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Archive for December, 2012

2012 – what a year!

The year 2012 – every year I reflect and think that this year is always better than the last and it should be! However, 2012 would have to be BEST year thus far and I am pretty sure that next year or the years to come will top it! As most of you know, in April, we became a family of THREE with the arrival of Dragon. Life has certainly been ‘interesting’ (in a good way) to say the least and the happiest in my life. Not only that, but in August we all moved to Hong Kong to start our new life and adventure there.

This year was also a year of travels! We started the year in Hong Kong, New York, Miami, Hawaii where we ate lots of good food and caught up with many friends. We moved to Hong Kong in August, and in the past four months, we have been to Shanghai, Taipei, Sydney, Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur. Dragon has traveled more in the past 4 months than I ever did in the first five years!!!

To recap this amazing year 2012, thought I would do something different, instead of listing out the best meal I have had in 2012, I thought I would associate it with events or holidays. As there has been some pretty amazing meal but it is the company that made it amazing!

To start, at the beginning of the year, we were in Hong Kong and the USA. I love NYC and hope to live there one day. Of course we had the BEST burger in NYC – Shake Shack! Need I say more?

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I also had the BEST red velvet cupcake from Crumbs and regret that I only bought TWO! It went down really well one evening or should I say morning at 3.30am when I woke up hungry! Presentation wise, it was ugly as hell but it was seriously scrumptious.

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‘The Mother’ and I met some of our friends in Hawaii and we had a pretty good last meal in Hawaii at Roys and the pork belly bun was totally and utterly delicious!

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Whilst in Hawaii we had some yummy mochi ice cream – from memory I ate a dozen on my own?

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In April it was the birth of Dragon and oh how life has changed – in a good way of course. I won’t go into the gory details of child birth, however, in saying that it wasn’t that gory and I have to admit I had it pretty cruise-y. I was texting a couple of my dear friends whilst in labour! Hahahaha who would have thought! We had an amazing 30 day celebration for dragon – lots of food with family and friends and the delicious red velvet cake was fantastic!

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Before leaving Sydney, I made sure that I ate at some of my favourite restaurants, one being Bodega, the boys are back with a new menu and WOW – The wagyu skirt steak with roast pepper and chipotle béarnaise with egg was amazingly good! Possibly one of the nicest steaks I have had!

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The smoked beef short-rib, Sunga’s kimchi and bone marrow from Hartsyard was pretty memorable, even though we were stuffed, this was still delicious.

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In August we moved to Hong Kong to start our new lives and so far it has been absolutely amazing! I’ve had a lot of ramen but I have to say, my favourite is Butao! The broth, the egg, the pork – DELICIOUS!

I had to go to Shanghai for work and it was our FIRST holiday as a family. We certainly had a great time taking Dragon around. Ate at Mr and Mrs Bund where I had pork cutlet which was served with apple, croutons, and capers.

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It was such a good holiday that I decided to take Dragon to Taipei. I love the night markets in Taipei – on that trip we went to two, however, I have only blogged about one – Shilin Market – the rest will come in 2013.

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In November, I had to go back to Sydney / Melbourne for work. I made sure I had a list of places to eat and caught up with a number of people.

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‘The Mother’ and I had our first meal at Movida Sydney – yes they have finally opened in Sydney! Afterwards we stopped by Flour and Stone for the BEST (I kid you not) the BEST panna cotta lamington in Sydney.

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I really enjoyed my breakfast at Hardware Societe – the breakfast board with smoked salmon, prosciutto and chicken liver was just TO DIE FOR! You don’t get breakfast like this in Hong Kong.

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We had our anniversary dinner at Huxtable – it was a late anniversary dinner and we utterly enjoyed our meal – everything was delicious including korean bbq pork ribs, spicy slaw, chilli gherkin.

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In December, we went to Kuala Lumpur for my cousins wedding where I had the nicest nasi lemak at Village Park Restaurant. Unfortunately, I have not blogged about this, so you will have to wait until 2013.

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It has been a FANTASTIC 2012, reflecting back, I wouldn’t change a single thing. Dragon has bought many joy and happiness and ‘The Mother’ and I truly can’t imagine life without her! We definitely look forward to 2013 – many more travels and many more eats. Not only that, but am very excited for some of my close friends to be a family of three in 2013, ie @thesuzchef – I really can’t wait to meet The Little Monster. There are others but they haven’t quiet made it to three months yet!

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I would like to thank all of you for your support and wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here to a FABULOUS 2013! I am sure there will be many more eats to come!

xoxo

Categories: Hong Kong Tags: ,

Westwood Carvery, Lan Kwai Fong, Central

I have walked past this place many times, and have seen this cute little restaurant many times whilst queuing up for my favourite ramen place in Hong Kong on Wo On Lane. This place has always intrigued me, and finally one lunch time I suggested this place after sitting around fiddling out thumbs trying to decide where to eat.

The menu is limited, they do offer set lunches for diners starting from HKD98 to HKD148, which comprise of soup of the day to start, followed by either their prime rib sandwich, shrimp scampi or pan fried sea bass. They also have a la carte – salads, pastas, sandwiches, pork ribs and many more. I didn’t know at the time that their roasted prime rib sandwich is their signature dish!

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We all started with the mushroom soup – it was surprisingly creamy and delicious! I am not usually a fan of mushroom soup but I may have been converted about this.

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I opt for the pan fried sea bass with portobello mushroom stuffed with bacon, onion in pesto sauce (HKD168). The fish was beautifully pan fried, making the skin crispy, and I loved the mushroom stuffed with bacon. The pesto sauce I probably should have asked on the side as sometimes it can be over powering.

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J opt for the prime rib original sandwich served with French fries and an apple. Yes – you read that right – it literary came with an apple!

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The prime rib sandwich looked superb, the beef itself was tender and the bread scrumptious – I really should have ordered this. NEXT TIME!

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Unfortunately we were all too full for dessert, but I do love finding new restaurants. There’s really no shortage of restaurants in Central, which makes decision making extremely painful – I don’t know if that’s a blessing or not!

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Service was polite and efficient; I do recommend you make a reservation at lunch time during the week, especially during peak hour. The restaurant is TINY and you may have to wait a while!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Westwood Carvery

G/F, 2 Wo On Lane

Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2869 8111

Peking Garden, Central, Hong Kong

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and ate lots with family and friends! We certainly did and you would think the eating would stop but no… it is still going! Hope you were excited about Christmas and your gifts as much as Dragon was!!!

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Family gatherings and Chinese food goes hand in hand. I love family gatherings, especially if you haven’t seen them for a while and who doesn’t like Chinese food? Especially when there is Peking Duck involved? We had a magnificent feast and caught up with some of our cousins and aunts which was extremely lovely.

The food at Peking Garden is consistently good – I have been to many different branches, but have not been to the one in Central which is in Alexander House. We left all the ordering to our cousins and they ordered especially well!

The Peking Duck – DELICIOUS! Crispy skin and juicy meat – it was hard not to eat all of it on my own.

The scallops with broccoli are an old favourite.

You can never go wrong with tender beef and bamboo shoots.

A favourite of mine is the sweet and sour pork – it was just right and not sickly. The pork was incredibly tender, and the batter just right.

The chili king prawns were a favourite among the diners.

The mapo tofu was definitely one of my favourites. The tofu silky smooth and the chili brought tears to my eyes!

The highlight was definitely the chicken – which had to be ordered 24 hours in advance.

Inside – fantastic tender chicken which I could not stop eating!

We also ordered other vegetables which I did not take photos off.

For dessert – again I didn’t take photos of the red bean pancake – served warm, it wasn’t too sweet and tasty.

And banana fritters, which was soaked in creaming soda. The batter was sticky and sweet and oh so sinful! Perfect way to end the meal!

Service was good – I wouldn’t say it’s fantastic but it was good. Food was definitely better than the service. Love family gatherings.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Peking Garden

Shop B1, 1/F, Alexandra House,

16-20 Charter Road

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2526 6456

Shilin Market, Taipei, Taiwan

I have been to Taipei twice now. I can’t remember why I didn’t check out any of the markets the first time we were there, I am guessing it was because of the rain, either that or we wanted to eat somewhere more ‘fancy’. Regardless the reason, this time, I was determined to check it out and Shilin was on the top of the list. It claims to be one of Taipei’s most famous hot spots and can be found in Shilin District of Taipei.

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We came relatively late and the place was packed! Majority of the food stalls were packed, people queuing to get in but never fret, the turnover is quite quick and there are plenty of foods on offer. I was told that one must eat oyster omelette, stinky tofu, green onion cake, salty chicken, thick cuttle fish soup, potato chips, meat roll to name a few. Knowing how greedy I am, I wanted to eat EVREYTHING!

Stall 1: I wanted stinky tofu with Taiwanese Kimchi – yes, they are incredibly stinky but if you can go past the smell, the tofu are actually quite tasty! It’s deliciously silky and it’s hard to stop at just one!

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The blood blocks soup is another favourite, definitely a favourite of mine!

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Stall 2: I can’t for the life remember the name of this restaurant but it was busy when we rocked up – we waited a good 5 minutes before seated. They are famous for their oyster omelette. The oysters were fat and plump – it was a really good and tasty dish, I wasn’t a massive fan of the sauce though.

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The soup – I think from memory they were chicken liver and they were good! It wasn’t a cold evening but it still went down nicely.

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Stall 3: I wanted to try these sausages – wasn’t a massive fan.

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Stall 4: for those who knows me, I love putu, which can be found in west Java. Putu is a type of round, steamed rice cake with a centre of melted palm sugar. Every time I go back to West Java I eat a ton of these, and my cousins make sure that they buy me heaps! I found something very close to it, however, instead of palm sugar it was with black sesame – and THEY WERE SCRUMPTIOUSLY GOOD! My only regret – NOT EATING MORE!

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Stall 5: how can you say no to fried dumplings? Be careful when eating them, I definitely burnt my mouth!

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Stall 6: fruits – I wanted something sweet, but thought I should be healthy and opt for fruits.

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We didn’t eat all the above food in one seating, we ate, then walked for 20 mins and then sat down again for another meal and so forth. Walking helped burn the previous meal off and we certainly had fun shopping. Didn’t buy anything though – I am pretty sure that I spent most of my money on food in Taipei!

If you haven’t been to Shilin market, definitely worth it, you can get there by train or if you are lazy like us, taxi!

Guyi Hunan, Shanghai

Wow – this post is definitely overdue. It’s from my trip to Shanghai about a couple of months ago. I was researching for places to eat in Shanghai, and Guyi Hunan came up a couple of times. We stumbled across it whilst shopping and thought it was a sign and decided to dine here. Even though it was 5.30pm, the place was already busy with diners – I have heard that you have to go early, otherwise you might have to wait for a while.

I remembered the restaurant being cold, and the waitress offered me a blanket which was nice! Think she thought Dragon might have been cold also! It was noisy though, but the overall décor was simple and nice. The menu was a thick book with fancy pictures which I like – it’s always nice to see pictures when ordering food.

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We started with some salted peanuts and pickled radish.

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‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the pipis with XO sauce – wow, these were fantastic. The pipis were fresh and chili gave it that nice kick. From memory, ‘The Mother’ ate almost the whole plate! He really enjoyed it.

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We couldn’t go past the duck which was swimming in big chunks of chili! It was spicy, seriously spicy but the duck was incredibly tender that it just fell off the bone.

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Last but not least – my favourite – pork belly. WOW! The pork belly was so tender that it just melted in my mouth. The sauce was sweet but not sickly rich, and I couldn’t help but eat most of it.

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Service was good, very tentative, and food came relatively quickly. I have to say, I was rather impressed and wouldn’t mind dining here again next time I am in Shanghai. Would definitely love to try their other dishes! The frog legs sounded interesting also.

It was a good albeit short trip to Shanghai, both ‘The Mother’ and Dragon enjoyed themselves – no doubt we will be back again either for work or leisure.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Guyi Hunan Restaurant

89 Fumin Lu

Shanghai

Ph: +86 21 6249 5628

Modern China, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

I have been to Modern China a couple of times now – so will combine both visits in the one post. Founded in 2002, I first went to Modern China about 2 years ago, the Tai Kok Tsui location in Olympian City and enjoyed it. I didn’t realise that they opened one in Times Square, Causeway Bay until my dear high school friend took me there. Located on the 10th floor of Times Square, we rocked up at about 1pm and thankfully we didn’t have to wait for very long – 15 minutes max?

The restaurant was quite spacious, cold – temperature wish, décor was a little cheesy I thought – not very modern at all! Menu was vast! It took us a while to decide what to order, but left all the ordering to my M.

We started with the golden tea smoked eggs (HKD15 each) – oh my, these babies were deliciously smoke-y and cooked to perfection.

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The shredded cucumber salad (HKD38) was refreshingly light and a little spicy which gave it a nice kick.

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I couldn’t stop eating these delicious moreish, fat and juicy prawn and vegetable dumplings.

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We both couldn’t go past the jung-bor style pork (2 pieces for $68) – OH MY GOD is all I can say. Tender, juicy pork, it was fatty, it was soft, it was calorific, but it was good! So good that I could probably eat two portions on my own!

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We also these plain buns to eat with the pork.

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Came back with the family about 1 month later and because my dear cousin was in town. He wanted the golden tea smoked eggs – we all got one but I am pretty sure he ate more than his share J

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The sizzling beef with Beijing leek (HKD88) was good but nothing special I thought.

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We ordered the sliced fish in spiced sauce (HKD126) and indeed it was spicy but it wasn’t as spicy as I had hoped. It didn’t leave that tingly sensation on my tongue but the fish were incredibly tender.

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We couldn’t go past the mouthful small steamed meat buns aka xiao long bau (8 pieces for HKD46) – perfect!

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The chefs special fried rice (HKD88) was good, I love the pork floss on top!

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And no doubt we ordered the jung-bor style pork also. Service was a bit of a hit and miss. Very minimal but food was reasonably good. We didn’t have dessert at Modern China, but we did have dessert elsewhere.

We ended up at Tsui Yuen Dessert at North Point, one of the many branches and I couldn’t go past the mango sago dessert – possibly my favourite dessert.

However, we also got the black sesame ‘dumplings’ in ginger – my favourite! The strong ginger gives it that nice kick and I love black sesame – so win win!

Overall a great evening of food, I hope you had a great time in Hong Kong dear cousin, come back soon!

Modern China

Shop 1002, 10/F, Food Forum, Times Square,

1 Matheson Street. Causeway Bay

Ph: +852 2506 2625

Tsui Yuen Dessert

G/F North Point Road

North Point

Ph: +852 3104 1528

Chom Chom, Central, Hong Kong

December 17, 2012 1 comment

Chom Chom is a modern Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, Central. It is where the desert bar used to be. They haven’t changed the interior much, there is an open kitchen were diners can watch the chef in action.

I have been here a couple of times now and I have to say, I am impressed. It is possibly the best Vietnamese restaurant in Hong Kong – the flavours, the freshness of the food, and the chef is so accommodating! If you didn’t want any herbs or wanted less noodles, he was more than happy to accommodate that. Chom Chom offers diners set lunch menu, you can either get a Starter and Main for HKD82 or Main and a drink for HKD73 or Starter, Main and Drink for HKD91.

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I can vouch that the fresh mint lime soda is excellent and perfect for a hot day!

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The crispy spring roll – pork, mushrooms, vermicelli, vegetables and nuoc cham sauce is a great started. It is fresh and the spring roll is indeed crispy.

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A colleague has tried the banh mi baguette sandwich – fresh baguette, pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, chili mayo with herb pesto chicken. He absolutely enjoyed it. He has never had a banh mi before so not sure if I trust his judgement. To date, I have not had their banh mi either as they have other dishes that I would like to eat.

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The signature dish – chom chom beef pho – beef broth, rare beef sirloin, slow roasted brisket is tremendously good. It was different though, not the same as that I have tried in Sydney. It was lighter, more refreshing and the fresh herbs gave it lots of flavour.

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I have had the Hue Spicy Beef Noodles – spicy beef broth, roast pork, beef brisket. This is probably my favourite dish at Chom Chom, the soup has the right amount of spiciness, and the beef extremely tender.

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The Hanoi-style chicken pho – light chicken broth, hand-shredded chicken, sliced lime leaves is not bad either, but I do prefer the beef pho or the hue spicy beef noodles.

Chom Chom does get extremely busy during lunch peak hour so either come early or make a reservation. We have been a couple of times during peak hour and was turned away!

Great find – really do enjoy the pho here.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 /1 0

Chom Chom

2F, 12 Wellington Street

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2868 3302