Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Bring Your Own Seafood

Dinner at one of those seafood restaurants in Saikung is our event of choice whenever we got out-of-town friends visiting Hong Kong. I guess there's nothing more iconic to what Hong Kong culture is about with a meal at a restaurant with live seafood picked fresh from the water tanks and cooked any way you want.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New at the Fringe

It’s strange that the space which once housed the legendary and popular M at the Fringe restaurant hasn’t quite found a long-term tenant able to bring it close to its heyday for almost a decade. Over the years we have seen changes from a café to art gallery to kitchen studio, all relatively short-lived, but the latest project did catch my attention and sounds promising, with a cozy restaurant specializing in Franco-Japanese cuisine.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Family Style Shunde Dinner

When our friend H and A asked whether we were free to join the dinner at Shun Tak Fraternal Association, we didn’t hesitate to say yes. It’s one of those private, members-only places in town that has quite a reputation in delivering authentic regional Chinese cuisine, with this one specializing in Shunde Cantonese cuisine.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The New Seasons

The restaurant Seasons at Lee Garden turned a new page recently with Chef Olivier departed (hence his name was dropped from the name of the restaurant) and taking his place is the new head chef Lorenz Hoja whose last stop was in Singapore with L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon there. I normally would wait a few menu iterations to let any new chef settled in before trying their food, but the restaurant’s PR team graciously extend an invitation to me to try some of his new dishes recently, so I guess it doesn’t hurt having a sneak preview.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Steakhouse Makeover

There's a constant carousal of restaurants opening and closing in Lan Kwai Fong's California Tower - just a fact of life in this highly competitive area in terms of F&B business. But this time it's a case of new wine in an old bottle, with the steakhouse Porterhouse recently got a new owner with the new makeover. I haven't been to the old Porterhouse before so I can't tell how dramatic was the change when I went for dinner recently, but I was assured those are changes for the good, replacing everything from the chef to the concept to the menu and to the tableware ("basically everything except the interior", I was told)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Touring Middle East 14: Kosher Dinner

Searching online for "Best Kosher Restaurant in Jerusalem" led us to Eucalyptus near the Old City. I felt one can't get a full grasp of Jerusalem cuisine without trying at least one proper Kosher meal, plus we were right in the middle of Jewish Sukkot celebration so it just seemed culturally appropriate doing so too. So one afternoon after returning from our sightseeing activities, I asked the hotel to make the booking for us for dinner at the restaurant in the same evening.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Touring Middle East 13: Italian in Jerusalem

We were out again for dinner in Jerusalem - this time with a bigger group of six fellow travelers in our group. As the evening fell under a special Sabbath day after sundown (as part of the Sukkot festival) and many restaurants closed early (it's Jewish tradition to fast during Sabbath), the hotel concierge recommended this non-Kosher Italian restaurant called Adom to us

Monday, November 20, 2017

Touring Middle East 12: The Walled Off Bethlehem

Of course, almost EVERY tourists who come to Jerusalem will spend at least half a day in Bethlehem, just a quick drive away from city center by distance. After all, this is the "little town" we sang about every Christmas (in whatever tunes you are familiar) with the video footage of the annual Christmas eve midnight mass at Basilica of Nativity being broadcast worldwide as the key event of Christmas celebration. This all traced back to Jesus Christ was born in this Judean town in a meager manger some 2000 years ago (Gospel of Luke 2:1-7), the event now known as "The Nativity of Jesus".

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Touring Middle East 11: Discovery by Accident

Machneyuda restaurant in Jerusalem checked every boxes of the type of place I would be dying to try - one specializes in local cuisine, with open kitchen, a creative team and menu which changes daily based on seasonal ingredients sourced from the market next door, not to mention it came highly recommended by just about every travel guide/website/reviews I managed to read before the trip.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Touring Middle East 10: Dinner at Chakra

We were curious to check out the Jerusalem dining scene the moment we arrived, despite this legendary town is probably better known for its political and religious significance than being a culinary destination. Once we checked in to our hotel after a long bus ride from the north and dropped our luggage in our room, we hopped on the tram to Jerusalem's city center, where it was packed like Causeway Bay with Orthodox Jews celebrating the festival of Sukkot.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sweet Wine and Cheese

A few weeks ago I was at a luncheon at On Dining in Central hosted by Sweet Bordeaux, the marketing consortium of 10 Bordeaux appellations.with production of sweet and semi-sweet wines. I am not a particular fan of the Wine and Dine Festival held this year at the Central Harbourfront (too crowded, too consumer-oriented) but this annual event did bring a number of overseas people in F&B industry with a string of special events on and off the venue including this one, with the theme of sweet Bordeaux wine and cheese pairing.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Reminiscent of Yester-year

I felt like going back to the college days when I walked into Morty's Deli in Wanchai with the familiar American diner décor and 90's and 00's music playing in the background. I walked by the restaurant a few times before but this is only my first visit - this time at the invitation of the restaurant and their PR team.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Crabs at Restaurant Petrus

I admit I don't come to Restaurant Petrus often - my last visit was more than a year ago - but I remembered my meal last time was pretty decent and since then I have been hearing good things about its chef Ricardo Chaneton’s cooking too. So I was pretty excited to come with some friends for a dinner earlier this week to try their special “Crabalicious” menu featuring a few crab dishes.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Light Sushi Lunch

I felt I needed a proper sushi lunch to satisfy my crave for Japanese food, so I made a booking at Sushi Wadatsumi in Sheung Wan for a Saturday afternoon. I have been to its predecessor, Sushi Iwa, in its old location before and thought it’s right in the middle of the pack, so I am curious how the restaurant fared, now that they have changed the name and moved to its current location in Sheung Wan, and managed to keep its Michelin star.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Touring Middle East 9: Walking Around the Local Market

It's unfortunate that we didn't spend quite enough time to explore the modern side of Jerusalem, as one can never see the full picture of this town so steep in history just by looking at century-old buildings and artifacts in the Old City and other religious sites in the proximity. We tried to spend as much free time as we could exploring on our own, but we probably hardly scratched the surface in such a short period of time.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Touring Middle East 8: The Old City Jerusalem

Obviously, we spent most of our time in Jerusalem in the Old City (and its surroundings), just like every tourists who come over to visit. There’s no other places with a longer, more colorful history (believed to be more than 3000 years old) yet relatively well preserved, despite being fought over again and again for the past 2000 years. First and foremost, this small walled enclave of slightly less than 1 square kilometer (just to give you some reference – Hong Kong Island is 80 times bigger) is the heart of much religious significance, whether you are Christian, Jewish or Muslim, and that’s our major reason why we were here – to visit some of those Holy Sites key to Jesus’ life, especially in the last days before He’s betrayed, arrested, crucified, buried and rose again.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Touring Middle East 7: Runaway Dinner in Tiberias

I (not so) secretly kept a list of places (well, mainly restaurants as you can imagine) I would like to visit on our own in case our group tour itinerary allowed any free time. So on one evening we (with our partner in crime T) made a side trip to a restaurant called Magdalena, which happened to be just 10 minutes away by car from where we were staying in Tiberias.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Touring Middle East 6: Following the Footsteps

For any "Christian pilgrim" itinerary, Galilee in the northern part of Israel is just as important a stop as Jerusalem. This is the place where Jesus grew up (in His hometown of Nazareth), where most His apostles were from, and many of His ministry works and miracles took place.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Touring Middle East 5: Crossing Jordan and Full Moon by the "Sea"

After spending 2 nights at Petra, we crossed the Jordanian border into the Palestinian-administered West Bank via Allenby Bridge (or King Hussein Bridge as the Jordanians call it) without much fanfare. This is no longer the most hostile border to cross (after the peace treaty signed between Jordan and Israel a couple decades ago) but traces of hostility remained with both sides still heavily armed and the no-man's land between the 2 countries stretching a couple kilometers with only a narrow road for authorized vehicles to cross with signs warning against mines along the way.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Beer Pairing Dinner

Recently I was at a dinner at Lobster Bar of Island Shangri-La featuring a beer-pairing menu with a few specialty bottles by the folks at Young Master Brewery. I have been a fan of this fast-expanding local craft brewery and think event like this benefits both the restaurant in offering something new to its customers and for the brewery to introduce its great products to a wider audience.