There is a lost Asian in Buenos Aires. Her name is Frances Ren Huang. Evidently she has found a home with here in Buenos Aires making some of her native cuisines now. Her Hidden Kitchen, which takes place in Palermo Soho on Saturday nights, is a delicious evening that pairs her unique onda with her unique food.
The decor, starting at the top of the stairs at Reserve, had one of those big Chinese cat’s – a cartoon like figure waiving “Hello!”. Then the entire staff was dressed in some sort of red star, Che Guevara, or Chairman Mao communist allusion. This type of tongue-in-cheek humor could be found all over the place. Red Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and especially in the bathroom where the funniest poster of all was hanging (I’m not gonna spoil this for you, but I laughed out loud).
The event is BYOB, so my wife and I brought a bottle of the Carinae Gran Reserva Syrah, which admittedly doesn’t pair ideally with Chinese food, but as I was having pork belly as my main dish, and she was having chicken, it wasn’t too far off.
We started out with a Chinese pancake of sorts, that apparently Frances beats quite extensively to achieve the texture needed. It comes out doughy in the middle and crispy/flaky on the outside. This with honeyed peanuts came out first. Then as our official appetizer we had vegetarian spring rolls with Frances’s own Sweet Lady sauce. YUM!
My main was a Taiwanese style sweet pork belly with daikon on the side. Pork belly always comes with a very large hunk of fat on it, but this didn’t come out greasy or fatty. The meat was well cooked and fell apart on the plate, which had quite a bit of juice to dip it in. Yes!
Dessert was the best part! A LOVELY lime ice cream over a flourless chocolate cake with an almond cookie on the side. A great way to end the night.
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