Thursday, December 30, 2021

Episode 4

I can count with one hand the number of times I dined in Yung Kee over the years - to the extent I couldn't quite recognize what improvement they have made to the dining area during their latest renovation project (which only completed months ago).

Monday, December 27, 2021

Winter Treats

I do miss coming to "SBI Canteen" (a.k.a. Softbank Kitchen") every now and then, especially during the winter season when Chef Tak prepared his famous Snake Soup in this cozy, referral-only speakeasy. And in my last visit a couple months ago, we were lucky to get a dose of double whammy with the seasonal soup course plus another one serving in succession. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

On a Streak

My streak of Italian meals continued with a lovely dinner at Osteria Marzia. I walked by the restaurant, located in a quieter street corner of Wanchai, more than a few times and intrigued by the elegant facade and the streams of customers coming through night and day, but this is only my first time stepping in and tried their food. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Seafood Dinner (What Else?)

Upon confirming our staycation booking at WM in Sai Kung, we knew immediately where we should go for dinner. We had great experiences at Loaf On so we won’t hesitate to go back any time we have a chance. 

Sai Kung became more and more crowded as the night falls with visitors flocking to this neighborhood famous for its seafood restaurants, most of them lined up along the sea-side promenade. Loaf On was tucked in the block behind slightly further from the rest, but by no means less popular, thanks to the Michelin star they gained and kept for a few years already. 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sai Kung Staycation

It’s probably not the best time to open a new hotel, but at least in Hong Kong with people thirsting for anything just to get away from home, hoteliers can count on staycation goers filling the rooms for the time being. And plenty of them, as we found out a few weeks ago when we checked in to the new WM Hotel in Sai Kung for a quick weekend getaway. 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Dolce Vita

I have been on a roll as far as having Italian food is concerned in this one week in November. After lunch at Estro on a Saturday afternoon then Sabatini on Monday evening, a few days later I was eating at Grissini of Grand Hyatt. I haven’t been back for a while and seems like they have gone through some minor renovation since then, and also a change at the helm with Chef Marcello Scognamiglio’s recent departure. 

But what’s not changed was the laid-back ambiance, and the menu drawing inspirations and classical cooking from around various Italian regions. That and their namesake grissini breadsticks, served while we were studying their menu. 

Their set lunch menu always represented excellent value, and one could choose from 2 or 3 courses with many choices and it’s reasonably priced, and that’s how we started with a few additional dishes to share. We started with a couple antipasti dishes. Yellowtail Carpaccio was one of the restaurant’s signature, with the crudo of yellowtail in thick slices, slightly cured and served with artichokes, sea asparagus and plenty of the aromatic olive oil on top. I love the fatty flavor. 

Vitello Tonnato done in traditional Piedmontese style is always my favorite, with slices of tender veal served chilled with a creamy sauce flavored with tuna. The l’uovo in camicia was the richest of the three appetizer dishes, served in a bowl with the soft-boiled egg mixed with potato espuma and melted Scamorza cheese with green kale and bread crumbs on top as garnishes. I figured that’s the most comfortable bite comes cooler winter months. 

For pasta, we went for the bowl of Scialatielli tossed with zucchini, basil and provolone cheese. At its onset it looked like the pasta dish was not laden with sauces but it sure tasted rich and complex with such simple combination of fresh ingredients. I couldn’t help but felt a sense of déjà vu when the main course of Baccala al Limone arrived. I had a similar dish a few weeks ago prepared by Chef Marcello and I enjoyed it so much that I tried to replicate the sauce in one of the dishes I prepared at home earlier. And it’s good for an encore this time, with pieces of codfish fillet, silky and slow-braised and served with an emulsified sauce prepared with fish broth and oil, and on top was more ingredients such as clams, mussels and capers. And to cap this off was the generous sprinkle of lemon zest giving the dish amazing aroma.

For dessert, Tiramisu was a given since that’s one of their most popular desserts, and this time I also tried their Brioche, served with the lovely sabayon infused with Moscato d’Asti on the side. I did prefer my desserts (especially an Italian one) sweeter but the brioche was perfectly made and served warm.  

What can I say? Life’s been treating me well lately and how appropriate there’s a perfect Italian phrase to describe this. 

(Meal was by Invitation)

When? November 12 2021
Where? Grissini, 2nd Floor, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
Menu Highlights? Baccala al Limone
Drinks? Il Mosnel Franciacorta Brut Rose NV

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Uni Omakase

I ventured to this new-ish hotel called ALVA in Shatin the other day for a omakase dinner at Mizutani restaurant. To be honest, I haven't heard much about the restaurant nor the hotel before, probably because of its distance from my home or office, but turned out it's worth my little road trip up north after work one evening. 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Newest and Hottest

Our reservation at Estro for early November was made on the first day they opened up for lunch booking back in September. We have been wanting to check out Chef Antimo's new restaurant (and one of the hottest opening lately) since having the first taste of his cooking back in March during his brief stint at the pop-up Tatler Dining Kitchen.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Quite Some Celebration

We count ourselves lucky to get a table to eat at Wing again just 6 months after our first meal at this contemporary Chinese restaurant by Chef Vicky. With its popularity and glowing reviews, trying to score a reservation has become almost like a competitive sport and a near impossible feat. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Off Menu Unplugged

There are a few things I seldom said no to, one of which is when chefs invited you over for an off-menu party to their restaurants. Chef Ricardo was celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of their restaurant Mono and he and his team prepared a special menu for a few of us with new dishes that he specifically prepared just for an evening of fun and eye-opening dining experience.