Category Archives: Central

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

The One With SimplyLife – Living Up To Its Namesake

Simple things in life were meant to be enjoyable because of its simplicity, and SimplyLife is one of those restaurant that is living up to its namesake.

Simply Life

I have been to the restaurant in IFC a couple of times now (and once to its branch in Quarry Bay), and never once I was disappointed. Granted, the food wasn’t spectacular, but it did the job nicely as a chill breakfast spot with some excellent sandwiches and desserts. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of these nosh I had now, but they were all equally enjoyable in low-key, fuss-free way.

Read More →

The One With Blue Butcher – Butchered? We Did

I remember reading reviews on Blue Butcher since they have opened some time back. The praises were glowing, and the crowd was reportedly thickening by the day. In fact, when I called to reserve a table of three, I was told in no uncertain term about the time I have to give up my table. Surely it was a good sign of a great place, right?

Alas, the fame of Blue Butcher was all but in its reviews.

Perhaps on hindsight we should have ordered beef instead. Afterall, the place is famous for its steak, what with its walk-in pink salt dry-aging room, tucked into one corner which seems more like a display than a utility.

Blue Butcher

The three of us went separately for pork (kurobuta pig belly & cheek), fish (line caught sea bass) and chicken (charred french chicken). I didn’t try the pig belly, but it did look promising despite this blurry shot:

Read More →

The One With The Great Kebab Factory – Posh & Sizzling Indian Fare

I had always wanted to try The Great Kebab Factory, ever after reading Dim Sum Diaries’ review on the Indian restaurant located right in the smack of Lan Kwai Fong. So when I saw a Groupon deal for a somewhat like a kebab tasting menu, I knew it was too much of an irresistible deal for me. Located at the 19th floor of Wellington Place, locating the restaurant was easy, but I wasn’t ready for what was in store for me.

The Great Indian Kebab Factory

Despite its name, the restaurant is far from being a “factory”. As I stepped out of the lift and walked into the restaurant, I was awed by how posh everything looked. The warm lighting, clever use of multicoloured lamps, velveted furniture and deep dark wood created an atmosphere both cosy yet stylish.

Read More →

The One With Paisano’s Pizzeria – The Magic Is In The Beer

Yes, I know the weather in Hong Kong has been maddening lately. One moment it was a fine morning with a little breeze, tempting you to wear that nice jacket just for one more day. Another hour later you will cowering under a too-small umbrella, rain poring like it’s the end of the world, and still not a cab in sight.

Yes, I know the feeling. I have been there, done that, and I was stretched this close to a breaking point one evening when all I wanted – really – was to sit down, chill, and have uncomplicated food.

Shakley's Pizza

Any place that serves ice-cold beer on the tap in frozen glass in this summer humidity has got my vote. Shakley’s pizza and pasta might have left much to be desired, but I was too busy savouring that magical pint to really care.

Read More →

The One With ZHEN Central Foot Spa

To say that I am a massage junkie would be like saying Mother Teresa is kind to children. I have tried and loved it all – the more painful, the better.

Recently I was invited to try out this new outlet located in Lan Kwai Fong called the ZHEN foot spa & body massage. Since nowadays I am kinda bored with my usual joint – that’s Fun Feet in Happy Valley – I jumped at the invitation.

ZHEN Central Foot Spa

ZHEN is barely one month old and is built on the belief that every customers should be treated like an emperor (hence “zhen”, geddit?). Despite its decidedly oriental namesake, the spa is not your usual foot massage place. With its not-as-dim lighting and soothing Nora Jones on the speaker, and interior decoration that could only be described Zen, I knew the experience would somewhat different.

Read More →

The One With Brickhouse Revisited

It doesn’t seem too long ago when I had my first visit to Brickhouse at the height of their madness when, in the absence of a liquor license, they piled drinks after drinks onto their delighted patrons, yours truly included. Everything took on a rosy, margarita-hazed glow then. Friends couldn’t sing enough praises of Brickhouse, and between you and me, that’s like striking a consolation prize in the local mark-six.

Fast forward a few months later, I returned late at night for a spot of supper with some Singapore visitors. To my dismay: (1) they no longer serve free drinks (yes yes I know that couldn’t last forever); and (2) their kitchen has closed and most of the menu is no longer available. One miserable round of drinks later, we back out on the street and I seriously wondered if my first experience at Brickhouse was a dream.

So when I was invited to return and sample of the latest creations on Chef Austin’s menu, I jumped at the chance.

The Ambiance

Rowdy as ever, the crowd at Brickhouse was loud, joyful and hungry. The music was blaring loudly and conversations were more than a bit strained, but hey if you are looking for a quiet place to chill, Brickhouse ain’t the place. It is one of those place where strangers become friends, personal space cease to exist, and you leave your burdens of the day at the door. You couldn’t have asked for a more mixed crowd – the trendy artists mixed comfortably with drunken suits against a background of deafening chatter and an efficient crew of so-cool-it-hurts staff.

The Must-Have

The One With Brickhouse Revisited

Clear winner of the night was – surprise, surprise – not the main, but one of its ceviches. The Agua Chili was a delightful, vibrant mix of shrimp, cucumber water, pickled red onions, and cilantro and chili oil. The differing ingredients promise a ceviches that is packed with texture and flavour, and aqua Chili did not disappoint. Digging up everything with a piece of chips is the recommended way of savouring it.

Read More →