Thursday, September 28, 2023

Burnt Ends Re-visited

It was definitely not the same Burnt Ends that we last visited when it's still in its old Chinatown location. What used to be a tight, cozy space with nothing but a long kitchen bar and hole-in-the-wall vibe has been converted into a much larger space slightly off the city center and completed with separate bar and dining areas in the hip neighborhood of Dempsey Hills converted from an old military barracks. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

My First Andaz Stay

Singapore was the first of a few short trips that I made this summer. I haven't been back for a long while (almost 10 years) so there's no surprise that everything has changed, something that I realized when I got out of Havelock MRT station (opened in 2018) right at the doorstep of my favorite Tiong Bahru Market one evening for some long overdue hawker center fare. But then I also found out sadly that one of my favorite Bak Kut Teh shops nearby is closing - so I guess not all changes are for the good. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Jade at Fullerton

We made our way to the south side one evening to visit the new-ish Fullerton hotel with dinner at one of their restaurants. The setting of the property was perfect for a family staycation with ocean park and water world just steps away with unobstructed sea view featured in most of the guest rooms. Meanwhile, there were plenty of options available as far as food and beverages was concerned, including the Chinese restaurant Jade, the one we tried this time.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Main Attraction

A lucky few of us were given the opportunity to preview the tasting menu by visiting guest chef Daniel Calvert before his pop-up stint at MGM Cotai. I still haven't had a chance to visit Tokyo and to Chef Dan's restaurant Sezanne so this was as close as I got reminiscing the good old days and his wonderful cooking since he moved from Hong Kong. 

Monday, September 18, 2023

Early Dinner

We opted for an early dinner at Imperial Court just as we concluded our visit at MGM Macau with the restaurant conveniently located next to the hotel VIP lobby. The modern and luxury decor of the restaurant gave a little hint of the style of the restaurant, which specializes in traditional Cantonese with a contemporary twist curated by Chef Homan and his team. I love the private room which was tastefully done with ample space for the group of us.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Second Getaway

I went on a second trip to Macau in as many weeks this time courtesy of the PR team of MGM Resorts. While the main purpose of the trip was to attend a special lunch reception on the next day at MGM Cotai (details to be posted later), I did spend some time touring around the hotel and its sister property MGM Macau and had a very relaxing 2-day journey. 

Thursday, September 7, 2023

New Chef On Board

I dropped by Duddell’s for dinner one evening just as their new Executive Chef Chan Yau-leung settled in. With a new chef brought new ideas to the table, and it showed in the tasting menu presented to us, an 8-course affair completed with wine pairing.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Encounter After Two Months

When we met Chef Hung at a Dai Pai Dong in Macau after the Michelin gala, he asked us to come by his restaurant at St Regis some time to check out some of the new summer dishes. Of course that’s something we won’t refuse especially after the restaurant has just been awarded its second star earlier that day and definitely on the rise. So fast forwarding 2 months we were in the private dining room at the hotel enjoying a special dinner menu prepared by the chef and his team. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Summer in Caprice

We went for lunch at Caprice in mid-July after realizing it’s been a few months since our last visit (back during Chinese New Year). There’s always something new to look forward to at the restaurant, with the menu changes constantly depending on seasonal ingredients and flavor. 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Best Tempura in Town

Took me a bit of effort to find my way to Tempura Suzuki before I realized they took up the space of the old Sushi Sase up on Ice House Street in Central – but I still ended up being the first to arrive at this new restaurant with only 8 seats in front of the kitchen counter. A few high-end tempura restaurants have opened in recent months, which is always a welcoming news. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Latin American Crossover

I am thankful that Chef Agustin and the team opened the door for a few of us on a Sunday afternoon for a special lunch with guest chef Manu Buffara. There’s no lack of high-caliber chefs passing through town for crossover gig but this one caught my eye as Chef Manu has just been voted the Latin America’s Best Female Chef by the World’s 50 Best team, and I wasn’t sure if I will ever make it to her restaurant in Curitiba Brazil, some 18000 km away from home. 

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Charming Steakhouse Treat

Recently I was at the new Regent Hong Kong for a dinner hosted by their PR team. It's my first visit to the hotel after it went through a major renovation and the name change, and one couldn't ask for a better welcome than being led into the private room in their legendary Steakhouse restaurant with the long dining table and a sumptuous spread of dishes awaiting. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Feuille

Feuille is not a vegetarian restaurant – I felt I had to get this out of the way. Despite the name and being marketed as a “vegetal” restaurant concept, turned out there were much more to it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

dolos

“Wanna check out my new restaurant?” My friend Caleb mentioned this latest project of his a few months ago and asked me to come along for a dinner tasting when it’s finally open and ready in early June. The restaurant, called Dolos (representing the concrete blocks placed on the coast for protection), took up the space at a street corner PMQ, and as the name vaguely suggests, served a seafood-themed menu in a casual setting with Chef Sean leading a lean kitchen team. 

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Surprise Dinner

Dinner at Ru in Tsuen Wan turned out to be one of the biggest surprises this first half of the year. I didn’t recall anything particularly remarkable in this side of town as far as fine-dining is concerned, so admittedly I was a bit hesitant about travelling this far out for dinner on a weeknight. But it turned out to be a very enjoyable experience.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Wing Dinner in May

I thought it was a perfect excuse to turn up at Wing to celebrate a few birthdays in the month of May, and to put icing on a cake, figuratively speaking, they put us in the private room and our friends graced us with a few fine bottles. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023

A Celebratory Non-Celebration

Elaborate celebration on special days is really not our thing, but that didn’t stop us from spending an evening out for dinner at Ando on CYY’s birthday. Just a meal, two of us, like we often do any other nights. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Grand Finale

Wrapping up my 3-day Macau vacation in April was a sumptuous lunch at the revamped Golden Flower at Wynn Macau. The restaurant which used to be famous for its rendition of “Imperial Tan Cuisine” has taken a new direction since the young chef Zhang Zhicheng (a.k.a. “Little Chubby” 小胖) took over the helm a couple of years ago.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Meal in Shenzhen

It did seem a bit over the top when I made a quick trip to Shenzhen in a Sunday afternoon to try out some food by Chef Ricardo Chaneton (of Mono), but then I was curious about this special menu in collaboration with Chef Miles Pundsack-Poe of Ensue Shenzhen only available during this one-night event. And it’s also my first trip to Mainland China in more than 3 years. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Over the Moon (Again)

"It's actually my birthday today..." Chef Andre shared with us this in a timid manner as he dropped by our table at the beginning of the dinner at Sichuan Moon. Probably not exactly his choice but we are happy to spend the evening with him on this special day - hahaha.  

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Second Act

I extended the stay in Macau in late April with a second night at the Wynn Palace just a short hop away. Not much have changed since our last stay here (too many years ago) with the iconic floral ferris wheel art installation sat in front of the hotel lobby, and I felt we were completely spoiled by the Wynn PR team’s hospitality when I realized they put us up in the mega spacious Parlor Suite, completed with walk-in closet, powder room, two bathrooms and a jacuzzi tub. It was just perfect as I ended up spending quite a bit of time staying in to finish up some work (yes, someone still go a full time job to do) 

Monday, May 22, 2023

Polmard Beef Dinner

There's no surprise beef was the main theme of the menu at my recent dinner at Ami with Alexandre Polmard flying in from France and be the co-host with Chef Nicolas Boutin. 

The 6th-generation butcher Polmard is synonymous to top-quality beef with their unique approach of raising the cattle and treating the meat. At this 2-day event we were able to sample quite a few of their meat products prepared in a number of ways by the great kitchen team at Ami.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Grand Lisboa Palace

During the Michelin festivities, they put us up at the Grand Lisboa Palace, which is also where the Gala Dinner took place. The hotel felt every bit like a brand-new property though it's officially opened in 2021, and it's part of the resort complex by SJM with separate hotel towers collaborated with fashion houses Karl Lagerfeld and Versace on Cotai side. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Indian Dinner for Six

While I was kind of proud of myself being able to get a table booked at CHAAT a few months ago, this time I did get some help from Chef Manav for our family dinner for 6 people at the end of April which also doubled as an informal birthday celebration for our nephew N. And we also troubled Chef Manav for a few new dishes apart from what's normally available on their a la carte menu, and gosh, we got much more than what we asked for. 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Neighborhood Canto at a New Spot

A stroke of luck got us a table at Hop Sze Restaurant a few weeks ago. We haven’t visited the restaurant for a while now that a table at this neighborhood Canto eatery became one of the most sought after in town, and it’s our first since they expanded to this second shop in Tin Hau, which they called “Hop Sze Speakeasy” 合時小廚私房菜. (Here's our last visit 2 years ago)

Thursday, May 11, 2023

The Return of the Star-Studded Affair

There's definitely a sense of normalcy among everyone when we all gathered for the Michelin Guide 2023 announcement in Macau in late April. This annual event has in the past been associated with much pomp and grandeur completed with gala dinner and parties, all of which have stopped during COVID (with thelast in-person event held in December 2019)

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Fine Old School

I am excited when my friend and birthday girl C managed to get a dinner booking at the legendary (and somewhat secretive) SBI Canteen a few weeks ago and asked us to join as part of the celebration. I haven't been back for more than a year so I was eager to try some of the signature dishes by Chef Tak which many considered as some of the finest in town based on traditional old-school recipes.   

Saturday, May 6, 2023

More Good, More Food

We love the idea when chefs Agustin, Ricardo and Matt joined force to do a one-night dinner event to raise fund for More Good. We came to know about this organization with the mission of helping the needy in Hong Kong by preparing nutritious meal-boxes from its kitchen venue in Chaiwan, and we have been helping out as volunteers once a month to help with food preparation and packing. So we are more than happy to lend our support in any way we could, and even better, got a “free meal” out of it. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Steakhouse Wine Dinner

I am never a big fan of "wine dinner" hosted by wineries or shops - the thought of having to sit through a meal with wine snobs swirling and sniffing and comparing tasting notes just wasn't my cup of tea. But recently I did join one featuring a vertical flight of Sena wines at a steakhouse because I haven't done a serious tasting on Chilean wines before and am curious for the presentation of five of the same wines in different vintages. 

Monday, May 1, 2023

Three Meals in Three Weeks

I happened to eat at Shanghai Fraternity Association on three different occasions in the month of April with three different group of friends. Tasked with sorting out the menu for each of the dinner, I managed to go through quite a number of dishes in this clubhouse restaurant known for classic Shanghainese cuisine even with a handful of new dishes (not new on the menu per se, but items that we haven't ordered here before)

Friday, April 28, 2023

Springtime on the table

We had the pleasure of joining our friends P and G for a dinner at Godenya during the Easter long weekend. There’s no better place to enjoy the dinner served in traditional Kappo style with unique sake pairing by Chef Goshima Shinya. P called this his favorite season to visit the place, and I can understand why with the menu filled with seasonal sansho flowers and sansai, both known for its distinct, season-defining flavor and aroma. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Yakitori in the hood

One evening we decided to check out a new izakaya in our neighborhood with a heavy shade of doubts. Decent dining establishments have been few and far between near our home, let alone a Japanese restaurant, but turned out the place was far better than we expected.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Lunch at Forty-Five

I was glad to visit The Merchants, the new Shanghainese restaurant in Landmark, on a clear day. This new dining venue, called Forty Five and as part of the complex on top of Gloucester Tower some 45 levels high, offers the sweeping view of Central, harbor and the Kowloon skyline, either through the window in the dining area, or at the rooftop bar (to be called Cardinal Point) that will soon open. Even just for the view is a legitimate reason to pop by for a visit. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The Standard Bearer

We realized it's been more than one full year since our last visit to VEA... don't know what happened and how time just flew by but we quickly made amend by making a booking to go one evening a couple of weeks ago. And we managed to catch up with Chef Vicky "in residence" in between his overseas trips. 

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Top Notch Home-style Meal

A few friends and I got together at Yong Fu a few weeks ago. It's one of those nights when we don't really have a preference of what dishes we wanted, so we left it to the restaurant's recommendation with a combination of new and old dishes. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Best one without a star

We hop to Juxing Home (聚興家) a few MTR stops away in Mongkok for lunch on Sundays every now and then whenever we have a bigger group and want something slightly more than just a casual meal. While the place is often packed with customers at nights (it's also known as a popular late night hangout spot for chefs), during the day it's much quieter and hence more comfortable (with the food just as good)

Monday, April 10, 2023

Dinner in Time Warp

Felt like walking into a time warp when we joined our friend KC for a dinner in an old-school restaurant inside one of the public housing estates. Choi Hung Estate may be better known as a popular hotspot for IG snapshot these days for its iconic rainbow colored facade (Choi Hung meant "rainbow" in Cantonese hence the design followed its namesake theme when it's first built in the 1960's) but this is also a tight-knitted community with 10000 or so residents completed with schools, markets, and shops for everyday needs. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

Marco x Lorenzo

It's barely 3 months since Rosita officially opened but they already hosted a number of special dinner events at this new space specializing in homestyle Latin American dishes. Their latest one paired Chef Marco with Lorenzo Antinori, one of the most popular mixologists in town for a special menu with cocktail pairings.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

North Point Private Kitchen

It's no secret that I enjoy the food at this no nonsense neighborhood eatery in North Point, whether that be for their Cantonese roast (including their exceptional roast goose) or other family style Chinese dishes. So one Sunday last month we booked out their private kitchen just across the street and check out their "tasting menu". 

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Unagi and Izakaya

We have long anticipated the opening of Uza, the new concept by our friend Anthony with the name a combination of Unagi and Izakaya which also described what this establishment does - a casual Japanese pub (izakaya) specializing in eel cuisine (Unagi). He first tested this at a pop-up event 2 years ago (which I enjoyed) and finally managed to open its doors after some delays (partly because of Covid) and my friends and I went to visit recently. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tea on a Boat

We could not have asked for a better week to enjoy the short cruise along Victoria Harbour on a remodeled Star Ferry with the legendary afternoon tea served by The Peninsula team.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Champagne and Dimsum

The Champagne-Dimsum gig at Ho Lee Fook seems like a deal too good to be true - one Sunday every month Chef ArChan and her dimsum specialist sous Winson introduced a brunch menu full of dimsum items and other dishes with unlimited refills, plus one bottle of champagne per person from their wine list. Yes, that's one full-sized 750ml bottle that each could pop open and share at the table. 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Fine Dining in the Basement

The setting of Artifact may not fit the usual definition of "fine dining" - diners literally sat across an open kitchen/bar in the area amongst other food stalls inside the new Basehall 2 complex at the basement of Jardine House, but I was impressed with the dishes presented by Chef Sato Kiyoshi and his team at a dinner there recently. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Agora II

Recently I returned to Agora to check out Chef Antonio's new seasonal menu. I enjoyed my last time out here when they first opened their doors a few months ago so I was eager to see how the place evolved given time to run in. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Dinner with Visitor

Wing has been our go-to restaurant when we want to show our out-of-town friends some finest Chinese dishes in town - something I have shared in a newspaper interview recently. And we did just that a few weeks ago, eating with B who came back to visit from Canada. 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Mingoo's Night

We had dinner at Hansik Goo the other night, when Chef Mingoo Kang (of the Michelin-starred Mingles in Seoul) returned for a visit and as the "guest chef" at the restaurant he founded a few years back. This time (at the event dubber "Mingoo's Night") he joined hands with Chef Steve, the "resident" executive chef, to introduce the new seasonal menu so we became the first group of diners to have a taste of it. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Pair of Old Wines

I managed to make a second booking for lunch at The Chairman when they opened up for reservation so this time we went with a slightly bigger group on a Sunday afternoon. I felt I pretty much went through most of the dishes in their re-designed menu in my previous visits so this time it's pretty much a highlight of everything that I liked. 

Monday, March 6, 2023

Inside the Tower

Our dimsum lunch at La Chine turned out to be a good surprise. We wanted to try something new during our quick stay in Macau and this Chinese restaurant inside The Parisien came into the radar. We figured since we haven't been inside the fake Eiffel Tower in Macau we may treat this as an extra sightseeing stop too. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

Over the Moon

We confirmed our booking at Sichuan Moon as soon as we knew Chef Andre would be in Macau at his restaurant on the same weekend we were in town for. We always wanted to visit since they open in early 2019 but never got a chance to get around to do that until now. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

All Inclusive

We made our booking for a Macau weekend getaway way before the Covid lockdown was over - a brilliant move in hindsight as the hotel rooms were soon fetch up by people eager to travel once the travel restriction was lifted. And we got this incredible package for booking when they got almost zero visitor.