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Archive for June, 2010

Delicious Peking duck @ Spring Deer, TST

This place has been around for a very long time now. They serve traditional old school Chinese food. I remember coming here about 5 – 6 years ago whilst holidaying in Hong Kong with family and have yet to go here since I have arrived.

MG is a huge fan of Peking duck, even when we were in Sydney we would go eat Peking duck or lobster! He came with Hubby and I when we wanted to sample our wedding banquet! I can definitely count on MG to go eating with me that’s for sure. I have truly missed eating with him!

I didn’t think I could make a reservation for that night – I have heard from friends about the long waiting list, minimum 2 week wait, however, thankfully, on a week night it was much easier, and especially if it’s later at night! So we scored a table at 8.30pm and were looking forward to some delicious and juicy Peking duck.

We ordered the Peking duck and it did not disappoint! The skin was crispy, duck meat, with a slither of fat, was juicy and succulent. It was a tad oily but satisfying. The pancakes were a little disappointing. It was too thick for my liking as I like my pancakes slightly thin!

We had two plates of this, much more than we needed, but satisfied our Peking duck cravings!

Next came the stir-fry mix vegetables. This was a little ordinary, nothing special.

A big steamer of dumplings was placed in front of us. These pork dumplings were meaty, juicy and moist. It was full of flavour and deliciously yummy.

The second course to our Peking duck was san choy bau. I was getting full by this stage (duck over load!) however, did try a bit of this and it was ok. I have had better san choy bau elsewhere. MG seemed to have enjoyed it though.

They claim that they have the best Peking duck in Hong Kong – is it the best? I thought the Peking duck was good but the one in Ye Shanghai (read review here) was a lot better. It was served differently, skin and meat, served separately.  The pancakes were superior better!

Nevertheless, it was satisfying but not sure if I would say that it was the ‘best’ Peking duck in Hong Kong. They do have some great old school dishes – really wanted the sweet and sour pork but was completely turned down by both MG and Hubby! Will definitely have to come back again!

GA’s rating: 6.5 / 10

Spring Deer

1/F, 42 Mody Road,

Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2366 4012

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Welcome molecular lunch for MG @ Bo Innovation

I have been looking forward to MG’s visit for a while now and one of the major reasons is that I knew I would have an eating partner for a few days who was willing to try some ‘interesting’ restaurant and enjoy it! We have been planning his visit for a weeks, he requested to go to a couple of restaurants and so did I! I knew that it was going to be a BIG eating week, so I started eating salad for lunch and soup for dinner for a couple of days prior to him coming.

I have wanted to go to Bo Innovation and have heard mix reviews – a friend went a couple of months ago and was disappointed, but another said that it was a must go. I told MG about it and he was definitely keen! I knew Hubby would not enjoy it – he has never been a fan of molecular type food or fusion or where east meet west. So on his first day in Hong Kong, I decided to take him there.

Alvin Leung is the chef behind this one-star Michelin restaurant, a former engineer and self-taught chef. Known also as the ‘Demon Chef’, I was looking forward to meeting this Demon, however, he wasn’t there that day.

MG and I arrived at about noon and we were the only diners there at the time. We were seated to our table, and perused the menu. There were two options – the lunch menu (HK$228 or AUD$34), which consists of choice of 2 dim sum or classic “bo” dishes, a choice of main course, starch and dessert du jour OR the lunch chef menu (HK$750 or AUD$112), which consists of 7 dishes, starch and dessert du jour.

MG and I looked at each other and thought – should we go for the chef menu? It has more food? And without really discussing or thinking, we both agreed to have the lunch chef menu – more things to try! I really do like the way he thinks!

I quite like the modern Chinese table setting – a round metal steel, it was quite funky! MG was keen to take this home, but my handbag was not big enough and I am sure the waiters would notice that a table set was missing!

We started off with Dead Garden – enoki, morel, caterpillar foie gras, and green onion. It resembles something of a ‘plant’, the enoki being the roots and the first thing that you eat. It was crunchy and dry. The caterpillar foie gras and green onions are the dirt and plants – it tasted a little bit like pork floss and wasabi, which was extremely smooth and creamy. It was interesting to say the least – good concept but a little weird at the same time.

Next the molecular xiao long bau – not your typical xiao long bau, no flour skin, just the juice. It was suggested that you swallow the whole thing in one bite and as soon as you bite it, the perfectly rounded ginger-based soup explodes in your mouth, with a thin sliver of pickled ginger on top which gave it a nice finale. It was indeed very smart.

The air dried foie gras toro and raspberry was absolutely delightful. The toro was creamy and fresh, a little fatty but not sickly. It was absolutely tasty. The dried foei gras and raspberry gave it a nice touch. It was very light and refreshing. A favourite amongst the diners that’s for sure.

Unfortunately they ran out of the white asparagus, so our hunan ham was served with wild barramundi, compressed winter melon, honey, fennel. The fish was moist and tender, the hunan ham, salty and soft. The combination of it all was just incredible. I’m not usually a big fan of ‘foam’, but the honey foam really gave it a really nice touch.

Mac and Yak – cheung fan yak cheese, served on a hot plate dish was outstanding. It’s such a simple dish but yet so satisfying. Gooey oozy cheese with cheung fan – I utterly enjoyed this and could have eaten another serve!

Next came the foie gras, lettuce wrap, sauternes with miso. The foie gras was slightly pan fried, it was rich, buttery and delicate. Topped with a dollop of miso, the foei gras was smooth and absolutely amazing.

Lastly, the Wagyu M9+, served with wasabi sugar snap peas was mouth watering. The wagyu was so tender and succulent. It was definitely the highlight of the meal.

The ‘starch’ was actually fried rice with caviar. I thought this was quite ordinary. The mixture of rice and caviar was nice, however, it was nothing special.

Last but not least, chestnut and chocolate cake with pistachio was deliciously yummy. It wasn’t as moist as I have hoped but it was still tasty. The pistachio gave it a nice texture and the chestnut was a great compliment.  It was a great way to end a delicious molecular meal.

The highlights for both MG and I were the toro with dried foie gras and raspberry, the cheung fan yak cheese, and the wagyu beef. I also enjoyed the molecular xiao long bao and the foie gras. I thought the dead garden was interesting, but would probably not eat it again and the hunan ham was a little boring.

The service was great, the waiters were tentative and each meal was explained prior to us consuming it. MG really enjoyed it and still talks about the molecular gastronomic meal he had at Bo Innovation.

It was definitely a great way to start his trip, the beginning of many meals to come!

GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10

Bo Innovation

Shop 13, 2/f, J Residence

60 Johnston Road,

Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2850 8371

Lunch @ Jimmy’s Kitchen, Central

This is the second time I have been to Jimmy’s. The first time was with work, and as I am still not comfortable taking out my camera during business lunches, I thought I would go again with some friends, this time, camera in hand!

Apparently, Jimmy’s Kitchen Central has been serving international food since 1928. The menu offers a wide range of international dishes ranging from bangers and mash, to Chinese / Indonesian fried rice to Indian curries. They also have 2 specialty dishes each day which was a bonus and made it easier to choose.

It was a Tuesday when we went, so the specialties for the day were either suckling roast pork with apple puree or fish and chips. I LOVE pork and could not go pass the suckling roast pork. It was served with gravy, boiled vegetables, roast potato and a mountain of onions which was below the pork. The pork was tender and succulent, with a slither of fat and was deliciously scrumptious! The apple puree was a great compliment. I devoured this and enjoyed every single bite! I do miss a good roast pork and this definitely hit the right spots.

R, J, and S ordered the fish and chips. I had some of this and I have to say, it wasn’t too bad. It’s hard to find good fish and chips! The batter was quite thin, and fish fresh. It was a generous serving of fish, and chips were crunchy.

Unfortunately R and J had to go back to work. However, S and I wanted coffee and were both craving something sweet, so went to Joel Robuchon for a sugar fix. I got the blueberry cheese cake. It was creamy, smooth and sweet! Just what I needed.

S had the chocolate tart which I didn’t take a photo off and it was a LOT better than the cheese cake! It was chocolaty with a hint of bitterness. It was a good way to spend the afternoon, catching up with S and his recent trip to New York – made me realise how much I miss the place and a visit is definitely in order!

It’s always a pleasure catching up with J, R and S, pity they couldn’t join us at Robuchon for some sweets and gossip! There’s always next time right?

GA’s rating: 7 / 10

Jimmy’s Kitchen

Basement, South China Building,

1- 3 Wyndham Street,

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2526 5293

Superior sweet High Tea @ Four Seasons, Central, Hong Kong

I have always enjoyed going to High Tea, either with the girls or with Hubby (He won’t admit it but I know he enjoys High Tea also!). We were keen to try the High Tea at the Peninsula, but when we got there at about 2.30pm, there was an incredibly long line that didn’t seem to be moving at all! We waited for a good 25 mins, to see whether or not the line would move but alas… it did not move at all, and by this stage, Hubby was getting a little impatience and suggested we go somewhere else! Thankfully, I had a back-up plan, which was the Four Seasons!

There were no queues at the Four Season, which was a bonus and the fact that it was Fathers day, they also had dessert buffet, which means MORE sweets!

Our set took a while to come, so we started with the buffet of sweets. My plate consisted of the berries and port trifle, raspberry floating island, chocolate orange square tart, black forest cake and raspberry sponge cake. I loved the black forest cake, it was incredibly moist. The berries and port trifle was also delightful. I thought the chocolate orange square tart was a little too sweet for my liking.

The traditional tiramisu with crystalised orange zest was served in a martini glass. It was incredibly sweet but incredibly delicious! Hubby ate two of this and I am sure he could have eaten more! He absolutely loved it!

I have yet to finish my desserts, and Hubby stood up to get more – berries and port trifle, tiramisu with crstalised orange zest, vanilla panna cotta with balsamic strawberries and raspberry floating islands. His favourites were the vanilla panna cotta with balsamic strawberries and the tiramisu. I am not a huge fan of panna cotta so did not have any of this.

Finally – our towering of savoury and sweets goodness arrived. The bottom tier consisted of ham sandwich, salmon sandwich, cucumber and cheese sandwich, prosciutto bruschetta , eggplant with potato salad, mini egg salad sandwiches and quiche lorraine.

I absolutely loved the mini egg salad sandwiches and the eggplant with potato salad.

The middle tier, scones – lemon scones and sultana scones. The scones were a little hard for my liking and way way WAY too sweet! It was warm, but when served with jam and cream, I could feel my sugar levels rising. It was definitely way too sweet!

I don’t think we even made a dent on the top tier – macaroons, brioche, blueberry cheese cake and mango pudding in shot glasses. I had some of the blueberry cheese cake and some of the mango pudding and that was it. I was stuffed!

We sat there for another hour, thinking that we could potentially eat the rest of it, alas no… I completely over dozed on sugar and was seriously full. It was good sitting there talking to Hubby. We have had a busy week of football world cup and visitors that we haven’t had the chance to sit and talk.

Personally, I thought the high tea at Four Seasons was way too sweet, especially the scones! It filled you up  too quickly. I think the fact that we started on the buffet of sweets prior to eating the savoury also made us full. This is great for those who have a superior sweet tooth!

GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10

The Lounge, Lobby Level,

Four Seasons Hotel

8 Finance Street

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 3196 8888

Indonesian themed buffet @ Kudos, Crowne Plaza

I have been craving a lot of Indonesian food lately, partly because I miss it. In Sydney, I would have it at least twice a week, either Mum’s delicious cooking or we would go out to an Indonesian restaurant. So when J mentioned that Kudos, a restaurant in Crowne Plaza, was having an Indonesian themed buffet, I couldn’t resist but say yes! I was glad that it wasn’t just Indonesian food that evening, (you’ll see why) but there were also Japanese, Western and Seafood!

Since it was ‘Indonesian’ themed buffet, I thought I would start with the Indonesian dishes.  My first plate of food consisted of Sate Ayam (chicken) and babi (pork), which was ok, the sauce was quite authentic, the chicken tender but thought the pork was a tad dry. The beef rendang was extremely weird, they didn’t use beef chunks or tendons, but beef ribs? The sauce was curry like, and the beef were a little dry and chewy. The fruit rujak which consists of cucumber, pineapple, tofu were incredibly yummy. I think the fruit rujak was definitely my favourite on that plate!

R got a bowl of sop sapi (beef soup), it looked ok but it didn’t taste ‘ok’. It was extremely watery and consist of MSG – a LOT of MSG, ‘MSG hot water’ was what they should have called it! I couldn’t even drink the soup – it was that bad.

They had perkedel – it looked good but it was far from ‘good’. It was made from vermicelli and tofu! The texture was weird, this is not how perkedel is made! I was far from impressed.

R and J tried the gado-gado, I didn’t even bother trying it as it looked extremely unappetizing and I was right. They both said it was horrible.

Considering how unimpressed I was with the Indonesian food, I decided to try something else, Seafood! The salmon sashimi and tuna sashimi were incredibly fresh and tasty! The smoke salmon, mussels, olives were delicious – not eaten together of course, but a lot better than the Indonesian dishes!

Marinated mushroom with mozzarella cheese was fantastic. Topped with sundried tomato and pesto, it was a simple but yet satisfying dish.

The oysters were fresh, I could have easily eaten a dozen of these. However, they were brought out to us and I only managed to eat one! The shot glass was pan fried scallop with cauliflower and corn puree. I thought the scallop was a little dry, over cooked, but the cauliflower puree was creamy and delicious with a hint of corn.

R, J and Sc had a bowl of wontons, I was getting full and was ready for dessert, however, managed to steal a wonton from R and tried the soup. The wontons were great but soup I thought was too salty.

Now… desserts…. Ketan item, which is black rice pudding. The black rice was extremely dry and hard, even with the coconut. I only had one mouthful, it wasn’t great unfortunately.

R and I thought we would get a mixture of shot glasses desserts. R got the tall glasses and I got the short glasses. On R’s plate, cendol, which was ordinary, the cendol was hard and too sweet for my liking. The tall shot glasses – chocolate mousse – oh my gosh – it was absolutely delicious, chocolatey, creamy and smooth! Then mango pudding – was way too sweet. The red syrup with de coco was also a little too sweet for my liking.

The short shot glasses (starting from the left) – guava jelly, not a huge fan, as I am not a fan of guava. Mango jelly with fresh mango was ok, nothing special, and last but not least, the blueberry custard, I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was sweet and creamy! The sourness from the blueberries gave it a nice touch.

This was the first highlight of the evening – pisang goreng – fried banana fritters. I miss Mum’s pisang goreng! I am embarrassed to admit this, but I am quite certain I had 3 servings of this. The fritters were hot, banana moist and sprinkled with cinnamon it was absolutely delicious. Oh how I missed thee!

The second and last highlight of the evening – Movenpick ice cream! I was stuffed by this stage but couldn’t help myself to a couple spoons of J’s. OH MY… Movenpick! J put chocolate sprinkles on his chocolate ice cream and my my…  He kept giving me dirty looks as he was on the phone and I was eating all his ice cream! Sorry J! But who doesn’t like ice cream right?

It wasn’t the best buffet I have had, and at HKD 400 (or close to it) you would expect it to be ‘good’. I was far from impressed with the Indonesian food, especially since they claimed the flew in a famous Indonesian chef. For me, the highlights would have to be the non-Indonesian dishes and the desserts, especially the – pisang goreng and Movenpick ice cream.

It was great catching up with J, R, Sc and G. The bad thing about going to a buffet (or some might say a good thing) is that you tend to over eat, which I am sure we all did!

GA’s ratings: 5 / 10

Kudo’s

Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay

8 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 3980 3980

Lunch, beer and sports @ Mc Sorleys

A friend of ours was in town, transiting before jet setting all over the rest of the world! We were meeting for a late lunch, and as I was craving for a burger. I suggested Mc Sorleys (read first review here). This is the second week in a row that I have had a burger on the weekend, probably not a good thing but I know if I don’t satisfy that craving I will just talk and talk about it non-stop.

We were waiting for P to come, so Hubby ordered a glass of Carlsberg. For someone who has an ‘upset’ stomach, I don’t know how he can drink Carlsberg! Apparently, beer makes everything better?

I remember having the cheese burger last time, and that was tasty. P ordered the cheese burger and demolished it!

This time, I wanted to try something else, burger with avocado and cheese. My tower of goodness arrived, and oh oh oh my… it was indeed a TOWER of goodness. Melted, gooey cheese and a generous serving of avocado! I wondered how I was going to fit it all into my mouth!

I asked for the patty to be medium rare and it was indeed medium rare… it was juicy, tender and incredibly tasty. It was deliciously scrumptious! It was just as good as the burgers at Big Bite (read review here).

Hubby didn’t feel like a burger, he ordered the chicken fingers – similar to chicken nuggets. It was surprisingly ok, the batter was thin and crispy, and the chicken was moist and tender. BUT…. How can you not order a tower of goodness?!?!?! Who knows!

It was good catching up with P, we sat there drinking whilst watching the All Blacks play. Unfortunately, Hubby and I had to go to our cousin’s place so did not stay to watch the Australian game with them. I think if we didn’t have to go, we would have sat there all afternoon and all night until the football games were on. Probably a good thing, otherwise I could probably have eaten two burgers in one sitting!!

We will see you sometimes soon P, hope you have a safe flight and enjoy the rest of the world!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

McSorley’s Ale House

55 Elgin Street

Soho, Central, Hong kong

Ph: +852 2522 2646

Juicy, medium rare steak at Bistecca, LKF

I have heard raving reviews about this place and was keen to give it ago. I don’t often make steak at home for myself, but for Hubby numerous times. Unfortunately, I don’t always enjoy eating a slab of steak but I do crave for it once in a while. Believe it or not, I was once a vegetarian and gave up on meat for a good 3 years and did not eat beef for a 10 years! Don’t ask, I’m not sure how I even lasted that long!

I was having dinner with J one evening, and of course, as we do, we talked about our next meal even when we were eating. He was saying how we should go to Bistecca for lunch one day, and so the next morning, I called and made a reservation. Both J and D were certainly more than happy with the venue!

Bistecca is located in Lan Kwai Fong, 2nd Floor of Grand Progress Building. It’s not a big restaurant, but quite a schick looking place. On one side of the restaurant, you’ll see rows of meat cleavers of different sizes hanging along the white tiled wall – very impressive! I wanted to take one home for my own usage. Next to that, is the open kitchen where you can see the chef performing his work and a selection of crimson cuts of beef.

The salad and dessert buffet are in front of the cleavers and kitchen.

I was there early and was seated to our table. I love the place mat – a picture of a cow which shows the different cuts of meat. I am now fully aware of where each cuts of meat from a cow are from! Very educational!

The menu consisted of meat, meat and MORE meat! Different types of cuts and sizes. There was also a lunch menu which consisted of 3 choices: soup / sandwich lunch, buffet and pasta lunch and buffet and specialty lunch, each with 3 different choices each. We all opted for the buffet and specialty lunch. The buffet included cold cut meats including prosciutto, salami and mortadella and different types of salads AND daily desserts! It was a steal deal!

After we all ordered our meal, we went to the salad bar to get some healthy goodness. I couldn’t pass on prosciutto – it is one of my favourite cold meats and I haven’t had good prosciutto since I got here! The prosciutto did not disappoint. A good prosciutto has a white fat layer (tick), is slightly moist (tick) and does not taste salty (tick). It was incredibly delicious! I also got some mushroom, beetroot (which I absolutely love!), pork wrapped in bacon (too salty for my liking) and some boiled broccoli. It was a good start to what’s to come.

D ordered a serve of bread. I was expecting fresh bread, but instead olive focaccia which was served in a hot plate. I didn’t have any of this, as I didn’t want to fill myself up with bread!

Both J and I ordered the Hanger steak with balsamic, garlic marinade, arugula. We both asked for medium rare and the steak did not disappoint! Our steak were served on a wooden chopping board. The beef was tender, succulent and juicy. It was exactly how I wanted it and absolutely delicious! It wasn’t a big chunk of meat, it was definitely a ‘good’ size, especially for lunch. For dinner it might be a tad small, but for lunch, it was perfect!

D ordered the bistecca burger with bacon and gorgonzola cream. It came with a serve of French fries which was thin, crispy and utterly delicious! I didn’t have any of the burger, but D most certainly enjoyed it. The gorgonzola cream.. 3 words.. OH MY GOSH! It was incredible! It was creamy, cheesy and ooooo so tasty!

I stole some of the gorgonzola cream and slathered it on my medium rare steak and oooo myyyyyy… It was heavenly! I definitely think they should serve some of the gorgonzola cream with ALL the steak!

Dessert was also buffet, different types of cakes ranging from black forest cake, cheese cake, mud cake, to brownies to cookies. Unfortunately, the only thing I was craving for was cheese cake, so had a slice and that was it! I was stuffed!

The meal was outstanding! I really enjoyed my meal, especially the steak. I am intrigued with their Fiorentina 32 oz Porterhouse Wagyu Steak, I think this is for 2 ppl – will definitely have to go back with Hubby. The service was great, waiters tentative, and when J and D sent back their espresso as it was below par and extremely watery, the waiter was, more than happy to make them another! (as they should, as the first batch was absolutely horrible!) The second batch was definitely a lot better!

The ambiance / atmosphere were fantastic. I truly enjoyed the meal and of course, the company! Will most certainly be back for dinner.

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

2/F, 15 Lan Kwai Fong,

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2525 6700