Thursday, March 30, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: Omi Beef Lunch

Shiga Prefecture is famous for its Omi beef (近江牛). This premium breed, named after the ancient name of Shiga, is known as the top 3 wagyu breeds in Japan along with Matsusaka beef from Mie and Kobe beef from Hyogo. So of course we wouldn't want to miss the opportunity of getting a taste of the beef while spending our time in Shiga as part of our weekend getaway.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: Onsen by the Lake

Early spring may not be the best season to visit Lake Biwa region (it's much more popular during summer time), but we wanted a quick getaway to somewhere nearby after spending 2 nights in Kyoto. So we hopped onto the train and spend a night at a lakeside onsen resort in Ogoto-onsen in Shiga Prefecture, on the west side of the Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: Her Choice, and then Mine

One of my regrets for the trip being too short was not able to spend more time checking out the buzzing café scene in Kyoto this time. Nonetheless we did have the opportunity to check out two that were high on each of our must-visit list.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Reunion Dinner at The Chairman

It was a long overdue reunion for the H gang so we managed a quick dinner meet-up at The Chairman one Tuesday evening. The place just slipped out of our mind for a while for whatever reasons so I am curious how their food fare since our last visit.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Taste of Hong Kong"

We were at the Central Harborfront to check out Taste of Hong Kong 2017 on their first evening of opening. To be honest I wasn't 100% convinced of the whole concept of this food event, now in its second year, bringing about a bunch of high-end restaurants in a food truck park-like setting, then calling this collectively "Taste of Hong Kong". But then when I was offered a pair of free tickets by the kind marketing team of Sheraton Hong Kong, I thought it's worth dropping by to see for myself. Plus this gave me some incentive to get out of office early and the weather was perfect for making the casual stroll to the space next to the Observation Wheel where tents and booths were set up for the 4-day event.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sunday Brunch Alfresco

The unintentional series of Sunday brunches continues, this time at Seasons in Causeway Bay's Lee Garden. With such mild and pleasant weather now that winter is (almost) officially over, we couldn't have picked a better day to sit outside at the terrace of the restaurant in the midst of a busy shopping district and chill. I have been to this place a couple of times in recent months and enjoyed many of Chef Olivier's dishes here, and this latest promotion obviously struck a chord with many local customers, as it was packed on the day of our visit.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: Cooking at Our Temporary Home

One of the main reasons of renting a house rather than staying in a hotel was to have the opportunity to spend more time eating in rather than dining out all the time during our quick weekend getaway in Kyoto. I am always fascinated at the variety and quality of food ingredients found in the area, so I thought it will be interesting to actually cook with whatever I came across in the market at the time of our visit.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: Plum Blossom

Mid-February is way too early for the annual cherry blossom festivities but we arrived at Kyoto right on time for the prime plum blossom season. These days, plum blossom might not get as much attention as the cherry blossom, which came later in mid-spring, but to me that means it’s less crowded but just as beautiful when the red or white plum flowers lined the street or park.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: Shokudo in a Temple

We dropped by D&Department Kyoto on Saturday afternoon to do some shopping and have lunch there. D&Department Project is an fascinating concept being a social advocate for re-cycling, preserving traditional industries and designs and promoting local culture and food through shops, publications and exhibitions under the theme of “Long Life Design”… think of it as a combination of Monocle and Slow Food and pretty much resonate everything I have a fond interest in. So to me visiting their shops around the country is like a pilgrimage of sorts.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: First Time in a Sento

We were "forewarned" that the house we rented did not come with a bath tub but only a shower room. It's not a problem for us at all as the shower facility turned out to be absolutely spacious and comfortable. But we still managed to get a good soak in the hot tub after a long day’s walk while in Kyoto - in an old-fashioned neighborhood sento (銭湯) just 5 minutes away on foot.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: Gion Matayoshi

I made only one restaurant reservation this time in Kyoto - partly because the trip was rather short and partly because by the time we started planning only a couple of weeks before the trip, many places we wanted to go were fully-booked. But at the end we loved our experience dining at this small kappou restaurant at Gion on our first evening in town.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chinatown Style Dinner

Not in a thousand years would I have guessed dragon-i actually has a full dinner menu. With proper tableware set up and all for a traditional Chinese meal (in addition to other bar food and Japanese-style dishes). While during late night this place up on Wyndham, which for years have been the mecca of Hong Kong nightlife and the ultimate seen-and-be-seen venue, could get real lively, at dinner hour it was actually quiet and cozy – you can almost hear the pin dropped on the floor. That I didn't know before until I came over to eat recently. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Rustic Alsatian Duet

I was at Brasserie on the Eighth at The Conrad last Friday for a pop-up dinner featuring the chef couple Cyril Bonnard and Marie Wucher from Hotel Le Parc in Alsace. With most French restaurants at the hotels around town mostly of the fine-dining style, Brasserie on the Eighth stood out to be something different, in a more casual, brasserie/bistro style but with the same level of seriousness about cooking and serving authentic French cuisine.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: Tempura at the Counter

We tried our luck in getting a couple of seats at the counter of Tempura Yoshikawa for lunch without a booking and glad we were seated right away when we arrived after the morning visit to Nijo Castle a couple of blocks away. The kitchen primarily serves the guests of their 8-room ryokan, but it also serves lunch at a cozy 11-seat counter inside a wooden house next door.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Feb-ulous Kyoto: A Short Getaway

We didn't confirm our Kyoto vacation until 2 weeks before the departure date so we were a bit tight in putting all the travel arrangements in order. Luckily with such a short trip and having no particular plan in mind it's not that big of a problem. After having the flight confirmed (flying with Peach this time, as we always do since I love their flight schedules between HKG and KIX), we then tried to sort out the accommodation part, and at the end went for something different this time by taking the option of short-term house rental instead of hotel.