Two Meals at Forbidden City

That’s right: we enjoyed not one, but TWO delicious meals at Forbidden City, an Asian fusion restaurant in Middletown, CT. I may be giving away the ending by saying how delicious these meals were, but those of you who are long-time readers know how much I love this restaurant.

Forbidden City‘s owner, Eric Leong, and wine director, Brian Khoo, have been our friends for years. A few weeks ago, they created a special five-course meal with tea to celebrate Peter’s and my third wedding anniversary and Peter’s graduation from his Master’s program. They promised us a varied and delicious tasting dinner with a few special ingredients – and boy, were they right. See for yourself, my dear reader:

To begin: Brian’s tea jar – this jar helps the tea (an oolong) to mature:

The first course was a deliciously creamy soup (artfully blurred on purpose, I swear):

Shrimp roe braised sea cucumber (hmm, the dark, blurry pictures seem to be a recurring motif. Art, remember):

Braised Australian green lip abalone with Japanese shiitake mushroom:

Chen Du-style Osso Bucco, served with congee (Brian makes the BEST congee I’ve ever eaten!):

Port wine raisin coconut ice cream:

Enjoying dinner:

Eric (left) and Brian:

What a wonderful celebration! Eric and Brian, do you want to cook our fourth wedding anniversary dinner, too? 😉

Just a week after this special dinner, Peter and I had the privilege of attending a Forbidden City wine dinner co-hosted by B.R. Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company from California. Each dish was paired with B.R. Cohn wine and most featured a B.R. Cohn olive oil or vinegar. As usual, I will let my artistically dark pictures do the talking:

Trio of dim sum (front to back): shrimp dumpling, crab shumai, pork ravioli. Paired with 2009 Chardonnay:

Blue crab flan with seared shrimp. Paired with 2008 Chardonnay, “Sangiacomo Vineyard”:

Duck breast with taro yam puree and organic wild mushroom tartlet. Paired with 2008 Pinot Noir:

Tainan pork noodles with braised Berkshire pork. Paired with 2008 Merlot:

New Zealand lamb chop with baby bok choy and fig balsamic vinegar reduction. Paired with 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon:

Chocolate black sesame seed cream brulee. Paired with 2007 Cabernet Port:

Peter isn’t a big fan of wine – a fact of which Eric is well aware. So, about halfway through the meal, Eric brought Peter a glass of his favorite drink:

Yep, that would be a glass of milk! Goes well with high class Asian fusion cuisine, don’t you think? 🙂

The following picture was immediately preceded by “Wow, Jessie, your head is so big, it fills up the entire frame!”

Thanks a lot, Peter.

Thank you, Eric and Brian!

Q: What is your favorite restaurant? What do you like to order when you go out?

P.S. As I wrote in my last post, I’m currently interning with Subway‘s corporate dietitian. I’ve been at Subway for a week and I’ve been having a blast! I can’t wait to tell you all about my experiences next week – they’ve been completely different from any internship experience thus far! Talk with you all later 🙂

23 Comments

  1. wow middletown sure has changed. when i was in college the fanciest place was “tuscany grill,” where i also worked. is that place still around?!?

    1. It sure is – the Tuscany Grill is literally right around the corner from Forbidden City, about a 2 minute walk. I’ll admit I’ve never eaten there because Peter and I always go to Forbidden City, but I’ll have to check it out now!

  2. Oh wow those dishes look so delicious I want to try all of them!! You know, I had a huge aversion to soup because nearly every soup my mum makes has celery in it (which is a vegetable we both hate with a passion I understand), but I have recently started reluctantly trying creamy soups with no celery in them, and discovering what I was missing!! So I really wish I could tuck a spoon into that soup bowl, hazy artsy picture and all! 😉

    I don’t think I have a favourite restaurant, but I had an amazing food tasting experience at a restaurant called Bibendum in central London, where my dad took me for his birthday. I had the most amazingly cooked steak with all sorts of herbs and sauce, and my dad had an interesting bit of rabbit. And a heavenly dessert with caranel and banana (you can see I have forgotten the high-end posh names haha) AND Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones sitting at the table next to us with his daughter and baby granddaughter. That was one birthday dinner to remember!

    When I go to a place I don’t know much of, I always order a shrimp dish, because I know that even if I don’t like the seasonings and sauce much, the shrimps rarely disappoint! Pricey choice, but has never failed me so far!!

    1. I didn’t know you hated celery so much, Christa! I guess I know what NOT to bring you if we get to meet up this summer 😉 Your restaurant experience sounds heavenly! Shrimps sounds like the perfect choice when ordering at a new restaurant. I’ll usually order some kind of seafood, although fish can be a little iffy.

      Have a great week, Christa! 🙂

  3. Oh my gosh, Jessie! Look at all that deliciousness! For some reason I always get excited when I see abalone because I know it’s such a high delicacy in Chinese cuisine. The funny thing though is that I actually think it’s a bit overrated for it’s price. With that said though, looks like you guys were treated like king and Queen. The blue crab flan with seared shrimp sounds very intriguing, especially the blue crab flan. Trying to imagine what that tastes like. Duck breast with taro yam puree sound delicious. If this restaurant were near me, I definitely give it a try, especially when you say you love it. Asian fusion sure is getting fancy these days.

    I think my favorite restaurant is this one called Boston Lobster Feast in Orlando. A friend took us there when we vacationed there a couple years ago. Its basically a lobster and seafood buffet. I know, people tend to shy away from buffets b/c of their quality of food and they don’t want to over stuff themselves. But this buffet was pretty decent in terms of quality. Plus, it’s all you can eat lobster and seafood. That makes LeeQie very happy. Haha. Secret to a buffet is knowing how to choose your food wisely. Teehee. When I go out to Chinese restaurants though, I love to order the salt and pepper shrimp, or squid, or tofu. What CSN I say, I love salt and pepper dishes :-P. I really need to make my own at home.

    So glad to hear your having a good time with the Subway internship. Almost done!!! Enjoy the rest of the experience, dear. Hope to read about it soon! By the way, too funny about the big head comment. I blame the photographer though ;). Big hugs and stalk ya again soon 😀

    1. Gee, I can’t see why your favorite restaurant would be one called Boston LOBSTER Feast, with a lobster and seafood buffet … 😉

      Also, I totally blame the photographer as well – it’s so easy to blame Peter 😛 Love the hilarious typos, hehe. Ah, those phones 🙂 Have a lovely week, LeeeeeQs!

  4. Oops, what CSN say = what can I say. And so glad to hear “you’re” having a good time, not your. Dumb phone.

  5. THis place sounds amazing. I’ve been seeing duck breast on so many menus lately. I’ve only ordered it once, but it was so delicious. I also love the use of different flavors of balsamic vinegars. The fig is my FAVORITE. We sell it where I work (along with peach and blueberry), and I swear they make everything taste better (like bacon!).

    I can’t wait to read about your experience at Subway. Glad you’re enjoying it!

  6. AMAZING food! Glad you got to enjoy two special meals! 🙂

    Looking forward to your Subway internship recap!

  7. Whoa that sounds like you’ve had some pretty delicious dishes at Forbidden City.
    I had congee (a fish congee) for the first time a few months ago and it was so good. I’ve been craving it ever since.

  8. Two beautifully presented meals…I wish I could have sampled some of this gorgeous fare. My favorite restaurant is Austin is called Vespaio. Amazing Italian food and fabulous wine. We went for our 2nd anniversary (and we will likely return for our 3rd!) Thank you for sharing with me…and for leaving such sweet words on my own blog. I hope you have a beautiful day!

  9. Jessie…what I’d love to see next is your friends sharing that recipe for ‘Chocolate black sesame seed cream brulee’…now that would really perk up this very non-descriptive post. LOL

    Now, Milk!!!…how could he…where did you find this love of yours? ;0))

    When I go out, it is very often that I choose Asian eateries…especially since I don’t usually prepare most of their complex and delicious dishes. In fact, I also pick any Ethnic food that I don’t make in my kitchen.

    Have a great week my dear.
    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

  10. i like the picture of you and pete.
    plus, tainan noodles!!! that’s where i’m headed!!! can’t wait!!!

  11. A huge congrats to you and Peter on your 3rd anniversary!! And congrats to Peter on finishing is Master’s program!

    Wow, is that a cool tasting menu, the osso bucco looks fantastic! The second meal looks pretty incredible too, that lamb chop is calling my name, lol!

  12. Congratulations on your 3rd wedding anniversary! 🙂 And I didn’t know Peter was also in a Master’s program. Congrats to him on his recent graduation! It’s really neat that Forbidden City put together a 5 course meal for your celebrations. What an amazing way to celebrate! All of the food is so beautifully presented. I love it.

    My favorite restaurant (at the moment..it tends to change) is a local Italian place near my apartment. Providence has a section that is pretty well known for it’s delicious Italian food, and the area is overflowing with amazing restaurants. I keep meaning to try them all, but find that I can’t help but go back to the one that is already my favorite. When you’re spending a lot of money on dinner, it’s hard to stray away from something that you know is the best. Especially when the food is so good you feel like you could eat there every night!

    Enjoy the rest of your time with Subway!

  13. CONGRATS on your 3rd anniversary!!

    Oh my goodness. how lucky are you, Jessie! I would die for just one meal there! The congee has sent my stomach in hungry spasms. The Chocolate black sesame seed cream brulee sounds delish, too!

  14. well prepared n mouthwatery..
    chanced upon your space while bloghopping..
    fantastic blog you have with interesting posts..
    Am your happy subscriber now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..

    Tasty Appetite

  15. First of all – happy anniversary girl! And what a way to celebrate! That five course tasting menu is TO DIE FOR. (I mean, that’s really the most important part, right?)

  16. Happy Anniversary! I can’t believe how many there are in June.

    I love the name of this restaurant…so unique. And their special touches make all the difference in the world. I’m so glad you got to enjoy to lovely meals there.

    As always, you look gorgeous!

  17. The cuisine looks great but the awesome artfully taken photos really make the food stand out.

    My absolute favorite place to eat is Chez Laz’s. The entire menu is fantastic.

    Peace!

  18. Chocolate black sesame seed cream brulee, seriously?! Oh my, I so need to go there! Gorgeous review or re-event of this wonderful establishment…love it!
    Truly wonderful menu(s) and the dishes look excellent!
    And a very Happy Belated Anniversary to you both 🙂

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