Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A food collage of 2013

December is the time when people look back at the year that is quickly passing by, and naturally for us, we look back at the food we had and many of the wonderful things we came to experience in 2013.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sushi Garyu - Crouching dragon, or one that yawns?

I came across Sushi Garyu at Yotsuya San-chome when I was in pursuit for lesser-known yet highly-rated sushi restaurants in Tokyo. This restaurant is ranked among the Top 30 on Tabelog, consistently above even some of the more famous ones in town, so I was curious to see if there is any truth to this, and I asked the hotel concierge to help book a seat for me to check it out one evening.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My "Kinder Surprise" Meal - Yuzen at Arakicho

I didn't make any advance dinner plan for one evening while in Tokyo and decided to "wing it" - essentially trying out a random place that I happened to come across. I remembered last time I was planning to head to the neighborhood of Arakicho (荒木町) near Yotsuya for some unagi dishes (at a restaurant called Masami) but that didn't quite fit into our schedule at the end. I didn't believe Masami would have seats available at last minute, but I figured... let's head over there this time and see what did they have.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Late Dinner at Sushisho Masa

I walked down the stairs into Chef Masakatsu Oka's Sushisho Masa restaurant with very high expectation. My foodie friend H (aka the icecream chef) recommended this place after her visit a couple months ago, so I made a reservation for dinner during my recent visit to Tokyo.

This 7-seater restaurant in the basement of a building in Nishi-Azabu - around 15 minutes' walk from Roppongi Junction - is popular among locals and foreigners and often requires reservation weeks in advance, unless you don't mind eating a bit late. I had my dinner booked for 9:30pm, which turned out working well for me as I had more time to run chores after work, and for the most part I was their only customer during that time slot.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Perfect Tempura Lunch - Tokyo's Rakutei

For the past few trips to Tokyo, I always tried to find time for at least one decent sushi meal, and one tempura meal. This time, I booked myself a lunch spot at the Michelin 2-starred tempura restaurant Rakutei in the neighborhood of Akasaka.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chicken Omakase at Gallus

I couldn't believe when I asked the hotel concierge to help book a seat at Torishiki, a Michelin one-starred Yakitori restaurant in Meguro, they came back and told me the place's fully booked until the end of the year (note it's only early November at that time). As an alternative, they suggested Gallus, a new restaurant opened late last year by the same owner, located just across the street.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Selling at Island East Markets

C and I have been going to Island East Markets quite regularly since when it first started late last year - enjoying the many stalls selling artisan food products and fresh, seasonal and local produce, as well as many interesting events happening every Sunday right at our neighborhood.

The idea of setting up our own stall at the market came from casual conversations among ourselves and some friends, and came to materialize when the kind folks at Island East Markets (IEM) granted us stalls for 2 Sundays in October and our friend V, aka HKFashionGeek, of Sparks Studios agreed to share the stall with us. We figure it's more fun doing this with more people.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Small fish in a much bigger pond - Isana Sushi Bar

I resorted to what must have been the most authoritative source of dining reviews, the Gentlemen's Quarterly (aka GQ), for ideas on new Japanese restaurants to try in Tokyo, and they pointed me to this sushi-ya in Roppongi, which was rated one of the best new sushi restaurants by the Japanese edition of the magazine recently.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Epilogue - Calling it even at The Pen

I felt obliged to share what happened after our dinner at Gaddi’s last month. Two days after my rant about the poor service we received at the restaurant – a fully justifiable one, I must reiterate – I received an email of apology from The Pen people, acknowledging the issues we have complained about as gracefully as I could imagine, and they even offered to make it up with another dinner at the restaurant. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Contribution to a Potluck Dinner

A good friend of ours invited us to their house for a potluck dinner recently, during which each family - there were 6 families of us - would contribute one dish and a matching wine each. I thought long and hard about what to make and decided on a small dish inspired by Japanese kaiseki cuisine. That was served as one of the three appetizer courses that evening.

Umami is known as one of the five basic taste elements and what I made was loaded with that savory, fresh sensations on the taste buds, by combining umami-rich ingredients such as crabs, shrimps, kelp, bonito flakes and miso. It's a shrimp dumpling in crab miso soup.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Birthday Night at The Principal

This year, I spent my birthday night with dinner at The Principal in Wanchai. We dined at the restaurant a couple years ago just after its opening, had a lovely dinner there but never managed to return since, so I was quite excited about coming here again, just to see how the restaurant evolved with all the accolades earned since then (including the Michelin one-star awarded last year).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Japanese in Taipei - Gyodoike

I keep hearing friends singing praises to Japanese food in Taiwan, saying it's much better than that in Hong Kong and at a fraction of the price, so I was eager to find out during a recent short business trip to Taipei. I consulted the blog by my friend Peter, aka The Growing Boy, before setting sight on Gyodoike (魚道生), which he recommended as "one of his favorites". So I gave them a call a few days in advance and make the reservation for dinner on my day of arrival.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hospice de Beaune Wine Dinner

A couple of weeks ago we were at the table for Hospice de Beaune wine dinner co-organized by Hip Cellar, owned by one of our friends EY. Other than the state-of-the-art wine storage facilities and event space at this industry building location in Tin Hau (I wasn't paid to say this, just to make it clear), under the same roof is Ta Pantry, a speakeasy/private kitchen by Chef Esther, where the wine dinner was held.

I have been to Ta Pantry a couple of times this year already (the thoughts after the first visit are here), and quite impressed with the innovative cooking style and its food, so I don't mind coming for a third time, especially the menu and the wines for the evening sound very enticing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On the record - one lousy night at the Gaddi's

We all had those kind of days when we just wanna muddle along, trying to get by til the next day and hope no damage's done, didn't we? Well, during a recent dinner visit to Gaddi's, we felt like the staff was having that kind of a day. Yes, I meant the entire team.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Comfortable Homestyle Bistro - La Cantoche

I was in La Cantoche recently for an invited dinner tasting. Apparently the restaurant has been around for a while, hidden in a small alley in Soho but it's my first visit. I was greeted by French-Vietnamese owner David Sung as I walked in the loft-style space with the bar and kitchen on the ground floor, and additional tables on the second level. I love the casual decor which reminded me more of a bachelor pad every guy dreamt having with colorful chairs, graffiti wall and a nicely-crafted foosball table - so I felt like right at home immediately.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Home Recipe: Japanese Casserole Rice

While most of us would have no idea where the rice we eat every day came from or how long it's been sitting in the warehouses before consumed these days, new crop rice - or shinmai (新米) in Japanese - is much celebrated in Japan, just like other seasonal food delicacies found in different time of the year.

Friday, October 4, 2013

One off the bucket list - Tokushima's Kokin Aoyagi

A few years ago, I came across a book written by Chef Hirohisa Koyama about the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine. It was eye-opening and I learned so much more in terms of appreciating Japanese cooking in a fuller spectrum. Since then I have always wanted to visit Chef Koyama's restaurant in Tokushima myself - so we have put this top of our agenda as we travelled through the four prefectures of Shikoku, including Tokushima being our first stop, in our recent Japan trip.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tokyo Short Trip - Sushi Sho

When I first walked in to Chef Keiji Nakazawa's Sushi Sho Restaurant in the quiet neighborhood of Yotsuya near Shinjuku, I thought I went to the wrong place. It's a bit tugged away with a small entrance on the side street not far away from the Yotsuya Metro Station, and the interior was reminiscent of an izakaya on a random street corner rather than a legendary sushi restaurant that Sushi Sho is known as. But looking past the rather humble settings, this is one special dining experience.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tokyo Short Trip - Tempura Yamanoue Roppongi

I was drawn to Tempura Yamanoue as chefs at the Michelin-starred Fukamachi and Kondo - which I went in my previous visits (the links were what I have reflected on those meals) - were trained there before setting up their own shops (so was the chef at Rakutei, another famous tempura restaurant in town). Tempura Yamanoue is an old restaurant, opened almost 60 years ago at the Hilltop Hotel in Kanda District, and the one I went was their Roppongi branch, located in the Tokyo Midtown commercial complex.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tokyo Short Trip - Sushi Kakutou

I found myself landing in the country of rising sun yet again within a short span of time (the second time this year, and fifth since last - if you must count). It's a rather short trip with a lot on the agenda; nonetheless I did end up in a few magnificent restaurants during the week-long stay which made the trip less unbearable.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day at the Four Seasons (Part 2) - Lunch at Caprice

After spending the morning being an "unofficial intern" inside the pastry kitchen at Four Seasons Hong Kong, we emerged from the hotel basement and arrived at Caprice upstairs, as two regular customers. I always know lunch tables at the restaurant were hard to score, but little did I know they were booked up not weeks, but months in advance. We actually only got ours due to a last minute no-show that morning - whoever that decided not to come at the end, we thank you for sparing us that table.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Day at the Four Seasons (Part 1) - Playing in the Pastry Kitchen

We were excited to have been invited to a behind-the-scene tour at Four Seasons' pastry kitchen in a Saturday morning recently. As much as I like to bake occasionally, I had no illusion that being a professional baker could be an easy job, let alone a fun one. Nonetheless I love checking out how a real kitchen works, and sometimes you do pick up a thing or two in the process that I found it useful when I cook at home.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Crossover: Sake x Luk Yu Tea House

It may be arguable to say Luk Yu Tea House is the best Chinese restaurant in town, but given its long history, no doubt they are the standard bearer in the local dining scene, especially as far as traditional Cantonese cuisine was concerned. It's not uncommon to hear people compared food elsewhere to the food served at Luk Yu. 

Believe it or not we have never been to the restaurant - probably we were put off by comments from others about the discrepancy of services and food quality between a regular customer and a non-regular one. But when we heard of a special sake dinner event co-hosted by the restaurant and a local food distributor, we decided to check it out.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Desserterie in Singapore - 2am: dessertbar

I always like the idea of a true desserterie - not just those cafes with a few tarts and macarons on offer, or brunch spot that sells a few bakery items sort of places, but a full service restaurant with focus on desserts and desserts alone. That's why I was interested to check out 2am:dessertbar in Holland Village in Singapore when I was in town last month.

Holland V - as the region was known as by locals - is a vibrant neighborhood with shopping malls, rows of trendy shops, restaurants and bars that open til late. It's accessible by MRT but we opted for a taxi ride after dinner, which was a good 15 minutes from where we were staying. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Restaurant Week - Night Out at Carnevino

One of the best things about the whole concept of Restaurant Week is that, it gave you an opportunity to try out restaurants that you have never visited - whatever the reasons. Saw the American Express promotion on advanced booking for Restaurant Week and decided to try out Carnevino, a steakhouse in Central by Dining Concepts bearing the name of Mario Batali, the celebrity TV chef.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Red Friday - The Butchers Club

It's been an annoyingly rainy week but my Friday dinner was what I have been looking forward to. We had a group gathering at an industrial building in Aberdeen in the evening to try out The Butchers Club - a new, no-frill meat shop cum private kitchen. The guy behind the venture was the founder of Pacific Gourmet - first of its kind fine meat purveyor in Hong Kong and with The Butchers Club, he went one step further in specializing in dry aging - the tricky process of leaving the meat in specific temperature and humidity for a long period that brought out the natural flavors and tenderization of the meat. Well, a few restaurants in town have been offering dry-aged meat on the menu, so were some upscale meat shop which imported them in, but The Butchers Club was apparently the first to have its own aging facilities in such a large scale for its retail customers.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Another Monday Night - Ronin

I heard mixed comments regarding Ronin - some swore it's the best izakaya in town, some gave me the "meh" look when I mentioned we were going to try the restaurant, thinking it's overrated. Given that I actually waited long enough so I got a good share of comments before setting my foot into this place - I don't wanna waste my money (and time) on a lousy meal. Oh well, we finally went this past Monday, here's my verdict.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Monday Night at BCN

We dropped by this little eatery just off Soho called BCN a couple Mondays ago in the evening. I think the place opened late last year and I heard quite a lot of good comments, but we have never been able to get a reservation so we put off the plan to come over until now, when our friend Elsie mentioned she's a friend of the owner, hence we finally scored our spots (without making reservation months in advance)

Many people have mentioned the restaurant is small, but as I walked in I was still surprised to realize how compact it really is. There's only one L-shape bar table that can cozily sit 12 - you literally need to squeeze by to get to your seat. Behind the bar counter was the open kitchen where most of the food was cooked and plated; there's also a bigger kitchen at the back for some other stuff.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Omakase in Singapore - Dinner at Ikyu

I was eager to try out some Japanese food in Singapore to see how it compared to the ones at home, so I started googling around looking for a decent place. Of course there are the likes of Shinji by Kanesaka (at the Raffles) or Shiraishi (at The Ritz) or the two at Marina Bay Sands (Waku Ghin and Hide Yamamoto) but I am not looking at that kind of ridiculous price range. At the end I found this relatively new restaurant right in my favorite neighborhood and I gave it a try.

Ikyu (一休) is one of the latest additions to the hip Tiong Bahru area, opened about 9 months ago. It's on Yong Siak Street, sharing the same block as other trendy spots such as 40 Hands Coffee (Cafe), Open Door Policy (Bistro), Books Actually (Bookstore) and many others. Chef Takuma Seki came from Hide Yamamoto at Marina Bay Sands, and the restaurant serves "sexy", "daringly different" Japanese cuisine, as mentioned on the website, with most of the ingredients flown in from Japan direct.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cooking at home: A presentable dinner

A change of our schedule allowed us to ask our friends Charlene and Alan to come for dinner in one weekend evening in late June. They don't seem to have a preference on anything particular, plus my work schedule has been crazy lately, so I was unable to plan too much ahead of time - so there goes items like steak or pork. Well I have been making a few duck dishes lately with some success, so I decided to stick with duck as my main course ingredient.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A long overdue encounter - Iggy's

I have been to a few fine-dining places in Singapore during my previous visits to the city-state in the last 12 months, but never been to Iggy's - probably one of the first that shot to international fame, having rated top of Asia and the World a few times in the past. So we decided to try this out for lunch this time.

The restaurant started its life at The Regent Hotel in 2004 then moved to Hilton Singapore at the far end of the Orchard Road Shopping District a few years ago. The hotel public area certainly showed its age but the decor inside Iggy's was drastically different, starting with the dark facade and the hidden door at the entrance, and it felt like the restaurants was detached from the rest of the hotel totally. Through the dimly lit corridor we were shown to our table in the middle of the dining room. The dining space was quiet and tiny - only a handful tables plus separate lounge area and bar seating next to the pastry station on the other side. The kitchen, which almost took up as much space as the dining room, was right next to the tables and separated only by a glass door. I guess the philosophy was to eliminate the distance between the culinary team and its customers, literally.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Quick Thought on Duddell's

A couple friends and I were in Duddell's last week at lunch to try out some of their food. It's housed right above the classy Shanghai Tang flagship store on Duddell Street in Central. I personally loved the decorations of this 2-storey restaurant, with spacious dining area (I prefer the quieter second level where we were seated), dedicated space for art programs and exhibitions, a well-stocked bar and garden terrace for outdoor dining and just chill out. That's usual for a restaurant, especially a Chinese one in Hong Kong. It still got quite crowded and noisy during lunch time, but at least it's not packed as other places.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Mind-blowing Restaurant Andre

I heard too much good things about Chef Andre Chiang's restaurant in Singapore that I guess I must give it a try, so I made a lunch reservation on the only day I was free from meetings, even that meant I need to sit in a fine-dining restaurant for 2 hours by myself.

Restaurant Andre was housed in a little white 3-storey building behind a hotel in a quiet neighborhood near Outram. With my flight schedule I had to go early so I was the first customer to arrive. The maitre d' was already expecting me at the door as I walked through the door and he showed me my table on the second floor at a corner by the window.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kuala Lumpur Impression (Part 2): Enak

After my "brunch" at Yut Kee, I went back to city centre to dine at the basement of an upscale shopping mall - Starhill Gallery next to The Ritz Carlton and Marriott. Enak is a Malay restaurant that is true to traditional flavors, yet trying to put in a contemporary touch in terms of cooking and presentation.  The restaurant came recommended by my Malaysian friend Jenny and CNN Travller rated it one of the best in KL, so I decided to come here for lunch.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kuala Lumpur Impression (Part 1): Yut Kee

One major downside about business travel is that, you went in and out of a city so quick, with so many things to do, that you hardly felt like you have experienced the place you travelled to. That's how I felt during my recent trip to Malaysia - specifically Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cooking at home: Carefree Clafoutis

Come summer time, you saw these succulent cherries calling and screaming for you as you walk by the fruit stalls in the market. Big ones, small ones, red ones, golden ones... well, we don't produce them locally and we have this all year round - in winter they were shipped from Southern Hemisphere places like Chile or Australia - but I still prefer the American ones for they are juicier and tasted better, and to me, cherry is always a summer fruit.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

10 Commandments for Le Creuset Pots

There are all kinds of pages and sites in facebook that I am part of, and one of them is called "Friends of Le Creuset". Well it's good to see so many people love their colorful, versatile cast iron pots, but it's also jaw-dropping to see many people didn't have a clue how to care for them or maximize their potential, while keep on bragging about the many pots they "captured" and kept in mint condition - forever.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Night Out at Socialito

It's probably my prejudice (or more from past experience), but I always have this impression that places that are more for drinking don't serve decent food. So I didn't come with particularly high expectation before I set foot at Socialito - just another gimmicky place in LKF for people foolish enough to dine at a "to see and be seen" hip place, I thought.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cooking at Home: Fresh Homemade Pasta

A friend came over to our place recently, saw our new KitchenAid food processor sitting on the counter and commented, "oh, so you got a new egg beater". Of course that's one way of seeing it, but what we found out, especially once we put this toy into practical use, was that this is a versatile piece of tool that open up a range of options with such convenience. We actually regretted not getting this sooner.

One thing I tried my hands on recently was making pasta. One thing I don't particular enjoying doing in the kitchen (other than washing up) is to leave my hands with gluey dough - that's why I am never fond of making bread or pasta. But with the KitchenAid mixer (and the pasta attachment) - I saved the trouble of dealing with messy dough and it turned out to be much easier than I thought.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Happiness is dining on 101st Floor - Inakaya Hong Kong

I ventured out to West Kowloon to try out Inakaya with a few friends. Inakaya is part of the Sky Dining 101 complex which sat at 400 meter above sea level on the 101st Floor of the ICC building. There were two sections in the restaurant - the main dining area features dark decor with windows facing the Victoria Harbor on one side and stations with teppenyaki grill on the other, but the major attraction is the robatayaki area at the back, where we were seated.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Asking too much? Evening at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

We headed off to L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at Landmark for dinner for only the second time (since it first opened). Well I know it's been awarded 3 stars in Michelin Guide, called the best in Asia by Miele etc etc, but our last visit a few years back was downright horrible in everything you can imagine that we just didn't bother to return afterwards. Well we had similar experiences with other restaurants in town in the beginning only to realize afterwards that those places have made significant improvement since then, so we decided to give it a second chance and hope it would prove ourselves wrong.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Grand Affair - Perrier-Jouët Lunch at Inagiku

For a second year, I was invited to the Perrier-Jouët luncheon hosted by its Cellar Master Hervé Deschamps. Last year I had a blast at g.e. of the luxe manor, and this time the lunch was at Central's Inagiku Restaurant right next to the Four Seasons. It's been quite a while since I last visited the restaurant and I was also curious to see how the matching of champagne and Japanese food would turn out. I arrived at the cocktail reception right on time at The Box upstairs with the Perrier-Jouët non-vintage Grand Brut before heading down to the private room at Inagiku, for food and of course, more champagne. The room was tastefully decorated with champagne bottles and beautifully arranged bouquets of the iconic white peonies, and I am always amazed at them putting all these efforts of decoration and arrangement just for the occasion.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dinner at The French Window

Last Monday evening I joined a bunch of social media peeps for a tasting of the Le French Gourmay menu at The French Window in ifc mall, prepared for us by its head chef Matthieu Bonnier. It's good to come across some new faces, while catching up with a few friends who happened to be at the dinner too.

We began our dinner with a sumptuous display of the Grand Seafood Platter served on two levels of ice-laden plates, prepared at the seafood bar just right behind our table. On the plates were seasonal seafood item from all over the world including New England Lobster from Boston, clams and Britanny Tourteaux crabs from France, Atlantic shrimps, Tsubugai (small sea whelks) from Japan, and oysters (which I forgot where they came from - presumably from the southern hemisphere given the time of the year). The platter came with shallot vinegar, cocktail and mayonnaise sauces made in-house as condiments, but I reckon just a dash of lemon juice was all it takes to bring out the best of the delightful, fresh seafood flavors.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

(Vegetarian) Cooking at Home: Strawberries with Mascarpone Cream

I love Mascarpone cheese - it's so versatile. Of course, its mild sweetness made it an obvious choice for desserts, but I occasionally used it for savory dishes with some success too in the past (for example, it's good for some cream-based sauces for meat or pasta - you got a more interesting flavor then just double cream)

For desserts, most people relate the cheese to tiramisu in which whipped mascarpone cheese was mixed with egg whites and layed with liquor and coffee-dipped ladyfingers, but I also love the combination of hulled strawberries and mascarpone - it's creamy with a hint of sweetness for a subtle and classy dessert (not something overly rich or like a sugar bomb)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

An American in Burgundy - Domaine Dublere Wine Dinner

We love winemaker dinners. First and foremost, often it represents great value for money with the amount of wines they serve and also for some of the rarer finds from the winemaker's own collection that they sometimes bring along. And second, just like how people enjoyed reading the director's interview about making of a movie, we like hearing stories from the winemakers themselves on the philosophy of their winery, what they do with their grapes and their wines and to feel their passions and pride in the wines they made. That's much better than any critics' reviews or marketing campaigns.

Well we went to one last Saturday at the Grand Hyatt Steakhouse. Interesting enough, it's hosted by Blair Pethel, the owner and winemaker of Domaine Dublere, who as an American from North Carolina and a former journalist, somehow made his way to the great land of Burgundy and became a farmer - as he called himself - and founded Domaine Dublere (a Francophone twist of his first name Blair) about 10 years ago. Turned out Blair was also a fellow Washingtonian - spending a good amount of time in the capital during the Clinton Administration as a political journalist - and we went to the same school (he did his graduate degree and I did my undergraduate's - but at different time). What an interesting coincidence!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cooking at Home: Making of an "Artisan" Dinner

I have been experimenting with some new dishes lately, and we have some of our friends come over one Saturday night to try them out.

We started off with an amuse bouche of white chocolate "truffle" with foie gras filling. We had something similar in a few places before (namely Amber of Hong Kong and more recently, at Yukawatan in Japan's Kuruizawa) so I was curious to see whether this can be replicated at home. Turned out it's more difficult than I thought in terms of archieving an uniform coating of chocolate on the foie gras cube, but at least it did taste decent. Something we can explore further.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

(Vegetarian) Cooking at Home: Pesto Linguine with Asparagus

This is the third part of the vegetarian cooking series that I did for a local magazine a few months ago. One thing I learned during the process is now I know a bit more about what's actually vegetarian and what's not. For example, I always think cheese, which was made of milk, is vegetarian (even though it's non-vegan). But little did I realize most cheeses use animal rennet - an enzyme extracted from cow or sheep stomach and essential for cheese production - that makes them non-vegetarian. Then there were also the issues with eggs, garlic and onions - especially to those who practice vegetarian for religious reasons.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Roast at Four Seasons Hong Kong

What is not to like about Sunday roast? A weekend afternoon to sit down and chill, to wind down with all work-related busyness behind, to meet up with friends and family around the table over freshly roasted meat, veggies, wines (or beers) and more... I was wondering as I sat leisurely at The Lounge of Four Seasons Hong Kong one April Sunday afternoon, at an invitation tasting event hosted by the hotel.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cooking at home: Focaccia

We are obsessed with our new kitchen toy recently - the KitchenAid food processor. I always wanted one but never had the space for it, but finally, we decided, what the heck, let's try to make some room for it, so we did. Since we brought it home we have been using it almost every other day and keep asking why we didn't get this earlier.

One of the best thing I realize this food processor did best is bread making. Even better and convenient than the bread machine, you may ask? Yes, because of the many varieties it can make, plus I love getting my hands on my dough to feel it. I have already tried quite a few batches of bread recently, but focaccia is perhaps one of the easiest. It doesn't get your hands too dirty with messy dough and with the simplest ingredients. Basically focaccia is an Italian flat bread, just in case you wonder - it's very similar to a pizza dough but usually thicker and usually to be eaten without any toppings or cheeses.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Hitting the Right Tone - The New Ta Pantry

We got a table reservation at the model-turned-chef Esther Sham's new Ta Pantry restaurant a week ahead of its official opening in late April. I didn't have a chance to try her food at the original location on Wanchai's Star Street before it was closed, but based on what I heard from friends and fellow food bloggers, I am quite eager to see and taste what her creative fusion menu has to offer.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

As close as it gets - Catalunya Hong Kong

A couple evenings ago I was at Catalunya with a group of fellow food lovers who called themselves the Amateur Gourmet. Catalunya is a new restaurant only opened in late March/early April, but has already become quite a talk of the town - being hailed as the candidate for new restaurant of the year by every local lifestyle magazines in circulation and all that - with the culinary team apparently coming from the kitchen of (the former) El Bulli. This is their second outpost in Asia - the other one being in Singapore on an "island" near One Fullerton with a full view of the Marina Bay Sands. Anyway, just as you thought its Hong Kong branch would be located in Central or at least a prime spot downtown, it's actually in a quiet neighborhood known as Morrison Hill somewhere in between Wanchai and Causeway Bay. It could be hard to find if you are not familiar with the area.