Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Taichung Street Food Part 2: Markets Day and Night

"The Sixth Market" in Taichung is a farmer's market/food hall located inside an upscale shopping mall in the city center - so named because the other public food markets in Taichung was named by the number system from first to fifth.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Taichung Street Food Part 1: Local Breakfast

“Nei Rong Wai Dai?” (For here or to go?) is the phrase I heard most often as I was wandering through the morning markets in Taichung looking for something to eat. A quick 15-minute walk from my hotel I reached The Second Market, one of the traditional wet markets in the city famous for its cooked food stalls.

Friday, February 23, 2018

HAKU x Gallery VASK

It’s great to see so many familiar faces gathered upon Haku after Chinese New Year for a special tasting of the collaboration menu with the visiting chef Chele Gonzalez of Manila’s Gallery VASK. I have not been to Gallery VASK before but heard good things about Chef Gonzalez’s creative cooking in Spanish style but with a Filipino twist, so I was quite eager to check out the dishes he created specifically for this 2-day-only event alongside with Chef Agustin Balbi of Haku.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Urban Legend

Le Mout in Taichung City, Taiwan has been on my list of restaurant to try since forever and I have longed to try the cooking of the very talented Chef Lanshu Chen. So with a bit of free time at the turn of the new year, I made a quick trip there with a confirmed dinner reservation at the restaurant – probably a bit of exaggeration to say I came to Taichung just for the dinner at Le Mout but to a certain extent the dinner did play a big part of why I was spending a few days here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bilbao of the East

A few weeks ago I spent a few days in Taichung City, the second populous city in Taiwan (after Taipei, of course) on the western side of the island. The plan started off when I wanted to pay a visit to Le Mout, the fine-dining French restaurant located in the city which was considered one of Asia’s best, but the trip turned out to be more than just the dinner there. (the dinner will be on the next post, so stay tuned)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pop-up at PMQ

I really loved the concept of Taste Kitchen, providing venue and support for up-and-coming culinary talents local and overseas the opportunity to showcase their work as pop-up restaurants in their homebase at PMQ. And my hats off to my friends Joshua and Caleb of Twins Kitchen in making that happens. Recently I was there to check out the dishes by Chef Siam Sattayaphan of Fat Legs’ BBQ, who started as a private caterer of Thai-style grilled dishes and now taking a 2-week residence at the Taste Kitchen, serving Thai lunches and dinners.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Kinmedai no Yuanyaki

It’s an impulse buy when I picked up a whole kinmedai (goldeneye snapper) at the Kagoshima Fish Market in the morning just before I was taking the return flight home that afternoon. I was there to check out the shokudo there for a quick breakfast early morning, then after the meal I saw this beautiful fish lying on the bench at one of the market stalls. Since I was going to cook something for the potluck dinner back home the same evening (“with any goodies I found from the trip”, as I told the host P and S), I bought the fish, asked the fishmonger to separate the head and tail from the body and wrap everything nicely in an icepack, and I then put it in a stainless steel box in my check-in luggage.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Chicken Two Ways

If Ramen and Motsunabe were the Top 2 dishes best representative of Fukuoka, Yakitori is perhaps a close third. There’s no lack of choices for top Yakitori, or chicken skewers, restaurant in the city, my only problem was the lack of time to try them all. This time I happened to stumble across one near to my ryokan specializing in grilled chicken skin.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Unagi in Kagoshima

Almost every guide book on Kagoshima pointed visitors to Unagi no Sueyoshi restaurant as one of the must-go places to eat. This 80-year-old restaurant specializes in Kabayaki Unagi, or grilled freshwater eels which were sourced from the nearby Osumi Peninsula. In fact I didn’t know it’s one of the biggest production areas for this famous Japanese ingredients until I started to plan my trip, apparently with the underground water best suited for eel farming.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Town of Hot Sand Bath

After spending two nights in Fukuoka, I rode on the Kyushu Shinkansen train and headed south to Ibusuki, one of the many famous onsen town in Kagoshima prefecture. The ride turned out to be longer than I originally thought, with the 1.5 hour high-speed train ride getting me to Kagoshima City than another 1.5 hour on the slower commuter train along the coastline of Satsuma Peninsula to Ibusuki town on the southeastern tip.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Slurp-Worthy: Kagoshima Edition

To any ramen lovers, Kyushu is heaven for the region was known to be the birthplace of the Japanese noodle bowl and there’s no lack of shops – big or small – offering the bowl of hearty, comforting, high-quality noodles in soup served in a variety of condiments and styles. While the Hakata-style ramen, one rooted from Fukuoka in the north, was the more prevalent styles, partly thanks to a few popular chains opening up branches across Japan and overseas, there were others offering something different, like those in Kagoshima, the prefecture in south of Kyushu.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Slurp-Worthy: Fukuoka Edition

Of course whilst in Kyushu one has to stick in a ramen meal or two, as that is the very dish the region is perhaps most famous for. At home we are lucky to have a few famous Kyushu-based ramen shops setting up branches overseas over the last few years, but still, one never beat the bowls served in Kyushu, particularly Fukuoka which was considered to be the epicenter of ramen cuisine. And I was glad to have a couple that has not yet made their way to Hong Kong.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Traditional Sunday Roast

My friends and I am always bemoaning the lack of choice for Sunday roast around town, so I was quite excited when I heard Gough’s on Gough began offering the classic roast menu on Sundays recently, befittingly so for this new Contemporary British restaurant in the heart of Central, headed by the British chef Arron Rhodes.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Winter Menu at Summer Palace

It’s been a while since I last ate at Summer Palace at Island Shangri-la, so I was happy to be back for the new tasting menu presented by Chef Leung, the newly-appointed executive chef at the restaurant. In my mind, the restaurant was good at classic, tried-and-true Chinese dishes, mainly Cantonese but with a few from across the country, but this time Chef Leung introduced a few new courses to us which we enjoyed tremendously.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Snake Soup at Another Private Kitchen

I just realized it’s been more than a decade since I last ate at Ngor Je’s Private Kitchen… not since she moved to its current location in Sai Ying Pun as far as I remembered. Until a friend of ours organized a snake soup dinner there recently and asked us to join on a Sunday evening.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Lesson on Balsamic Vinegar

It was an educational experience when I came to Cucina a few weeks ago for a tasting session on Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena followed by a dinner with the very ingredient being the theme and paired with wines. Balsamic Vinegar was probably one of the most widely used yet most misunderstood condiments at any kitchen pantry so I was happy for the opportunity to learn more.