Sunday, December 13, 2009

Geneva: caviar, Chinese and a naked man

Glimpses of tangerine skies and mountains embroidered with snow between ancient four-storey shuttered buildings; a €150 spoonful of caviar washed down with a shot of Beluga vodka; an epic Chinese banquet with perfectly formed dim sum and a naked man in the bottom of a sake glass. Oh, Geneva.

Five of us - Nainbo and his wife (who come from Geneva), Papou, BB and I - set off early on Friday morning under a clear blue sky for the one-and-a-half-hour trip to Geneva. First stop, Planet Caviar (where Nainbo's son works) - importer and exporter of some of the finest caviar and smoked salmon in the world - for a tasting.

We were extremely privileged to taste some Black Beluga from Iran - there's about 150 euros' worth shown there - which we licked straight off our hands without any kind of garnish. It tasted like a breath of fresh sea air with a note of something earthy and the eggs just melted in the mouth like butter. It was wonderful - and nothing like the cheap imitation stuff you buy in the supermarket. This was followed by a chaser of smooth Beluga vodka in these cool glasses which you'd be tempted to slip in your pocket if you were that way inclined.

Next stop, the supermarket, to stock up on Tête De Moine cheese for my Swiss Girolle cheese cutter which makes beautiful curled flowers of cheese, and Swiss chocolate.

Laden down with our purchases and still giddy (and slightly smug, it has to be said) from the tasting, we stopped off at a brasserie for an apéro before lunch, where BB and Nainbo sat staring out the window at cars playing spot-the-latest-model.

Lunch was an extravaganza, a kaleidoscope of aromas and flavours which made me briefly pine for the city and a Chinese restaurant on my doorstep: beef balls with pickled ginger; dumplings - pork, translucent shrimp, scallop and steamed vegetable; prawn spring rolls wearing a mohair coat of crispy white shavings of bread; crab balls; steamed sea bass with chilli; fried scallop with asparagus; stir fried sliced duck with pickled ginger and pineapple; chicken with black bean sauce and green pepper. I tried everything and had to loosen my jeans before I could squeeze in a miniature dessert of sponge cake sandwiched with ice-cream and red berries, rounded off with sake, which held a little surprise in the bottom of the cup.

As we left the city, the sun was setting on the snowy mountain peaks, illuminating them a dramatic tangerine and I fell asleep in the car making little snuffling noises of contentment.

1 comment:

Hils said...

This is your best blog ever!!!
What a day out, fabulous photographs,drooling just reading it!