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Archive for the ‘Steak’ Category

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

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El Toro Negro, Kafka Snob Food, Prague

Wow – it seems so long ago that we were in Prague – almost 3 months ago. Sorry it has taken me this long to post my eats in Prague. To be honest, I wasn’t utterly blown away by the food in Prague, the food was so so. Maybe it was my taste buds, or the fact that I didn’t really research it enough but nothing really wow’ed me unlike in Helsinki!

We arrived late afternoon in Prague. Dragon was still jet lagged so was pretty much asleep as soon as we checked in. We stayed at the Prague city apartments and I have to say, it was one of the nicest apartments I have stayed – it was bigger than our current place in Hong Kong! It was an old building but the inside was beautiful and we truly enjoyed our stay there.

We wandered around town, and stumbled across El Toro Negro – it was packed but thankfully they could fit us in. It is a steak bar and is located in the oldest part of Prague opposite the Old Town astronomical clock.

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The menu was vast – diners have the option of choosing a wide range of meats and fish and there were over 120 cocktails on offer! I couldn’t go past the grilled tenderloin pork which was served with chips. The pork was tender and the chips was excellent!

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‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the Argentinean rib-eye steak served with potatoes. The steak was cooked to perfection, medium rare and tender. Rather a small serving but we had our eyes set on desserts at the markets.

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We walked around the night markets – it was beautiful and the food looked good, especially the desserts. ‘The Mother’ couldn’t resist these hot donuts and they were excellent when eaten warm, especially in the cold weather.

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I couldn’t go past the crepes with nutella and banana – seriously sinful and seriously delicious!

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We went to the markets at least 3 times during our stay, we just couldn’t stay away – the desserts and snacks were just too good!

The next morning, we were strolling by and found this cute little cafe – kafka snob food. The cafe was rather cute, I liked the relaxing vibe but the food was a little ordinary I thought.

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The scrambled eggs were a little dry for my liking and incredibly salty!

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The croissant was delicious – crunchy pastry and soft fluffy on the inside

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‘The Mother’ had the muesli, the yogurt was nice and creamy but nothing special I thought.

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There was fruit salad also, which was again nice but nothing special – Dragon demolished it. Service was friendly but we didn’t go back for breakfast during our trip. There were better cafe’s I thought.

El Toro Negro

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Address: Staromĕstské nám. 22, 110 00 Praha 1 – Staré Mĕsto, Czech Republic

Phone:+420 221 632 536

Kafka snob food

GA’s ratings: 5 / 10

Address:  Siroka 64/12, Prague, Czech Republic

Phone:  +420 725 915 505

Carnevino, Central, Hong Kong

I am always on the hunt for a good steak place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a steak house, like Blue Butcher or Bistecca. I had a fantastic steak at Doppio Zero earlier this year. I have heard good things about Carnevino so suggested this place when a couple of my fellow diners were keen on steak.

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Carnevino is an Italian steakhouse in the heart of Central. The name “Carne” stands for steaks and “vino” stands for wine which promises to serve the highest quality steaks and fantastic wine. The restaurant was quite spacious, and it was quite dark – perfect for a romantic dinner.  We started with amuse bouche – watermelon with mint – I really do like that combo!

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The menu was vast, lots of steak on the menu as well as poultry and fish. No one wanted entree but i really couldn’t go past the bone marrow with preserved lemon gremolata (HKD198), roasted bone marrow with preserved lemon and parley and my goodness – I LOVE! I have to admit, the one at Blue Butcher is probably slightly better, but I would happily eat this one on my own also.

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It took the boys a while to decide what kind of meat and what type they wanted. I think the mulled over it for about 15 mins – USDA filet? ribye? Australian grass fed? I have to admit, it went for quite a while! LOL. I ordered the smallest steak possible which was 6oz – USDA filet, medium rare. The steak was tender, and cooked the way I liked it.

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I can’t exactly remember which steak ‘The Mother’ or the other boys had but they weren’t overly too impressed with their steak. It was hard and they all said that Blue Butcher was infinitely better.

C had the tuna (HKD338) slightly seared, served with potatoes. C thoroughly enjoyed it.

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For sides, we ordered the guanciale mashed potatoes (HKD88) – mascarpone mashed potatoes with pork jowl and a poached duck egg and oh my, smooth, creamy and delicious – I would happily have licked the plate!

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The charred long beans with salmoriglio (HKD78) wasn’t too bad. I really enjoyed the shitake mushrooms with balsamic (HKD78) and the tuscan wedges (HKD78) – crispy potatoes with parmigiano reggiano and garlic was also wonderful.

I was getting full by this stage, but ‘The Mother’ and I couldn’t go past the profiteroles – cream puffs sandwiched with vanilla ice cream and topped with warm dark chocolate sauce – OH MY!!!!

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The carrot cake, coconut ice cream, ginger carrot sauce was a hit!

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I know D was a little disappointed with his dessert – chocolate-banana brownie. He thought the brownie could have been ‘better’.

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Service was polite and friendly. We had dragon who was running around, and dropping food all over the floor and they didn’t really complain! Food was a bit of a hit and miss, especially in terms of the steak but I really enjoyed mine could be because I have been craving for it. However, I must admit, I still do prefer Blue Butcher!

GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10

Carnevino

5th Floor, LHT Tower,

31 Queen’s Road

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2352 7700

Little Hunter, Melbourne

I love going to Melbourne for a short trip, whether it is for work or a long weekend getaway. I was in Melbourne for work during my Sydney trip and I have heard so much about Little Hunter that I had to go and check it out myself. Gavin Baker (ex sous chef at Fat Duck, London) and Pete Evans (chef and host / judge on My Kitchen Rules) head this lovely establishment which is located in the basement of 195 Little Collins Street.

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I had perused the menu before coming and knew exactly what I wanted. We started with the in-house baked herd bread which was served with chicken skin butter – yes you heard me right, chicken skin butter! It was incredibly delicious, the bread was warm and soft and slathered with the butter was just AMAZING! I wanted to lick the little bowl on my own!

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My dining companions and I couldn’t go past the pork crackling topped with paprika and white cheddar which was served with apple sauce ($6). My goodness – these were so addictive that I couldn’t stop eating them. The pork crackle were light, airy and crispy and I absolutely loved the paprika and white cheddar.

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The cured kingfish with seasoned roe, roasted peppers and bay oil ($14) was a hit. ‘The Mother’ absolutely loved it – he said it was extremely light and the flavours were wonderful.

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My aunt couldn’t go past the fish, Chatham Island Blue Cod which was served with sea grasses, leeks, and brown butter ($39). The fish was pan fried which was deliciously crispy and the fish itself was wonderful.

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The rest of us, the three of us, couldn’t go past the wood-roasted pork served with kale, cider vinegar and fresh sausage ($38). Oh my, more crackles! The pork meat was tender, and I loved the cider vinegar, it really gave it a nice kick. I couldn’t help but steal some of ‘The Mother’s’ crackle as well!

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We ordered a couple of sides, fresh vegetables, olive oil, butter, and lemon peel ($9).

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I absolutely loved the roasted yams with gremolata ($7) – it was incredibly tender and absolutely delicious.

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The little hunter fries with fry sauce ($6) was also a hit!

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We were stuffed but couldn’t help but order dessert. Thought we would share the licorice ice cream, milk crumbs, bee pollen and candied citrus ($12). I have never had licorice ice cream and oh my, this was fantastic! It was different but in a good way and not too sweet. The milk crumbs and candied citrus was a wonderful complement.

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Service was excellent and food came relatively quickly. We all thoroughly enjoyed our food and would definitely be back for more. I love Melbourne and its fantastic restaurants.

GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10

Little Hunter

195 Little Hunter Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph: +61 3 9654 0090

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Blue Butcher, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Blue Butcher has been around for a while now but it was only recently that I dined there. Blue Butcher can be found in the middle between the Press Room and Classifieds, and I love the dim lighting, and atmosphere. The design of the restaurant reminds me a little of New York restaurants and the food I have to say was fantastic.

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We started with the Spanish ham and egg / asparagus / mushroom / thyme (HKD 125) and oh my, this was outstanding. I couldn’t get enough of the ham and egg combination, the oozy egg, YUM!

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I insisted that we ordered the bone marrow / toast / caper berries / parsley / salt flakes (HKD 125). We ordered two servings of this, as there were a few of us and one was simply not enough. The bone marrow was deliciously rich, and served with coarse salt flakes was equally outstanding, probably better than the Spanish ham. I would be happy eating this day in and day out.

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We thought we would share a couple of dishes, started with the rare breed US kurobuta pig belly and cheek / lentils / granny smith apple slaw (HKD 250). The pig belly was melt in your mouth tender, and the granny smith apple slaw was a wonderful complement. It was truly hard not to eat more than one mouthful!

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The Dutch veal cheeks and sweetbreads / truffled orzo / herd salad (HKD 460) was surprisingly tasty. My least favourite of the evening though, but still better than I had anticipated.

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My favourite was definitely the Australian mann river farm wagyu bone in rib eye 32oz / crisp Yukon gold wedges (HKD 1480) – OMG is all I can say. Seriously tender, seriously delicious and seriously scrumptious! It was cooked to absolute perfection – medium rare and just the way we all liked it!

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The potato gratin was deliciously creamy and sinful.

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Not to mention the crispy thin fries.

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Unfortunately we were all stuffed to the brim and did not order any dessert. I think I ate the most beef! I couldn’t stop – it was seriously good and could be the fact that I was low in iron and craving beef!

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Service was good until one of the waiter’s spilt wax on my friend. I don’t think he was highly impressed, his suit ruined. They didn’t offer to pay for dry cleaning but they did give us drinks on the house which was nice of them.

I really would like to go back for that beef and bone marrow– getting hungry all over again!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Blue Butcher

108 Hollywood Road

Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2613 9286

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

Craftsteak, Soho, Hong Kong

Craftsteak is one of the restaurants owned by Dining Concepts which can be located in Soho. I was craving steak one day, and all I could think about was that – steak! I didn’t and wouldn’t eat anything else, so did a little bit of googling (the beauty of internet) and found Craftsteak – open fire cooking, and they have the ‘freshest cuts of steaks from Australia, USA, and Canada’ – how can I say no to that?

So I ‘dragged’ the boys at work and wondered up to Soho to Craftsteak. It was relatively busy when we got there, thankfully we did get a table without booking. Crafsteak offers diners set lunches – a combination of Appetizers and Main, Appetizers and Dessert or if you are super-duper hungry, all three – Appetizers, Main and Dessert.

We started with warm bread which was soft, and fluffy and bacon flavoured butter – oh my!

The boys couldn’t help but order a couple more servings! Talk about filling up on bread!

I was on a mission – I wanted steak so no guessing what I had! I started with classic Caesar Salad – it was refreshingly light and tasty.

C had the mixed salad leaves with house vinaigrette, which I thought looked a little sad but very colourful. He did say that it was good and exactly what he wanted.

J had the summer corn chowder – it was creamy but not sickening.

For mains, both C and I had the 8oz hanger steak with French fries and steak sauce (we had to pay an extra but I can’t for the life remember how much). It was a generous serving of steak – it was HUGE! Char-grilled, and cooked medium rare – just the way I like it. It was juicy, tender and exactly what I wanted and needed!

J couldn’t go past craft burger, bacon, cheese, and steak house sauce and fries. Oh my! What a large serving. I can’t believe he finished it all – needless to say, he fell into a food coma that afternoon and had to undo his pants whilst working! J can eat, and he was even defeated by the burger. I still can’t believe he polished the whole thing!

C couldn’t resist a chocolate brownie, it was deliciously dense and chocolate-y!

Service was good, the only gripe I had was coming out of the restaurant smelling a little ‘smokey’ but food was definitely delicious and I am looking forward to going back again to try their other dishes. I heard the chicken was good also. Bit of a trek but worth it!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

CraftSteak

29 Elgin Street

Soho, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2526 0999