Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Quick Executive Lunch at Four Seasons

Recently I made a quick trip to The Lounge at Four Seasons Hong Kong to check out the seasonal truffles menu by the new Executive Chef of the hotel Andrea Accordi who joined the team a few months ago. Admittedly I am not here as often as I am at the other F&B outlet inside the hotel, but I do like the laid-back environment of this restaurant, tucked away at the lobby right next to the reception, for a much simpler set of dishes from their all-day dining menu.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: 3 Museums in a Day (Part 2)

At first I couldn't quite connect the dots between the recent opening of Snoopy Museum Tokyo and the timing of my weekend in town, but when I finally realize I could actually be visiting the museum in its first month of opening, I was quite excited, given this little beagle has always been the unofficial mascot of our household.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: 3 Museums in a Day (Part 1)

Having been to Tokyo for more than half a dozen times in the last couple of years, I am amazed there are still new things to do and new places to visit. I found out during this random weekend when I was in town again, there were a few museum exhibitions that I wanted to visit, so I spent the whole Sunday afternoon hopping through every one of them.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: Shake and Shack in Line

I expected it's probably going to be a crowd when I decided to check out Shake Shack, the first Asia outlet of the New York-based burger joint, inside Meiji Jingu Gaien Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, but I definitely didn't expect by the time I got there at 1pm, the waiting line got to 300 people deep, stretching outside the restaurant and well into the tree-lined path that ran along the park.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Kaiseki with a Modern Twist

Everyone walking into the long private room at La Bombance had the same reaction, totally drawn to the stunning unobstructed harbor and skyline view from the window and ignored other friends who already sat at the table. A couple weeks ago our friend CXB found out this new Japanese restaurant which opened in mid-May, so the nine of us decided to check it out a few Fridays ago.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: Aoyama's Farmers Market

Going to the farmers market gotta be one of my favorite things to do whilst visiting a city. To me that's my way of "feeling the vibe" of local culture or catching a glimpse of people's daily lives by observing what they shop for food.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: Breakfast at a Boulangerie

It's always an encouraging sign to see people waiting outside for the restaurant to open, and even more encouraging when that great smell of fresh bread coming out from an oven hit you as you walked in. I wonder if that was done intentionally to lure people in, but it definitely worked!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Restaurant with a Vision

A few of us went to NUR Restaurant recently to check out their latest tasting menu. Many of my friends like the food at the restaurant and its namesake chef Nurdin Topham's unique philosophy of food preparation, but this is only my first time setting foot at this place, which opened 2 years ago inside a commercial building on Lyndhurst Terrace, not far away from Lan Kwai Fong.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer Recipe: Southern Style Corn Fritters

While spending late evenings watching the French Open on TV a few weeks ago, I was looking to fix up something quick to munch on. That's when I saw the cob of corns in the refrigerator, the one that I left behind by accident after getting a few of them in the weekend farmer's market for my bento lunches.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: Sushi and Sake

I never planned the weekend in Tokyo to be a hardcore food trip per se - I wasn't even making any particular restaurant reservation until the week of departure. But I still thought I should at least do one proper sushi meal at some point during the weekend, so I made a dinner booking at this cozy sushi-ya in Ginza for Saturday evening.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Other Piedmontese Wines

"Which grape varietal do you think is the most-planted in Piedmont?" A winemaker from the region raised this question to the audience at a wine dinner I attended a couple weeks ago.

I was at the trendy restaurant Mr and Mrs Fox in Quarry Bay for this dinner hosted by Ms. Raffaela Bologna from the 3nd generation of the family-owned winery Braida, located just outside Asti in Piedmont region. She was trying to make a point that while Nebbiolo, the grape behind Barolo and Barbaresco wines, may be the better-known varietal in the region, there were other grapes that were as significant, if not more, to this important wine region in Northern Italy (the answer to the question is Moscato, by the way, and Nebbiolo only came as fourth or fifth, if I remembered correctly) Of course, that’s particularly relevant to Braida winery, as they are famous in producing wines with Barbera grapes, Piedmont’s other famous grape varietal.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: Hopping On and Off

"I sat in the last seat and watched the ancient houses passing close to the window. The tram almost touched the overhanging eaves. The laundry deck of one house had ten potted tomato plants, next to which a big black cat lay stretched out in the sun. In the garden of another house, a little girl was blowing soap bubbles. I heard an Ayumi Ishida song coming from somewhere, and could even catch the smell of curry cooking. The streetcar snaked its way through this private back-alley world."

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Less Hits and More Misses

Was a bit stressed at work so I decided at the last minute to treat myself to a nice sushi lunch. I heard good things about this small sushi-ya near Causeway Bay before so I gave them a call around noon to see they could accommodate me walking in to eat at such short notice, then took a quick tram ride over when the lady on the phone told me there's one spot available.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: Old School Beef Restaurant

My previous experience with the legendary Asakusa Imahan restaurant has been limited to the gyu-don bento box sold at consignment stalls inside department stores or some of those ready-made sauces on supermarket shelves bearing their name. But this time, as I was finishing up shopping at Kappabashi just a block away from their original restaurant, I decided to drop by for lunch.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Jean-Georges' Comfort Food

We were at Lan Kwai Fong on a Sunday night trying out a new restaurant on California Tower. Mercato, which opened its door on June 1. This outlet in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong represented a re-entry of New York-based Chef/Restauranteur Jean Georges Vongericheten to this city (since his previous Thai-French restaurant Vong closed its door at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong more than a decade ago), with a new casual dining concept similar to his other restaurants in a few cities around the world, notably the one in Shanghai and Vancouver with the same name.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Early Saturday Breakfast

I am probably one of the few in town who prefer the ambiance of MO Bar inside Landmark Mandarin Oriental during the day rather than at night. While most prefer hanging out at the trendy bar with the party-going, seen-and-be-seen crowd with DJ music in the background every evening from dusk til dawn, I actually like the quieter day-time setting, chilling and relaxing on the leather couches with mild sunshine beaming in through the window looking out to the busy Central streets.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: Morning in the Kitchen Town

I began the day wandering through the northern part of Tokyo on foot and later by streetcar, beginning in Asakusa (浅草), perhaps most famous with the giant red gate and lantern in front of Sensoji, perhaps one of the most recognizable tourist landmarks of Tokyo. It must have been years since I walked by this area and despite being early in the morning, the place was swamped with tourists eager to take a snap or fetching an item or two at one of the souvenir shops.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Delicious Lesson Learned

I must declare I knew absolutely nothing about Indonesian cuisine. With such diversity because of race, religion and cultural backgrounds for this fourth most populated country in the world, there's simply way too much to learn, so I was particularly grateful for the opportunity to explore a bit more about Indonesian food (and in a sense, their culture) with a presentation by a culinary expert on this subject followed by dinner at Kaum, the restaurant at the newly-opened Potato Head Hong Kong in Sai Ying Pun.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Few Good Rieslings

It’s been years since we last ate at One Harbour Road, the Chinese restaurant at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong by the Wanchai harborfront. I guess for us it’s a typical case of “out of sight, out of mind” place: while there’s nothing particularly bad about our previous experiences, it just never came up as a place we wanted to go back to.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: Izakaya at 1am

What sounded like a crazy idea of spending the weekend in Tokyo was made possible by the attractive "Fanfare" offer by Cathay Pacific plus a favorable flight schedule, allowing me to fly out early Friday evening and returning on a red-eye flight early Monday morning, giving me a full 50 hours on the ground. I have been joking about doing this for a while but it's only the first time I actually made this into reality.