Category Archives: Central

The One With La Grande Bouffe – French Bistro In Soho

Nestled at a busy section along Hollywood Road was a gem of a find. In a city stuffed with overpriced French restaurants with little to offer other than their pretentious fine dining menus, La Grande Bouffe was quite a breathe of fresh air.

Run by a French chap Anthony and a co-owner, La Grande Bouffe opened its doors in December 2013 and has stayed busy since. A popular hangout for French, expats and locals alike, the restaurant is best described as quirky – from the various sections of the restaurant painted in different colours to represent parts of France Anthony sourced his menu from, the black-and-white French movie projected on its wall, to the way you get a discount on your coffee simply by saying “please, thank you”.

(A side note: Don’t try this with your steak, it won’t work).

The menu is brief and sufficient. And if you are a bit challenged French-wise, Anthony is more than happy to show your pictures of the food on his iPad.

First time at @lagrandebouffehk! This layered duck liver started off our meal great. Loved the layer of dried fig, apricot and prune, which balanced the savoury taste of the foie gras with sweetness - how refreshing! A change from the usual pan-fried styl

Pressé de foie gras aux fruits des mendiants. This layered duck liver started off our meal great. Loved the layer of dried fig, apricot and prune, which balanced the savoury taste of the foie gras with sweetness – how refreshing! The sprinkle of sea salt on top added a twist to the sweetness vs savoury too. A change from the usual pan-fried style used at other restaurants. The pate was perfect with the extra warm baguette they serve on the side.

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The One With Linguini Fini – Possibly The Best Place For Pasta in SOHO

I wrote a while back about the new location for Linguini Fini, with its herb garden, eco-friendly business practices and wine honor system. The whole concept was pretty inviting, and so I found myself being at the new restaurant to try out some of the old favorites and new offerings on the menu.

Young Masters Ale

The dinner started off to an unexpected surprise. Just when you thought you have tried everything, come along a new beer to surprise you. The Young Master Ale is a local brew originally from Ap Lei Chau. The classic ale is light and hoppy, perfect for those who like their beer less heavy.

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The One With 1081 Open Kitchen – Great Spot For A Sunday Breakfast

Living in Hong Kong can make one spoilt for choice when it comes good breakfast spots on weekends. I usually spent my breakfasts at Happy Valley Bar & Grill, but on one fine Sunday I decided to make my way to 1081 Open Kitchen at IFC for a spot of breakfast with a dear friend.

This place used to be called Simply Life. The terrific view into the beautiful Hong Kong harbour and selection of delicious pastries remain unchanged. My choice of a scone was heavy in butter, making it a decadent treat with an equally energising cup of coffee, served in a beautiful porcelain cup and dish.

Great Sunday breakfasts are made of this.

Note: Some of the window-side seats are part of the adjoining restaurants. You can use it for breakfast up until 10.30 a.m., when you have to vacant the tables for lunch service.

EAT | 1081 Open Kitchen |Shop 1081, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong | Tel: +852 2234 7356

The One With Glasshouse Hong Kong – Western x Asian Fusion

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.

Glasshouse

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.

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The One With Linguini Fini – New Trends At New Location

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?

Linguini Fini_ copy

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.

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The One With Ho Lee Fook – Holy F*cking Good

I wrote the title of this post in case you missed the homonym of the cheeky name for a certain expletive, like I did. I honestly thought Ho Lee Fook was one of those trendy restaurants in Soho with a penchant for Asian names. Literally translated as “good fortune in the mouth”, Ho Lee Fook is third restaurant of Taiwan-born chef Jowett Yu. To give the restaurant its playful vibe, Yu collaborated with Douglas Young of G.O.D to come up with the many touches of off-beat Asian funkiness, including its name sake.

It was weekday night when a group of us #hkfoodbloggers descended into the basement of this Soho shop for a night of good food and great companionship. We literally ordered the entire menu, so I am in the position to tell you that, like most popular opinions, the food at Ho Lee Fook was as good as it looks despite all the cheeky sounding names.

Ho Lee Fook

Perhaps one of the key things you should know about Chef Yu is his obsession with sauces. We requested for a platter of these and he happily obliged. From extreme right, going clockwise – lemongrass chili paste, fresh chili, pickled chili, roasted black almond chili, chili sambal, salted chili, chili oil, and XO sauce at the center. I sampled each one and loved the zesty lemongrass chili paste the best. Gimme a huge bowl of rice with that.

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The One With Souvla – My First Greek Experience in Hong Kong

It was only when I started to blog this that I realised that Souvla was my first Greek experience in Hong Kong… coz Greek wasn’t on my Food Category list!

Souvla Hong Kong

While I am certainly no stranger to Greek food, my usual encounters were usually restricted to the occasional Greek salad, of which I enjoy the feta cheese a lot. Souvla has been on my radar for some time since it was opened, thanks to its rather active Twitter account @souvlaemp. One wintry night my buddies and I were looking for a different dining experience in Central, so to Souvla we went.

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The One With Zafran Hong Kong – Spanish Tapas Galore

The heat was searing, the kitchen crew frantic, with wait staff darting in and out serving a restaurant full of patrons. Every seats and tables in this beautifully created restaurant were occupied. As I watched the chef worked on tray after tray of endless Spanish tapas, I couldn’t help but feel the tension… and pride. Pride of getting the food done right, and to serve the customers well.

Where was I? I was seated at the bar counter facing right into the open kitchen at the hippest, newest Spanish restaurant in Hong Kong, Zafran. We nursed some rounds of Sangria as the kitchen churned out some choice tapas over some three hours, which was indeed time well spent. Especially on a Friday night.

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The One With Blue Butcher Hong Kong – Second Time Lucky

Is there such thing as second time lucky when it comes to food?

Granted, it was my second visit to The Blue Butcher Hong Kong, after my disastrous first attempt ordering everything else but steak. This time round I was kinda on a “redemption trip” to discover if indeed the steak options were better bet compared to my earlier choices.

I am happy to report that it was a resounding yes.

The Blue Butcher

The wagyu sirloin (a whopping 12 oz) was worth every penny. Char-grilled to just the right degree to my liking on the outside, yet juicy and somewhat tender on the inside, it was probably the main reason I changed my mind about Blue Butcher that night.

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The One With Champagne Brunch At LUPA – A Rustic Elegance Experience

(Note: This review was originally published in the autumn edition of Good Eating, the quarterly food magazine by South China Morning Post)

Champagne Brunch at LUPA Hong Kong

FARE
Italian

AMBIENCE
It’s hard to imagine this place would be packed with suits on a normal weekday night, but on the Sunday when we sampled their famous champagne brunch, LUPA was positively laid-back in a casual, rustic way. Still packing some understated elegance with their dark wooden furniture and an impressive terrace for alfresco dining, they have recently added a 3-piece live jazz band – a classy yet cosy touch brunch time.

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