The One With Ten Unusual (And Delicious) Hong Kong Hotpot Ingredients

Whenever my Singapore friends come to visit, a Hong Kong hotpot is never far from their list of things to do. I have to say, before I moved to Hong Kong, my knowledge about what makes a good hotpot dinner was woefully inadequate. And then I went to say that New Star Hotpot is the best place to have hotpot in Hong Kong.

Oh, the atrocity!

I have misled you, my dear readers. But since then, I have been to many, many more hotpot places and if you are to ask me now where to get a good Hong Kong hotpot, I can tick them off with my fingers.

But the point of this blog post isn’t as much to tell you where to find good Hong Kong hotpot (there are simply too many of them). I would like to share with you some of the most unusual ingredients I have came across that were used in hotpots here. This is, of course, relative. If you come from a city like Taipei with a strong hotpot culture, this list shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Yet if you are a Westerner visiting Hong Kong, then let’s just say what I am about to tell you can be quite an acquired taste.

#1 Geoduck

10 Unusual Hong Kong Hotpot Ingredients

That’s quite a strange name for a shellfish. Geoduck is a species of very large, edible, saltwater clam originated from North America. It’s can taste rubbery and chewy, yet surprisingly exotic especially when dipped in the Hong Kong hotpot sauces.

(Photo Credit)

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The One With The Imitation Game – A WWII Story Everyone Must See

The Imitation Game is an important film because more people, other than historians and WWII enthusiasts, will learn about Alan Turing and understand his immeasurable contributions that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The Imitation Game

Turing’s invention of the machine that cracked the German’s Enigma code not only cut the war short, thereby saving millions of lives, but also laid the foundation for modern computing. In fact, we have Turing to thank for many of the conveniences we enjoy as a result of technological advances.

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The One With Chinese New Year – And The Week That Went Awry

Hello there! Did you miss me? I have made a new year resolution that I will blog every day this year (let’s see how that might pan out), but I missed last week after a long blog post on Singapore Mega Sale. Truth to be told, I was being put off by the long weekend that was Chinese New Year, and then a sudden bout of food poisoning (it’s a long story), and so my blogging resolution took a hit for about a week.

But hey, I am now I am back!

Let’s talk about the Chinese New Year. It occurred to me that this year, I didn’t do or have many things often associated with the celebration. No CNY cookies. No lou hei. No poon choi. I had a good few gatherings with friends, but apart from the visit to the flower market (which is another story in itself), the past long weekend didn’t feel very CNY-y.

And on the second day of CNY, I craved for… McDonald’s pancakes. Maybe I’m really not a CNY person.

McDonald's Hotcakes

And then there was my CNY gathering at home with my better half’s friends. Now that was quite a riot!

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The One With The Mega Singapore Sale – Brought To You By Megafash & Shopventure

For those of you who love to do online shopping (in bed, while still in your PJ), I have got some good news for you! The Mega Singapore Sales is now on from Feb 21 to 28. Over 100 brands are available on the site. Even for the non-shopaholic me, I was amazed by the array of some of the stuff available! Here are some of my choices:

Megafash - Hilivre

Hilivre

Hilivre book store offers a selection of quirky design oriented notebooks, planners and other stationery! We spent a whole lot of time on our desk, whether it be studying or working. Why not make the desk cozy then? Hilivre seeks to offer creative and quirky paper products and items that brings energy and vibrancy, so everyonecan have a great experience getting your work and study done.

Shop for on Hilivre Mega Singapore Sale >>>

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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 Chinese New Year – Year Of The Sheep!

Or is it ram? Or goat? You know, it’s really hard to get it right.

This year is actually my year. As in, I am of the Chinese zodiac sign of sheep. Which means, I was born three zodiac cycles ago. No prize for guessing how old I am this year!

Apparently, my luck is not very good this year, be it with money, health, relationship etc. I seldom pay heed to such beliefs, but my family does. I was repeatedly reminded to go to a local temple to perform a ceremony to “turn my luck” for the year.

I guess that would make this year’s CNY celebration a little different, instead of usual eating in and partying out. Regardless, I could really use the break.

Here’s wishing all my blog readers a very Gong Xi Fa Cai! Here’s my favorite self-pic for CNY by far.

Razlan for CNY

(Yes, I used to wear specs. Kinda miss how I looked two years ago)

The One With Dan Ryan’s – Great American Diner Experience At Festival Walk

So one day I found myself to be at Festival Walk for a work lunch, the restaurant of choice was Dan Ryan’s. I have only been to Dan Ryan’s once – and that was at Pacific Place for a drink – so I didn’t really know what’s in store for me.

Dan Ryan's

I do like the ambiance at Dan Ryan’s. The whole upscale, American diner yet laid back experience was something that I could sink into, with its cozy counter seats and warm lighting.

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The One With Birdman – 9 Academy Awards Nominations & Oscar Contender

Once in a long while, a film comes along that completely blows me away, and I am reminded why I love cinema. Birdman was one of those moments, when what’s on screen echoed life in a way that transcended definition.

Yes, the uninterrupted one-shot scenes that lasted more than 10 minutes each were impressive from a technical and logistical standpoint (in fact, the whole film was made to look as if it was done in a single shot – brilliant work by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki!), but for me, it was the performances that took my breath away.

Birdman Movie

What a cast! Edward Norton as the egotistical star threatening to steal the show; Naomi Watts as the nervous actress making her Broadway debut; Emma Stone as a fresh-out-of-rehab daughter struggling to find her footing (Keep an eye out for her incredible monologue. You have a new fan Emma!);

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The One With Secret Ingredient – Valentine’s Day Menu

So last Saturday was Valentine’s Day. How did you celebrate the day of love and romance?

If you are anything like me, you’ll think twice about the whole notion of Valentine’s Day. Roses and chocolates everywhere, with V-day packages offered by your favourite restaurants to your neighborhood pharmacies (trust me, I have seen them). Your relationship with your significant other should be celebrated everyday, and not just on Valentine’s Day.

I sounded old. But it is indeed a day to remind ourselves of the relationship we are in, and to cherish the memories you shared together. And so I celebrated it in one of the best ways I enjoy life.

Food.

Secret Ingredient - Valentine's Day Dinner

The love weapon of choice was Secret Ingredient’s Valentine’s day menu. Pre-order started two weeks before the V-day, and so expectations were high. I placed mine straight away.

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The One With Michele Senigaglia – Chef of Spasso Hong Kong

You might have noticed that I have been to Spasso Hong Kong quite a bit lately. First it was for their Sunday brunch, and then to try their Valentine’s Day menu. Both meals were rather stellar, so I thought why not get to know the man behind the food?

So I caught up with Chef Michele Senigaglia to find out the idea behind food at Spasso, his fiery passion for cooking, and his thoughts on Hong Kong (and its local food!).

Chef Michele of Spasso

What are the main essence of Italian cuisine at Spasso? How would you differentiate Spasso from others?

Spasso is an eatery. The food we serve is not fancy; what we want achieve is to deliver a dish that, with its aroma, the look and taste will give you the perception that you are eating in Italy. Many guests from Italy and overseas commented that sometime they eat better in Hong Kong that in Italy! This is a great compliment to us. We work very hard to select and import the best ingredients for our menu.

Guests noticed our passion and commitments to deliver a small piece of Italy to Hong Kong. We focus to use imported fresh ingredients served simply but with well executed preparations. The ambiance at Spasso is cozy and the service friendly and accommodating, making the dining experience even better.

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