Category Archives: Causeway Bay

The One With The Mon – Japanese Dining Stage

My first attempt to have a dinner at The Mon wasn’t a pleasant experience. Granted, we didn’t think ahead to book a table earlier. Walk-ins were told there was a two-hour wait for a table, which means we won’t get to be seated until at least 9 p.m. It wasn’t a palatable option, so my friend and I went to Hainan Shaoye instead.

The Mon

Fast forward a year. This time round we booked ahead, within the same day, and was told that we will get two seats at the bar at 9 p.m. Granted, it was a Friday, but really, what is it about Japanese restaurants and its hordes of fans? Was The Mon really that popular that we had to wait until that ungodly hour just for a dinner?

We were about to find out.

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The One With Ichiran Ramen In Hong Kong – Why The Madness When You Can Have It At Home?

Hong Kong people love queuing for food. And usually only food, unlike those hordes of mainlanders queuing outside Prada and Gucci along Canton Road, any day of the week. Hong Kong-ers know a good nosh so chances are when you see a queue outside a restaurant, either it is (1) just opened and the hype is still strong, or (2) the food is as good as it’s rumoured to be. Or both.

I, on the other hand, have long since given up queuing for food. The people, the humidity, the hunger, and the sheer silliness of standing for hours on ends for something to eat were just something I couldn’t stomach well.

So imagine my amusement when I saw this long queue outside Ichiran Ramen Hong Kong opened not too long ago, along Jaffe Road in Causeway Bay:

(Photo from OpenRice)

Apparently the waiting time is not for the faint hearted:

(Photo from OpenRice)

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The One With Han Kook Gwan – Affordable Korean In Wanchai

Had it not been for my colleagues, I would have never found the place.

Han Gook Kwan is one of those restaurant tucked away in a little back alley that few venture in. Only those in the knows would brave those steep slope, past some dodgy looking stalls looking for the popular Korean restaurant famous for its affordable lunch set and and hence packed with office crowd every day of the week.

With set lunches ranging from HK$68 – HK$98, these deals are hard to beat. Especially when you start off your meals with those little plates of Korean appetisers. You get eight different variety regardless of the size of your group.

There were two of us that afternoon.

Han Kook Gwan Korean Restaurant

I didn’t want to eat too much, but then again didn’t want my colleague to miss out. So I quickly recommended what seems to be the more popular dish of Han Gook Kwan – a bowl spicy, sour kimchi soup with seafood and beancurd. The broth is always appetising though the seafood portion was a tad too small, even for a lady. Perhaps more mussels, please?

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The One With Senryo Japanese Restaurant – Borderline Dangerous (When You Are Very, Very Hungry)

I finally discovered the secrets on how Japanese restaurants can grow like mushrooms all over Hong Kong and yet still make tonnes of money.

Simply implement a ticketing system and illogical, inefficient use of space in the restaurants. By 8.30 p.m. at night, you will be guaranteed a hordes of hungry and impatient diners waiting outside, ready to eat up a horse.

That’s how I found myself tonight at Senryo at Hysan Place. It was close to nine p.m. before we were finally seated at the bar. I immediately ordered myself some hot sake and we settled in with some really tasty, gorgeous food… without looking at the price tags.

Senryo Japanese Restaurant

I have been eyeing this snail (shellfish?) hungrily while waiting outside Senryo, and immediately got myself a portion while waiting for my sake. Slices of fresh snails with fragrant shitake mushroom were the perfect combi to go with their coarsely grinded wasabi. Thumbs up!

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The One With Caffè HABITŪ The Table – Perfect Dessert Galore

Where G.O.D once stood in Causeway Bay has now been replaced by the incredibly tacky and unbelievably bright Sasa Supreme. I don’t know about you, but I am about to have enough of new shops catering to mainlanders replacing iconic Hong Kong establishments.

Probably the only saving grace was that the gem hidden inside the building on the first floor, Caffè HABITŪ The Table remains in tact.

caffè HABITŪ the table

The entire restaurant was refurbished; now The Table spots some low lighting, chic-looking furniture and the same friendly service. Gone was its hip interior to match the GOD’s brand; luckily the new vibe wasn’t as tacky as the endless counters of cosmetic threatening to overwhelm you right outside its door.

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The One With Sorabol Korean Restaurant – Kimchi, Bibimbab & Other Noms In Causeway Bay

I realised that I do not know much about Korean food. As far as I remember, I have only been to a Korean restaurant twice in Hong Kong – once at Chung Gye Chon at the famous Korean street in Tsim Sha Tsui, and another at iSquare for a friend’s birthday and of which I didn’t blog about. Though I have been to Seoul once, I had too few Korean meals to consider myself Seoul-out (God I love a bad pun) so, no, I conclude that I do not know much about Korean food, if at all.

Sorabol Korean Restaurant

Jahbchae (saute vermicelli with shredded mushrooms and vegetables).

For tonight I wanted to do something different for dinner, and the thought in getting our hands dirty with Korean BBQ seems apt. So we found ourselves at Sorabol Korean Restaurant at Lee Theater Plaza in Causeway Bay. Apparently, Sorabol is THE place to be at if you are looking for Korean food.

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The One With Wong Kee Restaurant – Roadside Chinese (And Pints Of Beer!) At Causeway Bay

Sometimes the best dinner plans are the ones unplanned. There’s something about doing meals impromptu with friends on loose ends, and that’s how I spent one of my Friday nights. I remembered seeing one of these roadside place packed with people at dinner time right behind Times Square, and I was eager to return to experience everything, exhaust fume and all.

Wong Kee Restaurant @ Causeway Bay

Wong Kee Restaurant (also confusingly named Fai Kee Restaurant) is one of those hole in the wall Chinese place with spilled tables all over the roadside. Tang Lung Street seemed very boisterous with families eating out with children and boisterous men enjoying beer pints after work. It’s quite an atmosphere to soak in, especially considering that you are right smack in the middle of Causeway Bay.

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The One With Fullka Cantonese Cuisine – The Unsung Hero In Causeway Bay / Wanchai

Once in a while you need to break out from your normal routine to discover new experience and enjoy different food. Thanks to my relentless colleagues who were out to get me for lunch every Friday (I swear, they timed it with their calendar), I found myself surrounded by the lovely ladies from the marketing department for some great Cantonese fare at the Fullka Restaurant.

Never heard of Fullka before? Well, neither did I, until that afternoon. Apparently this place was off-radar for most foodies, which was apparent by how not full it was during lunchtime on a working weekday. Further investigation revealed that this restaurant was previously named Home Wanchai (does that sound familiar?) and was helmed by Chef Lee Yue Ching of ‘Ah Yat Abalone’ fame. The set lunch was a steal at HK$88, where you get soup, one main course with rice, and a dessert. Since the main course is rather large in portion, you can go with a few friends so that you can mix and match from its extensive menu of true Cantonese food.

And so on to the lunch.

Pig Stomach Soup

Fullka Cantonese Cuisine

Hand’s down, the best starter soup I have ever tried in Hong Kong (and that’s saying something). The soup was intense with peppery taste and was well balanced with the meaty goodness of the excellent pig stomach. The soup burns down as you drink it, in a very comforting way. It was such a perfect, fiery soup for a cold winter day.

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The One With Hal’s Fusion Japanese – Great Usuyaki Beef

So I was at Hal’s Japanese Restaurant which was relocated from Central to Causeway Bay due to 2x increase in rent (according to Jason). Seems like many of the foodies know of and frequent this place, so I marked it onto my foodie to-do list for Causeway Bay area. Moon was in town, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to try out the restaurant.

Hal's Japanese Restaurant

Making a reservation was a breeze, and I realised why. Although I was some fifteen minutes late for my booking, the restaurant was empty. It felt like I booked the entire restaurant for our catch-up dinner; in fact, ours is the only table occupied for the entire night. It was a shame, really. The service by the entirely Japanese crew was stellar, though it would be nice if the two Japanese chefs smiled a little more. As for the food, well, Moon and I were about to find out.

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The One With Hainan Shaoye – Singapore Fare In Causeway Bay

So once again I found myself in Causeway Bay racking my brain for a dinner spot with a buddy. Take it from me – if you have worked around the same area long enough, your brain will always go back to the same place for the same food.

Which was my excuse for going back to Hainan Shaoye. I have been there at least three times in the past for a quick meal, but for one reason or another, I have never blogged about it. So this time round I decided to really take note of what I am eating, look at it with a balanced eye of someone who have lived in Singapore long enough to (hopefully) know the bad and the good (the chef of Hainan Shaoye was apparently recruited from Chatterbox at Mandarin Orchard in Singapore, famous for their great chicken rice), and of someone who has his expectation, well, moderated, according to the local foodie taste.

The buddy wasn’t in the mood to have a large meal (there was this set meal with six dishes to share between two person for some $400, a good deal I must say), so once again I ordered some crowd favorite.

Singapore Rojak(HK$48)

Hainan Shaoye

Without fail, my favorite Singapore rojak always draws the same reaction among my local friends. A grimace, that is. I guess this signature dish – cut fruits mixed with shrimp & belacan paste with cut tofu and deep fried dough, somewhat like a fruit salad with a spicy twist – is quite an acquired taste. I had always enjoyed my rojak, ordering it wherever I could. The version at Hainan Shaoye, though far from being on par with the original stuff, was more than adequate to scratch that foodie itch. I scooped up everything, peanuts and beansprouts and everything else. Something about that shrimp paste just evoke that Singapore glutton in me la.

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