April 14, 2019

10 days in 3 cities day 2: the elegant Dragon

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It was morning and Hello Kitty wanted coffee.  And Portuguese pasteis.  That was a sign that she was showing improvement from her condition last night.  So I rounded up The Dining Austrian and headed for Lord Stowe's Cafe in Coloanne.

I know it was only just after 10 a.m. but I felt like having a Bailey's latte... which came with a sprinkling of ground nutmeg.

The three of us ordered a half-dozen pasteis, which was just the right amount.  I can never get enough of these, and I think my friend liked them, too.

April 13, 2019

10 days in 3 cities day 1: the bling-bling Palace

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The Dining Austrian is back in my part of the world, and this time I've planned an eating tour with him spanning 3 cities over 10 days.  As was the case last year, the first leg is in Macau... and once again my friend took a ferry straight to Macau after landing at Hong Kong International Airport.

But this time around I didn't make the Macau leg into a "boys' weekend", and we opened up to a wider group.  Six of us would be coming from Hong Kong, and instead of taking the ferry as usual, we hired a driver with a 7-seater and made our very first trip across the HongKong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.  We were thankful that we did so today, because the rainy weather likely would have made for a rough ride on the ferry.  The journey across the bridge, meanwhile, was pretty smooth and painless.

We checked into the Grand Hyatt Macau, freshened up, and crossed the road in the rain to Wynn Palace Cotai.  As it was raining, we decided to enter the hotel by riding the cable car instead of walking around to the entrance...

We were placed in one of the semi-private rooms near the entrance of Wing Lei Palace (永利宮), adjacent to the one where I suffered through 4 hours of agony.  We were very happy to see Chef Tam again, and with the exception of one dish I gave him carte blanche.

We started with the Wing Lei Palace platter (永利宮嘗味拼盤):

Barbecued suckling pig filled with minced shrimps top with caviar (黑魚子百花乳豬件) - normally I would have thought the suckling pig crackling encased with shrimp paste crusted with sesame seeds would be tasty enough, but this is Macau, after all... so caviar and gold leaf we must have.

April 12, 2019


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It's all Fergie's fault.  Years ago he told me about this dinner he organized where they tasted a fish imported from Malaysia that cost what seemed to me a staggering amount of money.  At the time I didn't know the proper name of the fish, only that it was nicknamed 'unforgettable (忘不了)' in Chinese.  The story was that it was so good that once one has eaten the fish, one could never forget how good it tasted.  The joke was that once one saw the bill, one would never be able to forget how much it cost.

So recently Fergie got seafood itchy and decided that he wanted to round up people for another dinner featuring the empurau.  He had befriended someone who would be able to source the fish from Malaysia, and before you know it, dinner was arranged at the Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant (帝苑軒) for 20 of us.

A work emergency and traffic jam meant that I got to the restaurant around 40 minutes late.  The appetizer platter had been served, and the drinking was already under way...

Appetizers : vegetarian goose, jellyfish with spring onion and sesame oil, marinated duck tongue, beef with garlic chips, dace fish balls (佐酒六小福:素鵝 蔥油海蜇 鹵水鴨舌 蒜片牛柳粒 蜆芥鯪魚球) - since I arrived late, my friend had kindly plated these for me.  They were OK, although I have never been a fan of dace fish balls.

Sliced pork in spicy garlic sauce (蒜泥白肉) - OK lah.

April 6, 2019

Shrimp among the waves

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Chili Shrimp Girl Big Head Shrimp is in town and much to my surprise, Hello Kitty invited me to join their catch-up session.  While I was hoping they would pick another venue I have kinda been missing, we ended up at Ronin... which is a place I'm happy to return to any day.

We decided not to do the market tasting menu and cherry-picked from the menu.  This way we could get the dishes we really wanted without being stuffed.

Pickled Japanese bamboo, shiso salt, lime

Awabe abalone sashimi, kimo, spring onion, ginger - ummm... I think it's 'awabi'.  With lovely citrus flavors.  Surprisingly the liver sauce wasn't too heavy.  Delish.

April 5, 2019

Leisurely holiday lunch

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It all started with a friend posting about her meal at a recently-opened restaurant.  She asked if anyone wanted to go with her, and I put up my hand.  Then we roped in our friend KC, and the next thing I knew, I found myself lunching at Roganic today sitting across from... the owner.

I had known since late last year that Simon Rogan was opening restaurants in town, thanks to PR8.  Actually I found myself seated at the same table as Simon at a dinner last year, although I was half-heartedly thwarting PR8's attempts to identify me to the chef.  After Aulis opened I also repeatedly rebuffed PR8's efforts to get me to join one of his organized tastings, as I prefer to wait until new restaurants are on track and then go on my own dime.

So I was expecting to be under the radar today, and a little flustered to find myself in the situation I was in.  Then we had to run into Curry and Salad on their date lunch...

We decided to take the short tasting menu today, which was just fine with me.  I could do with fewer calories these days.

Pumpkin, nashi pear, bay leaf - the pumpkin tarts came with pumpkin purée, Japanese pear jelly, bay leaves, and topped with flakes of pumpkin seeds and bay leaf powder.  There was a surprising dose of acidity along with the expected sweetness, and almost a hint of fermented flavors.  Definitely tasted the Japanese pear.


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