Monday, June 1, 2020

Rosy Staycation

With everyone still grounded and likely got nowhere to go through the long summer, we made amend by planning a weekend getaway a few weeks ago at The Rosewood – at least we got to travel across the harbor when travel across the ocean was not an option. Not my first time in the hotel – I was there for dinner at their steakhouse Henry a few months ago – but staying over the weekend let me explore a lot more of the property, its facilities and surroundings.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Hidden Gem

We came across this little Italian restaurant in a commercial building in Causeway Bay and decided to give it a shot for a dinner celebration. I love the simple interiors - modern, cozy with comfortable lighting with tables well scattered across, and the quiet ambiance well suited for the fine dining style of the place.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Ying Jee Club

I can understand why the name "Ying Jee Club" can be confusing to some - Is that a club? Is that a restaurant? Does one need to be a member to eat there? What food does it serve? What's the style of the restaurant? And the food? At least I got those questions answered for myself when I visited the restaurant for the first time last week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Simple Piedmontese Dinner

It's been a while since we last visited Grissini at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, and first time since they went through a brief remodeling and the introduction of a new chef late last year. The new decor featured a more casual design with a feel of a countryside cottage or trattoria, but a few things remained, including the harbor view from one side of the dining area, and the show kitchen at the entrance where the namesake grissini sticks were prepared and baked - and they were just as good as ever with just a light dip of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Two Tables

The Front of the House team at Caprice did a fine job of making special arrangement for us to eat at their restaurant recently. With the government rule still in place restricting a maximum of 8 people per table, they managed to set up two "separate" tables of five inside their private room so we could "eat together". And all these were done at a rather short notice – kudos to them for being accommodative.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Meat and More

Our craving for meat brought us back to the Yakiniku specialist Nikushou the other night. And their seasonal tasting menu offered more than just their signature dishes of beef from various cuts prepared right in front of the customers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Star-studded Lunch

For a while Forum in Causeway Bay remained the only Michelin 3-starred restaurant that I have never visited in all of Hong Kong/Macau, but I finally managed to cross that off the list a few days ago when our friends J and P organized a lunch there and asked us to join.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Lunch at Ecriture

Last week I finally manged to sit down and check out the dishes created by Chef Maxime Gilbert’s team at his Michelin-starred Ecriture. With my previous visit to the restaurant being a crossover meal with the guest chef from Moscow, I guess I would only count this time as my first.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Ritz at Home

We took up the generous offer from the team at Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong to check out their new home delivery menu. As much as I love cooking at home, it’s good for a change every now and then when someone did the work for me, and with their meal set said to be enough for 4, we asked two of our friends to join us at our place on a Friday evening, something we haven’t done in ages.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

United We (Fine) Dine

From our experience normally it does take a new restaurant team between 3-6 months to get around their feet with their culinary direction, so I did come with rather high expectation for our dinner at Amber, my second visit after they re-opened almost one year ago after renovation and transformation, and we were eager to check out the latest menu by Chef Richard Ekkebus.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Peking Duck Special

I always consider the family of China Tang restaurants (which has a few branches around town) serves one of the best Peking Duck dishes in town, so it seems like a deal too good to pass up when we saw them running a special offer for their signature dish at 1/3 their usual price. Coronavirus special.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Sushi Craving Satisfied

With the coronavirus outbreak still raging, that means we are eating out far less than we normally would, and instead opted for either cooking at home or ordering takeaway dishes from restaurants. That also means that in a way, we treasure more of the time we got to spend at an actual restaurant seating and enjoy the dishes and drinks properly served – something we used to take for granted.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Business As Usual

When our friends suggested another gathering at Caprice’s private room with the perfect excuse of a birthday celebration, we obliged with no hesitation. We took the stance of being vigilant and cautious whilst doing our small part to support those in the hospitality industry in this challenging times - I understand this is always a fine line of balance.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Catching a Breather

We were genuinely surprised when we saw the packed dining room at Paper Moon at Harbour City just the other day. We knew the place has always been popular with its killer harbor view and decent classic Italian dishes, but with business clearly slowed down just about anywhere else we were glad to see they seem relatively unaffected.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Everything Seafood

A few of us gathered at Neighborhood to eat, drink (and most important of all, chit-chat and gossip) recently. It's been a few months since my last visit so this time we were able to check out some new seasonal dishes that Chef David prepared for us.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Weekend Executive Lunch

We made a point of dining out a bit more often than we need to just to do our small part to support those in local F&B and hospitality industries in the era of coronavirus outbreak. And in a more pragmatic end to it, I can’t say we were not partly motivated by the gorgeous deals and discounts now available in just about anywhere we go in town.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Ode to Eggs (and Wines)

It seems perfectly appropriate that Chef Vicky of TATE Dining Room chose egg to be the main theme for her restaurant’s inaugural weekend lunch menu. After all this is the perennial staple ingredient for morning meals and symbolic of a new beginning too. I always think the cozy dining room of TATE Dining Room at Hollywood Road during day time with natural lights beaming in from the windows, so when I heard Chef Vicky finally launched the weekend lunch menu (available twice every month), we booked the table at the first day of service in early March to check it out.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Another Dinner at The Chairman

DY seems to be surprised when he spotted us sitting at the table at his restaurant The Chairman one evening. Well we were just as surprised too as we didn’t expect him to be at the restaurant that late into dinner service. No matter what, it’s good that we managed to get a last-minute booking to eat there, and that we ran into each other and could catch up briefly.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Seafood Recipe Part 2: Hake and Potatoes

I followed up with a rustic-style seafood main course using another pack sent by the purveyor Qwehli (see my previous post for the introduction). Hake is one of the fish species I love working with, for its firm texture and versatility, slightly richer than cod and leaner than black cod. One I received was caught wild off the Atlantic Coast off France and came in vacuumed and frozen pack of around 300g - good for 3-4 person.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Seafood Recipe Part 1 - Red Mullet Ceviche

I have to go back quite a few pages to see the last time I shared a recipe here – August 2018, to be exact. Not that I haven’t been cooking at home, just that I haven’t had much time to trace back the steps to create some of the dishes I have prepared. But when the team from the French seafood purveyor Qwehli offered to send me a few sample products to try recently, I thought I would share my experience with a couple simple recipes.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Sunday by the Bay

After almost completely shutting ourselves off at home for most part of the week, we were eager to be out and about again for the weekend. Thinking it would be a good idea to bring the car out for a spin on the south side, we called and made a reservation for Sunday brunch at The Verandah at The Repulse Bay.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Three-Star Sushi Lunch

It took us almost 3 months to finally have time to eat at Sushi Shikon, after I told Chef Kaki-san that I was planning to visit him and his restaurant at the new location when we saw each other in Macau in December. With the cozy sushi-ya making Landmark Mandarin Oriental its new home since late last year and retained its Michelin 3-stars in this year’s guide, we dropped by for lunch one Saturday a couple weeks ago.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Happy Birthday, Belon!

Chef Dan was reminding everyone on his Instagram post that Belon was celebrating its 4th anniversary in mid-February, and so happened that was the very day we were planning to visit the restaurant for dinner. Of course this is totally out of coincidence - if there's any specific reason to visit on that day it's the cheap skate side of us wanting to celebrate Valentine's Day the night before to avoid the crowd and any special V-day menu that we may get stuck with.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Long Tasting Menu

Weekend lunch service at Roganic seems to be as bustling as ever with every table occupied, not deterred by the general slowdown in business elsewhere with the virus outbreak and all. It’s been a while since I was last here, so happy to be back to check out a few new dishes on the menu as spring season is approaching and Chef Ollie Marlow, their head chef at Roganic London, was in town to bring in some new creations.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Dinner During Troubled Times

The other day a few of us dropped by at our friend A’s restaurant Nikushou for dinner and drinks. I felt like I am here more often than I remembered – a few times for a proper sit-down dinner, but more frequently I just stopped by at late night for a quick drink and snacks with our friends. And this time, it’s for a few new dishes that the restaurant is soon launching on its lunch and dinner menu, plus a few seasonal dishes.

Friday, February 21, 2020

New Year Tradition

We were at Caprice during the Chinese New Year long weekend, same as we did for the last few years as part of our new "family tradition". It’s always good for a change when we had way too many traditional Chinese dishes during the festive period at a place we would like to visit every now and then.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Quick Return

“Come back soon to try our regular menu!” said Chef Ricardo as we parted ways after the special seafood-themed dinner at Mono the other night. So one week later, I did return to the restaurant to check out more of his cooking at his new restaurant in Central.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

First Impression

We dropped by L'Enfol for a quick weekend lunch on the weekend right before the Chinese New Year in January. Chef Olivier Elzer attracted quite a following locally at his previous restaurant Seasons (and before that, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon) and needless to say, his new venture at St Regis Hong Kong was much anticipated by many.

Friday, February 14, 2020

All Snake Menu

Some friends and we met up in Shum Shui Po for the snake dinner menu at one of the specialty restaurants in the neighborhood - the same group went for another snake meal only a month ago so consider this a sequel to that. Sher Wong Yip (Snake King Yip) is one of the handful shops remained in Hong Kong fully licensed to handle and sell live snakes. During winter months I often dropped by for a comforting bowl of snake soup and sometimes a bowl of sticky rice, another of their signature dish. But this is only my first time trying the more elaborate menu with 10 different courses, most of them cooked using snakes.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Seafood at Mono

It’s not an overstatement that Mono is one of the most anticipated restaurant openings at the turn of the year. Chef Ricardo Chaneton has showed Hong Kong what he could do with his first gig in town at Petrus of Island Shangri-la for the past 4 years, and going solo at his new namesake restaurant meant he’s given even more freedom to show off his contemporary French cooking style.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Four hands and a few more wines

Last month was the first time I returned to Tosca at The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong since Chef Angelo Agliano took over at the kitchen. They have even changed the name to Tosca di Angelo for the new era. We were there on the final night of the special collaboration dinner series featuring guest chef Antonia Klugmann from Friuli–Venezia Giulia.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Star Under Shade

One can't ask for a better day to eat al fresco in Hong Kong than a sunny afternoon in January when it's cool enough that you wouldn't end up sweating all over and warm enough you wouldn't need a down jacket to brave the chilly monsoon. And we have found the best spot for it in the middle of the city at Aaharn, the Thai restaurant in Tai Kwun that has just been bestowed with its first Michelin star a month ago.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Chairman - The Encore

As soon as we walked out the door from The Chairman after a satisfying lunch a few months ago, the same group was already planning an encore and we soon fixed a date after the festive season in this new year to do that, this time on a Saturday afternoon with even more people. I once again asked DY to help work out the menu for us and we ended up with some repeats and some new dishes, plus one vegetarian menu with totally different dishes for one of our friends.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Indian at a Touristy Spot

We took a spin up to The Peak one evening recently - it's a spur of the moment thing and God knows since when was the last time we did that - and checked out a newish restaurant that serves "Anglo-Indian Cuisine" up there. Rajasthan Rifles is a sister restaurant of the lovely New Punjab Club on Wyndham under the same group and the supervision of the same chef - so that gave us some assurance of its quality despite its peculiar location of being in a touristy spot and the somewhat cliche setting of an "Anglo-Indian Mess Hall" with wait-staff dressing like Indian military officers in the colonial days.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Street Food Detour

We did venture out of the hotel to hunt for street food a couple of times in a big group whilst in Kuala Lumpur last month. Those certainly were one of the highlights of our trip - it's almost like we never felt hungry at any given moment in those few days as we literally ate non-stop.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Nose To Tail Lunch

One afternoon during our brief stay in KL we went to check out Entier on top of Alila Bangsar hotel. After days of street food and parties, we were looking for somewhere quieter to sit down and eat and the restaurant headed by Chef Masashi Horiuchi seems to fit the bill.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Kuala Lumpur "Stay-cation"

It did feel like a stay-cation of sort when we spent a few nights at The Majestic in Kuala Lumpur as we slipped out of town for a quick getaway after Christmas - barring a few occasions when we went out to eat, we essentially stayed in most of the time and made full use of all the facilities in-house.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

First of the Decade

Thought we would treat ourselves to a serious breakfast to kick-start the new year and decade. I have always wanted to try the morning menu at the new Somm at Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Central, so I made a booking to go check it out on January 1.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Post Party Dim Sum

We were sorting out where to eat the day after the Michelin Gala dinner and at the end "settled with" Jade Dragon under the same roof. Well I suppose "settled with" may not be an appropriate description, given the restaurant just kept the highest 3-star rating at the Michelin Guide for 2 years in a row.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Curry in Brum

"For the curry!" was the official line we had when people asked why we made a quick stopover in Birmingham before we headed back home after spending a week in London. While it's not entirely accurate, but we did want to check out the Indian restaurant scene while we were there, given the reputation of the town being the "Curry Capital of UK".

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Lunch 'Til Dusk

Making a reservation at eat at The Greenhouse was perhaps one of the best decisions I made for our recent London trip. I followed my chef friend D’s recommendation to plan for a lunch there while we were in town (after hearing him raving all about it and its chef Alex Dilling’s cooking a few weeks ago).

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday at Frenchie

My wife gave me a strange look when we (with our nephew) walked into Frenchie at Covent Garden on a Sunday afternoon with absolutely no one inside. I have been raving about my solo dinner at the Frenchie Wine Bar, one of its sister restaurants in Paris, a few years back, so it seems odd that the place was empty when every restaurant on the block was filling with weekend brunch crowd in the busy neighborhood of Covent Garden.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Feel Like New

It does feel like a whole new restaurant when Man Ho at JW Marriott went through months of refurbishments and re-opened a couple of months ago. And a new Chinese name too, more for the practical reason of differentiating with another restaurant under the Marriott banner miles away.

The brief break also gave Chef Jayson an opportunity to re-work the menu at his restaurant, which I was able to try when we went for a casual family dinner a few weeks ago. The dinner went off an interesting start with the introduction of an amuse-bouche dish, which was a chunk of pickled papaya garnished with lime zest. More Thai style than Chinese, but it was refreshing.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Pre-Christmas Lunch

I thought we would pay Chef Guillaume's team a visit at Caprice before they got swarmed during the Christmas week. Well, special “festive menu” may not be our thing, but given my last meal here was already 3 months ago, I am interested in checking out some of their new seasonal dishes.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Just Another Breakfast

I dropped by The Wolseley one morning to enjoy its popular breakfast, just because it has become a tourist attraction of sort or for those obsessed with "Full English Breakfast", whatever that means. The restaurant was just a block away Green Park underground station in Mayfair, midway between The Ritz and the Fortnum and Mason store, so essentially in the center just about everything as far as out-of-towners are concerned.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Beauty in the Details

I long admire the work of Chef Anne-Sophie Pic so we made plan to eat at her restaurant in London one afternoon. The restaurant was one of the dining outlets of Four Seasons London at Ten Trinity Square, a relatively new hotel converted from an old building (formerly of Port of London Authority built over a century ago). A quick 2-minute walk from the nearest Tube Station (Tower Hill) I was right in front of this gorgeous building with magnificent facade completed with huge columns and the stair entrance facing the River Thames.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Luxury Hotel Crawl

I am going to call this the "luxury hotel crawl" evening of our London trip, when we started off with a drink at the legendary American Bar at The Savoy followed by dinner at the Rosewood. It's my first time visiting and fell in love with the spectacular decor the moment I stepped in to the lobby with the impressive festive season decorations including a few bigger-than-life pieces made entirely of Lego bricks. A perfect example of combining class with fun.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Fine Dining Inside Stadium

We had a number of good meals while in London this time, but eating at Galvin at Tottenham came down to be one of the more special ones. I kept saying the key part of the London trip was to go on the pilgrimage to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and watch my favorite team play at the home field - not once but twice in the same week. And I went the extra mile, splurged a little and got myself a ticket at the executive club level for one of those matches.