Monthly Archives: October 2012

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The One With Boqueria – Spanish Tapas Galore

Hola amigos! The Spanish seem to have invaded the palette of Hong Kong with many Spanish joints opening up left right centre. Theories were abound about this curious phenomenon – was the Spanish economy that bad that talented chefs are leaving the country by the hordes? It’s good news to us foodies in Hong Kong, but all around bad tidings for the poor people of Spain. I mean, what are they gonna do for their paella, churros and aged ham?

Boqueria took centrestage in recent weeks at Lan Kwai Fong.

Boqueria Hong Kong

Named after their flagship restaurant in New York, the philosophy of Boqueria find their gastronomical vortex around simple food and good time. I am all for simple food – life is complicated enough as it is – but some time I do wish that simple food comes with simple prices.

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The One With Festival of Restaurants 2012 – Grand Opening Feast

Festival of Restaurants is a celebration of the best in dining Hong Kong has to offer. For a country of which food is a religion in its own right, it is not hard to imagine how a month-long appreciation and great deals from some of the most widely acclaimed restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs in town will go down well with the food-loving crowd.

Festival of Restaurants' Grand Opening Feast 2012

The Grand Opening Feast was, in its very own unique way, an exquisite sampler of what November 2012 will bring to the many local food worshipers. Held at the regal Ritz Carlton in Kowloon, I was truly astounded by the sheer scale of the event – not by its size, but the substance. The assembled quality of food and enthusiastic food lovers in one evening was a sight to behold.

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The One With Ipoh Malaysian Restaurant – Down Memory Lane

Who would have thought? All these while, I thought the only decent Malaysian food available in Hong Kong can be sampled only at Sabah Malaysian Restaurant. But within a week, a friend recommended me to go Good Satay at Tsim Sha Tsui (which I must try soon!), and yet another brought me to Ipoh Malaysian Restaurant.

A restaurant named after my hometown – how could I possibly missed this?! I must have passed by the shop along Johnston Road plenty of time, yet I have never realised the existence of this shop. Let it be a lesson to all; have a bright, outstanding signage promoting your shop, or Ipohites like me will never notice it!

I was there one Sunday afternoon; the place wasn’t crowded, save for a large table of youngsters whom I suspect must have been Malaysians. It’s the language lah, you can’t miss it. So we ordered three of the many available set lunch options.

Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh

I loved bak kut teh, but to my dismay the soup is way too watery for my liking. The herbal soup is supposed to be rich in taste and heavy with herbs. Two stale, miserable-looking yao ja guai didn’t really help matter. But I had to commend the pork ribs; well choosen, cooked to tender perfection and deceivingly easy to bite off the bones. If only the soup could do it justice…

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The One With Wild Honey – Great Breakfasts Redefined

When my friend asked to meet at Wild Honey at Scott’s Square for brunch, my immediate reaction was one of reservations. I remember there was some kind of a PR news with one of their ads last year – the name “Wild Honey” kinda stuck in my mind – but hey when I ask my friends for recommendations, I heed them. What’s the point of asking if you are not going to try them out?

Wild Honey Scott's Square

It turned out that the decision to do brunch at Wild Honey (they have an all day breakfast menu, similar to The Flying Pan and The Brunch Club in Hong Kong) turns out to be satisfyingly good. I walked into Scott’s Square with no expectations, but boy was I in for surprise!

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The One With Hairy Crabs – Having It On The Cheap

Hairy crabs are in season again, and you know what that means, don’t you? Well, that means winter is on its way! Begone, days of insufferably humidity and searing heats of summer! You will NOT be missed.

Hairy Crabs

Okay, now that my rant about summer is over, I can get back to my lovely hairy crabs. You need no introduction about the local customs of eating hairy crabs. But what you need to know this year is how to have it on the cheap.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for austerity measure. In times of economic hardship when even the Chinese powerhouse is posting a “decline in performance”, one should be cautious about luxury spending. That includes burning $500 a pop for hairy crabs. You can easily have great crabs right at home. In fact, I have never had hairy crabs in restaurant before; I had always cooked at home.

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The One With Tony & Yali Wedding

For a person who bats for the other team, I have been to a fair few weddings in my life. When I was younger, the weddings I have been to are usually ghastly, cookie-cutter affair. Granted, I have only attended the banquets at these weddings, but even these were more predictable than my mom’s weekly grocery list. I started the first course with utmost sincerity and warm wishes for the newlyweds; by the fifth I was yearning for desserts to be served so that I can go home and forget the dull, dull moments of drunken toasting, horrible singing and bland food I had to endure.

Tony & Yali

However as I grow older, the weddings I attended to took on a more comfortable, if peculiar, personality. Instead of staring in confusion at the invitation card with names I don’t recognise (these were usually from the genre of familial weddings), I found myself inexplicably looking forward to these little packages of matrimonial joy. What used to be viewed as a “wedding bomb” – no one likes spending money on weddings of people they don’t know – is now a token of recognition.

Recognition, because these invites now come from close friends. Friends whom have been there when I was a young, naive thing. Friends whom have seen the best and worst of me (often worst). Friends whom loved me for who I am, not what I was or what I could become.

Friends who wanted me to be a part of their celebration.

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The One With Brat – Purveyor Of Awesome Sausages

I have been to Brat once before with my previous better half last year. I remembered the occasion very well; we had an unsatisfactory lunch somewhere (I won’t name names), and the (previous) better half remember a TV program which showcases a great place for sausages at Soho.


We went in, I was impressed, and we walked out. For the life of me I don’t know why I never blogged about Brat before, but hey it is not too late!

Brat, lovingly known as the purveyor of awesome sausages, was just that. I am not a sausage aficionado per say, but even the amateur me recognised the high standard of sausages being served here. It was a set meal for us, so we ordered a Brat each. Gracing the table for the afternoon was Frank (with mustard, paprika and onion garlic) and Sun Dried Tomatoes Mozzarella (with just like its name sakes).


The Frank.

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The One With My Gangnam Style – Me? Psy?

Never in my life I had some many likes on one single photo.

Okay, the outfit was planned specially for the wedding. Black suit, white shirt, with yellow bowtie and and yellow socks. The shades was added on. The end result was rather cool.

My Gangnam Style

But that wasn’t the photo I shared on Facebook. When I saw this large rattan seat at the hotel, it was just too inviting for me to do a cheesy pose on it. Risking roasting my own ass, I did a few shots, and realised… I was the embodiment of my own Gangnam style.

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The One With Alishan Taiwanese Porridge – Great Grub At Upper Serangoon Road

It has been said that porridge is one of the few iconic food of Singapore which will stand the test of time. I am not a fan of porridge at the best of time – save for those days when I am too ill to take solids – so the genre of food is usually lost on me.

Alishan Taiwanese Porridge Restaurant

So when my buddy and host for my recent Singapore trip took me to Alishan Taiwanese Porridge at Upper Serangoon Road recently, I was amicably intrigued. I knew that my dinner will consist of porridge with some side dishes, similar to Chinese economical rice (where you mix 2-3 dishes together with rice to form a meal), but with certain key characteristics.

Alishan Taiwanese Porridge Restaurant

The side dishes are definitely Taiwanese style. While I can’t really describe how to tell the differences in words, but if you are familiar with Chinese dishes the way I do, one glance at this stall is all you need to know that you’ll be in for a different experience… though still of the Chinese kind.

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The One With The Sweet Dynasty – Victim of Property Prices

Desserts. Can I just say that after expensive watches, queuing up for iPhones and betting on mark six, dessert is one of the top hobbies of Hong Kong people? To be honest, I never understood the allure of queuing up hours on ends for a bowl of desserts. Nor is tucking into a small bowl of sweetness sitting on a stool that is too small, in a shop that is too cramped.

The Sweet Dynasty

Of course, there’s always exception to the norm, and The Sweet Dynasty is definitely one of it. Granted, the cliche deco that is supposed to inspire a sense of oriental grandness, complete with somewhat tacky waitress uniform, left much to be desired.

But the desserts, to the most extent, were top notch. I will be the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to dessert – the sugar content is the main ingredient for man-boobs – but even I could tell that this place served some of the best desserts this part of Hong Kong (and I mean Tsim Sha Tsui).

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