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Archive for January, 2013

Watami, Kornhill, Hong Kong

Watami is a casual Japanese restaurant which originated from Japan. It’s very casual, from memory you can’t reserve, ticketing system only so try and go early to beat the peak hour rush. There are about 16 different locations in Hong Kong itself! Watami can also be found in both Singapore and Malaysia. I was here having lunch with the family on the weekend, the place was packed at 1.30pm and we probably waited a good 20 mins before being seated.

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The menu was vast with bright coloured pictures which we all liked! Thought we would share a couple of things, started with salmon sashimi rice, fresh sashimi pieces, it was delicious but my only gripe would be that there weren’t enough sashimi!

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Some assorted salmon sushi and sashimi – yes we all love our salmon sashimi!

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Deluxe assorted sashimi – salmon, scallop and shrimp. The scallop I love – it was fresh and not slimy at all.

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Couldn’t resist a serving of Japanese pumpkin and sweet potato – the batter was thin and the pumpkin and sweet potato were both deliciously sweet.

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Last but not least, pork katsu. It was thinly battered, crunchy and the pork as tender.

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Overall I thought the food and quality for the price wasn’t too bad. It was relatively cheap, from memory; the whole meal costs less than HKD300, which is less than AUD40! I’m definitely keen to try their other dishes, lots of salmon sashimi and perhaps the noodles.

Service was a bit of a hit and miss, but overall it wasn’t too bad.

GA’s ratings: 6 / 10

Watami

Kornhill Plaza, 1 Kornhill Road

Kornhill, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2560 6852

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Village Park Restaurant, Malaysia

This post is long overdue! I was in Malaysia last year in December for my cousin’s wedding. We weren’t there for long, we were in Kuala Lumpur (‘KL’) for four days, three nights. It’s been a very long time since I went to KL, we didn’t really want to do the tourist-y stuff as we have done that before. All I wanted to do was spend some time with family and EAT! I love Malaysian food, nasi lemak, es campur, kueh – I wanted to eat it all. However, due to family commitments, I didn’t get a chance to eat a lot of Malaysian food! No worries, Malaysia is not that far from Hong Kong, so I am pretty sure we will be back again sometimes soon!

We ate a lot of Chinese food, Chinese banquets mainly. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant where we went first night we were in KL. However, food was excellent, I especially loved the four hot and cold dishes combination, the chicken and fish were pretty tasty. But the dessert – red bean ‘pan cake’ was soooo good!

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We had brunch at Village Park Restaurant in Malaysia – winner of the best nasi lemak in klang valley in 2010!

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We left all the ordering to my cousin-in-law’s parents and they ordered superbly! The base, just the rice – nasi lemak with chili sauce and some peanuts. Loved the fragrant rice which was cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf.

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The fried chicken was seriously one of the best fried chickens I have had. The crispy and thin skin, the tender meat, it was fantastic! We ordered several plates of this, partially because I ate a ½ on my own! It was THAT good!

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The sotong (squid) curry was spicy which really gave it that nice kick! Really enjoyed the sotong here.

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Tempeh – fermented soy beans which was deep fried was nice.

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The spicy eggplant I utterly enjoyed!

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Fried pork floss was crunchy but seriously sinful – pretty sure I ate half a plate on my own!

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The fish curry complemented the nasi lemak well.

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Last but not least, vegetables… I didn’t have a lot of this as I wanted more of the chicken and the fish curry.

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It was an EXCELLENT meal, it was like nasi padang in Indonesia – so many choices I didn’t know where to start. Highlights would have to be the fried chicken, the fried pork floss and fish curry!

I couldn’t resist in getting es cincau (grass jelly) with milk. It definitely went down well, especially with all the spicy food.

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‘The Mother’ managed to get his seafood laksa fix – he said it wasn’t too bad, thinks they are better places though. Think we had this in a shopping mall and I am sure the laksa on the side street would be infinitely better.

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These fancy popsicles I love! I really wanted to try the durian one but they sold out so ended up getting the watermelon which was deliciously refreshing – especially on a hot day.

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Managed to eat es campur at Little Penang Kafe – it wasn’t too bad but I have to say I still prefer the es campur in Indonesia.

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The rojak was a also excellent – had to make sure that they didn’t put any nuts. Fresh fruits, oh how I miss good rojak. The other items on the menu looked pretty good but we were having another banquet that evening so didn’t want to eat too much.

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And of course a Chinese banquet for the wedding.

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Many thanks for inviting us to your special day dear cousin. Hope you had a fabulous time, we certainly did! Here’s to a long and happy marriage! So happy for you guys and can’t wait to catch up again!

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Lots of love xx

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Village Park Restaurant Malaysia

5, Jalan Ss21/37, Damansara Utama,

4700 Petaling Jaya, Selangor D.E

Ph: +60 3 7710 7860

Little Penang Cafe
Lot F001 and 100
First Floor, Mid Valley Megamall
Ph: +60 3 2282 0215

The Globe, Soho, Hong Kong

‘The Mother’ really likes this place – well he likes the beer that’s on offer at The Globe.  It is a pretty cool place for lunch on weekdays as well as weekends. They have some pretty tasty pies on offer which ‘The Mother’ really enjoyed.

Situated on Hollywood, the restaurant itself is quite big, it’s very down-to-earth and offers diners warm ‘British’ comfort food. I have been here a couple of times now, mainly for lunch. Came with my colleague and he had the set menu – two courses for HKD135.

He started with the vegetable samosa with mint chutney.

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For mains, poached salmon, wasabi mash, prawns, spinach and cream. The salmon was beautifully cooked. The wasabi mash was delicious – a hint of wasabi and the prawns a wonderful complement.

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I have heard a lot about their fish fingers with honey mustard dip (HKD 70) and they certainly did not disappoint. Crispy skin, the fish fingers were moist and tender and I loved the honey mustard dip!

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I couldn’t go past the Greek halloumi, quinoa, tabulleh, stuffed aubergine, tzatziki, pomegranate vinaigrette (HKD 90). The halloumi was lightly coated and then deep fried – I love halloumi cheese and the fact that it was fried… oh my! YUM! The tzatziki and pomegranate vinaigrette was a wonderful complement.

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I came back here during the Christmas break with some friends. I had the Caesar Salad which was fresh and tasty. They didn’t have any chicken left (not sure why!) so asked if I could have it with some pork sausages – surprisingly it went well!

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‘The Mother’ had the pie which he thoroughly enjoyed. I think he’s glad that he can get ‘decent’ pies here in Hong Kong.

I’d suggest you make a reservation. Sometimes it is seriously busy at lunch times! Service efficient and friendly and it is kids friendly also!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

The Globe

Shop A, G/F, Graham Street,

Soho, Hong Konh

Ph: +852 2543 1941

Jang Korean, Central

It’s been a while since I had Korean food and from time to time I would crave Korean food. A colleague suggested we come here for lunch, it is located in the L Place (am working my way floor by floor of this building!) and I love the contemporary design with slick furniture! Jang claims that it is the ‘first Korean restaurant in Hong Kong to serve high quality, modern Korean cuisine’. Like almost all restaurants in Hong Kong, Jang offers diners a lunch set special that ranges from bulgogi, to bim bim bap, to pork kim chi and many more.

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We all started with banchan – Korean side dishes which consisted of kimchi – MY FAVOURITE! Broccoli with tomato sauce – which I thought was a bit weird, bean sprout salad and lotus.

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There were also some potatoes and more kimchi (of course!)

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I had originally wanted the barbecued beef brisket, unfortunately they ran out so opt for the kimchi stew with pork belly, tofu and spring onions and my goodness! It was served with rice, but look at the redness of the soup! It wasn’t as spicy as I had anticipated. My only gripe was that there weren’t enough pork. I could count the number of pork slices in ONE HAND!

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J ordered the bimbimbap – and this looks absolutely delightful! He demolished this within seconds.

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With the set, we were given dessert – from memory this was mochi with red bean!

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My other colleague ordered the Jang Special seafood noodle: spicy stock with clam, prawn, squid, mussel which also looked delicious.

I came here earlier this year in 2013 with colleagues, and thought we would share a couple of the set lunch items. This time we ordered something different. The bbq pork we thought was a little bland. It didn’t have any sauce – the meat itself was tender but lacked something.

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The chili pork which reminded me a little bit like sweet and sour pork was a hit! We shared this dish and everyone wanted more.

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The noodle and beef hotpot was also a hit. The soup I thought was on the sweeter side, but it was perfect for a cold day.

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I am keen to try their dinner, the menu looks good, however it is on the pricier side but the food quality was better than most Korean food I have been too in Hong Kong.

Will definitely be back for dinner!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Jang

18/F, The L Place

139 Queens Road

Central, Hong Kong

Ph:P +852 2412 0002

Sal Curioso, Central, Hong Kong

Sal Curioso is the sister restaurant of Madam Sixty Ate – the food at Sal Curioso is Tapas style – to share. A couple of my dear friends from Sydney were in town and I suggested this place. The menu has a modern Spanish and South American themed. I have noticed that there are a lot more tapas like restaurants opening in Hong Kong, 22 ships, Chicha, to name a few.

Sal Curioso is headed by husband and wife duo Chris Woodyard and Browyn Cheung of Woolly Pig Concepts who are also the brains behind Madam Sixty-Ate.  I didn’t really enjoy the food at Madam Sixty-Ate, not sure if it’s what I ordered but I recall everyone on the table did not think highly of their dish. Nevertheless, I was still keen to try their new establishment.

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We left all the ordering to our foodie friend, IW, he owns a restaurant so I would expect him to order well and let’s just say he did not disappoint! We started with the Albondigas – saltbush lamb meatballs on walnut braised chickpeas and shaved foie gras. These were surprisingly tasty but a little on the lamb-y side (as you may recall I am not a huge fan of lamb!). However, the lamb was tender, and the foie gras was a little on the subtle side.

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The Peruivan duck confit ceviche with orange tonic foam, duck jus was a hit. It was served with sweet potato chili gel and wafer. Not quite what I was expecting, as the ceviche was actually cooked. Nevertheless, the duck was tender and the orange a wonderful complement.

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The Jumbalaya – a dry jumbalaya of puffed rice, seared squid, torched prawn, smoked chorizo, celery gel, pepper, onion rings and popcorn chicken was surprisingly tasty. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the puffed rice was moist, and the seafood a wonderful complement.

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IW and I share our love for pork, so the molasses suckling pig was a must! Six hour pig with pear, mustard fruit compote and oh my – this was mouth-watering. Tender pork meat, crunchy skin – what more can you ask for? This was definitely one of the highlights for me.

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The buttermilk fried chicken – free range chicken, soft grits, corn ragout and fritters were excellent. The chicken meat was juicy and tender, the corn ragout complemented the chicken. Another favourite for the diners, including myself.

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The blood pudding was interesting but good. I love blood pudding so really enjoyed this, however, if you are not a huge fan of blood pudding then this dish is not for you.

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The beetroot salad with quinoa was wonderful. Fresh and light and I love the haloumi cheese which was served with it.

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The arancini was surprisingly tasty – served with olives, it was slightly sour but not powering.

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The potted key lime pie – lime marmalade coconut sorbet, and biscuits, coconut crisps was a little hard to photograph. Not quite what I expected as I had expected a slab of lime pie but instead, a somewhat deconstructed lime pie – it was sour but the coconut sorbet was a wonderful complement. Not my favourite dessert unfortunately.

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The rocky road – marshmallow chocolate sundae I enjoyed, and the sorbet was a wonderful complement.

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Last but not least – fried leche bread pudding – chili chocolate fudge, chocolate rosemary ice cream, soil and bourbon marshmallows – this I adored! It was sweet, there was a hint of spiciness in the chocolate, a mix of both. The fried bread pudding was definitely delightful! YUM!

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Overall I thought food was tasty – I think also IW ordered extremely well! You can never go wrong when eating out with IW! He truly does love his food and knows how to order! It was lovely to see you both and hopefully we will have a meal together soon!

Definitely prefer this restaurant than Madam Sixty-Ate!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Sal Curioso

2/F, 32 Wyndam Street

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2537 7555

Derby Restaurant and Bar, Happy Valley

I don’t go to the Happy Valley Clubhouse very often, in fact this is the first time that I have been. From memory, you have to become a member – Hong Kong is a bit like that, you have to become a member for everything! It was our work Christmas party and this is where we had it. It is a ‘sophisticated restaurant’ and gents aren’t allowed to go in wearing jeans. A colleague of mine wore jeans and they lent him a pair of pants to wear – I kid you not! On the website, they mentioned that ‘business casual with special arrangement’ is the attire and the minimum standard is a blazer or sport jackets over shirts, sports shirt with collars or turtle necks. Ladies are required to dress to a comparable standard and blue denim jeans are unacceptable!

The restaurant was dark – dim lighting, perfect for a date or a special occasion. Diners had the option to have a la carte or set menu, most of us except for two had the a la carte. We started with some warm bread – choices of multigrain, sundried tomato, whole wheat baguette and sourdough. From memory I had the sourdough.

Started with the tomato consommé, this was light and surprisingly tasty, fresh tomato pieces and ravioli.

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‘The Mother’ had the potato and leek soup which was deliciously creamy.

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For mains I couldn’t go past the loin and belly of sabaguta pork, pork knuckle ravioli, cider and marjoram jus, celeriac puree, and sautéed apple – my goodness what a mouthful! I didn’t know where to start! So much pork cooked in different ways. The loin and belly were incredibly tender that it just melted in your mouth. I didn’t enjoy the ravioli so much – thought the pork was a little tough but the loin and belly – to die for!

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‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the grilled Australian wagyu beef tenderloin sauce béarnaise, sautéed spinach, and French fries. The steak was cooked to perfection, medium rare and the French fries, thick and crispy just the way I like it.

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One of my colleagues had the slow cooked black truffled free range chicken breast with sauce albufera, petit pois a la francasiuse, aromatic pilaf rice. I didn’t have any of this but was told that it was good, very good in fact.

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I was getting a little full by now, however, we couldn’t go past the strawberry cheesecake semifreddo with mango and strawberry compote. It was too pretty to eat, the cheesecake was tasty and the mango and strawberries a wonderful complement.

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The hazelnut soufflé, valrhona chocolate sauce and praline ice cream I was told was excellent. The hazelnut soufflé was incredibly light and fluffy and the praline ice cream delightful. I was a little sad that I couldn’t try this – silly nut allergy!

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We shared another dessert, as one of my colleagues wanted to try the apple and blueberry crumble with ginger scented ice cream. It wasn’t what we expected – the crumble was just on the top and not much of it. Unfortunately I didn’t like this dessert, the semifreddo was definitely better!

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We also had some petite fours which I didn’t have, as I was beyond full! To be honest, I don’t even remember what they are! SORRY! Service tentative, food I thought was pretty good, especially the pork (surprise surprise). The steak and the French fries were pretty enjoyable also.

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This was a combined Christmas party and farewell. One of my dearest colleague was leaving to go back home. You will be missed my dear friend, I have missed you already but I do have this gorgeous scarf to remind you off! Thanks for all your help and most importantly, thanks for the scarf! GORGEOUS!

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GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Derby Restaurant and Bar

B1/F&1/F Happy Valley Clubhouse, Shan Kwong Road

Happy Valley, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2966 1310

Myung Ga Korean Restaurant, Tai koo Shing, Hong Kong

I love Korean food, I am no connoisseur but have always enjoyed it. I love Madang in Sydney but have yet to find a favourite one in Hong Kong. Myung Ga can be found in Taikoo Shing, just near where I live and I have to say, the food is pretty tasty and reasonably priced also.

Seven different types of balancan – kimchi (which we all loved!), broccoli, greens, pumpkin, chives and a couple more which I can’t remember. Loved the kimchi and pumpkin.

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Usually I like to eat Korean bbq, however, with Dragon, it is rather difficult, the smoke, the smell so thought we would order a la carte. We started with the chicken pancake, we would usually order seafood but thought we would try something different. The pancake was deliciously thin with a crispy bottom, and the chicken was a wonderful complement. Something different, as we always get the seafood pancake.

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The chicken bimbimbap served in a hot stone pot wasn’t too bad, I definitely had better at some Korean restaurants in Sydney.

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Last but not least, beef brisket which was served with radish was absolutely wonderful. The beef brisket were incredibly tender that it just melted in my mouth and a generous serving also!

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Overall, the food was pretty good, I am keen to try their other dishes and the Korean BBQ. Will have to go back when there are more than 3 of us!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Myung Ga Korean Restaurant

Shop G402-03, Yuan Kung Mansion,

20 Tai Koo Shing Road

Tai Koo Shing, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2539 6398