August 8, 2020

Supporting chef friends: lunch in the 'hood

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The Compatriot is back in town after a long absence, and life hasn't been easy during quarantine and the subsequent social distancing, so I scheduled to meet up with him at one of our favorite restaurants.

With dinner service banned by the government, Neighborhood has started to offer lunch in addition to takeout options.  A 3-course set lunch with the option to add courses is now on offer, and the pricing is entirely reasonable.

Local fish soup - this is always a good call, and the beautiful and rich flavors are irresistible.  Especially love the fennel and the piment d'espelette.

August 7, 2020

4 star day: sushi takeout

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Hello Kitty's been cooking at home a lot as we stay in and practice social distancing, and she really deserves a break.  So I figured that ordering takeout for dinner tonight would be nice.  Since I discovered only yesterday that Sushi Saito (鮨 さいとう) is doing takeout, I immediately pinged Fujimoto-san and asked about availability - as there are only very limited quantities available.  Thankfully I was able to reserve some for today.

Barachirashi (バラチラシ) - believe it or not, this was actually pretty filling, and there was a good variety of toppings layered on the rice.

4-star day: char siu and ramen

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It has been much too long since I last enjoyed a leisurely lunch on a weekday, and after all that's happened lately I thought I should take a little break.  Today's lunch was meant to have taken place a week ago, but thanks to the sudden ban - which was quickly reversed 2 days later - of all dine-in services, we ended up not showing up at the doors of Ta Vie 旅.

Thankfully we found time for lunch today, and the dish DaRC and I most wanted to have was still available.

We started with some cold-brew tea, which happened to have been sourced by DaRC.  This was, apparently, "green" Iron Buddha (綠鐵觀音).  Just so floral and fragrant, such elegance!

August 1, 2020

Franco-German-Swiss lunch

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It has been a long, long time since my friend Uwe took over at the Island Shangri-La, but for one reason or another I never found occasion to pay him a visit at Petrus.  I had been dining out a lot less this year due to the pandemic, so scheduling visits to chef friends just became a lot challenging.  He's been pretty patient during this time, and I'm sure he's got his hands full this year.

A week ago I finally pinged my friend and asked to come for lunch today, and was really looking forward to my visit.  Two days later the Hong Kong government announced a ban on all dine-in services in restaurants as the situation worsened in the city.  On the second day after the ban was implemented, the government reversed course as a result of massive backlash, and we were once again allowed to sit down to eat breakfast and lunch.  I reconfirmed with Uwe that the restaurant was back open, and finally entered through the doors of the restaurant today.

The restaurant was pretty busy, considering government rules mandate that they not exceed 50% of capacity, and all the tables are spaced apart - as they would normally, anyway - and only two diners are allowed per table.

Uwe came to ask how hungry we were.  I originally asked for a "medium-sized" lunch, but knowing his penchant for trying to kill me with an abundance of food, I quickly backtracked...

Our amuse bouche was a gougère filled with cheese.

July 25, 2020

Goo Goo ga ga

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I had been seeing Hansik Goo pop up in social media posts from friends over the last couple of months, but I haven't paid much attention to new restaurants as we've been eating at home more this year.  I did hear some time ago that Chef Mingoo Kang was opening an outpost in Hong Kong, but again, I hadn't paid particular attention.  So it wasn't until Mingoo messaged me out of the blue about coming to Hong Kong that I kinda put two and two together...

Now that Mingoo is out after his 14-day mandatory quarantine, I figured I'd better go check out what he's serving up while he's still in town.  Thankfully they were able to accommodate us for a late lunch on short notice!

As we had to stick to the same choice of menu for the both of us, Hello Kitty had to sacrifice her diet while we took the 7-course menu.

Bugak: assorted seasonal Korean chips - fish skin, tofu, laver, perilla leaves, and pepper.  We were asked to save the pepper till last because it had been flavored with Korean soy sauce.  The others, however, were surprising mild in flavor.

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