Monday, May 28, 2018

Casual Italian Feast

I walked into Gia Trattoria at Fenwick Pier right on time to catch the last glimpse of the colorful sunset from the window in the dining area. The view from the restaurant may have been blocked partially by the on-going construction outside, but it's still one of the best in town looking over both sides of the harbor. Though it’s been a while since my last visit here, I love what they are doing delivering excellent home-style, traditional Italian dishes, either at this restaurant, or at Giando near Pacific Place, or the Mercato store downstairs that I often came for their excellent selection of Italian groceries and fresh produce.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Another Birthday Celebration

Courtesy of some cash coupons I received as part of my bank charge card, I thought we should visit One Harbour Road at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong for dinner some time so we could take advantage of the discount. And we have just the right occasion for this – to celebrate mom’s birthday over a meal there.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Izakaya Dinner Near Airport

Of course, one might argue that just because the restaurant is close to the fish market doesn’t guarantee the best quality of ingredients nor the finest seafood cuisine being served, but no doubt they have the geographical advantage of having access to some of the freshest. To tourists and shopaholics, the area near to Osaka’s Kansai Airport is probably better known for the Rinku Outlet Town for those wanting to fetch a bargain, but the Izumisano Fish Market was also just as famous, for being the major trading spot for fresh seafood in the region, and as an extension, home to many restaurants that offer decent seafood dishes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Marriott in an Onsen Town

CYY gave me the funny look when I told her we have booked the room at Marriott during our onsen trip to Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture. “I thought we were going to stay in a ryokan, no?” – well as it turned out most decent properties in this resort town were medium-sized hotels I thought we may as well check out the Nanki-Shirahama Marriott, which is one of the newest in the area, opened just late last year after the rebranding and renovation under the Marriott brand.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Unexpected Hanami

We didn’t really plan our holidays around the spring sakura season so we considered ourselves lucky to have caught an early glimpse of the blossoming cherry flowers while touring around Wakayama Prefecture in late March right before the Easter long weekend. Wakayama on the south-west side of Kii Peninsula may not be as popular a destination for sakura viewing, or hanami in Japanese, as Kyoto or even Osaka nearby, there were quite a few spots where cherry trees were planted, which gradually turned into a sea of pinks and whites beginning at around late March and peaked in early April.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Classic Steakhouse Dinner

Late last month I was at Grand Hyatt Steakhouse checking out the new menu introduced by their new head chef Fernando Gojan. The restaurant is now one of the few hotel steakhouse remaining in town, featuring a classic menu with focus on “artisanal” beef from ranches around the world, plus seafood, all the sides and desserts, as what you would see in any high-end steakhouses.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Midair Grand Finale

Getting a wake-up call at 4:30 in the morning was not something I particularly looked forward to, but the reason why I was up that early is. I concluded my 5 quick days in Myanmar with a bang by getting on a hot-air balloon on my last day in Bagan, just before I took the morning flight back to Yangon and then home the same evening. I have never been in a hot-air balloon before in my life, nor I saw one up close in person, and looking at those iconic pictures of the giant balloon flying over the pagodas in almost every guide book and travel site, I couldn’t think of a better place to do it for the first time than in this picturesque town.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Eating in Bagan

Food was not the main reason I travelled to Bagan for but turned out I did have a couple lovely meals while I was there. Lunch was not included in my private tour package but the tour guide Mr B recommended this place called Starbeam Bistro to me, saying they served the best bread out of Bagan. Well, for a town traditionally more into rice and noodles than bread, that’s hardly something worth bragging about I thought, but I went along with it.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Day in Bagan Part 2: Shopping, More Temples and Sunset

Earlier I requested my tour guide Mr B to show me some shops for lacquerware, so we went to one just before lunch in Myinkaba, or the Bamboo Village, an area near Old Bagan filled with small workshops/ateliers for lacquerware, which Bagan was most famous for other than its sights.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Day in Bagan Part 1: Parade, Market and Temples

As I was planning for my Myanmar trip, I decided to add on another stop other than Yangon when I realized it would be tricky to fit enough things to do/see for 5 days in the city. So I asked for assistance from a local travel agency to help make arrangement for a side trip to Bagan, the ancient capital of the country in the north with deep history and beautiful sights.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Au Revoir Not Goodbye

Over the years we have become huge fans of Chef Nicolas Lambert with his marvelous dessert creations at Caprice of Four Seasons Hong Kong, so it’s not without a sense of sadness when our hunch was confirmed that he’s moving on to bigger and greener pasture, out of Hong Kong. After learning that he would be around for 3 more days at the Caprice kitchen in late April (he’s been travelling before then), we made a booking for lunch on one of those afternoons just to try more of his desserts at the restaurant, and more importantly, to say farewell to our dear friend in person.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Comforting Dimsum Lunch

It must been passing down from family, but I always found dimsum dishes to be my ultimate comfort food. Many times there’s nothing more satisfying than a steamed basket of simple har gau (shrimp dumplings) or siu mai (pork dumplings) appearing at the table. A couple weeks ago I was at Golden Leaf of Conrad Hong Kong and had just that and a few more for a casual lunch there.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Some Like It Hot

Just before the Labor Day holiday a few days ago, I took time off doing preparation in the kitchen (more on that later, I am sure) and popped over to Lan Kwai Fong for a quick dinner at Jinjuu, specifically, for the special menu in collaboration with Tabasco as part of their 150th Anniversary celebration.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

New Shanghainese Restaurant

Recently I was at a new restaurant called 10 Shanghai at Lee Gardens for my 3rd Shanghainese meal in a week over lunch. There’s been a few restaurant openings in this Causeway Bay neighborhood recently thanks to the series of renovation and new constructions and here’s one specializing in Shanghainese/Huaiyang cuisine, taking up the space on the ground floor of Lee Gardens Two shopping mall/office complex.