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Archive for October, 2012

CoCo Ichibaya, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

I have wanted to try this place for a while now, especially after trying out Izumi Curry. Many have said that CoCo is infinitely better than Izumi. Unlike Izumi, diners at CoCo have a lot of decisions to make, like the level of spiciness of curry, the portion of rice and finally the toppings. I came here with a very good friend of mine, M, whom I have yet to give a nick name! I was in awe at the choices of ingredients for the curry – it was amazing – there were 28 different choices, ranging from cheese, tomato, asparagus, kimchee, to tofu, thin sliced pork and many more which I can’t remember.

I couldn’t go past the deep fried pork with omelette. The deep fried pork was good, crispy exterior and pork meat was tender – it wasn’t oily at all. The omelette, however, was a little thin – not like Izumi where it was thick and fluffy. The curry sauce absolutely delicious – I had it quite spicy and it hit the spot!

M opt the quail eggs, deep fried and it was delicious.

We also ordered a side of fried chicken – it was a little thin but it was definitely crunchy and complemented the curry well.

Thought the curry and pork chop was excellent, but the omelette was definitely better at Izumi. The curry I really enjoyed, it was fairly light in flavour and not overpowering. Will definitely come back and try something different besides the pork chop – but how can I say no to pork chop?

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

CoCo Ichibaya

Shop 402, 4/F, Windsor House

311 Gloucester Road

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 3583 0155

Cafe Nirvana, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

There’s never a shortage of places to eat in Hong Kong, especially in Central and Sheung Wan – it’s a blessing and a curse that I have started writing them on a board so whenever we want to head out for lunch, we can just refer to this wonderful restaurant board.

Café Nirvana can be found in Sheung Wan, it is actually more of a bar than a café. The menu consists of both Chinese and Western, hence the mix clientele. The set lunches are great value for money – it is consistently busy every time I walk past. The problem (or not) with most cafés and restaurants and the great value set lunches is that they offer two or three courses. I was used to eating just a salad or soup for lunch and now, two sets? This is the reason why Hong Kong makes me fat – there are just SO MUCH good food! I could go for just one you ask? But it’s the value for money that I can’t go past!

Café Nirvana offers diners two sets – soup or salad and a main which ranges from steak, to chicken to pasta, to different types of Chinese cuisine. The leek and potato soup was creamy – a little on the heavy side but the serving was just right.

The minestrone soup was ‘alright’ according to C – he has had better.

I was craving beef so opt for the New Zealand Beef which was served with vegetables and either rice or potato. The beef was surprisingly tender and cooked the way I like it – medium rare!

C had the salmon with mash and vegetables with the sauce on the side. Surprisingly the salmon was cooked perfectly – I am always a little skeptical about ordering salmon – most places over cook it.

With our set menu, drinks were also included. From memory, cost for lunch was less than HKD100. It wasn’t too bad, service was friendly and food came relatively quickly. Try and come early to beat the lunch time rush. Would definitely be keen to come back and try their other menu.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Café Nirvana

G/F, 65 Wing Lok Street

Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2545 2588

St Betty, Central, Hong Kong

I have heard wonderful things about St Betty – the dinner, the brunch and even the afternoon tea. St Betty can be found in IFC, the restaurant has a wonderful view of the harbour and the ambiance is very relaxed. The chef behind St Betty is Shane Osborne, who has been in the industry for 20 years, grew up in Australia and moved to the UK when he was 22 years old where he spent most of his time before moving to Hong Kong.

The menu at St Betty has an Asian influence and everything on the menu sounded absolutely wonderful. We started with complimentary fresh bread and creamy butter, it was served warm and although the exterior is a little too crunchy for my liking, the inside was soft and fluffy.

‘The Mother’ and I were on our date night and thought we would share an entrée, olive oil poached petuna sea trout, pickled chayote, quinoa and mustard dressing (HKD188). It was such a pretty dish. The petuna sea trout was cooked beautifully, the quail egg I absolutely loved and the mustard dressing was a nice touch.

For mains, I couldn’t go past the honey and soy-glazed short rib of beef, green mango, onion and lime (HKD318). It wasn’t what I expected, as I was hoping to see a large bone attached to my beef. Instead a relatively decent slab of beef, which was tender and cooked medium rare, just the way I like it. The green mango was an excellent a complement.

‘The Mother’ opt for Australian freshwater yabbies with crisp pork belly, sweet garlic puree, pine nuts and balsamic (HKD288). This was another wonderful dish, the yabbies, the tender crispy pork belly – it was absolutely delightful.

For dessert, we shared the passion fruit soufflé, butterscotch ice cream and caramel sauce (HKD108) – it had me at butterscotch ice cream. The soufflé was light, airy and fluffy. I absolutely LOVED the butterscotch ice cream, however, was a little disappointed that there weren’t more of it!

I have to say that that my meal at St Betty was absolutely delicious. The service was nice and not over the top and the quality of produce was excellent. I really enjoyed all our meals, it’s not very often that I like 3 out of 3 meals. I am looking forward to going back on Sunday for the Sunday roast! Judging from the pictures I have seen online, we are in for a treat!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

St Betty

Shop 2075, Podium Level Two

International Finance Centre Mall

1 Harbour View Street

Central Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2979 2100

The Shore, Central, Hong Kong

The shore opened in 2010, and is renowned for the premium steaks. I have been here twice in the past two weeks, took my colleagues the first time after hearing great reviews, and he insisted that we go back again. First reaction was that the place was a lot fancier than I had anticipated. The dining room is dark but cozy, it would be perfect to take someone for a date or a special event. Considering this is the sister restaurant of The Salted Pig, I thought it would be less fancy!

The Shore specializes in ‘in house dry-aged beef’ but I have yet to order a steak myself. The bar is downstairs, and upstairs, the main dining area. For lunch they offer diners set menus (which I think changes daily?), express set (2 courses – appetizer / soup and pasta / fish / chicken course) business set (3 courses – appetizer / soup and pasta / fish / chicken / beef course and dessert) and executive set (4 courses – appetizer and soup, pasta / fish / chicken / meat course and dessert). We all opt for the express set.

Started with some fresh bread, garlic and sun-dried tomato bread, they were warm and we couldn’t help but ask for a couple more servings.

The cream of cauliflower, white truffle oil and chive soup was beautifully creamy and light, it wasn’t too heavy and the serving was just right.

One of my colleague, C, decided on the salad, tomatoes, beetroot with goats cheese. It was good but I thought the goats cheese was a little over powering.

I couldn’t go past the pork belly which was served with potato puree and a rich tomato sauce. Unfortunately the skin was not crispy, it was quite soggy, but the pork belly was incredibly tender and delicious.

My colleagues had the chicken breast which was served with salad and polenta chips. The chicken breast was tender and succulent, and the polenta chips delightful.

We came back a week later, unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of everyone’s meal except my own. I opt for the soup again – this time broccoli soup with goats cheese and the broccoli soup was again very creamy and absolutely delicious! I’m really enjoying the soup here!

And for the mains, couldn’t go past the baby back pork ribs with barbeque sauce served with chips and salad – OMG! My heart almost sank when I saw this! I was supposed to go the gym as this was an impromptu lunch but was definitely well worth it! The pork was so tender it just fell off the bone!

One of my colleagues had the steak – cape grim sirloin and I have to say that I was very impressed with. The tenderness, the juiciness, the rareness, it’s a shame that I didn’t take a photo of it but it was scrumptious. Will definitely get the steak next time I visit.

Service was good, and food delicious – definitely worth missing the gym for those baby back ribs!

PS: apologies for the bad photos… didn’t have my camera with me both times!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

The Shore

3/F and 4/F, L Place

139 Queen’s Road

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2915 1638

Goose at Yat Lok, Central, Hong Kong

I have read mix reviews about this place on openrice, some people have complained about the lack of service and the quality of food going down and not worth the price. However, I have been here three – four times the past three weeks and have not had any problems. Mind you, twice has been on the weekend and the other two was takeaway, so I didn’t have to wait during the busy period.

Came here first with my parents, we were shopping in Central for Dragon’s things, she needed a few warm clothes and containers for her pureed food. Unfortunately you can’t get goose anywhere in Sydney and I have to say besides pork it is one of my favourite meats. If it’s cooked correctly, it is tender and succulent.

Yat lok is known for their roast meats, goose, barbeque pork, roast chicken and the like, however, I have never ordered anything else besides the goose. My parents couldn’t go past the noodles with goose – egg noodles, which was cooked al dente and the goose was delicious. We didn’t order the goose leg, which we probably should have, but no doubt we did the next time we came.

I wanted rice, goose with rice and the goose was incredible! Not sure why I didn’t order the goose leg!

However after eating our individual dish with goose, we realised that we were not satisfied and wanted more. We ordered a serving of just goose – goose leg this time and THAT definitely satisfied our cravings.

The green vegetables with fermented tofu were great, but nothing to rave about. The goose is definitely the highlight. I have taken away goose leg with rice a couple of times, and it was great! I do advice to come become rush hour – the place is busy and most days there is a queue for people to come in. It’s not a big restaurant, but the turnover is quite quick!

Is it better than Yung Kee? I have a soft spot for Yung Kee, I really do like the restaurant, I know most people think that it is too tourist-y but I had my first goose here many years ago and is still by far my favourite place for goose. Yat Lok is pretty good I think, but it is in a different class!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Yat Lok

28 Stanley Street

Central Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2524 3882

Izumi Curry, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Hysan Place is the new shopping mall in Hong Kong (not that Hong Kong needs another shopping mall), which is located in the heart of Causeway Bay. I remember walking past here during opening weekend and people were queuing to get inside! I don’t do queues, so thought I would wait until all the hype died down before actually checking it out.

I was catching up with a dear old friend from school – the girl that takes me to all the local places in Hong Kong (will need to give her a nick name soon!) and she suggested this place as I have been craving for Japanese curry. I don’t eat a lot of curry, but I certainly do like Japanese Curry.

Izumi Curry can be found inside the food court of Hysan Place. Izumi Curry apparently is from Osaka and is a beef curry specialist. The menu is very picturesque – lots of pictures and they all looked absolutely fantastic.

I couldn’t go past the pork cutlet (surprise surprise) with egg omelette on top. My goodness – it was indeed a LARGE serving! The pork cutlet was tender, and delicious. It was a shame that the outer exterior wasn’t as crunchy as I had hoped, as it was drenched in curry sauce. The egg was glossy and had a very runny surface. It was very soft, smooth and runny – the texture, fantastic and delicious. The curry sauce wasn’t as spicy as I had hoped. I was told that there was a better curry place which gives diners the option of spicy-ness.

M ordered the soft omelette curry, and again, it was a generous serving. Soft, smooth and runny – it was good!

I have heard that CoCo Ichibanya is much better – will need to check it out soon!

We were there relatively early, well, 11.30am and the place was empty. However, by about midday the place was already full. I have seen this place during peak hour and there’s a queue, especially on the weekend. Definitely wouldn’t mind trying their other curry dishes, especially the beef ones.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Izumi Curry

Kitchen 11, 11/F, Hysan Place

500 Hennesy Road

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2253 4111

Lung King Heen, Central, Hong Kong

I have wanted to try Lung King Heen for a while now. Last time we were in Hong Kong, I didn’t get around to going, so when my dear friend M came to visit, one of the places on her must eat list was Lung King Heen. Lung King Heen can be found on the fourth floor of Four Seasons Hotel in Central. It has a great view of Victoria Harbour, and was the first Chinese restaurant in the world to be awarded 3 Michelin Star in 2008.

The menu is vast and we wanted pretty much everything on the menu. I find it is always hard to eat Chinese food with just two people as you can never try a lot of the dishes. However, we managed to order a few things and were quite satisfied with our dish.

We started with amuse bouche – prawn and bamboo shoots. Considering both M and I can’t eat prawns, they were kind enough to take it back and just give us the bamboo shoots which were refreshing and light.

Considering we are both pork lovers, we couldn’t go past the suckling pig – perfectly cut into squares. The crackling was indeed crispy, and the meat tender. It was absolutely delightful!

Next, the duck liver parfait with oyster sauce and mushroom. Although the duck liver was a little rich it was melt-in-your mouth fantastic.

Lung King Heen roasted chicken was superb! Excellent crispy skin and moist flesh, it has to be one of the nicest roast chicken I have had.

Last but not least, vegetables, mushroom, bok choy and goji berries – it was incredibly tasty.

Unfortunately we were too full for dessert, however, we were given complimentary plate of sweets. Osmanthus and goji berry jellies and walnut pastry. I love the jellies – not too sweet.

The service was exceptional, attentive but not over the top. I definitely would love to try their dim sum one day.

Thank you M for visiting and for the lovely dinner. I have truly missed our catch ups and can’t wait to see you again soon! x

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Lung King Heen

Podium 4, Four Seasons Hotel

8 Finance Street

Hong Kong, Central

Ph: +852 3196 8880