Monthly Archives: October 2013

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The One With Oyster Island – Fresh In The Valley

I have been eating round a lot in Happy Valley lately, trying out new places and venturing into unfamiliar restaurants. Though I have been here for almost two years now, it wasn’t until I have a buddy to do this with did I dig into with gusto recently :)

Oyster Island, without a doubt, was one of those little secret of Happy Valley that came as a pleasant surprise. Tucked at the end of a quiet road in the Valley, the restaurant was quiet looking for an eve-of-public-holiday-night. But the other half wanted oysters, so in we went into the blue, mysterious looking restaurant.

Oyster Island Happy Valley

All was well. Because we were the only occupied table, service was attentive and we felt very comfortable with the wait staff. To start off the night, we pondered over the selection of oysters available, and opted for the lighter and sweeter variety, Rocky Bay and Namibia, to the denser, heavier tasting Gillerdeau and Sydney Rock.

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The One With SimplyLife – Living Up To Its Namesake

Simple things in life were meant to be enjoyable because of its simplicity, and SimplyLife is one of those restaurant that is living up to its namesake.

Simply Life

I have been to the restaurant in IFC a couple of times now (and once to its branch in Quarry Bay), and never once I was disappointed. Granted, the food wasn’t spectacular, but it did the job nicely as a chill breakfast spot with some excellent sandwiches and desserts. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of these nosh I had now, but they were all equally enjoyable in low-key, fuss-free way.

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The One With Tokyo Heya – All You Can Eat Japanese

Japanese places are a dime a dozen in Hong Kong. There is just something about Japanese food that is irresistible to Hong Kong-ers. One can find all sorts of Japanese food here – from the low end, hole-in-wall ramen joint to the very high end, thousand-dollar sushi. And then there are those everything in between. So if you eat out at a Japanese place, particularly at those buffet-like eat all you can joints, it can be very much a hit-and-miss experience.

Which is why after a very filling meal at Tokyo Heya, I could honestly say that the food is worth your dimes and time.

Tokyo Heya Japanese Eat All You Can

There were many choices available from the menu, which you order by filling up these multi-colored sheets and pass to the milling waitresses. Tokyo Heya offers almost everything you can think of on a Japanese menu – sashimi, sushi, handroll, teppanyaki, sukiyaki, tempura… the list was endless, so we were spoilt for choice. Instead of stressing ourselves, we asked for the captain to recommend us some of their best recommendations, after which we added some of our own. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss from the menu:

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The One With The Pawn – Modern British Fare

Unless you are really in-the-know, one seldom associate The Pawn with food. The British establishment, housed within a historical building in Wan Chai that was previously (surprise!) a pawnshop, is better known for being a good spot for drinks, what with its spacious bar area that occupies the second floor of the building.

In fact, it wasn’t until I was invited to The Pawn for a tasting dinner that I realised this place serve food. Great British food, at that. We were blessed with some very fair weather the night we visited, so the four of us were seated at the balcony on the third floor, which was cosy and rustic with a laid-back feel. It was one of those rare finds in Hong Kong where the restaurant has plenty of space – great for privacy and personal space – right smack in the middle of town.

The Pawn’s 5th Anniversary Menu

To commemorate its fifth year anniversary, the good folks at The Pawn came up with a great, reasonably priced menu of modern British fare that serves four. To add more feel-good factor to their celebration, an optional $10 is added to every dinner bill (and $5 for lunch) to be donated to the local charity St. James’ Settlement.

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The One With Shanghai Lane – A Taste Of The Oriental

The other half was craving for xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings) one night, and I vaguely recall a Shanghainese restaurant in the valley that I never dared to venture into. In fact, there are quite a couple of places in Happy Valley that I always shy away from because… because their menus are in Chinese. Or so I thought.

Well, the menu at Shanghai Lane was bilingual. Who would have thought! This brightly lit restaurant was abuzz with milling waiters and hungry patrons, though it wasn’t packed and we were seated at possible the prime spot – a table for four right by the window. The service was super efficient when our first order arrived at the table less than five minutes after we ordered, so I suspected mediocre food. But boy was I in for a surprise!

Shanghai Lane Happy Valley

We ordered a portion of the dan dan noodles in chilli sauce to be shared. I loved the peanut-y taste in the broth of dan dan noodles, and the version at Shanghai Lane didn’t disappoint. We slurped up every last strand of noodles in an attempt to get all the delicious, slightly spicy broth. In retrospect we should have just ordered two portions of that.

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