The One With Aji Yakitori – New Japanese Haunt In Happy Valley

When DJ Dennis finally has time to meet up with me for an overdue birthday celebration, we opted for a place that is convenient for both of us – the newly opened Aji Yakitori in Happy Valley.

This tiny restaurant can at most seat 20 pax at one time, with tables and chairs packed along the corridor next to its open kitchen, all the way to space at the back. Servings were attentive (though I do think they are a little overstaffed), but it was certainly in a good way.

Aji Yakitori Happy Valley

The menu… oh, the menu. They must have close to a hundred different items of yakitori, and since I am rather noob to this food category I random selected items which seems interesting. All of them turned out to be great – of particular mention is the grilled puffer fish which was fragrant and sweet. The Japanese liquor drink list is pretty good too. Price wise it can be on the high side, but then again, it’s quality food, and this is Happy Valley.

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The One With Life Itself – A Movie About Roger Ebert

(Razlan’s Note: This is the first contributed post by Alex Lou, whom will be guest blogging for You Got Me Blogging for movies he loves to hate and hates to love)

It is perhaps fitting that my first review of 2015 is about one of the most prolific and famous film critics of our time, Roger Elbert in “Life Itself”

There was a time when Siskel and Ebert’s “Thumbs Up” was my guide to selecting movies. As my appreciation for films evolved, that system became too simplistic for me. After Gene Siskel passed on, I continued reading Roger Ebert’s reviews online, and I often found myself disagreeing with his assessment. For example, he gave a gushing, glowing review of “Knowing” (2009), one of the most awful Nicholas Cage movies (and there were SO MANY) I’ve had the misfortune of watching. Opinions aside, I’ve always admired Ebert’s writing – it was clear, cohesive and reflected his passion for movies.

Roger Elbert in Life Itself

This documentary, based on his memoir of the same name, recounted his career highlights (the successful TV show “Siskel & Ebert & the Movies”, winning the Pulitzer Prize, his “discovery” of Martin Scorsese, etc.) The parts that exposed his ego and his love-hate relationship with Siskel were certainly enlightening, but it was his courage in battling cancer that moved me.

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The One With Spasso Brunch – Stunning Sunday Feast

Recently we went to Spasso for brunch at its new location at Tsim Sha Tsui East. It was Maureen’s choice and honestly there can only be that many weekends one can spend at bar & grill, good as they may be.

It was proven to be an excellent choice. It was a sunny morning, and the place was already buzzing with large groups and families. Spasso’s brunch is served from 11:30am through 3:30pm and is priced according to the choice of main course.

Spasso Brunch

But first off, let’s look at their buffet line first, which comprises of Italian selections and international favorites. The seafood counter was the best of all the buffet sections, in my opinion – a fresh pile of shucked oysters, Boston lobster, yabbies, mussels, shrimps, and sushi and sashimi.

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The One With Epic Marriage Proposal In Changi Airport – And Why Girls Don’t Like It

There’s marriage proposal, and there’s great marriage proposal. But this guy really takes the cake. And I can’t believe this happened in Singapore!

You would think girls would be all over such a romantic, well thought out proposal… but to my surprise, not everyone is in love with it.

Check out the comments on my Facebook post. Was the girl embarrassed? Was the whole proposal over-the-top and awkward? Was it a gimmick?

The guy in question was John Khoo, who brought in singers and dancers from Glee Studios Singapore and Singapore Show Choir Academy to put up the epic flash mob, which touched on many nerves – in more ways than one.More background information here.

What do you think?

The One With He Jiang – Best Sichuan Hotpot in Hong Kong

We meet up with Dillon and Jim on their way to Taipei. Two rounds of drinks at our beloved Pavilion sets the mood of the night right. I finally found the key to get Dillon blabbering all night long. Oh, it is so much fun!

He Jiang 01

Then we head to He Jiang Restaurant at Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong. It is certainly the right choice – the location is absolutely convenient and the service is impeccable, so different from the recent hotpot experience we had not days ago.

He Jiang 02

The daredevils in us opt for the fiery Sichuan hotpot, and it lives up to its name. The broth is certainly spicy, with a peppery level which might be unsuitable for some, but it delights us all the same.

The ingredients we choose, which include the hot pot set for $588 plus additional dishes such as taro, goose intestine and beef go right down a treat. Unlike the usual Sichuan-style hotpot, this doesn’t numb our lips, and that certainly lead to a disaster – we order endless rounds of food. Plus wine and beer.

Certainly a night to remember. And you know what they said about that ring of fire? A lesson learned, but it is indeed a “mistake” worth repeating!

The One With Soap Soap FUN – Put Some Fun Into Your Lather

It was slightly more than a year ago when I first wrote about Soap Soap FUN in my (kinda) regular column on Sassy Hong Kong.

Soap Soap Fun

Since then, the entreprising mommy of my friend Joyce has expanded from being a simple Facebook business to now having a actual physical shop, sharing her love for organic soap-making with classes for all levels. Happy to be there at their opening party, a gathering of friends and family members wishing this budding business well.

Go ahead, give it a lather!

The One With Santorini Greek Restaurant – Great Moussaka in Hong Kong

Great Greek dinner at a restaurant named after our favorite island! The food at Santorini Hong Kong was amazing, especially the moussaka (pictured below) with the light-as-air mozzarella top and intense minced meat. The chef is Greek and the place a great reminder of what we left behind at the end of that amazing summer holiday (of which I have yet to blog about!)

Santorini Moussaka

Now I wish I had taken more notes of my great dinner that night. Definitely worth a visit, even if you are new to Greek food. Check out their online gallery to see for yourself the beautiful restaurant.

The One With Christmas – Two Celebrations In A Row

Have you had a great Christmas? Mine was very, very memorable.

Christmas Eve was spent in the company of some dearest friends. Food galore! We had western, Indian and Japanese all on one table. Champagne was literally free flow. We had a good few hours of merriment before hitting the street to paint the town red. It has been a good few years since we had a gathering like this.

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Second Christmas party, this time at my place. We hosted Ted’s friends for a night of eating, drinking and (yes) dancing. On hindsight I should have been a little light-handed in serving-tray-of-shots; we had rounds of whiskeys, vodkas and baileys. Not to mention champagne and wine. Food took second stage. And when Spice Girls hit the stereo, all hell broke loose.

I know I had it good when policemen came knocking. Now that’s what I call a good party!

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(On a separate note, now I’m left with a house sparkling with glitter. Even the toilet. How did it get there?!?)

The One With Secret Ingredient – Armani | Aqua’s US Black Angus Steak

Those of you whom have been following my blog would know that I love Secret Ingredient. I tried a couple of their meals, and they always deliver to my expectations without fail.

But it has been months since my last Secret Ingredient meal, so for new year’s eve, I decided to splash it out for a premium range meal – Armani | Aqua’s US black angus steak with cabernet & salish salt seasoning, panzanella salad & sherry vinaigrette. Secret Ingredient partnered with Chef Andrea of Armani / Aqua for this particular dish.

Secret Ingredient - Aqua's US Black Angus steak with panzanella salad and sherry vinigrette _raw

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The One With Happy Twitterversary – @razlan79 Turned 7!

So on December 31, Twitter told me that I have officially turned seven!

In case you still have not done so, do follow me on Twitter – @razlan79. I tweet occassionally, usually shots of food and what not but sometimes I do tweet pretty neat stuff, like this one:

Convinced yet? Follow me!