Monthly Archives: July 2012

You are browsing the site archives by month.

The One With The Pride Of Krug

To say that the House of Krug are modest people will be an understatement.

But then again, they have every right to be proud of their bold heritage. I love champagne very much like any other person, but it wasn’t until a night of Krug tasting at Otto e Mezzo got my lips smacking in deep, new found appreciation for this liquid gold.

Krug Champagne Dinner at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo

The champagnes of Krug is decidedly elitist; but in an elegant, tasteful way. The lineage is curated from some 250 plots of vine in France’s Champagne region (hence the name); a mere 0.1% of what is available.

Selection of the finest? Nose-up to the mediocre? If you had as much Krug as I did in one dinner, your guess will be as informed as mine.

Krug Champagne Dinner at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo

My very first glass was a Krug Clos du Mesnil of the 1998 vintage. Conversations were rife with speculations of what makes this glass different. The others may taste wonderfully complex with full aroma, but a glass of Krug Clos du Mesnil possesses a singular intensity crafted to attack the senses. As I took a deep sip, I was pleasantly stunned on how sharp it played on my palate, rising above a sea of other tastes with a distinct freshness.

Read More →

The One With Tasty Congee – Living Up Its Namesake

Honestly, I wasn’t that hungry when I walked through the door of Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop.

The night was humid, dense with anticipation of the approaching typhoon. My stomach was still hard at work deciding if the afternoon tea earlier on was worth keeping (read: else, to “repel” it, if you get my drift). I was tired after a long day. So it was the prospect of catching up with a friend and trying out a new place in Happy Valley that got me going.

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop (what a mouthful!) looked promising from the outside. You couldn’t get any more Chinese than with waiters in costume, dark paneled wall and antique-like furniture. It was almost like the restaurant was afraid that random strangers might come through the door and not know it is a Chinese restaurant. And what’s up with the name? I mean, it can’t get anymore SEO-friendly than this… only if their website (which I won’t bother to link here) is working.

Does this sound like an opening of a bad review of this place? Quite the opposite. Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop was quite a gem, keeping true to its name sake, true and true. I found out that Tasty Congee is the second generation shop of Hong Kong’s congee and noodle expert Ho Hung Kee.

It certainly didn’t disappoint!

Fresh Fish Slices & Preserved Egg Congee (HK$46)

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop

I was amazed by its congee menu; it was over four pages long! Cheap ones, expensive ones, simple ones, elaborate ones… the options danced in front of my tired eyes, so I decided to go for something simple. I was talking to my friend when the first spoonful, and it literally got me swooning. The congee was smooth yet not too watery, while the fresh fish slices and preserved eggs felt like dancing on my taste buds. And that was before I added a dash of pepper. Kick butt.

Read More →

The One With Tea At Lobby Lounge, InterContinental Hotel – View To Pay For

I will be the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to pastries and desserts. Some knowledge about cupcakes and how it differs from muffins would be the furthest my gastronomical knowledge in this area would go.

So please excuse me for the lack of names for the stuff you’ll see in this post, but then again you probably won’t need to know anyway.

Despite my best intention, I am still unsure about the differences between high tea and afternoon tea. I would stick to describing this as afternoon tea set to keep true to its menu. We were told that the Lobby Lounge at Hotel InterContinental was strictly walk in only, usually with a 30-min waiting time if you arrive anytime after the 2 p.m. when the afternoon tea started to be served.

Afternoon Tea at Lobby Lounge, Intercontinental Hotel

A word about the lounge. Despite the slightly warmer temperature, the lounge has a lovely ambiance. The waiters bustled around us without being overly intrusive, and the sweeping view of Hong Kong (Janice sums it up well with a footnote to her post) was the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of leisurely tea. I was particularly charmed by the live band, consisting of a cello, a violin, a piano and a flue, playing not classical but easy listening pop.

It was sublime.

Read More →

The One With Ah Pek Lee Kou Hock – Sitiawan Seafood At Its Very Best

If you have just started to follow this blog, you may be surprised to know that I am not a Hong Kong local. Okay, maybe you might get the hints that I relocated here from Singapore, but yet I am not a Singaporean. I grew up in a small town called Menglembu in Malaysia, where my earliest food memories were made. It has been more than ten years since I moved away from home, but yet I remember some food places like a piece of history etched permanently in memory.

And rightfully so, for Malaysia is famous for its varied, delicious food. I could rattle all night long of my favourite Malaysian restaurants, or I could tell you that ONE seafood place which I will always, always remember. During my recent trips back home, I even demanded my family to make the one-hour journey to this obscure restaurant in the middle of nowhere near the town of Sitiawan.

Ah Pek Lee Kou Hock is the place. Funny name of a restaurant, eh? Never mind the name. Let me tell you about its food. This meal took place over a year ago, but to this day I still remember the details. Vividly.

Sweet & Sour Fish Maw With Sea Cucumber

Ah Pek Lee Kou Hock Seafood Restaurant

Succulent fish maws cooked with soft sea cucumber with a touch of shrimps, cooked in a sour, starchy tomato broth. You know, they should consider replacing shark fins with a phenomenal dish like this one.

Oyster Omelet

Ah Pek Lee Kou Hock Seafood Restaurant

Maybe I should rename this as oily oyster omelet. Yes, it is extremely greasy – I can feel my waistline expanding just by thinking of it – yet like all fattening food this was extremely good. More commonly known as “hou jian” in the local dialect, it’s a tantalising mix of batter, eggs, oysters… and plenty of oil. Yum.

Read More →

The One With Green Waffle Diner – Chicken Me Not

It does seems like I have a craze for American-style diners recently. Okay, technically the Happy Valley Classified is no diner, just feel like one, but the one at Jerry’s is definitely a diner.

But truth to be told, I was at Green Waffle Diner recently because… just because. I was in the area, and we needed dinner which while doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket, will give us a satisfactory food for the hot, humid night. After missing out one gathering of #HKSocialButterflies (hi guys!) here, finally I got my hand on its signature dish.

Fried Chicken & Waffles (HK$82)

Green Waffle Diner

At last! I first heard about this odd-sounding dish on Twitter (hi Greg!) and have been itching to try this out. Two deep-fried chicken drumsticks served with a full waffle and a healthy portion of homefries. The chicken was surprisingly dry; it almost felt like it was refried or reheated. It was surprising because from the look (and smell!) of it, they do appear to be good. The skin is, of course, delicious, but that’s wholly missing the point, right?

Read More →

The One With The Wolseley – Iconic High Tea In London

Whenever I go on holiday, I tend to treat myself like a prince. Not that I have the ability to splurge like one, but I do think when you are on holiday, it is unfortunate if you have to scrimp to get by with too little money.

I mean, aren’t you supposed to save up for a holiday? What’s the point to be watching your spending all the time and feel miserable for missing out?

So this was one afternoon in London when I was with the best travel buddy a man could have (hello Liping!). We just did some window shopping at Harrods (ok, so that was a bit out of my price range, but I am no fan of shopping anyways), and had the odd hour to spare before our broadway show (Legally Blonde!), so we did what some lady-who-lunches would do.

We did The Wolseley.

Afternoon Tea at The Wolseley

It was hard not to be impressed by the splendour of The Wolseley the moment you walk in. With its vaulted ceilings, polished marble and art deco interior, The Worseley exudes an old school charm in a very polished, modern way. I was told even that, if I was lucky, I might even spot the odd celebrity.

Read More →

The One With Classified Happy Valley – Best Kept Public Secret

Nowadays when I go out for meals, I always ask my friends to order food for everyone to share. This is because (1) I almost never go out and eat alone, and (2) if I am the ordering, I would often end up with food with familiar-sounding names.

That was my explanation during my recent dinner at Classified. Nevertheless, I was asked what would those “familiar sounding” food would be, so I obliged. I pointed at this and that, and in the end we ended up ordering almost the exact same thing.

So much for being adventurous.

Classified Happy Valley

The Classified outlet in Happy Valley has a very laid-back feel to it. Wooden stools, hardback chairs and an open kitchen made it felt like an all-day diner, and it was. The all day menu was only 3-4 pages, which I liked as I am one of those indecisive ones when presented with endless choices.

Roasted Pumpkin & Chorizo Salad (HK$82)

Classified Happy Valley

This was a good choice as starter. Served with wild leaves, green beans and vine tomatoes, the portion of roasted pumpkin was too small for my taste though the excellent chorizo more than made up for it. A word of warning though: the “chilli & lime” dressing actually comes with cili padi – sliced bird’s eye chili which is extremely spicy, so if you are novice I suggest you ask for the salad without it. But if you are adventurous, like I did, I enjoyed the salad with glassed of plain water.

Read More →

The One With Frites Belgium On Tap – Mussels Me Please

It was said that beer is to the Belgians as wine is to the French. If it was true, then Frites Belgium On Tap paid homage to that tradition as good as your favorite French winery. Minus the snobbery.


I could do without the huge declaration of 10% service charge though.

It was weekday night when I visited the branch at Quarry Bay for some beer and good old mussels. Have you heard that I love shell fish of all kinds? No? Now you know.


How dedicated were the Belgians to beer? At Frites, they have a beer bible, and prayers dedicated to beer. Heads were definitely bowing (probably due to pints consumed rather than subjugation) and incantations were shouted rather than murmured, it was a temple for beer worship, alright.

Read More →

The One With Sydney Fish Market – Freshest Seafood In Town

I have been Sydney twice now; once in 2006, and more recently in 2011. Both times, I didn’t miss out the chance to visit the ever fabulous Sydney Fish Market.

Sydney Fish Market

Sydney Fish Market is located Pyrmont, right at the harbour where countless boats of all sizes were docked at. You can reach the market by the lightrail tram, which runs every ten minutes or so. Perfectly reliable transportation, so you’ll be excused if you kinda forgot you are still in Sydney.

Sydney Fish Market

Oh yes, where was I? The fish market. The whole complex is located some ten minutes walk away from the lightrail stop. There are plenty of signboards to show you the way, but fret not if you are hopeless with direction even with a map AND an iPhone in your hand, like yours truly.

Just follow your nose.

Read More →

The One With Nico’s Spuntino Bar + Restaurant – New Kid On The Italian Block

It was a yet another sizzling summer night in Hong Kong. As I made my way up the never ending escalator in Central, it was hard to be excited about an Italian meal which was on the card for dinner. I mean, isn’t Italian all about dishes of which its name you can’t pronounce, of food too complicated to even describe, and of chefs too snobbish for their own good?

Nico's Spuntino Bar + Restaurant

So imagine my surprise when I stepped into Nico’s Spuntino Bar + Restaurant. It was located right where the old Fat Angelo’s was. Although it was only 7 p.m., the restaurant was filling up fast.

To my eyes, Nico’s was anything but pretentious. The first spuntino (which means “snack”) bar in town, even the name itself was a breathe of fresh air. Why give yourself complicated Italian name no one would remember nor understand? True, the menu itself was still a puzzle to read, but the best of food is not in its name but, of course, the food itself.

And on that philosophical note, here’s my top six pick from Nico’s.

Caciocavallo Silano in Carroza (HK$98)

Nico's Spuntino Bar + Restaurant

Crispy-fried, fresh cow’s milk cheese, on a bed of fried leeks. It was possibly my first time having fried cheese, and it was oh-so-good. I was led to believe that it’s possible the best way to eat cheese is by having it deep fried. There’s something almost hypnotic as the contrasting rich flavor of cheese and crispy texture of the batter seem to battle it out in your mouth.

Read More →