Jade Palace, Singapore
Located in the basement of a shopping mall, this small Cantonese restaurant was recommended to me by my colleague, Lisa Perrotti-Brown. I liked it so much, I went back for seconds the next evening. Bustling and packed on both evenings, the service was impeccable and the wine list - while heavy on Bordeaux and Burgundy - offered a solid selection from the Rhône and was more than reasonably priced. In both cases the food was spectacular, with favorites being the Roasted Pork, Crispy Duck and the Roasted Quail.
Wine wise, I had a bottle of the 2007 Leoville-Las Cases the first night, and while it started out tight and backwards, it opened up beautifully over the evening. This is a classy, structured, yet beautifully concentrated St Julien that has classic creme de cassis, lead pencil shavings, espresso and graphite in a medium to full-bodied, layered and balanced package. It's still youthful, but far from unenjoyable. I purchased a bottle of the 2009 Larcis-Ducasse from the nearby Vinum Fine Wines (excellent selection, great service and reasonable prices) for round two. A different style than the Leoville-Las Cases, this beauty is ripe and unctuous, with lots of chocolaty red and black fruits, coffee bean and licorice all emerging from the glass. A fair step back from the sensational 2005, it still is one serious, full-bodied mouthful of a St Emilion that benefits from a decant if drinking anytime soon, and will last for another two decades.
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