Saturday, March 27, 2010

Union J: Seconds

What the schedule for a good day looks like:

Before 9:30am: Trot over to Salon de The de Joel Robuchon. Pick up big red box of tarts. Grab coffee to go. Head to office.
9:30 – 9:45: Morning chat with I.T.
9:45am-12:45pm: Work work work. Finish column.
1pm: Lunch with some looooovely person. Chat and eat good food.

Well, that was the schedule for last Tuesday at least. The “looooovely person” that day was no other than Tata and the “good food” was provided by the good folks at Union J. We had settled on that lunch spot since a) I hadn’t been in a pretty long time, and b) they had just added a few new things to the menu.

While I don’t remember being blown away last time I was at Union J for lunch, I did fall in love with the space. So open, so clean, sooooo “Noo Yawk.” It seems almost a waste that the restaurant isn’t on street level. I settled on my lunch course-choices over their A-M-AZING sourdough bread. Seriously, Union J bread is in my top 3 in the city (along with Fusion Gourmet and THE Robuchon, of course) so I happily lapped up every crumb of the crusty bread.

(Leafy sesame salad: eat your greens, yo!)

As for my actual lunch, wanting to pretend to be somewhat healthy, I opted to start with the leafy sesame salad. The serving was unexpected ginormous. I did feel very fortified while eating it. Loved the soy vinaigrette and the crunchy edge from the almonds. But was sadly disappointed by the avocados (tasteless, of course, as most avocados so happen to be in Hong Kong) and the oranges (tasteless, of course, as most oranges so happen to be in Hong Kong). They also had that sesame and fried wonton situation going on, which was just a little too “New York Chinatown take on Chinese food” for me.

For my second dish, I went for the crunchy crab cakes with creamy dill-cucumber salad. Oh, this was sooooo much better than the first dish. The crab meat was so delish, made into a soft patty which was then encased by a perfectly seamless, crunchy breadcrumb mixture. Mmmm… the textures… The heaviness of the crab cakes were well-balanced by the tangy dil-cucumber “salad.” It was so beautiful. Much more impressive than the salmon I had the last time I was here.

(Crab cakes: DILL-icious!!)

Near the end of our second dish, Tata introduced me to pastry chef, a.k.a. one of the “J’s”, Jason Casey. And I have to say, his desserts were, without a doubt, the highlight of the meal. The ABC Ice Cream was a happy combo of tangy raspberry and cream cheese sorbet, shortbread and strawberry meringue – the flavors of a strawberry shortbread fitted into a white Chinese takeaway box. Cute. The Cheese Cake with blueberry snow has such a unique and lovely crumbly texture. But the hands-down winner was the Soft Milk Chocolate – a hazelnut and coffee mousse-like cake with olive oil yogurt sorbet. Oh My Gawd… it was nothing short of “ooh”-worthy.

Now wouldn’t you say that that’s what the schedule for a good day looks like?

FOOD: 4/5

UNION J ($$$/$$$$)
1/F, California Tower
30-32 D’Aguilar Street

1 comment:

  1. definitely sounds like a good schedule! You should have return during the evening for a glass of their lychee champagne together with a bowl of fat fries! oh yum! ...