Monday, January 29, 2018

Retail Therapy

I was surprised that it snowed and sleeted, at times heavily, during my stay in Kyushu, especially during my first stop in Fukuoka. That means I ended up spending more time indoors, shopping and chilling in a much slower pace, which was not bad an alternative, given I didn't have anything particular in mind to go or do anyway.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Quick Sushi Lunch in Fukuoka

I was more into casual street food whilst in Kyushu for my recent trip but I did go for one simple sushi lunch in Fukuoka nonetheless. Sushi Kawasho is an old sushi restaurant opened in 1947 now with 2 branches, one in Nishi-nakasu district and another, one that I went, inside Hotel Nikko near Hakata train station.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Motsunabe for One

I have been craving for motsunabe since I planned for the Kyushu trip a few months ago. This Kyushu specialty hotpot with beef or pork tripes and intestines was the perfect comfort food in the cold winter, combining the rich and fatty offals with an equally rich and steaming broth served in the traditional nabe pot. We had a great one during our last outing to Fukuoka a couple of years ago, and I intended to do the same this time with the weather more suitable for this kind of food.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Staying in a Cozy Ryokan

I didn’t expect Kyushu would be this cold when I made the trip there a couple of weeks ago to kick off the year 2018, with a nasty mixture of rain and sleet coming down hard just as I cleared immigration and custom at Fukuoka and tried to make my way to the ryokan I was staying in. This time I was staying two nights at this lovely place called Zen Oyado Nishitei (いつも膳・お宿 西亭旅館), a bit off the beaten track (about a 10 minute walk from the nearest metro station).

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Meeting Maria

When I heard my favorite tennis player Maria Sharapova was going to start her 2018 season with the tournament in Shenzhen in early January, I felt a trip up there was in order. So with the help of my friend, I bought the ticket for the game and with a bit of a minor drama (had to fight back from one-set down in the previous round), she made it through to the Quarter Final, which was the round I was attending.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Middle East Inspired Recipes

Our trip to Jordan and Israel a few months ago didn’t turn us into a fan of falafels but we did enjoy a few new dishes and food ingredients while we were there, and I decided to do a Middle East-inspired menu during our Christmas and New Year celebration at home. And since I realized I haven’t done a recipe post for a while so I am going to share what I did for my main course.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Okay Omakase Lunch

Some sudden craving for sushi led us back to Sushi Ta-ke in Causeway Bay just as we began our Christmas long weekend. I was actually surprised that I could get two seats at the counter for lunch at this usually popular restaurant when I called just an hour in advance – I suppose half of the people in town must have left for the holidays elsewhere. The place was quite full when we got there for our late lunch, and we were led to the seats towards the end of the long sushi counter near where their Executive Chef Mitsuhashi-san was working.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sequel to a Bar Pop-up

We have to keep reminding ourselves it's not Friday just yet when we were sipping drinks at MO Bar at the Landmark Mandarin the week before the Christmas long weekend. The New York City-based speakeasy bar PDT (short for Please Don't Tell) is taking up permanent residence at the hotel soon but before that, they hosted one last pop-up at MO Bar for a preview of what they are going to offer.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Artistic Tasting Menu

I feel like trekking to a whole new world when we stopped by Sai Wan/Shek Tong Tsui on the west side one evening before Christmas. The aging community filled with rows of decades-old "Tong Lau" (run-down tenement buildings) was gentrified to be an up-and-coming, hipster neighborhood with high-end apartment buildings, cafes, bars and restaurants, including COBO House which was our destination this time.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Festive Get-Together

Amidst all the celebrations and dinners in this festive season, it's a mini miracle that we managed to find one night before Christmas to get together when everyone's free and available and check out some new dishes at Nicholini's by the new chef Riccardo Catarsi.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Restaurant Next Door

Ask any food enthusiast what their favorite Chinese restaurants are and you probably won’t hear the name "Sang Kee" mentioned too often, but it’s one of those neighborhood, hole-in-the-wall places that delivered excellent family-style dishes night in and night out for as long as one could remember (some 40 years, to be exact)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Surf n Turf with the Meat Master

"Let's do Surf n Turf at my restaurant!", my friend A was suggesting the other day so I joined a few other friends to come to his restaurant in Causeway Bay called Nikushou for a sumptuous meal with beef and seafood, done Japanese style.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Celebration at VEA

I was surprised at how packed the dining room of VEA was when I walked in for my dinner reservation on a random Monday night, which was usually the quietest day of the week for restaurants. I have been back to the place a few times for drinks and snacks since my first visit when they opened a little more than two years ago but never sat down for their proper dinner menu since that time so I figured this is a good excuse to do that as part of our annual celebration.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Basque Guest Chef

What a change it has been since the last time we experienced Chef Eneko Atxa's cooking at his flagship restaurant Azurmendi near Bilbao - when he only began to be on the radar of foodies around the world as a promising young Basque chef having just received his second Michelin star for his restaurant. We still remembered that meal as the highlight of our Catalan/Basque trip in the most beautiful setting. Now almost 7 years later, Azurmendi is on its fifth year holding on firmly to the most prestigious 3 Michelin stars, been voted one of the world's top 50, moved to a new location nearby, opened another Michelin-starred restaurant next door, and since then Chef Eneko's wings have spread as far as ventures in Phuket (now defunct), London and Tokyo.