Thursday, March 29, 2018

Whimsical Bar at IFC Mall

Recently I was at Dear Lilly, a new restaurant/bar concept on the rooftop of the IFC Mall, and it did change my impression somewhat of restaurants under the Dining Concept group in general. I don’t know what this site was before, but with the setting like a glasshouse right in the top shopping mall with unobstructed view of the Hong Kong skyline, you already got half the winning formula to be the popular place for anything from leisure lunch to afternoon tea to happy hour drinks. They don’t take reservations, and by the time we arrived, there’s already quite a waiting line for people wanting a drink and a bite, and some were just happy to take a snap of the romantic interior on their mobile phone.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Restaurant Makeover

Earlier this month I came to check out the “new” restaurant Theo Mistral at Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hotel in TST East. I don’t remember when’s the last time I set foot in this hotel, nor what the original Mistral Restaurant looked like before the recent renovation and the introduction of Theo Randall as the new consultant chef (hence the name change), but I like the casual setting and open dining space with full view of the open kitchen on the side… just like what a contemporary trattoria should be like.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Exploring the Garment District

The neighborhood of Shum Shui Po could be different things to different people – to computer and electonics geeks, this is the place where they fetch the latest gadgets inside the legendary Golden Arcade, or at one of the outdoor stalls on the block of Ap Liu Street; there’s also a street dedicated to toys, dai pai dong/street food, Chinese dessert soups and many more. And on the other side of this old commercial/residential mixed neighborhood, there were a few blocks of shops for fabrics and all garment accessories – there were specialty shops for everything from buttons to ribbons to threads and needles and more, carrying down from the days when this is where all the garment factories were.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Springtime Kaiseki

There may be plenty of Japanese restaurants in town, a lot of them more than decent, but there aren't many that specialize in the formal kaiseki-ryori, let alone ones that did it right. I have heard Kashiwaya belong to this rare group of good kaiseki restaurants and recently I finally had a chance to visit this Michelin-starred establishment for the first time and check out some of their new seasonal dishes.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Afternoon After

It just so happened that after drinking Petrus one evening, the next day I was at Restaurant Petrus the restaurant on Island Shangri-la for a lovely Sunday lunch with their PR team. With the foggy sky looming our city all morning, I was surprised it has cleared up significantly just as we arrived at the restaurant, making our window-side round table on the top floor of the hotel particularly comfortable with the perfect view of the city skyline. Plus it's always such a pleasure to dine at such an elegant and classic dining room.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Breakfast, plus Lunch, and more for Dinner

The waiting line was considered short and manageable when it "only" got to 15 people deep on a Saturday morning – that’s how popular our friend Gregoire’s bakery bakehouse has quickly become since it opened late last year. All of a sudden everyone is now craving for freshly baked pastries and bread and swamped the place. It’s not uncommon to see long line all day long 6 days a week with eager customers trying to score one of the goodies out of the oven.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Memorable Wine (and Dine) Night

When our friend T and A were so kind to offer to share their prized bottle of Chateau Petrus with all of us, we turned this into an evening of even more bottles to match, with everyone contributed to this extraordinary wine flight. For a few previous occasions I have enjoyed the outstanding ambiance and food and wine service at my another friend Mr Y’s business venture Hip Cellar/AnOther Place, so this time I again booked one of the private rooms for a Saturday dinner to go with our wines.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lunch with Fukuoka Ingredients

Recently I was at Whisk at The Mira for a Friday lunch featuring a special menu with ingredients coming from Fukuoka, working in conjunction with a guest chef from the region. There’s no lack of fresh ingredients from Kyushu and the nearby waters, especially the area surrounding Fukuoka in the north being the center of this southern-most main island of Japan, so I think Chef Oliver from Whisk and guest chef Yasuhiro Yamada from Fukuoka’s Hakata House restaurant has the easiest task of turning all these wonderful produce, meat and seafood into a fabulous tasting menu available at the restaurant for a limited time in March.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Festive Baos

We were hosting breakfast at church for about 70 people for a second time at the end of February and this time I experimented with a new recipe – or rather, a traditional one with a slight twist. I always prefer a hot breakfast over the usual cold pastries, especially during winter and the first time we did a steamed gua-bao with pork belly with some success (at least I think most people seem to like it), so I thought we would do an encore, except this time I am going to make one in red color, something I called the “Chinese New Year Special Edition”.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Celebrity Chef Dinner - Eating at Ding's Kitchen

It’s hardly a surprise that this new private kitchen called “Ding’s Kitchen” in Causeway Bay became the talk of the town lately as owner/chef Steve Lee (aka Ding Yeh 鼎爺 or Grandpa Ding) ran a hugely popular cooking show “Grandpa Kitchen” (阿爺廚房) on local TV, showcasing some impressive techniques in old-school Cantonese cuisine. The menu at his restaurant didn’t come cheap by any means, but tables were snapped up quickly since it opened late last year, with many eager customers/fans/groupies wanting to try the dishes they saw on the show and to see him cooking in person.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Following Our Tradition

We followed our “long-time family tradition” of eating at Caprice of Four Seasons Hong Kong during the long Chinese New Year holiday to kick-off another year of feasting and drinking. It was a pity that we didn’t get to meet chefs Guillaume and Nicolas at the restaurant this time as both were on leave on that day, but his sous chef Suveg Kavatkar and the teams took good care of us with a well-delivered, sumptuous meal.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Italian Lunch on Valentine's Day

Right before Chinese New Year (on Valentine’s Day, to be exact) I was at Octavium, the private kitchen of Chef Umberto Bombana, for a tasting they hosted for media to introduce the new lunch menu to be launched starting in March. I loved the experience of this relatively new restaurant (opened in July last year) in my last outing here so I was pretty excited to check out some new dishes in their expanded menu, some 6 months later after its opening.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Back to Nikushou

I made a return visit to Nikushou recently not long after my first just before Christmas. And this time another group of friends joined, and we again left the menu entirely to our friend Anthony who owns the place. We had a lot of seafood last time including a couple of seasonal crab dishes, but this time we focused on their out-of-this-world beef dishes.

Friday, March 2, 2018

No-brainer Dimsum

I woke up one Saturday morning wanting dimsum. Seventh Son in Wanchai was not the first restaurant came to my mind, but a few phone calls later, we got a table there at noon and there we went. It’s probably our first time coming over for lunch and it’s surprisingly not crowded at all, unlike other Chinese restaurants at this time of the day.