Monday, November 28, 2016

Second Day of Business - Frantzén's Kitchen

We have never been to his restaurants nor tried his cooking before, while our friend V has been there three times including once when he’s doing a pop-up at Landmark Mandarin a few years ago, but all of us were excited to be sitting inside Chef Bjorn Frantzen’s new restaurant in Hong Kong on its second day of business, eager to try out his dishes at what many dubbed as the restaurant opening of the year in town.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weekend Pottery Bazaar

For all ceramics lovers, the weekend creative bazaar organized by The Pottery Workshop (樂天陶社) Jingdezhen should be on their must-do list if they happened to be in town. The organization Pottery Workshop is relatively well-known in Hong Kong, having set up their old workshop facilities at The Fringe Club in Central in 1980s before moving to their new site on Hollywood Road just last year.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Taoxichuan Art Park

Looking at the picture of the Taoxichuan (陶溪川) complex, the latest development project in central Jingdezhen (景德鎮), one might have mistaken it to be some gentrified art and culture space sprouted in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei or even Hong Kong to a lesser extent.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Before we said "Au Revoir"

A group of friends love Serge et Le Phoque in Wanchai a lot so we came over for dinner again one Sunday evening to say goodbye, as the team planned to close the restaurant to move to London next year.

Despite the somewhat eccentric location in the midst of a local market, with fishmonger and butchers' stall lining alongside the narrow street leading to the restaurant, the place has always been popular since its opening a few years ago, leading the way to a few other restaurant openings in this neighborhood. It was packed as usual on the day of our visit, showing no sign of slowing down despite the pending closure in slightly less than 2 months.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Stranded in the Ceramics Valley

We were hopelessly stranded in a small ceramics shop/café in the Sanbao Valley art village when the rain which started slightly after lunch turned into a full-fledged storm. Luckily, a vacant taxi came to rescue after some point, we jumped right in and headed straight to Sanbao Ceramics Art Institute, a few kilometers down along the meandering road deep into the woods in the Sanbao Valley, for some much needed refuge.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Week in Jingdezhen

I took on an unusual trip to the town of Jingdezhen (景德鎮) late last month, as part of the “study tour” in ceramics making. Well I have been taking pottery classes for a few months already, and the studio I learned from organizes such tour regularly. And the timing was just perfect this time when the tour schedule fell right during the two weeks I was on leave in between work assignments, so I jumped on the chance to travel to an unfamiliar place to do something different.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Picking up a new hobby

“What I like best is the challenge of learning something I didn't know how to do, going beyond my comfort level.” - Ruth Reichl.

Recently I picked up a new hobby of ceramics making. I am always fascinated at the intrinsic relationship between crockery and culinary arts, a concept especially running deep in Asian culture, made famous by the likes of Kitaoji Rosanjin, a influential Japanese foodie/chef/artist.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Crabby Feast

The crab feast at Shanghai Fraternity Association has become some sort of ritual for us during the hairy crab season, courtesy of our friend A and C who asked us to join them and their other friends every year. We always made the best effort to make sure we could join, clearing up our schedule, pushing back any travel plan if needed – well, you got the idea.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tosca x Cracco

I couldn't believe twice I walked by Chef Carlo Cracco's namesake restaurant in Milan in my previous trips and twice I didn't manage to walk in and pay a visit. After all Cracco is considered one of the top restaurants in town by the Michelin Guide (which gave it 2 stars) and Chef Cracco was highly-regarded for his avant-garde style, offering a twist using traditional ingredients with some of his innovative cooking techniques, not to mention his numerous cookbooks, TV appearances etc making him one of the best known Italian chefs.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Exquisite Tasting Court

Everyone was a bit concerned with the amount of dishes we were having after seeing the long menu for our dinner at Tasting Court, a private kitchen located in the quiet residential neighborhood of Happy Valley. But we went ahead as originally planned after our foodie friend C and J sorted out the menu and rounded up 12 of us altogether to share the table, for a total of 15 courses.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Steak and Pommes Weekend Brunch

It seems like ages ago being away for a week but we had a great casual brunch at Atelier Vivanda, a French bistro by Chef Akrame Benallal in Wanchai, just before I left. Located on Ship Street just a few shops down from Chef Akrame’s other restaurant, Atelier Vivanda is a lot more easy-going in style, with an open dining area with wooden tables and chairs, and a bar/open kitchen on one side.