February 26, 2015

The touring chef

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Tonight was one of those rare occasions when I accepted an invitation from a PR to attend a tasting.  Most of the handful of invites that come my way really aren't all that interesting, but this was different.  Chef Alain Devahive Tolosa - whose cuisine I first came across at my dinner with Ferran Adria - is embarking on an Asian tour with Ritz-Carlton Hotels, and for the next few days he's at Ozone in the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.  This guy's one of Ferran's disciples, and I wanted to see what he's up to after parting ways with the guys at Catalunya.

We started the evening with a couple of cocktails at the bar...

This melon cocktail - done as a spherification - was served on melon cubes topped with bits of jamón serrano.

The sangria was served with a layer of fruit foam, along with thin slices of strawberries and kumquat.

February 25, 2015

Le pigeon

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It all started with happy hour.  Meeting the Specialist and a few uncles for a few bottles of wine at Watson's Wine Cellar.  We either brought our own bottles, or bought the bottles from the shop and drank them on the spot.  Something I've participated in a number of times over the years...

2001 Musar - smoky, earthy, with a little bit of fruit.

2001 Pontet-Canet - ripe and fruity, a little oaky, with that exotic, tropical, coconut butter.

2002 Pichon-Lalande - sweet fruit, coffee, a little smoky.

1999 Gazin - smoky, a little more green, very fragrant, almost floral like violet, cedar.  Drinking very well.

2010 Le Saint Estephe de Montrose - minty, a little metallic, kinda sweet, with soft tannins.


I didn't have any dinner plans, so I got dragged / arm-twisted / decided to join the Specialist and BFF. Her new favorite venue is ON Dining Kitchen and Lounge, which is of course just a few steps away.  We walked into without a reservation, and ended up sitting on the lounge level just inside the outdoor terrace.  This would normally be fine, but we ended up inhaling some of the cigar and cigarette smoke from people on the terrace while trying to finish up the wines... Oh well.

February 24, 2015

Hearty and bland

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I got a call from Tigger this morning, asking me whether I'd like to lunch with him at 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana.  I know what day it is and why there's a table booked, so I happily accepted his invitation.  When he ended the call by telling me that "it's just you and me", I immediately realized that I was just acting as filler...  althoughI was relieved to find out just before lunch that Mrs. Tigger would grace us with her presence.

I debated about doing my usual thing of just having one course of pasta at lunch, but decided I should try out the dishes on their current set lunch menu.

Black truffle organic egg, "melanosporum" black truffle whipped potato and topinambur - very very yum.  Beneath the layer of shaved black truffle was a soft-boiled organic egg, along with a quenelle of whipped potato embedded with bits of truffle, as well as some mushrooms and cubes of pan-fried topinambour - otherwise known as sunchoke or Jerusalem artichoke.  Perfect combination of hearty flavors that just naturally go together.  I would have loved to have three of these...

February 17, 2015

Last star in the Year of the Horse

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It's movie night and I needed to grab a quick bite before the show, so I took the opportunity to go back to Yat Lok (一樂燒鵝).  I haven't been back for almost 2 months, and it was about time I got my roast goose fix.

February 14, 2015

A rich and relaxing lunch

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I'm back in Hong Kong and trying hard to cut back on my food intake, but a friend wanted to meet up for lunch at her new favorite restaurant, so I grudgingly obliged... and dragged my fat ass up to ON Dining Kitchen and Lounge.

Philippe came over to say hello and thanked me for the preview I wrote for the South China Morning Post.  Apparently they got a lot of calls after it got published, and he joked that there are no more pigeons in Brittany...  Well, many of my friends have enjoyed that dish as much as I did, and I'm glad they are doing well.

I'm taking it easy today, so I tried to pick a two-course set lunch.  While there were certainly choices which appeared more healthy, I guess I'm still just a pig at heart because... guess what?  All the dishes which sounded more appetizing were the ones which were rich and fatty!

Poached egg, crab meat, Parma ham, mushrooms, baby spinach - this sounds relatively healthy... no?  One could never go wrong with a poached egg here, and all the other ingredients worked very well together.

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