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Archive for August, 2012

Applegreen, Causeway Bay Hong Kong

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to go to Applegreen. It was on my list to go a year ago but never really got around to it. It’s a very casual restaurant, the food was definitely enjoyable and most importantly it is baby friendly!

I was catching up with a few of my favourite peeps, it took me 18 months to come back but I did say ‘I will be back’ and here I am! It was definitely a long overdue catch up and it was so lovely to see them again and I am looking forward to many more catch ups over wonderful meals.

The menu VAST, ranging from appetizers, flatbreads, salads, meats, spaghetti and many many more. We thought we would share a couple of dishes – started with the Asian Nachos – 6 pieces of crispy wontons, chicken, sweet sauce, mozzarella and roasted peanuts. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of this as it contained nuts but I was informed that it was delicious – very Asian though!

One of my favourites – portabello fries with black truffle cream dip. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of this but we did order THREE servings of this. Large portabello fries which were lightly coated and then deep fried – OH MY! The black truffle cream dip was to die for!

We shared the salad diane – sliced chicken, rice noodles, silver almonds, iceberg lettuce and black pepper – again I didn’t have any of this due to the nuts, but it was a very generous serving, and I was informed that the salad was refreshing and fresh!

I opt for the grilled salmon with saffron sauce with slow cooked vegetables. The salmon was good crispy skin but a little overcooked I thought. I usually like my salmon medium rare, regardless it was still very enjoyable.

Dad opt for the special, frittata with mushrooms and a whole heaps of green – bit of an overkill! The frittata was good but nothing special I thought.

The soft tacos – 2 beef loin cubes, 2 deep fried halibut fillets, salsa verde looked good.

SK had the grilled sausage platter – chef’s selection of four sausage links, mashed potato and slow roasted garlic – it was a LARGE serving but it did look good! (Sorry forgot to take a photo, so you will have to trust me on this one!)

I really enjoyed my meal here, but I think it was the company that made it exceptional! I am looking forward to hanging out with you guys more! Definitely a child friendly restaurant!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Applegreen

2/F, Plaza 2000,

2-4 Russell Street

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2368 1263

Beejays, Marrickville

It was my last weekend in Sydney and I was catching up with the lovely Suzchef and suggested this place. It was the promise of crispy pork belly for brunch that attracted me to this place!

Beejyas is owned by 19 year old local BJ – one of the youngest café owners in Sydney. The décor is quite retro, lots of quirky gadgets around the café. Apparently there are two dining areas, unfortunately I didn’t get to see the open courtyard out the back as we sat in the front room.

They serve all day breakfast which I LOVE! And another thing I love about the menu is that they have fried pork belly on the big breakfast! Now how can I not say yes to that? Two poached eggs with mushrooms, hash brown, avocado and PORK BELLY!

The pork belly was incredible tasty, crispy and absolutely delicious. I could have definitely eaten another serving or two. The eggs oozed with yolk and to me, it was a breakfast of champions!

S wanted something lighter, avocado on toast.

However, in saying that, she did order chicken wings with chips to share and it was delicious! Love a good chicken wings!

Service friendly and I love the vibe of the café. Would definitely be back, even if its for the pork belly! Missing you my friend, can’t wait to see you again soon!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Beejays

395 Illawarra Road

Marrickville 2204

Ph: +61 2 9558 8860

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Bo-Lo’GNE, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Bo-Lo’GNE would have to be one of my favourite places to eat, I absolutely love the creamy egg sandwich and the pork cutlet sandwich. The last time I was in Hong Kong, there was only one Bo-Lo’GNE store, which was in Central, now there are five – Central, Sha Tin, Causeway Bay and two in Tsim Sha Tsui. I was shopping with the family in Causeway Bay and were ravenous and stumbled across this restaurant and suggested it to them.

The restaurant is definitely a lot bigger than their original in Central. A lot more seats, a lot more spacious and I don’t remember the menu being so vast. However, in saying that, I have never really ordered anything else besides the egg sandwich or the pork cutlet sandwich!

I couldn’t go past the pork cutlet curry, crispy and tender pork, the curry was definitely satisfying and exactly what I wanted that day.

Mum couldn’t go past the lunch special, smoked duck breast served with spinach and spaghetti which came with soup and salad. The soup of the day was tomato, which was alright, the salad was surprisingly ok, but nothing to rave about.

The spaghetti was al dente, and the smoked duck breast incredibly tender. It’s not a very ‘Japanese’ dish but it was tasty.

Dad opt for the smoked salmon spaghetti in fresh cream sauce which also came with soup and salad. Generous amount of smoked salmon, the pasta was creamy and delicious.

Both really enjoyed the bread, so much that we bought a loaf for home. The bread is incredibly fluffy and oh so buttery – hmhmhm yum! Even though my pork curry was good, I think I still prefer their creamy egg sandwich or the pork cutlet sandwich. It was good to try something different though.

Unfortunately we were too fully for dessert, but wouldn’t mind trying their French toast next time. I’m glad to see that they have expanded and I don’t have to go to Central to get my fix. Although in saying that, I do quite like the original place, it has that small and cool vibe to it.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Bo-Lo’GNE Cafe and Bar

Shop 416-418, 4/F, World Trade Center,

280 Gloucester Road

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 3101 4180

BLT Burger, Causeway Bay

I love a good burger and in Sydney, you all know where my favourite burger is. The last time I was in Hong Kong, my favourite would have to be Big Bite. They have moved, still in North Point, however they are now on Shop U12 Fit Fort, 560 King’s Road. I will definitely have to go for a revisit.

‘The Mother’ and I were shopping at Causeway Bay, Timesquare to be exact and were originally going to Crystal Jade for some lunch. However, we noticed BLT Burger and thought we would check it out. They first opened in Tsim Sha Tsui but never went as we were hardly ever there.

The space was spacious and at 2pm it wasn’t that busy either. The menu consisted of a lot of burgers (obviously!) ranging from the classics, BLT, Australian Wagyu to fish, chicken, turkey and pork. You can add extra toppings or cheese, and of course there are fries and starters if you are super hungry.

‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the Australian Wagyu Burger, fries, soda combo (HKD188) – 7pz grilled Ningaloo farm Australian wagyu beef burger. The pattie tender and cooked medium rare, and the bun was soft – I have to say it wasn’t a bad burger! ‘The Mother’ definitely enjoyed it and would definitely come back for another.

The fries were thin and crispy – just the way I like it.

I opt for buffalo chicken (HKD98) – fried chicken, red hot sauce, avocado, chopped lettuce, maytag blue ranch dressing. Not quite what I expected. I was hoping the fried chicken to be crispier but it was drenched in red hot sauce, which made it quite soggy. The chicken was tender but albeit thin, and for me, it had way too much lettuce! The maytag blue ranch dressing was a nice touch though.

I have a feeling that ‘The Mother’s’ burger was infinitely better. Wouldn’t mind trying the Tex Mex – 7oz grilled CAB burger, jalapenos, chili, avocado, salsa, jack cheese, onion and sour cream next time.

Overall it wasn’t too bad, service was surprisingly good but it was relatively quiet that day.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

BLT Burger

Shop 224A, Times Square,

1 Matheson Street

Causeway Bay

Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2506 1500

Butao Ramen, Central

Butao Ramen, it is claimed to be the ‘hottest hole-in-a-wall’ ramen shop! It has been opened for a while not but the queues are still forever long! I am not a fan of waiting in line, especially when its more than 10 – 15 mins so have avoided this place like a plague. However, it was my second day at work and colleagues wanted to have an early lunch and we decided to queue at 10.45am. Even at that time, there were already half a dozen people waiting to get their fix.

Butao Ramen is located Wo On Lane Central and it is only accommodates 12 people. Three hundred bowls of ramen are made each day and once the ramen is sold out, they close shop.  Reservations are not available and all parties must be present before seated.

As we waited in line, we are given the menu, Butao offers four types of ramen:

  1. Butao king:  the original with tonkatsu pork bone broth
  2. Green King: an Italian inspired pesto, basil and Parmesan cheese ramen
  3. Black King: a tonkatsu squid ink broth
  4. Red king: a spicy miso broth for those who like it hot

You can choose the thickness to taste: light, normal or thick (chose normal)

The oil source: again light, normal or thick (chose less)

Garlic: yes or no (I opt for no, whereas my colleagues wanted more – the more the better!)

Pork: HELL TO THE YES! And I asked for an extra serve

Chinese onion: yes or no (yes of course)

Butao soy sauce (Spicy): light, normal or heavy (chose normal)

Noodle texture: super soft, soft, normal, hard or super hard (chose normal)

And of course there are additions like seaweed, pork, Japanese egg and tree mushrooms – I opt for extra pork, Japanese egg and tree mushrooms.

Now first I must apologise for the terrible photo. It was an impromptu lunch and I didn’t bring my camera and only had my blackberry camera.

I asked for half size, I knew I wasn’t able to finish a whole bowl of ramen! However, you can only order the butao king, which suited me fine.

Verdict: it was DELICIOUS! I can see why everyone raves about it but would I line up for it? Not if its more than 15 mins only cause I don’t like lining up no matter how good the food is!

I would say it is probably the best I have had in Hong Kong, I like the options and the pork was incredibly tender that just melted in your mouth. The egg – OH MY!  You will just have to trust me that it was fantastic!

My colleagues had the black king and the black ink squid broth really gave it that nice black colour! Might have to try that next time!

In saying that, we are going again sometimes this week, let’s hope the queues aren’t long!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Butao Ramen

G/F, Wo On Building,

8-13 On Lane Street, Lan Kwai Fong

Central, Hong Kong

Itacho Sushi, Quarry Bay

If you don’t know already, ‘The Mother’, Dragon and I are currently living in Hong Kong. We moved in early August and there’s no exact time frame how long we will be here. I guess we will see how things go and take it from there. ‘The Mother’ came to Hong Kong a month earlier to find a place for us and I have to say that I was highly impressed with his choice. It’s not quite ‘home’ as we are still in the midst of unpacking our stuff. I am looking forward to our new lives here in Hong Kong, enjoying the food and shopping and hopefully there will be a bit of travel during our stay here.

It was our first day in Hong Kong and Dragon was a little tired from the flight and a little fussy so thought we would eat locally and check out the hood. I was craving Japanese, yes, after almost a year of not eating sashimi I am still craving it and can’t get enough of it. Thought we would check out Itacho Sushi, there are many branches of Itacho and Itamae Sushi in Hong Kong, and the one we went too is actually inside Jusco supermarket in Quarry Bay. The restaurant was relatively busy when we rocked up at 1.30pm.

We started with salmon and king fish sushi – the salmon was incredibly plump, fresh and delicious.

‘The Mother’ couldn’t resist the mackerel sushi and they were incredibly tasty, not too slimy.

A serving of tuna sashimi, they were good, but I definitely prefer salmon sashimi.

Cute little salmon and roe don, could definitely have done with more salmon and less rice!

One of my favourite, unagi, eel and egg don. Again could definitely have done with more eel and less rice!

And lastly crispy salmon skin, it was crunchy but moist and tender at the same time. Possibly one of my favourites.

Service minimal, I can’t remember how much each dish costs but I think total meal was around HKD350 which is less than AUD50. I wouldn’t say it’s the best Japanese I have had but nice to know I can get my fix here.

GA’s ratings: 6 / 10

Itacho Sushi

Shop L017A, Komhill Plaza South,

1 Komhill Road

Quarry Bay

Ph: +852 2904 8030

Ju-Rin, Crows Nest

I was catching up with two of my favourite people for lunch, Uncle and his lovely wife E. They suggested Ju-rin which is the sister restaurant of Hana-Jurin which is located in Crows Nest. To be honest, I don’t eat in Crows Nest very often so didn’t even know the restaurant existed. I have eaten at Sakanaya before but that was many many years ago.

Ju-rin offers diners special bento box which can be ordered at lunch times and has a great selection of options including tempura, sashimi, teriyaki beef, chicken which also includes miso soup, chawanmushi, seasonal appetisers and a bowl of rice.

I knew exactly what I wanted as I have been craving it for a while, chicken kaarage. The chicken karaage had a light batter and the meat was incredibly moist and tender. It totally hit the spot!

The chawanmushi, Japanese steamed egg dish was incredibly smooth and silky. I would have happily eaten another serving.

The miso soup which came with the lunch set was also tasty.

E had the sashimi set, the sashimi looked incredibly fresh and plump! Will definitely have to come back and try their sashimi / sushi next time.

With the lunch set, we were also given dessert – vanilla ice cream. It was ok, I think green tea ice cream would have been infinitely better.

It was relatively quiet that day, service was good and food was delicious and reasonably priced. Worth coming back, if only I had discovered this place earlier! Nevertheless, there are a lot of Japanese restaurants here in Hong Kong, so no doubt I will have my fix!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Ju-Rin

316 Pacific Highway

Crows Nest 2065

Ph: +61 2 9966 5811

Ju-Rin on Urbanspoon