Sunday, July 29, 2018

Popcorns and Burger

The other day I was sharing a few casual bites with some friends over at Main Street Deli, courtesy of The Langham Hong Kong for the launch of their new collaboration menu with Garrett, the famous popcorn shop from Chicago that runs til end of August. Well, popcorns and burgers sound like the winning formula for a satisfying meal, and it’s the perfect type to get through the long night before some wee-hour World Cup action on TV.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Lunch Three Months Into Planning

I rarely bothered to go through the hoopla in scoring table reservations at those newest, hottest or the most sought-after restaurants, but I made an exception for the new Hong Kong branch of Sushi Saito. Opened a few months ago, til now the reservations have been restricted to the restaurant group’s VIPs or someone who have visited the restaurant before – I did try just calling them direct and was told booking is not open until late this year or next.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Chef Dan's Masterclass

After calling Chef Dan Calvert’s roast chicken the best in town, I have always wanted to know more how the dish was done at his restaurant Belon. And I got my chance of learning when he’s hosting the “masterclass” as part of the Gaggenau Culinary Artisan program sponsored by the home appliance maker Gaggenau and its local distributor Kitchen Infinity.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Hitting the Milestone

In local restaurant scene, 12 long months mark a significant milestone – you have no idea how many new places didn’t even make halfway through this. So I did commend the team at Gough’s on Gough for marking its first anniversary this month, standing tall in the competitive Soho area with Chef’s Arron Rhode’s unique take on contemporary British cuisine at this cozy, intimate venue. I recently made a return visit to the restaurant as they introduced a new set of dishes in their a la carte menu.

Friday, July 20, 2018

X-treme Tasting Menu

Talk to any food lover in town about the restaurant Bo Innovation you will probably find some vastly different responses…  ranging from an indifferent shrug to proclamation of that being the best in town, or less often, something in between those extremely polarizing opinions. I didn’t come here often enough to pass on my verdict but I did enjoy trying Chef Alvin Leung’s food every now and then, admiring some of the creativity involved in those dishes, evoking memories of street food that we grew up with - some I like more than the others but that's just the way it is with any avant-garde cooking.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

That Killer Suckling Pig

It’s been a long while since we got together as a group and glad we did that late last month over dinner at The Celestial Court at the Sheraton. I have visited the restaurant a few times before and the place didn’t change much from what I remembered, except Chef Jack Chan who came on board late last year. And it’s crowded as always on the Friday evening we were there, just before the Father’s Day weekend which understandably is one of the busier weekend of any Chinese restaurant around town.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Drinking in Hanoi

It’s hard not to hit a few spots for coffee whilst in Hanoi – after all the country is famous for its coffee partly thanks to the French colonial influence, plus cafes are always a perfect sanctuary to hide away from the unbearable heat during the day for much of the summer season.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hotel on the Lake

Whenever I am travelling alone, I usually am not particular about accommodations as long as it’s clean and safe but this time I made an exception and booked myself into the luxurious Intercontinental Hanoi, using some of the points I accrued under the hotel group’s loyalty program.

I originally hesitated in choosing this hotel because of its remote location, and I almost changed my mind at the last minute. The Westlake district, where the hotel’s located, is a bit further out from the downtown and where most of the sights (and more importantly, restaurants) are, but after reading the review from the trust-worthy The Points Guy who stayed and recommended the hotel, I stuck with the plan, and it’s only a quick taxi ride away once I got off at Hanoi International Airport late morning.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Presidential Bun Cha

The staff at Bun Cha Huong Lien seems to be a little puzzled when I attempted to order from their a la carte menu as if no tourist has ever done that these days, but after 5 seconds of attempting to pronounce Nem Cua Be (fried crab roll), I gave up and said the magic words – “Combo Obama, please”. Yup, that’s the place in Hanoi made famous by the former US President’s visit with his foodie friend AB a few years ago.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pho Expedition

“Customer for Pho? Please come in”

I didn’t discover this "secret" pho place by accident – though I wish I did or at least could get away by saying that (that would have been more dramatic, isn't it?) – but rather, an article at Saveur pointed me to this pho stall at an upstairs apartment inside a run-down building in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. I was able to find the place easily, thanks to the article with detailed directions and pictures of the street signs, and arrived at the right time too, between 3-7:30pm as that’s the only time the place was open for business.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Haku's Hat Trick

I was at Haku a few weeks ago to check out the new seasonal menu introduced by Chef Agustin Balbi. I ate at the restaurant a couple of times before (Meal #1 and #2) and enjoyed Chef Agustin’s unique cooking style with well-chosen ingredients, and I was curious to see how the restaurant and the dishes have evolved 12 months on since its opening at a cozy corner inside Harbour City shopping mall.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Brunch at a Corner Beer Joint

Hong Kong summer is not the perfect place nor perfect time to enjoy eating in the outdoors, but Blue Supreme at a quiet street corner in Sheung Wan (near Noho area) did make it somewhat more comfortable with its window-side table opening up to the street with plenty cool air blowing from the a/c unit behind. It’s a restaurant I heard good things about and always wanted to try, so we dropped by a few Sunday ago just when they began serving brunch menu on weekends.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Second Dimsum Lunch

The next day after our dinner at 102 House and subsequently a late night supper at a local joint (for bowls of comforting congees and a few street food dishes), we met up with Jimmy and Chef Xu again for more local food before we headed home, this time at the legendary White Swan Hotel by the Pearl River bank for a second dimsum lunch in as many days while travelling to this town.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hidden Treasure in Foshan

We came all the way from Hong Kong to the town of Foshan just southwest of Guangzhou for the sole purpose of checking out “102 House”, the speakeasy restaurant by the passionate restauranteur-chef team of Jimmy Yao and Jing-ye Xu, which has been getting quite some raves from a few foodies in the know.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

First Dimsum in Guangzhou

We swung by Foshan/Guangzhou for a quick overnight trip to meet up with our friend J who’s meeting the chef and owner of a private kitchen there (more on that later). But before the dinner, we had a great dimsum lunch at Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou, opened only in the last few years joining a long list of high-end hotels making its presence in this capital city in Guangdong Province, only 2 hours away via train from Hong Kong (commute time will be further cut in half once the direct high speed rail began service some time late this year or next).