Koheitsu is a very decent and reasonable Japanese for dinner in Causeway Bay. Prawn tempura, minced tuna and soft shell crab hand rolls, scallop, seared salmon and seared halibut (very good, fat and juicy, I wished I took a photo) sushi, beef shabu shabu, edamame beans and minced chicken meat balls, with complimentary tofu-flavored ice cream (ultra refreshing, must try!). The whole deal came up to $481 for two pax, a real steal! The place is rather small so can be packed and noisy, but for such quality and that price, it’s worth the hassle.
So much was said about the long queue at School Food that it deterred me from visiting in the past. But as we have an hour to spare before a movie, we chanced upon a much shorter queue than expected, so in we went for some fun, casual Korean cuisine.
The signature Mari combo was certainly interesting; of the three types of rice rolls served, the curry chicken Mari was certainly the most distinctive in terms of taste. The Mama-styled salad, on the hand, was a tad of a disappointment. To put it simply, it was a simple salad with pieces of crispy kimchi noodles added for that Korean twist. Not what I would call groundbreaking.
Tonight we went to Spasso Hong Kong for a tasting session of their upcoming Valentine’s Day menu, specially created by Chef Michelle with heavy emphasis on aphrodisiac ingredients for, you know, obvious reasons. Priced at HK$628 per person, the menu comprises of four dishes and we set out to try out the entire menu.
Fresh shucked oysters topped with Hendrick’s gin and cucumber. The gin gives this a slightly bitter twist, and the chopped cucumber, a crunchy texture to the tangy oysters. The oyster itself still have that light seawater aftertaste.
So recently a good friend of mine passed me a pack of five Prima Taste Singapore Laksa delivered all the way from Singapore. I first heard about this instant noodle brand during my last trip back to Singapore, and since then I have developed quite a liking to it. However the same instant noodle sold in Hong Kong was ridiculously expensive, to the tune of HK$27-HK$30 per pack. So to say I was deliriously happy with this unexpected surprise from my friend would have been quite an understatement.
And so one afternoon I found myself at Glasshouse, a sparkling restaurant located on IFC Hong Kong rooftop with a stunning harbor view and a terrace. The location is great during those sunny, winter lunchtime like the day I was there for a work meeting.
The design of the Glasshouse Hong Kong takes its inspiration from potting sheds in old country houses; a room filled with wheel barrows, rakes and terracotta pots. Though Glasshouse tries to be laid back, it certainly exudes an upscale vibe.
The menu – a fusion of Asian cuisines with a Western touch (and some vice versa) – looks really promising. Even before my lunch guests arrived I have already made up my mind on what to order. If the food taste as good as it looks in the menu, I am in a for a treat.
Oh, what a naive assumption that was.
It was totally a spur of the moment kind of thing that I went to On Lee Noodle at Shau Kei Wan for lunch one working day. I have never heard of that place before, but my colleagues were singing praises of the noodle restaurant. It was a bit out of the way from our Causeway Bay office, but I could see why the place was popular.
Since it was a rushed lunch, I ordered a bit of everything – beef brisket, with fish cake and fish ball. The beef was surprisingly tender and tasty, went well with soy-sauce noodle which was mixed just to the right degree (without getting overly oily). The fish cakes and fish balls were crunchy though can be a bit on the bland side if eaten on their own without other stronger-tasting dishes.
Visiting Santorini Hong Kong is like stepping into a Greek heaven. The staff speak to you in a slightly Greek-accented English. The ambiance is heavy with Greece-influence – from the pastel-coloured wall to the soothing Hellenic background music. It is certainly a captivating experience, especially so if you have been to Greece and experienced the magic of it’s beautiful island.
It was also at Santorini Hong Kong when I tasted probably the best moussaka in my life, even better than those I have tried in the country itself! Since that visit I have caught up with the head chef Andreas Sourdas for his view on Greek food, on doing business in Hong Kong and his favourite dishes.
For people new to Greek cuisine – how would you describe the difference between Greek food to other European cuisine?
The Greek cuisine is one of the oldest in the world, dating back some 4,000 years. It’s the base of the Mediterranean cuisine rich in extra virgin olive oil, sun-drenched fresh produce, seafood from the crystal clear waters of the Aegean sea and a bit lighter on red meat. Simplicity separates it from other cuisines. BBQ is our main way of cooking, adding at the end extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice served with lightly boiled vegetables.
So Linguini Fini is back in town, relocated to Elgin Street in Soho, where Nico’s Spuntino used to be, and before that, Fat Angelo’s. Wow, now come to think of it, that spot is sure popular for Italian restaurants. I wonder why?
Anyway, I disgressed. Chef Vinny Lauria – one of the earliest advocates of western-style nose-to-tail dining in Hong Kong – is back with a splash with Linguini Fini, creating some new trends with the opening of their new location.
This tiny restaurant can at most seat 20 pax at one time, with tables and chairs packed along the corridor next to its open kitchen, all the way to space at the back. Servings were attentive (though I do think they are a little overstaffed), but it was certainly in a good way.
The menu… oh, the menu. They must have close to a hundred different items of yakitori, and since I am rather noob to this food category I random selected items which seems interesting. All of them turned out to be great – of particular mention is the grilled puffer fish which was fragrant and sweet. The Japanese liquor drink list is pretty good too. Price wise it can be on the high side, but then again, it’s quality food, and this is Happy Valley.
Recently we went to Spasso for brunch at its new location at Tsim Sha Tsui East. It was Maureen’s choice and honestly there can only be that many weekends one can spend at bar & grill, good as they may be.
It was proven to be an excellent choice. It was a sunny morning, and the place was already buzzing with large groups and families. Spasso’s brunch is served from 11:30am through 3:30pm and is priced according to the choice of main course.
But first off, let’s look at their buffet line first, which comprises of Italian selections and international favorites. The seafood counter was the best of all the buffet sections, in my opinion – a fresh pile of shucked oysters, Boston lobster, yabbies, mussels, shrimps, and sushi and sashimi.