Saturday, July 24, 2021

Borgogno Dinner

I couldn’t recall having been to Cipriani before, so I supposed that’s part of the reasons we signed up for the wine dinner at the restaurant the other day featuring wines from the Borgogno Winery right in the heart of Barolo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Another Neighborhood Feast

Made it back to Neighborhood for the first time this year in late June with a slightly bigger group. Chef David was there, and the restaurant was packed even during the early seating which started when most normal people were in office. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Second in a Month

We went for a second staycation weekend in a month with a stay at The Langham in TST in mid-June. We probably picked one of the worst weekend to go, as it fell into Father's Day, and that meant the hotel and its restaurants were all fully-booked.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

A Rare Exception

I am never a fan of Tai Ping Koon, quite possibly one of the oldest local restaurants still standing and serves the so-called “Soy Sauce Western” cuisine, a fusion cooking style of sort mixing old-school service a la russe with a “Chinese characteristic” – how politically appropriate. But I thought I would make this an exception for once to eat there again given the restaurant is right across the street from where we were staying for the night. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Dinner Downstairs

Highlight of our weekend stay at The Eaton was certainly the dinner at Yat Tung Heen, their Michelin-starred restaurant specializing in Cantonese dishes. We always have a good time eating here, and this time was no exception. The only difference was this time around we only needed to hop a few level down from our room to eat. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

The Unexpected Stay

Admittedly, The Eaton is not the type of perfect staycation venue in our mind, but it did turn out to be a pleasant surprise. We stayed there a few weekends ago, taking advantage of the special vaccination incentive promotion by the hotel group which owned the property. 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Mian Sequel

I returned to Mian just a few weeks after eating there for the first time, and this time with Chef Shao in residence. Our friend KC has sorted out the menu with the chef and we ended up having a few new dishes along with some of the chef’s signature. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Bibi and Baba on a Stormy Night

On a stormy night (a few weeks back) I ate at Bibi and Baba. It’s only my first time eating at this restaurant on Ship Street specializing in Ngonya cuisine and I came just when their new chef was on board. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

New Gig in the Old Clubhouse

We went along with our friends H and A for dinner at Derby Restaurant at the Hong Kong Jockey Club recently, checking out the tasting menu by their new chef Francky Semblat. Chef Francky shouldn't be an unfamiliar name for many who stuck around long enough, with him being a rare few holding the helm at a Michelin 3-starred restaurant in the region, being the executive chef at Robuchon Macao (first the Robuchon a Galera when it first opened in 2001 and later Robuchon au Dome across the street until 2015). 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

For Old Time's Sake

My memory failed me when I was asked “So, when’s the last time you ate at Tokio Joe” at a recent visit to the restaurant. It must have been years, if not decades since I last set foot in this Lan Kwai Fong institution, right in the forefront of being the place to be some 25 years ago when it first opened its door (in 1995 – according to Google) and when “contemporary Japanese cuisine” was a thing. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Gin Dinner

I don't know what got my attention first, whether it's the chance to preview a soon-to-be-opened restaurant or the unusual pairing of food with gin from one of my favorite makers, but anyway, this is our first time sitting down for a proper meal at Sake Central at PMQ, prepared by guest chef Shun Sato with a special menu paired with bottles from the Kyoto-based artisanal gin distillery Ki No Bi during their month-long pop-up promotion. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Monday Night at The Chairman

I felt like this is becoming our routine monthly dinner gathering of sorts when we returned to The Chairman for dinner on a Monday night. With the skyrocketing popularity at the heel of the restaurant’s Michelin and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant success (plus the strict rules related to COVID) such routine is getting more and more difficult and few and far between.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Birthday Omakase

Eating at Sushi Shikon has always been one of those “serious decisions” we contemplate every now and then – with the tab for its omakase menu comparable to a fancy weekend getaway nearby, it’s somewhere we saved for one of those rare special occasions that we didn’t mind splurging a little. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Oyster Hut

I saw on Facebook about the opening of a Japanese restaurant specializing in oyster dishes and was curious to give it a try the other night with my friends S and J. There’s no lack of oyster bars around town but I couldn’t recall one in an izakaya setting and focuses on ingredients directly imported from Japan. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Sichuan-Canto Dinner

Have heard so much about Mian, the new restaurant located on the site at The Murray at Mid-Levels, from many friends who have eaten there in the last few months with a unique combination of Cantonese and Sichuan dishes by Chef Siu. I was excited to have given it a try myself finally, courtesy of the restaurant with a bespoke menu with some of the signature dishes. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Out of Expectation

We never got our chance to visit LPM Hong Kong at H Queen’s in its first two years of existence until our friends D and K suggested we ate there on a weekend evening recently. We have heard mixed comments about this place, ranging from decent food and ambiance, to horrid service and predictable menu, so that got us real curious which one of those would turn up this time. Luckily, we weren’t disappointed. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Five Guys Dinner

I came to eat at Man Ho a few times already this year, but this time our friend KC worked out with Chef Jayson for a customized dinner menu showcasing a few signature dishes plus some that’s off-menu. And we got the private room for the five of us for our “Peanut Group” meetup.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Cafe with a Thai Twist

At the onset Lady Nara is definitely not the place I would choose to go – I thought with its fancy, garden-like décor with props everywhere for a cheesy snap, it’s more suited for those young IGers eager for those “candid”, “likes”-catching story posts swinging in those rattan couch or looking over the harbor view holding a colorful drink. And I was proven wrong with a meal there recently – well turned out it has all that I have mentioned, but they also got decent food and unique dishes that woo its customers and contributed to its popularity since they opened a few months ago at Harbour City. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sushi of Good Value

I thought Sushi Ching has a slight resemblance of those hidden sushi-ya in Tokyo when we stepped out of the elevator in a random commercial building in a random neighborhood of Fortress Hill, with nothing but a small sign with the name hanging next to the non-descript wooden door entrance.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Two-o-eight

I loved my meal at 208 Duecento Otto when I ate there late last year so I didn't mind "trekking" there for another dinner a couple of weeks ago. I am still amazed why it took 10 years since they first opened before my first visit but I am glad it didn't take me that long to return. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

New and Old

I certainly didn’t mind coming back to Hoi King Heen at Intercontinental Grand Stanford twice in one week as I was able to check out some of the new dishes by Chef Leung during my second visit, which came in early May. The restaurant may be better known for some of the more classic-style Cantonese dishes and consistent execution, but veteran chef Leung Fai Hung and his team never stop innovating and come up with delightful new dishes every now and then to keep their menu interesting. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Dinner #36

Ten of us were more than happy to take up the table at Mesa Private Kitchen on Sunday evening, made available because someone cancelled at the last minute. We haven't heard about the place but we are always up for good food when C asked whether we were interested to join for the meal.  

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Nostalgic Celebration

I felt like nothing at Luk Yu Tea House has changed since the last time we were here – it must have been years ago. That included the guard at the front door, the long stairs on the side that go into the second floor, and the old-school Canton teahouse décor that has become a rarity. Friend C was celebrating her “18th birthday” at the restaurant recently and we were happy to come along – we would take any excuse to eat and drink with the gang. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Taste of Mediterranean

We made a short walk across the street to visit a new restaurant before we ended our staycation. A few months ago we said goodbye to Café Gray Deluxe after 10 or so years at The Upper House hotel, and taking up its spot is Salisterra, a contemporary casual restaurant specialized in Mediterranean cuisine helmed by the UK-based chef Jun Tanaka. 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Dim Sum and More

Honestly we didn’t do much for our staycation at Conrad except getting the much needed rest, but we did drop by their Golden Leaf restaurant for a decent lunch on the first day. We hopped down to the restaurant, which is located at the basement level of the hotel, after we checked in and dropped our stuff. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Simple Staycation

Recently we decided to stay at The Conrad Hong Kong for a quick weekend staycation. A business hotel in the middle of the city is probably not our ideal getaway venue, but a room package that included breakfasts, executive lounge access and dining credits meant we paid (almost) next to nothing for the room itself. And being a hotel loyalty program junkie I thought it's a good way to rack up some program points for Hilton Honors for which I have been a member of. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Two Month Wait

Batard is arguably the local restaurant with the longest waiting list right now. When I contacted the place back in February (as soon as the dining restriction was lifted) trying to get a booking, I was told the only available timeslot within the foreseeable future was a random Monday in April. I am cool with that, but then at the same time thinking, “it’d better be real good”, with all the fuss and hoopla that I need to go through. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Ode to Soy

A table at Tate Dining Room has been hard to come by especially for their popular weekend lunch menu with the theme of focusing on a single ingredient at a time. We called two months ago and managed to get the booking on the last week for the Ode to Soy Sauce menu just as we began our Easter super long weekend. 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Dinner For the First Time

With all our previous visits came during day time, we thought it would be great to check out Ando’s dinner menu in early April. With this being our third meal at this restaurant this year and with higher expectation after each meal, I did secretly wonder whether Chef Agustin and his team could once again wow us in the same way they did previously.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Now Asia's Best

We love our last meal at The Chairman in January so much that we made another booking to eat at the restaurant before we finished the meal, and before we know for sure dinner service would be resumed by then. And I am glad that we did have the foresight of planning in advance. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Spreading His Wing

It took a bit of guts to open a new restaurant in this time of uncertainty; more so for someone without formal Chinese cuisine training to start one focusing on Chinese fine dining, in the city where there’s no lack of top-notch culinary talents. But that’s the hill chef Vicky intended to climb with his new venture Wing being the first step of that quest. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Suan Cai Beurre Blanc

I wish I could say this is entirely my idea, but this originally came from a dish I had recently, when the chef prepared the seared threadfin fish with fermented cabbage, fish broth and chili oil, a dish said to be inspired by the Sichuan classic “Suan Cai Yu” (hot and sour fish with fermented vegetables 酸菜魚). Taking the cue, I decided to do my own version, switching the local threadfin fish with the pack of Patagonian Toothfish which I received from the online seafood purveyor Qwehli served with Beurre Blanc sauce made based on the traditional recipe with the addition of “suan cai” (fermented vegetables 酸菜) and fatty pork. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Poetic Menu

I was scratching my head when I first saw our menu at Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira recently. With the poetic and somewhat cryptic names, Chef Edwin didn’t give away much what we were going to have at a dinner at the restaurant a few weeks ago. 

Monday, April 19, 2021

It's All About The Season

I love the sense of exclusivity when we walked into Kappo Rin at Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong for our dinner. With the dining restriction still in place, the counter-only restaurant specialized in Japanese kappou cuisine could only seat two groups at a time, so we only shared the long counter with another couple in front of the chefs working behind the open kitchen the entire evening. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Challenge Accepted

Before the Easter long weekend, the team at Qwehli has generously sent me a few of their products for me to try and see what I could do with them. One of which was their Atlantic Salmon which was farmed in the North Sea in Denmark, and delivered to me as the frozen whole fillet with the skin on. I took it on as a challenge to see how many dishes I could create with this 2kg piece, and as it turned out, quite a lot actually.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Brunch at Night

It did feel like there’s a common theme going on with another all-you-can-eat meal at Conrad Hong Kong after our “unlimited” Sunday brunch at Henry only a few days ago. The weekend buffet at Brasserie on the Eighth has always been well-known for its luxurious offering and huge spread of food and drink across both the brasserie and the Nicholini’s next door, and in the month of March, they brought this to night-time for one evening only with its “brunch at night” special menu and asked me to join the fun. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Better To Know Someone

“Better to know someone than to know how to read” (識人好過識字)… that’s a common local saying that highlights the importance of having the right connection rather than the right credential when it came to having a good meal. I never got around to eat at Run, the Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant at St Regis Hong Kong, so when my friend S asked whether I was free to eat there one evening with a group of friends, with him taking up the task of sorting out the menu personally with Chef Hung who’s the head chef there, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Unlimited Servings

We caught up with our friends A and C over Sunday Brunch at Henry of Rosewood Hong Kong a few weekends ago, as we knew they were always up for good food. I enjoyed my last visit when this Texas-inspired smokehouse first opened more than a year ago and I would be interested to see how Chef Nate and his team evolves over what’s been a challenging times in restaurant industry in the past year. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

More Wines Than Food

While we were still waiting for our turn to check out Batard in Sai Ying Pun, with their waiting list now extended to 3 months plus, we went to visit the wine bar by the same group on the other side of the harbor at K11 Musea a few Fridays ago.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Mono Lunch

A few weeks ago we had lunch at Mono, something we meant to do for a while but didn’t get a chance to. I have been to the restaurant twice last year and enjoyed Chef Ricardo’s unique take on French cooking with heavy South American influence in his casual restaurant in Central which opened in late 2019/early 2020 (which seems ages ago, I know), so a return visit was definitely warranted. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Another Restaurant Opening

Even though Cyberport was hardly 30 minutes away by car from home but it did feel like another world. When we heard our friends Caleb and Josh’s new venture, called Interval Farmacy, has just opened in this part (outside) of town, we went to check it out with my parents and made this a field trip of sort on a sunny Sunday afternoon. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Long Awaited Sushi

It's been a good six month since we last had a proper sushi meal. When we were able to travel to Japan a few times a year, we often prefer eating sushi while we were away rather than having that in Hong Kong, but well, now we just have to settle with whatever we could until we are able to hit the road again. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Cultivate

Going to a new restaurant on its first week of soft opening was not something I would normally do, but we went to check out Cultivate a few weeks ago when chef Leonard told us there’s two seats available on a Wednesday, two days after they opened its door. There are every reason to be confident – I was impressed by his creative dishes from a few times I ate at his residence-turned-private-kitchen – and expected him to replicate the same level of success with the same team over at this proper dining space up in Soho, with the long open kitchen and counter that can seat around 20. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Three Hour Sharp

We made the dinner reservation at VEA as soon as the local dining restriction was lifted, but that still meant we need to wait for almost a month for the earliest possible timeslot (in early March). That showed how popular the restaurant has been despite the challenging COVID situation. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Dinner Plus a Late Night Distillery Visit

We were surprised to see Hop Sze Restaurant completely packed when we walked through the frosted glass door late evening. This cozy neighborhood restaurant always attracted quite a following, and even more so given it's the second week in almost 3 months when we were allowed to dine out at night and people flock to enjoy the newly-granted freedom. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Calling This A Series

We made the table booking at Ando in late February just as we finished our lunch on the Boxing Day 2 months ago. With another meal in between, that made it three in as many months that we had Chef Agustin’s food at his restaurant. And first time since they got their first Michelin star. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The First Taste

Once in a blue moon I was lucky enough to be given a sneak preview of something before everyone else – this time it’s for the soon-to-be-launched Tatler Dining Kitchen series by chef Antimo Maria Merone at the brand new venue at HAUS on Queen’s Road Central. 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

The New Man Wah

Other than the new Mandarin Club on the 23rd Floor, February also marked the opening month for two restaurants at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. One of which was Man Wah, the Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant which went through the renovation and now with an expanded space and totally different décor, and that’s where we dropped by for lunch right after we checked in for our staycation weekend.  

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The New Mandarin Club

We were excited to check out the new Mandarin Club facility in its first month of operation during our weekend staycation at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. With almost all the luxury hotels in town offering executive lounge facilities as one of the options for their guests, it’s about time they followed suit, converting what used to be the conference rooms on the high floors into an exclusive space where guests could rest, had a drinks and some simple food, or work in a more relaxed environment.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Suite Staycation

With no end of travel restriction in sight, we decided to continue our “staycation series” with a weekend spent at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong after the busy Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day weekends.