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Archive for June, 2013

22 Ships, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Like the name of the restaurant, 22 Ships is actually situated on 22 Ship Street in Wan Chai. The restaurant is quite small, with a capacity of about 35 people. There are absolutely no reservations policy and all members of your party must be present before being seated. This restaurant is led by Michelin-starred British celebrity chef Jason Atherton. It has a very casual atmosphere and very friendly.

22S_menu

I was here with one of my dear friends, M (yes this post is extremely late!). I have wanted to come here for dinner but because of the no reservations policy it was a bit hard, especially with Dragon, so we decided to go for lunch and that was definitely much better.

We started with the jamon iberico croquette, deliciously crispy, the croquette was soft and pillowy. I couldn’t really taste the jamon iberico which was a shame.

22S_croquette

The heirloom tomatoes and sherry vinegar was tasty. I love heirloom tomatoes, so does Dragon so this was a win win for all of us.

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I can never go past bone marrow and the baked bone marrow, onion jam, sourdough and gentlemen’s relish butter was beautiful. Aromatic bone marrow, scraped out and breadcrumbed before being nestled back in the bone.

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It was incredibly soft that it just melted in your mouth. The relish was rich, and the sweet caramelised onion a wonderful complement. I could have definitely eaten this dish on my own or even had seconds.

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We both couldn’t go past the suckling pig and this was probably the highlight for me. Crispy skin with the right amount of sinful fatty goodness. The meat was tender and loved the baked apple that went with it.

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We were getting full by this stage but couldn’t resist in getting the frozen black sesame, pineapple and carrot sorbet with coconut tapioca – OH EMMM GEEE! The pineapple and carrot sorbet was phenomenal, not to mention the frozen black sesame, and the coconut tapioca was just a wonderful complement. A perfect way to end the meal.

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I have to say, I really enjoyed the last couple of dishes – especially the bone marrow, suckling pig and dessert. The heirloom tomatoes were nice but nothing special I thought.

Service was polite and food came relatively quickly. My only gripe is that the restaurant is SMALL! It was hard to eat with Dragon as there weren’t a lot of room, if she was older I think it would have been even more difficult. Would definitely like to come back (for lunch again perhaps) and try their other dishes.

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

22 Ships

G/F, 22 Ship Street,

Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2555 0722

Dondonya Shokudo, Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong

Dondonya Shokudo is a ‘modern Japanese casual dining restaurant specialized in authentic and quality Japanese Donburi and rice dishes’. Apparently it uses special ‘Akitakomachi short grain rice from the Niigata prefecture of Japan’ – I am no expert in rice but I have to say it was pretty good! It’s inexpensive (think most items are less than HKD100) and the atmosphere is very casual.

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I have been here a number of times now, mainly for lunch and the food has always been consistently good. This particular Dondonya Shokudo can be found in City Plaza in Taikoo Shing (the only one on Hong Kong Island!). They have other branches in Kowloon and New Territories.

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On my first visit, I couldn’t go past the deep-fried pork cutlet with egg and rice (HKD78) – I think I have had this few times now. The pork is tender and crunchy and I love the soft gooey egg and onions underneath it. The rice for me was a little too much but it was good.

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The 2nd visit, I had the pork slices with rice. Again the pork was tender, however, my gripe would be there weren’t enough pork slices!

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‘The Mother’ had the ramen which he thought wasn’t too bad but butao ramen or ippudo are still his favourites!

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I have also had the steak which is not as tender as I had hoped.

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I think the best for me would have to be the deep-fried pork cutlet with egg and rice. I have heard that the service is a bit of a hit and miss, however, have never had that problem. It is very casual and atmosphere is pretty relaxing.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Luk Yu Tea House, Central

Luk Yu is one of the oldest and most famous traditional teahouse in Hong Kong. It has been operating since 1933, and gives you a sense of what the old days are really like. The restaurant has black ceiling fans, quaint wooden booths, stained-glass murals, marble tabletops and framed scrolls on white walls. Dim Sum is served between 7am and 5.30pm, they have English menus for those like me who can’t read Chinese (although I am re-learning!).

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We were here for brunch one Saturday morning. We made reservations but the place was relatively empty. We were seated on the top floor – from memory there were three floors and it took us a good 20 minutes to decide what we wanted. I wanted everything but obviously we all know my stomach is bigger than my eyes!

We started with the biggest chicken bau I have ever ordered at dim sum. The inside I thought was mediocre but the bau was definitely soft and fluffy.

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The flaky bbq pork biscuit was probably my favourite. The biscuit was deliciously crumbly and I love the minced pork inside. Probably could have eaten one or two on my own but wanted to try other dishes.

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The vegetables spring rolls were ok I thought – nothing special, a tad on the oily side.

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Ordered a serve of chicken and ginger soup for Dragon as she absolutely loves chicken. The ginger was on the mild side which was good but the chicken was tender.

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‘The Mother’ and M wanted some noodles – again I thought it was good but nothing special.

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The gigantic beef balls and tofu skin I absolutely loved! The beef balls were tender and eaten hot with chili is absolutely delicious.

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The vegetarian dumplings were good, I love the pastry skin, it wasn’t thick.

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The pork ribs with black bean sauce was tasty, pork tender and black bean sauce not over powering which was good.

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For dessert, we couldn’t go past the egg tarts, the pastry was flaky that it just melted in your mouth! I have to admit though, it wasn’t the best I have eaten, I still prefer the egg tarts in Hong Kong is still from Tai Cheong Bakery, which is just up the road from Luk Yu Tea House.

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We also got a serve of the custard bun – it was alright, thought the custard was on the sweet side.

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Overall, I thought Luk Yu was ok, definitely above average but I have definitely had better dim sum in Sydney or elsewhere, like Man Wah in Hong Kong or Metropol in Admiralty or Jasmine Place in Central. Service was a bit of a hit and miss.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Luk Yu Tea House

G/F-3/F, 24 Stanley Street

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2523 5464

Wong Chi Kee, Central, Hong Kong

M was in town and we were craving wonton noodles. I know there are probably many other wonton noodles place better than Wong Chi Kee, but I wanted to try somewhere different and ‘new-ish’. Wong Chi Kee reopened after it was forced to close down due to rent (as I was told). This place was recommended by my high school friend M, so thought we would check it out.

Both my parents couldn’t go past congee – whenever they see it at the menu they would order it. Dad had the pork intestines congee and absolutely loved it! It was a generous serving and slightly more expensive but he said it was worth it.

Mum had the pork and century egg, her staple congee and also really enjoyed it.

I wanted the beef brisket and wonton (without noodles, as I had noodles earlier for breakfast!). The beef brisket was ok, I have definitely had better, at Sister Wah in Tin Hau – I still think that’s still the beef brisket in Hong Kong (big call I know!).

The prawn wontons were big, plump and moreish.

M had the beef brisket and wontons noodles. She agreed with me that the beef brisket at Sister Wah is infinitely better. The egg noodles were good though.

Service minimal, price wise, I can’t remember each dish but total was about HKD180 which is reasonable cheap.

Pity the beef brisket was so so, but both my parents definitely enjoyed the congee.

GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10

Wong Chi Kee

Basement, 10-12 Stanley Street

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2869 1331

Bolaven, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Bolaven used to be Cafe Zambra and has been recently renovated and renamed. I can’t really remember what Zambra was like, went there for coffee only so not sure what the food was like. I was catching up with a couple of high school friends, the doctor and the accountant – two of my favorite peeps in Hong Kong! The accountant, M, suggested this place as it is close to her work.

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Bolaven serves IndoChinese cuisine, I heard that the restaurant owner is from Laos,. Both the doc and I couldn’t go past the Lao breakfast, two sunny side up eggs, with bacon and cha (which is Vietnamese sausage). It was a relatively simple breakfast, it was tasty and I really enjoyed the cha.

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The accountant couldn’t go past the pho – it was a relatively small serving. She thought it didn’t have enough flavours – and she was still hungry afterwards!

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I didn’t have coffee, but both the accountant and the doctor thought the coffee wasn’t that great. It was too bitter, like it was burnt which is a shame as we are always on the hunt of good coffee.

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Service was polite and welcoming and food came out relatively quickly. I was quite pleased with my dish but the accountant definitely wasn’t which was a shame.

GA’s ratings: 6 / 10

Bolaven

G/F, 239 Jaffe Road

Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2598 1322

Trolley Dessert, North Point

I have such a weak spot for desserts. I used to think that it was the most important meal of the day and there was a stage in my life that I had to have it after dinner.. as you can see it really didn’t help with the weight loss or my hips and thighs for that matter! Now I try and eat more fruits but I would have the occasional desserts once in a while.

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After our meal in North Point, we wanted something sweet and as I was taking Dragon for a walk I stumbled across this dessert place, Trolley Dessert. it was relatively empty, I asked the owners if they were new and they said at the time, they have only been opened for a month or two. I’m not sure what was here previously as I don’t venture out to North Point very often but was definitely curious enough to check it out. The menu was vast! From memory 4 pages long and yes they did have English menu for me who can’t read Chinese! They had all sorts of desserts for everyone, and you could add extra goodness to your dessert.

TD_menu

I have been craving grass or herbal jelly of late, and they don’t make the grass or herbal jelly like the one at meetfresh! The grass jelly with cha cha and green bean – it was seriously good! It wasn’t too sweet or too milky – the combination was just perfect.

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M couldn’t go past the black sesame glutinous rice balls – this is usually my favourite. Served hot with ginger – the more ginger the better obviously! I think my favourite for this is at Aunty Sweets – the last time I was there, I couldn’t help but order 2 servings of it! OMG!

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‘The Mother’ is on the hunt for the best mango, pomelo, sago dessert with mango ice cream. He was pretty happy with this one, especially with the ice cream.

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Overall the desserts I thought were nice. I am definitely keen to try the others so will definitely be back! It was relatively empty that evening, I do hope that they will still be there for my next visit! Hopefully soon!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Trolley Dessert

Shop 2A, G/F, Ngan Fai Building,

84-94 Wharf Road,

North Point, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2512 0820

Spring Trinity, North Point, Hong Kong

This place was highly recommended by a friend. M was in town, and we wanted to go for hotpot, however, it wasn’t your traditional hot pot (and you can see why later on!). The menu was all in Chinese, but thankfully one waiter was patient and explained to us what was on the menu one by one. He didn’t speak English well, I didn’t speak Cantonese at all but somehow we managed to understand each other.

ST_menu

Now Spring Trinity hotpot offers diners spicy chicken pot – apparently it has been trending for a while and I didn’t even know it! Spring Trinity offers diners all you can eat hotpot and drinks with their spicy chicken pot for HKD168. The hotpot comes in two broth choices, Sichuan spicy or pork bone, and from memory we opt for the Sichuan spicy but it wasn’t overly too spicy which was good.

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Started with some chicken wings and pickles.

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Before we start with the hotpot, the chicken pot is brought before us, and there was a GENEROUS amount of chicken which was extremely flavourful! I love the sauce, it was delicious.

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Once we have eaten the chicken or most of it, water is poured over it and this is where the hotpot begins! It was different, we kept finding pieces of chicken which was partly nice and partly annoying! Especially if you were expecting beef or something.

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Since we couldn’t really read the menu we relied on the waiter to get what we want – beef mainly, think we had about 4 servings off, a mixture of beef, pork balls, some pork, chicken and most importantly vegetables and noodles. Overall, it wasn’t too bad and I think we ordered pretty well!

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Service was friendly, the place was relatively small. It was good but this was the first time I’ve had chicken pot hotpot so can’t really compare. Will definitely have to try other places – recommendations are definitely welcomed! Reservations are highly recommended!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Spring Trinity

Shop 4, G/F, Gain Yu Building

96-110 Wharf Road

North Point, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2578 8123