Sunday, April 21, 2024

The Cristal Room by Anne-Sophie Pic

Combining the view to die for on top of Gloucester Tower with the most glamorous décor filled with Baccarat pieces scattered inside the open dining area was The Cristal Room by Anne-Sophie Pic, the newest (and arguably the hottest) restaurant in town sitting inside the Forty Five restaurant complex. Also remarkable was the open kitchen which sit right next to the dining room with no boundary in between, giving a home-like atmosphere to the otherwise elegant, almost condescending space.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Night in Yokohama

We made an unusual detour to our Tokyo trip with a stopover in Yokohama before driving further east into Chiba Prefecture, and it was our first time driving in Tokyo too, taking out a rental car for the latter part of our trip. 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

One to Watch

At the Michelin Guide Hong Kong and Macau ceremony last month, there were no happier faces than chefs Romain and Adrien, whose restaurant Racines has gotten its first Michelin star in the 2024 Guide. I had the chance to dine at the place just a few months ago and this certainly came as no surprise, given how much I enjoyed the meal at this small bistro-style venue in the quiet Tai Ping Shan Street neighborhood in Sheung Wan. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Rooftop Teppanyaki

Forty-five has quickly become the talk of the town with a few fine restaurants opening in quick succession in this complex spanning multiple floors on top of Gloucester Tower. I had a chance to visit two of their outlets in March, starting with Kaen Teppanyaki in one Monday evening.  

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Petrus' Seasonal Menu

We forgot how nice the view was from Restaurant Petrus until we got up there and paid a visit a couple months ago to check out Chef Uwe’s winter menu. And the food too, at this legendary restaurant with a legendary chef at the helm. 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

20 Courses of Chicken (and Sake)

“Take one sip after eating and swallowing. The best time is 5s after the food is gone from your mouth. Do not drink in 2 sips”

We have seen chefs being super particular about timing, portions and steps – for example, Chef David Chang’s recipe for his signature Soy Sauce Egg at Momofuku calls for the eggs to boil for exactly 6 minutes 50 seconds – but this is perhaps the first time we have seen chef being THIS particular about how his dishes are to be consumed. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Strings

We stayed in the district of Shinagawa for our last Tokyo trip in November. While Ginza or Shinjuku were our usual choices as far as location is concerned, I wanted to give a shot to this IHG property called The Strings next to the train station. 

Sunday, March 31, 2024

All About Dried Tangerine Peel

You couldn’t help but feel the passion Chef Li has for his favorite ingredient Dried Tangerine Peel (陳皮) whenever he started talking about it. From the different types of tangerines that were used, to the way they were prepared in his hometown of Xinhui 新會 in Guangdong Province near Guangzhou and Shunde (which arguably produced the best dried tangerine peel), to how they were dried and aged and different flavor and aroma profiles developed, Chef Li is like a living encyclopedia for these all. And a few months ago, he even came up with a Dried Tangerine Peel-themed special menu at his restaurant The Legacy House at Rosewood Hong Kong, which was quickly sold out.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Ankoma

Sometimes it's refreshing to see new chefs coming through from independent restaurants - one of which was Frankie Wong who headed up this interesting French-Japanese restaurant inside a commercial building at Hart Avenue in TST. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Old Friend at a New Place

I visited Nobu Hong Kong for the first time a couple of months ago. Yes I have been to Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s restaurants quite a few times but somehow this branch right at home eluded me for so long. Anyway, happy to make amend for this when the restaurant reopened at now The Regent at almost the exact same spot in the building when it was still called The Intercontinental. 

Monday, March 11, 2024

The Perfect Repeat

I wasn’t planning to come to Tokyo in such quick succession but then when Chef Daniel suggested that I should come visit again during the Shanghainese hairy crab season after my meal in September and “you wouldn’t regret it,” I was like, sure, why not. And just as important was this time I came with the missus. Coming in for lunch this time and I found the dining room during day even more charming, with the mild sunlight beaming in from the window, and this time I got to sit at a table properly for the whole meal with our friends CXB and KC which happened to be in Tokyo and booked to eat there on the exact same day. 

Friday, March 8, 2024

Flavor of the Sea

I am in a serious backlog as far as blogging is concerned, so that means I will keep each post brief until I managed to catch up. We went for an easy sushi meal at Umi in Minami-aoyama on our day of arrival in Tokyo – not the usual choice I know given some argued the place has lost its sparkles given they lost both Michelin stars in the past few years, but who kept track of those anyway. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Somewhere New

We picked Sushi Muto in Nihonbashi for lunch purely because they are one of the few sushi-ya that opened on Sundays and the location worked well for our tight itinerary (we made a reservation to go visit Shibuya Sky right after and need to be on time). And with the restaurant located in a commercial building right behind the famous Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Main Store we managed to have a quick shopping session before we went up for our meal.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Mascot Dinner

It took some major convincing for me to skip out of a lavish party next door for a cozy dinner at an exclusive venue, but at the end I think it’s well worth it. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Feuille x Lasai

I am not surprised when the name Feuille often came up whenever the question about the best recent restaurant opening in town popped up. They seem to go under the radar when they opened in Spring 2023, but since then they did attract quite a following for its straight-forward, vegetable-focused French cuisine in a casual setting. 

Thursday, February 8, 2024

One Last Meal in Shenzhen

We started our dinner at Gem Garden slightly earlier than usual so we could catch our ride back to Hong Kong at reasonable hours. Spending a weekend in Shenzhen without a taste of Chinese food seems strange but we had a good time trying different things, but then we were glad we finished with something more traditional in our last meal. 

Monday, February 5, 2024

Weekend Brunch American Style

There’s definitely a modern American chophouse vibe at Stonesal, the Shenzhen restaurant we stopped by for lunch on the second day of my weekend trip. The 2-level structure on the ground level of a commercial building in Nanshan District featured a large meat aging room, a well-stocked centerpiece bar in the center of the dining area, a spacious patio with the perfect view of the park right outside, the open kitchen laced with state-of-the-art equipment, and a few private rooms carefully decorated in various themes… all of these spelt upscale and quiet luxurious, something I didn’t quite expect to see in our neighboring town up north. 

Friday, February 2, 2024

The Trip That Keeps On Giving

Another eye-opening meal awaited at Fumee not far away from where we stayed for the evening. Through door at the entrance on the side of the stone and wood façade inside the lower level of an office building in Nanshan District on the west side of Shenzhen, we were led into our seats at the long bar counter in front of the kitchen studio, where part chefs, part owners Janet and David and their teamwork and where culinary magic was created. With the natural style décor with dark wooden color theme, I felt like sitting in a modern hut in the forest but with a soft ocean breeze, well suited for the contemporary cooking style using ingredients from land and sea that Chef Janet specializes at.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Venturing Up North

Spending the weekend in Shenzhen turned out to be quite a revelation for me. While most people travelled to our neighbor north to the border in the hunt of bargains, we went in search of some finer things with many new restaurants and hotels opening even before and during covid that easily rival those of similar caliber in town. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

Old School Classics

Few months ago I had a chance to check out Hong Kong Cuisine 1983 in Happy Valley and tried some of the exquisite Cantonese dishes by Chef Silas Li. Tugged away in the side street of the quiet Happy Valley neighborhood, the cozy restaurant up on the first floor in a commercial building does have a speakeasy feel to it with classy traditional decor. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

White Truffle Treat

I knew we were onto something quite special when I saw a large white truffle sitting in a jar on our table as I walked in to Castellana the other night. I visited the restaurant earlier this year but happy to be back, this time with a few friends and during the prized white truffle season. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Old Face, New Place

I admit I did find it a little surreal when I saw Chef Manav in his new chef outfit at a new restaurant. His departure from his last gig a few months back certainly took many by surprise, but his new restaurant, Leela, on the other side of the harbor, is promising and represents quite a change in culinary direction and style. 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Mono Unplugged VII

My first business upon returning from a weeklong trip in October was to drop by Mono for the collaboration event between chefs Ricardo and Juan Luis Martinez of Merito from Lima (as part of the “Unplugged Series” at the restaurant now in its 7th edition)