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Neighborhood, Central, Hong Kong

Sorry for the lack of post, I have been hit hard with the stomach flu and was bedridden for a few days. My goodness, there is some serious bug going around Hong Kong and the stomach flu was not a pleasant one! Glad to say that I am on the mend, and looking forward to blogging and eating out again. I had the pleasure of dining at Neighrbourhood for my birthday. Now, the entrance is not on Hollywood Road as it says but it is actually at the back, on the little memorial garden for Sun Yat San. This place is extremely popular and has two sittings, one at 6.00pm and the other at 8.30pm. We were dining with Dragon, so had no problems with the 6pm sitting.

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The restaurant was relatively quiet when we arrived but about 30 – 40 mins later it was quite full. The restaurant is quite small (maybe up to 25?) and I loved the minimalist décor with wooden, clothless tables. The menu was simple, nothing too descriptive but you get the jist.

Whilst perusing the menu, we started with some bread, which the waitress was more than happy to refill for us as we had one hungry Dragon eating all the bread. The bread was deliciously warm, and how I’ve missed good bread!

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We started with the wagyu tartare / parmesan / truffle (HKD145) and oh my my, this was absolutely delicious. It was fresh, the parmesan and truffle really gave it that extra nice flavouring.

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‘The Mother’ wanted to try the seasonal vegetables / anchovy (HKD125) – it didn’t look like much, I was actually quite surprised and thought what the? The vegetables were cold but it was the anchovy sauce that made it excellent. This was ‘The Mother’s’ favourite dish!

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We thought we would order the baby zucchini risotto / zucchini blossom (HKD140) for Dragon and she loved it until she ate some pepper corn and claimed it was too ‘spicy’. We really loved the baby zucchini risotto, it was creamy and cooked to perfection.

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The handmade tagliolini (HKD135) we really enjoyed, especially Dragon. It was so simple but yet so addictive!

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The daily meat / roast (HKD155) was pork belly and no doubt we had to order it and this definitely DID NOT Disappoint!! The meat and fat ratio was perfect and the skin had a lovely crackle. The pork belly was served with some lentils, and carrots which was a wonderful complement.

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For dessert, we thought we would share the chocolate palette (HKD70) – oh my my. Soft chocolate ganache with a thin layer of sweet chocolate cookie crust.

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It was divinely rich, and we loved every mouthful of it!

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The food was definitely excellent, and we enjoyed our meal. The waiter / waitress were great with Dragon and she definitely enjoyed herself. Will definitely be back to try their other dishes and have the chocolate palette again!

Neighborhood

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

61-63 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong (between Peel and Aberdeen Streets and entrance on Pak Tsz Lane Park behind Hollywood Road)

Ph: +852 2617 0891

 

Eschalot Restaurant, Berrima, New South Wales

A special guest post today from a dear friend, M, who loves his food as much as I do. His lovely wife A, treated him to a surprise birthday lunch at this hatted regional restaurant in the Souther Highlands.

Situated in an old sandstone cottage, customers can order dishes A La Carte, opt for a $110 tasting menu or choose the “Chef’s Favourites Menu” which apparently includes perennial favourites like Gruyere and Goat’s Cheese soufflé, Thirlmere Duck Confit and Rose Creme Brûlée. We opted for the latter course, but instructed them to hold off on the brûlée, as A was keen to peruse the dessert menu in a bit more detail.

A delightful amuse bouche of tomato consommé and basil oil was presented to us on arrival.

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The soufflé was situated on a bed of goat’s curd, surrounded by a veritable moat of Gruyere sauce and topped with some crushed almonds. The sauce had an intense cheese flavour, which complemented the light soufflé well. Wonderful entree!

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The supremely delicious Thirlmere duck arrived next on a slab of slate, which gives a nice modern look but may not be entirely necessary. The breast was cooked sous vide and legs slowly roasted. It’s an awesomely rich main course that is best accompanied by an awesomely rich South Australian Shiraz.

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Due to the awesome richness of the previous two courses, we avoided some of the heavier dessert options and opted for a deconstructed carrot cake. It was an organised mess of carrot sponge, carrot gel, strips of candied purple carrot and some candied greens. We appreciated the work that went into this, but would have been just as satisfied with a slice of fully-constructed carrot cake.

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Apricot meringues and hazelnut truffles accompanied our teapots at the end of the meal.

Bravo Restaurant Eschalot, you fully deserve the accolades you’ve received and we’d gladly return to try more of your offerings.

M’s rating: 8/10

Eschalot Restaurant

24 Old Hume Highway

Berrima, 2577

Ph: +61 2 4877 1977

Eschalot on Urbanspoon

La Vache! Central, Hong Kong

Things are still crazy busy, I am trying to get ‘healthy’ so whilst Dragon is at school,  instead of blogging I am at the gym – yes you are reading that right! Not every day though, trying to go 2-3 times a week and the other 2 days I am catching up with friends. Working, being a full time mum, really doesn’t give me much time and at night when Dragon is asleep, all I want to do is curl up in bed catching up on my TV drama shows! Hence the blog being slightly neglected! Apologies 🙂

I was catching up with an old friend for lunch, we catch up at least once a fortnight, sometimes we try something new, other times we just go back to the usual places. This time however, she suggested we go to La Vache! Now I haven’t been but J has been many times before and I can see why.

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La Vache! only serves one dish and is a restaurant focused on steak frites – now how can I say no to that? Steak and bottomless fries are the only things that La Vache! serves for HKD258, USD35 and you get bread and butter to start as well as a green leaf salad with walnuts – not bad I thought. Now the steak itself is pretty decent, it’s quite juicy, tender, flavourful and totally hit the spot when you are craving for some beef! It’s not the best steak I’ve had but it is pretty decent – bang for buck!

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The salad was simple, fresh and delicious. I had to pick out the nuts – damn nut allergy 😦

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Steaks are served on a silver platter pre-cut and ready to eat. I ordered medium rare and even though it was a little red than I wanted it was still pretty good!

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The chips – love thin fries and yes, you heard right, bottomless!

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Not only that, dessert – OMG! 3 large profiteroles filled with vanilla bean ice cream – pause! my stomach was about to explode!

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Service was good, we came for lunch and it was packed! I am pretty sure everyone left stuffed to the brim, and I waddled back to work taking the long way back. Will definitely come back for another steak fix.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

La Vache!

48 Peel Street

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2880 0248

Upper Modern Bistro, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

There’s been a lot of talk about Upper Modern Bistro and trying to make a reservation at this restaurant has been painful! It’s always fully booked which i guess is a good sign. I have missed my eating partner in crime, thesuzchef, so when she was in Hong Kong, I made sure I utilised her time and ‘dragged’ her to all the new restaurants in Hong Kong that I have been dying to try! I made reservations for lunch on a weekday and was extremely grateful that they had a table for us!  Philippe Orrico is the chef behind Upper Modern Bistro – he’s worked in restaurants such as Pierre at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong as well as St George at Hullett House in Hong Kong. Food I have to say was great and service was efficient.

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For lunch, diners had the option of a set lunch or a la carte. Both S and I opt for the set lunch – soup or salad with main and dessert. We started with some foccaccia which Dragon demolished – she was extremely hungry and this girl does not wait for food!

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S opt for the salad which I have to say was a little disappointing – we weren’t expecting something fancy but this was quite dull to say the least.

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I opt for the daily soup which was pumpkin soup – poured on the table.

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The pumpkin soup was a little watery for my liking – I really like my soup a little thicker. The flavours were right, just it lacked a little thickness.

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For mains, S opt for the mushroom tagliatelle, 63 degrees eggs, parmesan cheese sauce. It looked absolutely fantastic – perfect egg, and mixed together with pasta and parmesan cheese, it was excellent. At first, S thought it was a tiny serving but it was definitely filling.

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I was originally going to go for the steak but milk fed veal head caught my attention. Cooked with white beans, mustard and truffle – I couldn’t say no. The veal head was incredible tender, the collagen and fatty bits were divine. It was very comforting and perfect for winter. The white beans were a wonderful addition. Even Dragon had a few mouthfuls of the veal head.

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The lychee sorbet was refreshing light and the perfect way to end the meal. Mind you – I didn’t have much of it as Dragon took over and ate all of it by herself!

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We were tempted to order another dessert, the upper chocolate from memory, however, it contained nuts and the revised version sans nuts weren’t that exciting so we decided not too. I am definitely keen to come back for dinner, the a la carte menu sounds exciting and the desserts sounds great also.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Upper Modern Bistro

6-14 Upper Station Street

Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2517 0977

Wild Grass, Sunday brunch, Central Hong Kong

I have heard wonderful things about Wild Grass which is tucked away on Arbuthnot Road. Wild Grass is ‘all about natural, sustainable ingredients, lovingly prepared by traditional slow cooking methods’. I wanted to try somewhere different for brunch, I love the open space – not a lot of restaurant in Hong Kong has this much space and the menu sounded wonderful.

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For Sunday brunch, Wild Grass offers diners different types of starters and a buffet featuring their famous roasts including organic roast chicken, organic beef rump, New Zealand lamb leg, crispy pork rib and some vegetables. Each of the dish were perfectly prepared and it was hard not to try every single one.

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We started with some bread.

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For starters, diners have 6 options – most of us opt for the organic poached egg benedict with cured bacon. Perfectly poached egg, on a top of brioche with bacon. It was a good way to start brunch!

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H had the chilled tomato gazpacho with soft boiled quail egg and cherry tomatoes. This was surprisingly nice – I am not usually a fan of cold soup but on a hot day I can probably have this.

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I couldn’t help but ask for a little bit of everything of their roast. The organic roast chicken was incredibly tender and Dragon’s favourite. The organic beef rump was my favourite – yes I preferred it to the pork. The beef was succulent and cooked to perfection. The pork was also very good. I think we all had more than one serving!

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Dessert was a choice of sweets or savoury. Savoury being cheese – blue, bree and one hard cheese which I can’t for the life of me remember! which was served with biscuits and bread and served with fruit.

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The sweets being tiramisu, apple crumble and pavolva. I really liked the apple crumble – but I am a sucker for anything crumble. ‘The Mother’ really enjoyed the tiramisu.

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Sunday brunch cost HKD298 per person, service was polite and friendly. They had music also, so Dragon got to dance a little bit. I really enjoyed the Sunday brunch here – good for long family brunches and the food is pretty decent.

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GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Wild Grass

1/F, 4-8 Arbuthnot Road,

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2810 1189

Bouchon Bistro Francais, Soho, Hong Kong

Bouchon bistro can be found on Elgin Street in Soho. I have wanted to try this cute little French bistro for a while now, so when my cousin IW came to town, and we were walking around Soho, I suggested this place. The place was relatively small, lots of booths and high chairs, which to be frank wasn’t ideal when you are eating with a baby.

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The lunch menu was quite reasonable 2 courses for HKD118, or 3 courses for HKD138. ‘The Mother’ and IW had 3 courses each, unfortunately nothing on the set menu Dragon could eat so opt for just a la-carte. We started with some bread, warm. crusty and fluffy inside. Dragon had at least 3/4 of this loaf by herself! Yes she loves eating bread when we are at restaurants, she knows that it is nicer than the ones I buy!

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Dragon and I had the Poulet Roti (HKD188) – Half roasted chicken with truffle jus. The chicken was incredible tender and tasty, even Dragon enjoyed it – yes, she ate at least half of it!

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‘The Mother’ had the mushroom salad which was underneath the mountain of rocket.

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IW had the spinach soup which he thought was very ‘spinach-y’, a little too creamy for his liking.

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Both ordered the steak frites served with bernaise sauce. The steak was incredibly tender, and the bernaise sauce was a wonderful complement.

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The chips – we all loved!

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For dessert, ‘The Mother’ opt for tarte jour which was chocolate brownie with walnut and vanilla ice cream. The brownie was quite dense, and the vanilla bean ice cream a wonderful complement.

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IW had the creme brûlée and it passed the tapping crack test! it was creamy and delicious.

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Service was good and food delicious. Reasonably priced too for lunch which is always nice.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Bouchon Bistro Francais

G/F, 49 Elgin Street,

Soho, Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2525 9300

Bouchon

Claude’s, Woollahra

I haven’t been to Claude’s for a while now and have wanted to go ever since the refurbishment. They have shifted the fine dining area upstairs and opened a casual, affordable eatery / wine bar downstairs. Downstairs was still tiny, it was cosy and not as loud as I had anticipated.  I was having a girl’s night with one of my dear friend, M. She has been here a couple of times and knew exactly what to order!

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We started with the Pig’s face roll (2 for $12) – delicious slow braised pork cheek and black fungus relish on a toasted buttery milk bun! Oh my, the pork was extremely tender and the black fungus was a wonderful complement. Could definitely have eaten two on my own!

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The double-baked gruyere cheese soufflé ($22) was to die for! OH MY!!!! It smelt absolutely amazing and was incredibly delicious. The outer layer was a little crispy and the inside is full of cheesy goodness! It was absolutely tasty.

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Fried chicken, cashew and curry leaf ($18) is a must order – without the cashew of course. The chicken was tender and I loved the crunchiness of the skin.

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Last but not least, pork belly, parsnip puree and onion ($33). Melt in your mouth pork belly with the amount of fat to meat ratio, and creamy parsnip puree. I would have preferred the skin to be a little crispier though.

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Dessert was brown sugar soufflé – soft, fluffy and not ultra-sweet which was nice.

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It was a lovely dinner with friends, we probably over ordered but it was good to try the simpler dishes of Claude’s. Service was lovely and tentative and would definitely love to come back to try their other dishes. I really like what they have done to Claude’s, especially the bar area downstairs. Its very relaxing and you can even have dinner at the bar which is nice.

As always, it was lovely catching up with M! I certainly have missed our dinners together.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Claude’s

10 Oxford Street

Woollahra, 2021

Ph: +61 2 9331 2325

Claude's on Urbanspoon