Thursday, March 26, 2015

Goût de France at Epure

If there is one thing the French did better than the rest of the gastronomy world, it's the way they treasure and celebrate their traditional cuisine. This year, Chef Alain Ducasse, along with the French government, started the Goût de France project (dubbed Good France in English - don't ask me why it wasn't a straight translation) to celebrate such culinary heritage with a grand event worldwide, inspired by the "Epicurus Dinners" initiated by the legendary Auguste Escoffier over a hundred years ago.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For many years, I kept at least 2 different bottles of olive oil at home - the "regular" one for cooking and the "extra virgin" one for garnishing, as salad dressing or basically for any other uses not involving heat. I am sure many of you did exactly the same, because we have been told time and time again that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not suitable for cooking, and in fact, harmful to you.

I decided to dig deeper on this topic mainly for one practical reason - I used up my regular olive oil a couple weeks ago while having a few virgin and extra virgin ones sitting in the kitchen. It sounded stupid to left my pricier (and presumably better) extra virgin oil slowly turning stale on the shelf while replenishing the cheaper oil for cooking. And what I found out actually surprised me.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Beer and Kushiyaki

We walked down the stairs feeling a bit tipsy from "Battle of the Brews", a beer tasting event organized by Beertopia, which featured some 30 craft beers from around the world with live music performance at The Space in Sheung Wan. With the effect of the malt and the hops and the alcohol kicked in, we felt like needing something to eat so my friend suggested this new Japanese Izakaya place near Lan Kwai Fong.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Since 1757 - Ristorante del Cambio

What happened when you put in a chef specialized in progressive cooking in the kitchen of a restaurant with a long history and known for traditional cuisine? We were there to find out when we made a booking for Sunday lunch at Ristorante del Cambio in Turin during our trip to Piedmont last fall.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Let's make some brownies!

Many have said the most difficult part in baking is the precision in measurement. Well no doubt there are solid grounds for that reasoning since baking is more of a science and there are certain rules that need to be strictly followed, especially for stuff like bread or certain types of cakes. But there are baked goods that are more forgiving than the others - and brownies is one of them. Of course every small things you changed will still make a noticeable difference in the end products, but in brownies, those differences are often acceptable. Maybe that's why I love making them at home since there's less pressure on getting everything right all the time.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Amber's Weekend Wine Lunch

We realized we haven't come to Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental often enough recently, despite having very high regards of the restaurant and being an admirer of Chef Richard Ekkebus' cooking, striking that delicate balance between classic French cuisine and innovative, Asian-inspired ingredients and techniques. So when our friends asked us to join them for lunch on a recent Saturday, we didn't hesitate to say yes and even pushed aside a few other things on our schedule to make it possible.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Six Courses of Wonderful at Tin Lung Heen

Last Wednesday evening I was at Tin Lung Heen, the Cantonese restaurant at Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong at their marketing team's invitation, both to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and to check out their new special spring menu designed with the theme of tea.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Restaurant Week at Town

Our past experiences with Restaurant Week in Hong Kong were a bit mixed. While some were amazing, offered us excellent food and showcased the best they could offer, some were just happy to lure you in then gave you okay dishes with okay ingredients, not expecting you would ever return again. But last Friday we were at Chef Bryan Nagao's Town restaurant in Causeway Bay taking advantage of this year's Restaurant Week promotion and had a pretty good meal there.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Avant-garde Dinner at The Ritz Carlton

It was pure coincidental that I was having my second Spanish - or more accurately Catalan - dinner in less than a week. A few days after spending the evening at Catalunya Hong Kong, I was on top of The Ritz Carlton at the preview dinner featuring Barcelona-born Chef Alain Devahive Tolosa who's touring Asia with a special menu available for a few days in early March at the hotel's OZONE bar and lounge on the 118th Floor.