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Our not-so-recent dinner menu (oysters & quails & mackerel & ducks! oh my!)

Wherever we’ve lived, we’ve become known among friends for elaborate, fancy dinners (but bring your own chairs). The shindigs serve multiple purposes: it’s fun to play restaurant and we love the occasions to cook together; they allow us to work out and organize into a menu the many random ideas we’ve collected; they let us hang out with our friends and provides us with, in the form of those selfsame friends, guinea pigs to test newest creations on.

This dinner was no different. Taking advantage of Lamp’s rare long visit to the bay area, we decided to hold a dinner with 4 originally planned courses that ballooned to 12 by the time our guests arrived. The menu was a mix of repeats of past successes (roasted salted kumquat quails, sake kasu marinated cod, forbidden rice amazake), brand new creations (bossam-inspired oysters, mackerel braised in green/barley tea, duck dishes, etc.), and cookbook recipe (tomato soup with yuba cream). The dishes were rooted in Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese cuisines but each had a twist marking them as a product of our kitchen. We took care with each dish to provide a different view, one that incorporated new ingredients available in a modern multicultural society, without obscuring the unique characteristics that made the traditional version so appealing.

Mackerel braised in barley tea

But wait, there’s more!


First dinner with guest in West Ann Arbor on 10/23/10

Skate wing ceviche

Gỏi hến trộn mít non (baby clams & young jack fruit salad with rau om)

Hột vịt lộn

Thịt kho nước dừa (pork caramelized in coconut water in buttercup squash)

Cá kho trà (fish caramelized in barley tea in heart of gold squash)

Vịt tiềm (five-spice & medicinal herb duck soup in spaghetti squash)

Bún ốc (snail/whelk vermicelli soup)

Thơm sên nước dừa (pineapple cooked in coconut milk, served on tomato gel, topped with rau om)

Chè mùa thu (cốm (young rice), bamboo shoots cooked in coconut milk in sweet potato squash)

Honey-poached pears in muscat