Saturday, September 27, 2014

Just a slightly fancier home dinner

It all started with us wanting to open a bottle of Piedmont wine ahead of our trip to the region late next month. Figured it's good to have some background knowledge of the geography and produce of the area to make the journey more fun. This is when I decided preparing something for dinner that would go well with the wine.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Post-typhoon Lunch at Restaurant Akrame

With the typhoon brushed past us earlier in the week giving us an extra half day at home, I ended this shortened work week with lunch at Restaurant Akrame at the invitation of the restaurant PR. A relatively short commute from office I landed in front of the restaurant, which was located on the trendy Ship Street in Wanchai, just after noon. The facade of the restaurant reminded me of a countryside cottage rather than the concrete jungle the place is located in, but inside, the decor was chic and contemporary, with ivory and grey color scheme with a relatively small dining room in the front, and at the back was the open kitchen and a private room next to it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The New Fall Menu at Caprice

"11am? I thought the restaurant won't open until noon, no?" When I received the kind invitation from Four Seasons Hong Kong for a lunch tasting at Caprice, I wrote back just to make sure I didn't read the meeting time wrong. Turned out our afternoon at Caprice didn't begin in the dining room but behind the kitchen counter, where we got the opportunity to spend some time chatting with Chef Fabrice Vulin on some of the new developments of the restaurant, along with a little cooking demonstration he did for us before the regular lunch service began.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

High Street Wine Dinner

I was at the Cape Mentelle Wine Dinner hosted by local food magazine Crave and the winery owner LVMH at Wooloomooloo Prime in Causeway Bay last Thursday evening. 

The restaurant sits on the high floors at the new Midtown Building near Times Square, which advertised to be the new landmark in this busy shopping district. Quite a few new restaurants opened in this building lately, including Penthouse by Harlan G which occupies the top floor (and a new sushi restaurant by the same owner one floor below), and also the casual Italian restaurant bearing Jamie Oliver's name.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Sunday of Tennis, and mainly Food

It must have been over 20 years since I last watched a professional tennis match in Hong Kong, and even further back if you count only the competitive ones. So I think I should give my support to the inaugural/reborn of Hong Kong Tennis Open by getting tickets to catch this year's final.

Well this women's tennis tournament didn't get off to a good start (and to my great dissappointment) with two of the original top draws Genie Bouchard and Peng Shuai pulled out of the tournament at the last minute citing fatique and injuries, but at least the week was blessed by great weather except one afternoon, which could have been much worse given the unpredictability of weather at this time of year. And the final day, which was on a Sunday, was as gorgeous as you could ever imagine with beautiful, sunny sky and a bit of a breeze. Still hot, but okay comfortable from a spectator point of view.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Date Night at the Classy Carbone

I was a bit surprised (or even skeptical) when the maitre d' at Carbone told me the earliest time she could seat us on a Monday evening was 9pm when I called to make a reservation a couple weeks ago. I thought it should be a relatively slow night for western restaurants with most locals opt for Chinese family meal in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Recently I got an earful of complaints at home, that only I got to try all the new restaurants in town and we haven't had a proper date for a while blah blah blah... so I thought I should at least attempt to do something to make it up. Of the many new restaurants opened in Hong Kong recently, I was most curious about Carbone because it came highly recommended by several friends of ours plus decent Italian-American restaurants were hard to come by in town, not to mention its original New York branch at Greenwich Village got quite a good reputation since its opening last year.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dining at a True Private Kitchen

We were at this "secret" private kitchen in Central one weekday evening recently, joining a group of new and old friends who shared a common passion for food and wine and cooking for a feast featuring some classic Cantonese dishes.

In Hong Kong, there's no shortage of restaurants labeling themselves as "private kitchen" or "speakeasy", partly to circumvent the complicated licensing requirement for a proper restaurant, and partly to add to the mystique factor as a way to attract its clientele. But this one, on the other hand, is a true "private kitchen" - you can try google it and you probably can't find any reference to it; same if you went on Openrice or WOM guide or any restaurant directory; it's located right in Central but even if I tell you the address, you wouldn't know there exist such a building let alone a tastefully decorated place to eat as you go up this narrow and dim staircase inside.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Easy Summer Recipe Part 4 - "Green Monday" Salad

Since late last year, I have been working with the social enterprise Green Monday team to develop a few vegetarian recipes for a project that they do with The Link REIT, which managed several wet markets in Hong Kong in their real estate portfolio. Beginning in January, those recipes were printed as colorful leaflets and be distributed at the markets on a weekly basis throughout the year as a way to promote green living and inventive cooking. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Easy Summer Receipe Part 3: Cold-brewed Tea

Many of our friends were very kind to bring us souvenirs back from whenever they happened to spend their holidays and tea leaves seem to be a popular choice. We have been having this little problem of overstocking with teas, but now we finally figured out a way to consume those - whether in tea bag form or as loose leaves - at a faster rate.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Easy Summer Recipe Part 2: Cornbread

Last time, I shared the recipe of a super-easy Pasta Salad to make for a big group meal, and this time, let me show you something even easier. Most people in Hong Kong probably have their first taste of cornbread at KFC, where it's offered one of the side dishes for their fried chicken meal, but this is almost as easy to make at home as to order one at the KFC counter.