Category Archives: Sheung Wan

The One With Tim’s Kitchen – The Star’s In Its Name

When I first moved to Sheung Wan three years ago, I was rather excited when I discovered that there was a Michelin-starred restaurant just a stone throw away from my (previous) house. Over the ensuing two years plus, I pondered, wondered, contemplated, wished (I’m running of adjectives for procrastination here…) to have a meal at Tim’s Kitchen.

Birthday Dinner at Tim's Kitchen

Three years later, I am finally paid a visit, thanks to Chris and Liren! It was a belated birthday dinner, one of which invitation I gladly accepted. I was told to be honest about my review (they are both readers of this blog) even though it was a birthday treat.

So I will :D

Century Eggs

Birthday Dinner at Tim's Kitchen

I find it a little strange that this plate of century eggs came with sugar. I tried it with the ginger, and then with the eggs, together and separately, and still can’t figure out how it helped with the taste. That said the century eggs were a decent fare, though I must say it is still a far cry from the divine eggs I had at Yung Kee.

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The One With Doppio Zero – Italian x Hong Kong Fusion Food

So you have heard much about Doppio Zero being the next big thing in the local Italian food scene. That their chef-in-residence Jake Addeo adores experimenting with food, combining the best of Italian cooking with a local twist. That they have recently launched a brunch menu, and opens on Sunday to help you cure that mother-of-a-hangover. That despite the excellent food quality and impeccable service, Doppio Zero is still a little known gem.

Ladies and gentlemen, all that you heard is true.

Just lest than a year old, this Italian restaurant is already Michelin-endorsed and can be best described as a trattoria. At night the restaurant goes up the scale, more like a ristorante, with dimmed light and a more romantic menu. But if you decide to drop in on a weekend afternoon, come in your comfortable sandals, favorite magazines in hand.

For the brunch menu is a wonderful collection of original recipes at reasonable prices. Food portion is hearty and particularly comforting if you had a late night out and want uncomplicated but interesting food.

Ready to order? Here are some of my recommendations:

Signature Truffled Fried Oyster

Signature Truffled Fried Oyster

I love deep fried oysters, as much as I love fresh oysters. The problem with deep fried oysters is that you tend to overcoat your morsels with too much batter, making the whole chunk one oily mess. This one was perfectly done, with a sprinkling of black truffle and a bed of creamed spinach (which was finger-licking-good when eaten with toast).

Try not to order two if you are watching your calories!

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The One With Societi Bistro & Bar – Mussels Me Not

Societi Bistro & Bar

I had always loved a bistro. The word itself conjures a vivid image of a laid-back cafe with hearty food in large plates, bustling waiters in aprons, and strong, sweet aroma of coffee. Kinda like how Gusto felt like for me; a place where you can turn up in your pyjamas and scrunchies, with a stack of magazines in hand.

Societi Bistro & Bar

Societi charcuterie platter.

Not that I am recommending you to commit those specific fashion blunders… but I digress.

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The One With Malaymama – Malaysian Comfort Food

Comfort food. The term itself made me all fuzzy with contentment. For me, comfort food is something that you can always rely on when you don’t want to decide on what to eat. Even if it is far from perfect, it is familiar and bring a sense of nostalgia… of something close to home.

One of my favorite comfort food spot is Malaymama at Mercer Street in Sheung Wan. Over many visits I have almost tried its entire menu. And since I am a Malaysian, I could authoritatively recommend what is good at this ma-and-pop joint.

Of highest recommendation is this yong tau foo dish. Basically it is a combination of bean curd, silky tofu, stuffed egg plants and the like, swimming in a bowl of soup.

Malaymama @ Sheung Wan

If you are like me and prefer your noodles not to be soggy from the soup, ask it to be separated, i.e. “lo meen”, like this.

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The One With ABC Kitchen – A Better Cooking Kitchen?

ABC Kitchen is like an institution in foodie circles around Hong Kong. Those I have spoken to have high regards for the nondescript stall, located at one of wet markets at west part of the island. Finding the place could be tricky; a tiny escalator led up to the cooked food center through a pair of dirty glass doors. Even after passing through, you might be confused by the array of Chinese, Indian and Thai food stalls lining up its walls.

But look a little harder and the cluster of tables with charmingly checkered table clothes will cone into view. Another hint: More than half of its clientele was made up of Westerners. Yes, gweilos and gweipos swirling glasses of red wine in a wet market.

ABC Kitchen @ Sheung Wan

As one of my closest Singaporean friends were in town, I was eager to show him some of the better places to eat at in Hong Kong. Hence I made an advance reservation at this place, at an ungodly hour of 9.00 p.m., hoping to escape the dinner crowd. Things didn’t bode well that when we arrive, we were told our table is not ready, there are no seats for us to wait, and could we please return some twenty minutes later.

To give them credit, they gave me a call on the dot when a table was ready for us. So we settled down for business and made some choices from the somewhat limited menu.

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The One With Bun Me – Vietnamese Bahn Mi Made Good

At the best of time I am not a fan of baguette. Or sandwiches. I view them as “diet food” – a replacement to better temptations when I need to cut down my food intake.

But as I walked out of gym one morning, I was positively light headed from the lack of sustenance to start my day. I looked up and saw Bun Me, a little deli-like shop serving a curious menu of baguette, Vietnamese style, more commonly known as bahn mi.

And so I walked in.

Bun Me

The place was empty at that time of the day, but the green wall provided a welcoming effect. The smiling and helpful staff, of course, helped. I also noticed that this place were reviewed in multiple magazines; the clippings were on the wall.

I dithered over the selection available and made up my mine for a set meal of daily chicken soup and Vietnamese beef in lemon grass baguette, for HK$45.

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The One With Cantonese Dinner At Ramada Hotel – First Class Chinese Cuisine Misrepresented

Ramada Hotel wouldn’t be the first to cross your mind when you think of Chinese cuisine. Its flagship (and only) restaurant, 中華樓 is located at its ground floor but not one you would expect filled with hotel guests. That’s probably because its main entrance is located somewhat next to the hotel; the doors from the hotel lobby opened unceremoniously right into the back of the restaurant.

When I first walked in I startled a whole table of fellow diners. Oh, the shame!

And so to dinner. If you have to ask, yes this was another Groupon dinner; how would you think I could have found out about the place then? At $499 for a ten course dinner for six person, it was definitely a good deal.

Or so I thought. First, let’s get to the food:

Chilled Dragon Fruit & King Prawn Salad

Chinese Dinner @ 中華樓, Ramada Hotel Hong Kong

The dinner started off with a deceiving starter. The “king” in its name must certainly be a kind of prawn breed; its size certainly wasn’t “king”. Each person got one prawn, sliced into halves. I don’t know about you, but I detest chefs who do this kind of thing. If you want to do a prawn dish, do it properly. Not frugally. The rest of the salad – fruits and what’s not – was entirely forgettable.

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The One With Yeoh’s Bak Kut Teh – Authentic Malaysian Cuisine

I have been to Yeoh’s Bak Kut Teh for a couple of times now; I even recommended it as part of the itinerary for a foodie day in Sheung Wan (guest post on Sparklette.net). However the few visits after my first one was some rather disappointing affair. They were just not as good as my virgin experience.

Was I blinded by my thirst for something from home? Or am I missing something here?

Unwilling to write off Yeoh’s as yet another faux Malaysian-eatery wannabe, I returned for lunch one weekend with my better half. And boy was I glad I did! The food quality has improved by leaps and bounds, perhaps my best experience yet at this somewhat small restaurant.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane – I ordered the very same set of dishes like my first time.

Black Fungus with Wasabi

Lunch @ Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh

A strange combination, I know, but it works. The black fungus (or mook yee in Cantonese) was served cold but crisp. Dipped in wasabi with soy sauce, it was deliciously refreshing. Every piece is crunchy to the bite, you can’t help but wonder… who would have thought a cold dish is served as appetiser in a Malaysian restaurant like this?

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The One With French Toast, Hong Kong Style

There are many reasons to love char chaan teng in Hong Kong. Apart from the fact that there are literally one located at every corner of streets in Hong Kong, this is the closest you can get to the local culture, food wise.

Of course, not all char chaan teng is created equal. Nor is its plethora of food available from its pages of menu, usually written entirely in Chinese. But if you ask me what is the one thing you can’t afford to miss eating at a char chaan teng, the answer is easy.

French toasts.

Lunch @ Kalok Restaurant

This is not that kind of toasts you usually get from a Western restaurant. The Asian variety (or rather, the Hong Kong version) is made by deep frying stacked sliced bread in beaten egg, served with a melting slab of butter, often topped with golden honey syrup.

Hmmm… typing that alone made me crave for it.

The one pictured above is my favorite, from Kalok Restaurant just mere steps away from my house. Such proximity often results in overindulgence on some weekends, followed by some guilty hours on the treadmills…

… only to be followed by yet another craving. Ah, what a vicious (but oh so delicious) cycle.

The One With Masala Indian Restaurant – Second Time Lucky?

Despite what I said in my previous post about Masala Indian Restaurant in Sheung Wan, my second visit here was proven to be a surprise. Perhaps because this time my friend and I did ala carte as opposed to the set meal, the quality was far better.

We ordered way too much and drank quite a bit of beer. Here’s some food porn to get you all a-Indian again, right here in Hong Kong!

Popaadam. With mint dip. Yum yum yum.

Masala Indian Restaurant Revisited

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