Restaurant: Shin Beijing [1, 2, 3]
Location: 3101 W Olympic Blvd – Los Angeles, CA 90006. 213-381-3003
Date: October 17, 2013
Rating: very solid electric Chinese
The Hedonists return to one of our regular haunts, Korean Chinese Shin Beijing for some reliable (and somewhat closer than the SGV) Chinese eats.
NV Billecart-Salmon Rose. Parker 90. The NV Brut Rose is a pretty, gracious wine. Freshly cut roses, red berries and spices take shape nicely in the glass as the wine shows off its understated, timeless personality. Billecart-Salmon’s NV Brut Rose is a reliably tasty wine.
Cold appetizer plates are traditional at real Chinese restaurants.
1999 Domaine Ramonet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champs Canet. Burghound 90. I’m always curious to taste this wine because in the past, it has been completely and utterly different from the Chassagne 1ers, both in terms of the flavor profile, which is to be expected but also because it has always been much softer, more forward with less obvious acidic structure and decidedly less cut. However, in 99, the Champ Canet appears to have joined the Ramonet camp, stylistically speaking with its bright acidity framing the white flower fruit and rich, generous, sophisticated flavors and finely detailed finish. Very classy juice.
Aromatic braised beef in black bean jelly.
From my cellar, the 2000 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Chevalier-Montrachet. IWC 92+. Complex, subtly perfumed aromas of apple, pear, minerals and nutmeg. Dry, steely and penetrating, with brisk acidity giving the wine an almost painful firmness today. Extremely closed, even dry-edged, but very long on the back end.
Cold jellyfish with wasabi sauce.
1994 Penfolds Chardonnay Reserve Bin 94A. unfortunately, our bottle was gone.
From my cellar, 1990 Faiveley Latricières-Chambertin. 90 points. A little reserved, but still plenty of fruit and balance.
Beef w/ black mushroom, bamboo shoots.
2009 Gros Frère et Sœur Clos Vougeot Musigni. Burghound 93. Here a gently oaked nose runs more toward the red side of the fruit spectrum before merging into rich and seductively textured broad-shouldered flavors that are also blessed with ample amounts of dry extract that renders the supporting tannins almost invisible on the detailed, youthfully austere and solidly persistent finish.
Way too young, but an extremely fine wine hiding in there under a bit of oak.
Beef patties. Sort of Chinese hamburger. Actually pretty great.
From my cellar, 1996 Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux. 90 points. A rich but high extracted nose that seems more like a northern Rhone wine that pinot leads to robust, moderately rustic flavors that are very firmly structured and culminate in a mouth coating finish of good if not exceptional length.
Mixed egg fried rice. Really delicious carby goodness.
1990 Marc Sorrel Hermitage. Parker 87. The 1990 Hermitage-Le Vignon is an opaque, black/purple color, with a promising nose of gamey Syrah fruit and some noticeable herbaceousness. While there can be little doubt concerning the wine’s exceptional richness and full body, its acids are alarmingly high, even shrill, and the tannins sear the palate because of their astringency and ferocity. My experience suggests that astringent, hard wines such as this rarely come into balance. If the fruit does not fade before the tannins, my score may look conservative. This should prove to be an uncommonly long-lived wine, even by the standards of Hermitage.
Peking duck, artfully reassembled after cutting.
The hoison sauce, which in this case, and tonight in particular, was oddly salty.
An assembled pancake. While the duck itself was great, these pancakes were a bit underwhelming because there was too little sauce and it was too salty. The usual yummy cloying (in a good way) sweetness was missing.
Which still didn’t stop me from saucing a drumstick.
Optional buns to accompany the duck. These have a spongy texture and are slightly sweet.
1995 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Tokay Pinot Gris Rotenberg Vendange Tardive. Parker 92. I tasted six dry Tokay-Pinot Gris offerings from Zind-Humbrecht and one Vendange Tardive. As the enthusiastic notes that follow reveal, it is a toss up as to whether Riesling or Pinot Gris was the more successful varietal in 1995. The only Vendange Tardive Tokay-Pinot Gris I tasted was the 1995 Rotenberg, a wine with 9.5% total acidity, and 14.5% alcohol. It is nearly too intense, yet who could not admire its amazing display of powerful, highly-extracted, buttery, slightly botrytised flavors, remarkably high acidity for such intensity, and marvelous purity of flavor and length. The wine coats the palate with viscous fruit, yet the acidity gives it vibrancy and freshness. It possesses a remarkable sweet/sour flavor combination. The wine should drink well for 20+ years.
Lobster prepared two ways (this is the first). This one is in a mild flavorful sauce.
And this one “Hunan style” with mixed green and red chilies. Both were excellent.
2008 Gainey Riesling Limited Selection.
Chicken stir fry. Pretty typical.
2002 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese. 92 points. Ripe apple and vanilla on the nose are joined by salty, resinous, and sweet herbal accents on the palate that one doesn’t particularly associate with the site. While the palate is undeniably rich, and the finish promising, this is a bit covered over by its sweetness right now and needs time to really show what it’s got.
Spicy chicken wings. Pretty hot and pretty good. Way better than your usual western hotwings.
Spicy eggplant, extremely tasty and extremely temperature hot.
A fine sweet Monbazillac. Slightly funky, but very good.
These look pretty icky, but they taste great. These is a general sweet and savory flavor. It’s not like the more tangy bean noodles at Chengdu Taste.
And the spicy hot wing version.
Iced leechee for dessert. Chinese restaurants aren’t known for their desserts.
Overall, this was a great evening. Shin Beijing turned out to be a great find with a nice ambiance (as far as Chinese restaurants go) and terrific food. They really treated us well too. It’s not so easy to handle a boisterous group of this size and they managed perfectly. The price was very reasonable too, $41 a person all inclusive of tip and tax, considering the number of dishes and the fact that we had several lobsters, lots of shrimp, and two peking ducks.
Service was as good as it gets for Chinese. They provided us with plenty of wine glasses, brought the dishes slowly, and were extremely friendly.
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