Monthly Archives: September 2011

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The One With Robata Zawazawa – Inspiring Japanese Dessert & Cocktails

When you first walk into Robata Zawazawa, you will almost be certainly distracted with its astounding decoration.

Robata Zawazawa

The attention to details were all-consuming. From the Japanese lanterns, to the exquisite menu, right to the open kitchen/bar. I seldom get excited about the design of a restaurant, but Robata certainly got my camera snapping.

Robata Zawazawa

But I was at Robata that night to have a go at authentic Japanese dessert and drinks. Prepared by (what else) real Japanese kitchen crew.

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The One With La Perouse – An Empirical Pairing Of Food & Wine

La Perouse

La Perouse is more often associated with its outdoor balcony seating area – a spacious veranda overlooking the Central Police Station, with a relatively unblocked view of its surrounding. In case you are not familiar with Hong Kong real estate, if you are at a high rise, it is of every likelihood that you can look out of your window only to stare into another one of the opposite block.

So the space at La Perouse was definitely inviting. But it was into its indoor bar and lounge I went one night for a spot of Australian hospitality and great French food and boutique wine.

Grilled Baby Lamb Chops

La Perouse

Let me be upfront: I am a fan of lamb. Given a choice between chicken, beef, lamb and world peace, I will dither between the last two (I am not proud of it, I am only saying). There are many people out there who don’t fancy lamb, because of its characteristic taste. I, for one, love lamb exactly because of that distinct flavour.

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The One With Goccia – Italian Finest Redefined

After the disappointing debacle that was The Fat Angelo’s, I was all but given up hope for Italian food in Hong Kong. Now before you bash me on the head saying that, hey that’s very narrow minded of you, let me remind you that you are talking to a guy who can’t tell the difference between baguette and foccacia, and have an aversion to any tomato-based pasta.

But that is all about to change.

Goccia

Goccia is a charming restaurant located right at the heart of Lan Kwai Fong. Occupying two floors, the ground floor was a dimmed cavern of cosy seats for those who would like to kick back after a long day at work with some drinks and friends. On the upper floor is a welcoming wide space (it’s a wonder what great interior design can do to prime real estate) for discerning diners looking for good Italian food.

Goccia

It was the latter to which I ascended to one weekday night for a spot of food and wine pairing meal. Now I won’t pretend to be a wine expert. Certainly I am a total noob when it comes to pairing your wine with food.

And that is also about to change.

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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 Month That Was August

As I sit here trying to think of a good opening sentence for this blog post, my mind is in a blur. So much has happened in the past month, I am not quite sure where to start, nor end.

But hey, isn’t every other month in one’s life, it is as such?

August has been a whirlwind of dining out and work woes. I said woes in the broadest sense of the word. Some woes are better than the other, and they are the cornerstones of success. I have spent so much time at work, jumping from one task list to another, launching project after project… at times, as I sit down for a meeting, my mind went, “Okay, what is this meeting about?”

Now that all my projects are up and running, I can take a breather.

August was also the month I tried new places for dinner. Armed with a stack of Groupons, I must have traveled the length of HK Island expecting new adventures.

Of adventures, I got it. But not necessarily of the kind I was looking forward to. Ah well, when it comes to food, you win some, you lose some.

So, August has not been entirely great, but it was also a month I realised some things have got to stop, some things need to be cherished more, and some things are better left to be. I like to think this wisdom has come with age, but it’s more likely that I have grown accustomed not to care as much.

The only thing which I cared more for are when three of my closest friends from Singapore came to Hong Kong. All three came within the same two weeks. Juggling between the desire to spend time with them, the demand of work, and the commitment to my better half, I felt like a Superman. In a good way.

Oh yes, it was in August that I took one of the biggest financial decisions I have ever made in my life. All things considered, it was the most responsible decision to make, but it also means prudent and frugal months ahead.

Of that, my friends, I seek your understanding. You will know what I mean.

I would like to end of this somewhat random blog post with a photo of something I truly proud of.

Cupcake Party

Yes, I made them.