layers of aromatic and umami laden taste profile )
"Wok-stirred fry fish filet with yellowing chives and paired with ’ Choi-Sum ’ Sprouts". ( Bravo! What a superbly executed dish! Loaded with smokey wok-hay aroma. The perfectly cooked, moist and juicy filet were caramelized with just the right touch of welcoming char. Must be the best rendition of this preparation method I have come across in town!..and I have eaten this preparation in a lot of other fine establishments in the GTA! )
" Fish Belly and head prepared 2 ways" - Fried with Salted Duck Egg-Yolk coating and Fried with Chili-pepper garlic seasoned salt. ( Grease-less and super-flavourful. Both ways of preparation resulted in some savoury and delectable finger-licking magic! )
" Braised Fish tail with Shitake mushrooms and fried tofu in brown sauce " - ( IMO, the weakest link to tonight’s outstanding meal. Tasty but nothing too out-standing. The well used tail section was void of almost all residual meat and flesh. Looks good but no substance! Ha! )
To augment some of the dishes, we added a “Generous-Tycoon fried rice” ( Egg white, scallops, prawns, and dried pork and conpoy floss ). Well executed and tasty.
Our meal was paired with ’ El Enemigo ’ - an interesting, un-oaked Chardonnay from the Mendoza district of Argentina. Fresh, crisp, fragrant and fruity. Not unlike a fine Chablis Grand Cru!
As well, contrary to most approach to pairing fish. We also opened up a ’ Zinfandel/ Bordeaux blend ’ red from a small Napa family winery - ‘Reynolds’. Fruity, lush and smooth. This adaptable red was packed with blackberry, metallic and herbal components. A surprisingly nice complement to the 'meaty ’ fish!
As usual, a generous amount of complimentary desserts finished the meal on a super-high note!
Once again, a most enjoyable culinary experience from this consistently excellent Richmond Hill, Cantonese dining establishment!..A delightful change to the now slightly ‘tired’ giant lobster 4-5 ways!