Monday, September 28, 2015

Dinner with a bunch of oldies

The idea of a special themed BYO dinner just came towards the end of our last BYO gathering at the end of August. This time it's been decided that the theme was going to be "Wines before 1990", and someone in our group came up of the idea of hosting the dinner at an equally old-ish restaurant The China Club. (Technically speaking the club was only opened in 1991 but the building itself - the Old Bank of China Building - certainly went way back, so that counts!)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Good to be home - OZONE x SUSHISAMBA Dinner

After spending a few days in Ho Chi Minh City walking in sweltering heat and feeding myself mostly on casual, street food, it was good for a change for my first meal back in Hong Kong. During the Moon Festival long weekend, Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is running a pop-up special menu at their OZONE restaurant, featuring the food and drinks from New York City's SUSHISAMBA restaurant, and they asked me to join them for a tasting on the first night of the event.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Breakfast at Blue Bar

As much as locals were obsessed with all-you-can-eat meals offered in many places around town, it seems like no one really paid attention to the breakfast buffets, as offered in most hotels, for a meal which some may argue as "the most important one of the day". Guess that's just something I would never understand, as I do enjoy hotel breakfasts, especially when I am traveling.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Back to School at SAAM

There were way too many restaurant openings in Hong Kong throughout the year, which inadvertently means some just never got on my radar. SAAM in Soho was one of them - I sort of heard about it when it opened late last year, but I never got around to check it out. But last week I was invited to a dinner tasting for their new seasonal menu.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ritz Carlton x Godiva Afternoon Tea

The hiatus from 9-to-5 work afforded me to do things I wouldn't be able to do before - like having a leisurely afternoon tea on a weekday. Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is running a 3-month-long promotion with a crossover afternoon tea menu at Cafe 103 starting in October, featuring the chocolates and goodies from Godiva, and we were given a sneak preview one weekday afternoon.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Quick Meal in Central

Last week I had the opportunity of having lunch at Lai Bun Fu, one of the new-ish boutique Chinese restaurants in Central. The restaurant is located on "On Lan Street" just a block away from Lan Kwai Fong, sharing the same building as a few fine new western restaurants.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lazy Beachside Lunch

This probably sounded like a humble brag, but recently one of my favorite pastimes has been hanging out at Repulse Bay on a weekday. In the past I always thought the beaches on the south side of the island were too crowded and too far away, plus I am not exactly a beach person so there isn't much to do there, but turned out on a weekday when there's little traffic, it's only a quick 20 minute drive from home, and even with scores of tourists making whistle stop at the sightseeing spots occasionally, the place is relatively quiet and orderly, and there are ample parking available even on the street meters. And most important of all, inside the new shopping complex The Pulse right by the beach, there are numerous new restaurants and cafes providing decent choices as far as food and drink are concerned.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Restaurant Opening - El Mercado

To be honest, I have never heard of the term "Nikkei Cuisine" until an invitation arrived in my inbox for a dinner tasting at El Mercado, a new restaurant in town serving this unique culinary specialty, a crossover between Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. My knowledge of Peruvian cooking was limited to ceviche and perhaps some fusion dishes created by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, probably the most famous Nikkei chef gaining worldwide fame with the chain of his namesake restaurants, before the proliferation of the term "Nikkei Cuisine".

Friday, September 11, 2015

Eating and Drinking at a Popup Bar

Of course, there were numerous occasions that we are more than willing to go the distance to try out the best restaurants, cafes or bars in far away places, but it's also nice when some of them come to you instead, saving us all the hassles. A few days ago I was at MO Bar at Landmark Mandarin Oriental, checking out the food and drink at a popup by the visiting gang from Employees Only, a speakeasy-style bar/restaurant in New York City's West Village, which is now ranked one of the world's best.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Be full and drunk

There's an old Cantonese saying "Eat, drink and be full and drunk" (飲飽食醉) which we often used to describe a perfect meal. Of course, there's some merit to that - after all we belong to a culture which treats feasting as the most important social activity, and how can one be completely satisfied if there's no sufficient food or drink on the table for everyone? But then, it seems to be too easy if all we needed were a full stomach and a light-headed mind - even a few bowls of plain rice and a bottle of cheap vodka would have done the job. So what constitutes a perfect meal?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sukiyaki at Mishima-tei

I knew the only chance I could get a table at Mishima-tei, the Kyoto restaurant specialized in beef dishes, without a reservation was to go for an early lunch just when the restaurant opens, so I did exactly that. We have been here for dinner previously and loved their food and the whole experience of dining inside the old building, and my sudden craving for beef brought me back here last month when I was in town again.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Shoku at The Pulse

Lately there seemed to be quite some buzzes from this new shopping/dining premise called The Pulse at Repulse Bay, featuring a few new and interesting restaurants, many of which received excellent reviews. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try one of them, a Japanese restaurant called Shoku, at a dinner organized by their PR team.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Koyasan Experience Part 2: The Art of Shojin Ryori

True, during my stay in Koyasan I was impressed by its beautiful scenery, stunningly magnificent architecture and interesting lodging facilities, but it's their unique cuisine which drew me here in the first place. With its religious background, Koyasan is known for Shojin Ryori (精進料理), the art of vegetarian fine dining.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Koyasan Experience Part 1: Hostel and Temple Lodging

After Kyoto, I set off for a few days of tranquility at Koyasan (高野山), a secluded mountainous area in Wakayama Prefecture, about 3 hours away by train. Koyasan, or Mount Koyu, is considered a sacred site for the Japanese Shingon Buddhism, founded by monk Kobo Daishi who built the first temple on the mountain in the year 826 AD after returning from China in Tang Dynasty. Since then, over 100 temples were built in the area and now it has become a major pilgrim site, or for me, a perfect place for time of retreat and to enjoy the beauty of mother nature. I am also interested in touring around this UNESCO World Heritage site and experience their unique cuisine.