Friday, April 29, 2011

Assaggio Trattoria Italiana (Hong Kong)

mascato wine bavaroise with caramelized peaches

We all have our stories to tell, be they romantic, humorous or just plain horrific. The point is, similar to food, stories are meant to be told and shared. Located inside the Hong Kong Arts Centre, this Italian Trattoria with views overlooking the harbour is a story of mixed emotions. By day, the dining room is flooded with natural sunlight and by night, the dimly lit atmosphere gives off such a seductive vibe that it’s hard not to imagine yourself as Giacomo Casanova having supper by the window.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thai Liang Zhi Thai Restaurant 泰娘子泰國餐廳 (Hong Kong)

Stir-fry Belachan Tung Choi

One thing I realized after my many meals since I started this food blog is the need to step out of the box named "laziness" when it comes to food and try not to surrender to the tempting words of "convenience." I have been a victim of such many times and I am trying to get rid of this bad habits of mine when it comes to a pleasant meal. I am not talking about spending the efforts or money to get myself a fancy meal, I am referring to all sorts of meals, cheap or expensive meals can be equally enjoyable or equally regretful. I had a chance to review a newly opened Thai Restaurant for Timeout Hong Kong and it was another great example of how not to be lazy when you are searching for a decent meal, travel the extra mile please, at least you can leave the restaurant filling slightly satisfied. Check out the review <here>

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lau Sum Kee's Noodles 劉森記麵家 (Hong Kong)


Apparently this noodle joint has quite a history behind it and I am ashamed it took me all this long to try their famed noodles. I am not a big fan of Chinese egg noodles because more often than not they contain strong alkaline flavor which I hate so much! However, the type of noodles they specialize here is the so-called Jook-sing noodles (竹昇) which somehow has very little alkaline flavor, was it my lucky day? Either they use very little or I was lucky? Anyhow, Jook-sing (竹昇) or bamboo noodles got its name because the dough is made / kneaded by riding on a bamboo log. I wish I had the chance to see how it is done.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Domani Ristorante (Hong Kong)

Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup, Smoked Salmon and Sprouts

Back in Toronto, there are two annual food events, one is the Summerlicous and one is the Winterlicious. For 2 entire weeks during a specific period, food lovers in the city can have the opportunity to satisfy their cravings for special tasting menus at some of the favorite restaurants in town at a much lower price than usual. The New York restaurant week offers similar "food festival" as well. Now Hong Kong is having its first week-long Springalicious food festival starting 27 April - 3 May. You can check out the Restaurant List and Menu <here>, do check often because the list is growing. When I was in Toronto quite a number of years ago, I attended a few featured Summerlicous / Winterlicious high-end restaurants which offer three-course prix fixe menus valued almost 50% discount compared with the usual menus. When the event first started, it was an immediate success but as the festivals carried onto their 2nd / 3rd year, things started to change in my opinion. A common issue experienced by many diners (including myself) was how the food quality and proportion seemed to be watered down along with the special price. When I first heard of this Springalicious event in Hong Kong, I admit I had the same concern and I clearly expressed that to the organizer during a tasting session which I was invited to. I have to say my concern is less relevant at this point because I realized I cannot quite compare this with what is being offered in Toronto for a number of reasons: (1) Springalicious covers more than just Western cuisines but a wider selection such as Japanese, Thai and Chinese; (2) the price discount is not extremely huge in comparison (~ 25% - 30% off) which sort of translates to more standard proportions and more of a reason to maintain food consistency for the participating restaurants; and (3) more than just for marketing purposes, this festival can let some chefs experiment with their creativity with special menus dedicated for it. Of course the above is yet to be seen or proven, but I think it has potential to be something interesting for many years to come in the Hong Kong food scene.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Foodie Magazine - April 2011


Recently I had the opportunity to contribute a piece on My Favorite Sweet Treats in the Foodie Magazine Hong Kong for their April 2011 Easter issue. It is not hard to guess as to which is my favorite place for sweet treats but here it is again if you still don't know, check it out <here>. Happy Easter in advance! May this Easter be a happy and joyful one! Keep smiling and keep eating! :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Travel - Singapore (Feb 2011) - Part 3/3


It is really hard to get tired of Hainanese Chicken Rice and during my stay in Singapore, everywhere I go I tried to spot places with Chicken Rice because I just love it so much. I once talked about the various school of approaches to preparing Hainanese Chicken, the blander vs the richer chicken. After quite a few meals at various restaurants that serve chicken rice, I find many carry similar flavors while their rice are what distinguish them apart. After a short stop at the Singapore Flyer (sorta boring to be honest), we head to the Singapore Food Trails under the Singapore Flyer which offers a place full of 1960s-themed food stalks. Of course Hainan Chicken Rice was on top of my food list! I read from a magazine or something which recommended this Bugis Street Famous Hainanese Chicken Rice, so perfect timing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Travel - Singapore (Feb 2011) - Part 2/3


My previous Singapore post I discussed on my justifications behind my humble opinion on hawker centers, their necessity to the city to be exact. For this post, in addition to froyo and more food adventures, my leisure walks over my few days there somehow heightened my sense of ... observations or perhaps released  my urge to express myself via writings on subjects more than just food. It is a refreshing attempt but I quite enjoy this little change.  One of the reasons for my visit to Singapore was to experience the cultures as well as the environment, both living and perhaps working as well. Moving to Singapore to work / live crossed my mind several times (for various reasons) but before doing so I wanted to travel there at least for once or spend more time there. While I weight the option of moving there, I noticed the increasing number of Singaporeans (of all ages, mostly in the mid / late 20s) in Hong Kong, especially in the Central Business District and perhaps all around Hong Kong to be honest. Now here is the million dollar question, why on earth am I planning to move to Singapore while many are making their move to Hong Kong or other major cities around Asia or even the world?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Travel - Singapore (Feb 2011) - Part 1/3


Singapore is amazing! Singapore is amazingly hot, amazingly humid yet amazingly attractive in many ways. Singaporeans are amazingly tolerant to the heat especially while enjoying sizzling hot dishes inside hawkers centers without air conditioning. I truly admire their tolerance to the humidity, almost 365 days a year. I guess I admire all those who live in the southeast asia region with similar climates! The last time I was here was over a decade (or perhaps two decades) ago when I still consider junk food as part of my daily balanced diet. Time flies and looking back I should have visited earlier and more often as well. My first impression upon arrival on this recent visit (aside from the heat and humidity) was one of ... welcoming with mixed feelings. The occasionally random smiles from strangers (and lovely ladies) on the streets made a world of difference even if such smiles were a direct result from my "lost / OMG" tourist look on my face. Whatever the reasons were they do not matter because such small acts like a smile made me feel right at home.

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