Monthly Archives: May 2012

You are browsing the site archives by month.

The One With Hotel Amanjena – A Moment Of Sex And The City

It’s only fitting that, after a marathon of Sex and the City movies back-to-back last weekend that I blog about my very own Sex and the City moment in Morocco.

For the uninformed, the second movie of the highly successful stories of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, while was about Abu Dhabi – the “new” Middle East – the movie was mostly shot in Morocco, spread over a couple of cities. When I planned my trip to the North African country last year, many of my friends thought it was in honour of the movie.

Truth to be told, I had no idea until a few days before I was to leave for my holiday.

How uninformed I was! So while at Marrakech, having some off hours free in the afternoon, we decided to visit Hotel Amanjena, the beautiful palace-like hotel where Sex and the City 2 was shot at.

Hotel Amanjena at Marrakech, Morocco

The hotel was located some 10 km away from the medina of Marrakech (where we were staying at), and apparently no metered taxi will venture that far out. So we booked one. And upon arriving, the kind English-speaking concierge told us that we had better book the taxi for the return trip, for none will come this way. And so we did.

Was the hassle worth it? You bet. Upon knowing that we were from Singapore, the concierge wondered if we were “mystery shoppers” (the hotel was, apparently, operated by some company from Singapore), and proceeded to offer us a complimentary tour around the sprawling complex.

And what a sight it was.

Read More →

Pick Of The Week: The One With Angel’s Share

Ever wondered what angels have to do with whisky? Drop by to Angel’s Share, arguably the poshest whisky bar in town, and you just might find out.

Angel's Share

In the ancient times whisky masters were baffled for the annual two percent loss of whisky as the barrel matured. It was assumed that angels were responsible for it; hence the term angel’s share.

Angel's Share

While you may not find tipsy angels flying into each other at Angel’s Share, what you’ll take delight in would be the sleek and sultry interior of the bar, complete with authentic oak floors, velvety sofas and more than a touch of rockin’ vibe. Truly an altar dedicated to the enjoyment of the liquid gold.

Read More →

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!

Read More →

The One With La Sagrada Familia – The Greatest Catalan Icon Of Our Time (Really)

One of the definite highlights from my Europe trip last year was definitely the awesome La Sangrada Familia, the last work and arguably the most impressive of all Gaudi’s work. I didn’t knew it at that time, but the whole structure is like a giant chocolate cake dropped from heaven right onto Barcelona.

Consider this shot taken from a vantage point at Park Guell later that day:

At Park Guell Of Barcelona

The cathedral was so out of this world, you couldn’t possibly miss out that misshapen structure on the skyline of Barcelona.

(And yes, I know I look damn cool in this photo, thank you very much, hehe)

Read More →

Pick Of The Week: The One With HABITU Ristorante the Garden

Once in a while I chanced upon new restaurants entirely unplanned and was majorly surprised by my finds. HABITŪ Ristorante the Garden at Lee Garden was one of those instances. I was there the day before for a business meeting over coffee and saw an impressive garden – a rooftop terrace of sort – and I returned the next day for a proper experience.

HABITŪ Ristorante the Garden

The impressive rooftop garden seating area. I was charmed the moment I saw it the day before.

HABITŪ Ristorante the Garden

The whole place felt like Christmas.

Read More →

The One With Okaki Oyster Bar – The Best Is In Its Grill

I said it before and I will say it again. Had it not been for Groupon, I would have never been to half the places I wrote about on this blog. Finding new restaurants and eateries to experience in Hong Kong could be quite an ordeal in itself; Groupon cut the chase for me admirably well.

Yes, there were misses. A little research goes a long way before you hit that “Buy Now” button and more often than not, I always find something good and interesting about the new spots I ventured to.

Okaki Oyster Bar was one of those experiences. Just over a year old, the name “Okaki” itself is a blend of east and west; oysters are “kaki” in Japanese, while “O” obviously stands for “oysters”.

White Truffle Honey Salad

Okaki Oyster Bar

We started off our meal with white truffle honey salad which, if truth is to be told, was rather bland to taste. I am no truffle expert, but even I could tell that either truffle was non-existence in this plate of rather untantalising greens, or the amount sprinkled left me wanting.

Fresh Seafood – Prawns, France Whelk & Oysters

Okaki Oyster Bar

And then came the fresh seafood. Do you find yourself a little economised by the restauranteur when you are told specifically how many pieces of seafood you will get with your deal? The two prawns and two France whelk were succulent and sweet. It would have tasted much better with wasabi, but I was a little hesitant to ask for some. What if they told me wasabi doesn’t come with my deal?

The oysters were excellent. To quote the French poet Léon-Paul Fargue, eating great, raw oysters are “like kissing the sea on the lips.” I slurped up mine in one quick suck, and the oysters seem to melt on my tongue, making me shivering in delight and wanting more.

These oysters were in season and simply tasted better than other time of the year. We had Bald Eagle – a plump sized oyster with a meaty texture but crispy to the bite, and Coffin Bay – considerably smaller in size with a pleasant salty tang and a cucumber-like finish.

And then I spotted the extensive oyster menu. Did I mention that the oyster menu was extensive?

Read More →

The One With Food Revolution Day On May 19 – Stand Up For Real Food

Come this Saturday, on May 19, food lovers around the world will gather at kitchens, restaurants, offices and parks to take a stand against obesity, and for real food.


Let me explain. May 19 is designated as – thanks to the Jamie Oliver Foundation – the Food Revolution Day. The day when you learn to say no to processed food, to bad eating habits, and to disintegrating eating culture.

Without a doubt, processed food is the biggest culprit towards the obesity pandemic and diet-related illnesses plaguing our society today. Think soft drink (high dose of artificial sweeteners), burger patty (you never know what’s really inside those meat) and even jello (chemical colouring, anyone?). The amount of unnatural stuff we are putting into our body daily is nothing short of staggering.

Just think back to all the food you consumed today. That sachet of sugar. That bowl of noodles. That pack of chips.

For very personal reasons (read: vanity), I had always advocated a diet of non-processed food. Steamed meat and boiled vegetables are my daily norms. I cook my lunch every morning, and I cook again when I return home. It’s better for my waistline, it’s healthier for my wallet… heck, it might even save my life one day.

So on Food Revolution Day, make it a point to cook at home. Share the kitchen with your family and friends. Go for organic food, try out new healthier recipe. It is easier than you think to toss up a delicious salad and brew a nourishing pot of soup.

Everybody – and I do mean everybody – can do something on Food Revolution Day, anywhere.

Get involved and put Hong Kong on the map. Let everyone know that the world’s cuisine city can eat responsibly too. Thanks to the every resourceful Janice of, I know I will be doing my part and spreading the word come May 19.

Just to spur you a little further – let me know in comments or emails about what you want to do on Food Revolution Day, and get a free gift from me. Yup, I am serious. As much as I love blogging about eating out, it is also up to you and I to eat healthier.

Our lives may well be dependent on it.

If you’re on Twitter and Facebook, follow the action at @FoodRevHK and

The One With Reflections At Essaouira – The Wind City Of Morocco

Essaouira - The Wind City Of Morocco

The crystal clear azure sky opened up, as if God was smiling down on us. Palm trees swayed in the light breeze, slightly dampened from the rain earlier that morning. Shrieking sea gulls soared high ahead, calling out to each other across a sleepy souq slowly awakened from its wet slumber.

That was how I remember my first (and only) morning in Essaouira, the wind city of Morocco.

Read More →

The One With Taco Chaca – Mexican Street Food

Taco Chaca - Mexican Street Food

As a foodie I always fancied myself as an adventurous eater. The more exotic the food, the better. Mexican food is one of those I considered as adventurous… not that the food is strange, but a proper Mexican joint is quite rare in Hong Kong. My experience with Mexican food in this city has been mediocre at best.

Taco Chaca changed that.

Taco Chaca - Mexican Street Food

It was a proper no-frills taqueria located at Sai Ying Pun. There is something about seeing all those fresh ingredient displayed in front of you, with the chef in action on the grills at the back. The whole set up of Taco Chaca really brought to mind the street vendors of Mexico.

Taco Chaca - Mexican Street Food

Not that I have been to Mexico, but when your food is served in paper plate and plastic cup, on metal tables in cramped space, one has to justify the reasonable prices, doesn’t one?

Read More →

The One With Golden Valley Restaurant – Heaven & Hell In A Hotpot

Hotpot has got to be the best invention of Chinese cuisine. There are so many ways of doing a pot – from experimenting with different broths to dumping anything edible into it – that at every turn, you bound to be surprised.

Sichuan Hotpot at Golden Valley Restaurant

I thought my hotpot discovery was excellent, until Sichuan hotpot dropped a fiery bomb onto my radar. My (hotpot) life will never the same again.

Sichuan Hotpot at Golden Valley Restaurant

Golden Valley Restaurant was like a throw back to ancient times, when Hong Kongers revel in all things gold plated, and thick carpeting with swirly patterns commanded a mortgage to install. Located at Emperor Hotel (which is literally two minutes from my door step), it was a restaurant fit for a king.

Read More →