Monthly Archives: April 2012

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The One With Kwan Kee Claypot Rice – A Gem Of A Find In Sai Ying Pun

At times, you find a gem of a restaurant at the most unlikely place. Kwan Kee Claypot Rice was one of those finds. I was in the area one night with two friends looking for a second dinner (yes, we are gluttonish that way) when I remembered, hey, I had a dinner here before. Along one of those small alleys by the road side.

An unhygienic dinner spot? Perhaps. But good food is good food is good food.

So off we went in the rain and within seconds we found the place.

We noticed that the food of choice must be steamboat. But we weren’t in the mood for such heavy stuff, so we opted for a soup and claypot rice, shared between the three of us.

Edible Frogs & Preserved Sausage With Rice in Claypot (HK$62)

Kwan Kee Claypot Rice

It came as a surprise that one of my dinner buddies for the night, a true blue German, was NOT squirmish in trying out frog legs. I mean, at the best of time, frog legs are an acquired taste, especially for the common gweilo (I used the term very loosely here). We tucked in to this dish with gusto. The legs tasted like, well, chicken, though well cooked ones at that. The preserved sausage was excellent, though I am do enjoy sausages of all kinds, preserved or otherwise. But as a combination, it was just an alright rice claypot. I missed the “burned” rice layer at the bottom of the pot, but we were too stuffed to reach that part.

It was our second dinner for the night, remember?

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The One With Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Raca in Portugal is the most westerly point of Europe. Which means, from that vantage point, you see nothing but sea in every direction. On my one-hour bus ride from Sintra, I imaginedthe kind of sunset a horizon like that would command, and my heart surged.

I love sunset.

And then I realised that I had no idea where to alight. I mean, my non-existent navigation skills not withstanding, I know I was on the right bus, but where do I stop? At the town nearest to the sea? Or anywhere I can see the beach? So I summoned all my courage and asked the driver, whom replied in halting English that we will stop at Cabo da Raca, and he will tell me when we have arrived.

But my watch was telling me in mere minutes the sun would set for good. Time was running out. I was cursing at everything – at myself for not planning this better, at the bus which was going much too slowly in my opinion – and then suddenly we were there.

I alighted at Cabo da Raca.

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The One With Under The Bridge Spicy Crab – Gripping Hong Kong By The Pincher

While Singapore has its famous chilli crabs, Hong Kong upped the ante with their spicy crabs.

What do I mean? Having lived in Singapore for a while and have had my fair share of chilli crabs, nothing can prepare you for the sweat-inducing level of fiery hotness that Hong Kong spicy crabs can bring. It’s enough to make a grown man cry. Literally.

And the defacto place to have the authentic typhoon shelter spicy crabs (it’s a long story) here has got to be the Under The Bridge Spicy Crabs. There are four branches, all around the same location, so hunting one down could be an adventure all on its own.


The crabs – a large one can set you back some $480, more than enough for two person – came drowned in minced garlic, onion or shallots, red chilli and black beans. There are 5 – 6 varying levels of spiciness you can opt for.

Plus some other non-spicy options for the whims.

For the night, I stupidly went for the mid-range option, and boy was I in for a treat. Not.

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The One With The Woman At Vantage Point

The Vantage Point of Fez

It has been a long time since I last blogged about my travel.

I couldn’t remember the turning point, when this blog changed from a random collection of my thoughts and writings into a string of food review. It is very “me-too”, isn’t it? I miss the therapeutic effect of blogging; of writing words, conjuring puns, crafting punchlines.

It’s like shopping, without money spent.

So I thought I’ll start with my behemoth collection of my travel photos. How about featuring shots which really spoke to me?

The photo above was taken at Fez, Morocco. When I saw the woman sitting there, carrying her baby, lost in her own thoughts while staring into the distance, I was enthralled. What could possibly be in her mind? What could have happened to her that motivated this trip all the way up to this vantage point?

Perhaps she was escaping from her day-to-day life. And it struck me that, at that very moment, I was, too.

The One With Sake Bar GINN – Hong Kong Dedicated Sake Bar

Founder Ayuchi Momose was proud to inform us that Sake Bar GINN is the first genuine bar in Hong Kong dedicated only to the fermented rice wine.

Sake Bar GINN

The sake selection available, mind boggling to the novice and da God-sent for diehard fans, were imported directly from Japanese breweries and not available elsewhere in Hong Kong.

Sake Bar GINN

Sake Bar GINN is more like a bar than a restaurant, so be prepared to be overwhelmed by its selection of about 100 different kinds of sakes, rather than its tapa style menu to go with the sake.

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The One With Fa Zu Jie – A Shanghainese Adventure With A French Twist

I have been living in Hong Kong for almost three years now, and the term “private kitchen” still puzzles me. Is this the name given to residential flats converted to quasi-restaurants serving a select table of discerning diners? Or a place with too few tables that, with their popularity, their waiting lists are at least weeks-long? Or, or… are private kitchens just that – a kitchen in a house, a private residential address, a handful of regular customers?

Maybe my more experienced foodies will be able able to shed light into this, but for now, let me share with you a gem of a find I had in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong.

And I do mean in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong. To reach Fa Zu Jie (法租界) was also part and parcel of its mystic and experience. Snaking your way round unassuming stalls, down suspicious looking alleyways, climbing the most unlikely looking staircases, even your iPhone GPS and printed maps may be of little use.

So, what do you do? Follow your nose. When you are confronted with a nondescript door with the unmistakable smell of delicious cooking and faint clinking of champagne glasses, you do what your gut tells you.

You knock.

Fa Zu Jie’s Shanghainese version of Eton mess is incredible. A gigantic American strawberry the size of a baby’s fist is accompanied by a meringue and cream that has been flavoured with the aromatic osmanthus flower, and it is a wonderful, light dessert t

Stepping into Fa Zu Jie is like attending a party where you know nobody yet you feel right at home. The immaculate space, with its glassroofed backyard and open kitchen, could comfortably seats 30 patrons on a busy day. And it was a busy night.

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The One With Eggstreme Brunch At Divino – Eggsactly The Eggscitement We Eggspected

Okay, so that was quite a bad play of words, but I couldn’t think of a more apt title to a post all about eggs, eggs, and more eggs.

To say that DiVino has supercharged the egg-centric (see, again!) brunch options in Hong Kong with their Eggstreme brunch menu would probably be understating it. Apart from the endless myriad of eggs options available on the menue – more than all your fingers combined could count – Chef Michele only uses pasteurised eggs or DHA pasteurised eggs, ensuring the eggs’ innate nutrients such as proteins, vitamin A and riboflavin go right down with your Bloody Mary.

(We had the virgin variety, and it was equally delicious).

Eggstreme Brunch at Divino

It was also my virgin (heh) visit to Divino, and can I just say that I really, really like the interior and how laidback the atmosphere was. The resident DJ spins tunes of chillout grooves and lounge music throughout brunch time. It was all I could do not to lie down on the comfortable couch, snuggle under (an imaginary) duvet and dig into my book.

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