April 27, 2015

Vegetarian wine dinner

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After being treated to a fantastic lineup of 100-point wines last month, it was now time for the second MNSC tasting of the year.  This year we are doing things slightly out of order, and Curry was kind enough to act as host for tonight.  Knowing that some of us are increasingly concerned about our health, our gracious host asked the kitchen at Seventh Son Restaurant (家全七福) to come up with a special vegetarian menu for us.

I was told that the vegetarian food here was good enough to meet the standards of strict Buddhists, but I did have my doubts.  It is a Chinese kitchen, after all... and these days I don't trust many Chinese kitchens to cook without meat stock - not after what I went through last year.

Deep-fried vegetarian custard with wild mushrooms (野菌素戈炸) - this is supposedly the vegetarian version of the chicken custard, although a couple of us thought we tasted chicken... At least there were chopped bits of mushrooms here.

Stir-fried vegetarian shark's fin with bean sprouts (銀牙炒素桂花翅) - I really liked the glass vermicelli, since this was stir-fried at high heat.  The yellowed chives (韭黃) were definitely tasty.

April 26, 2015

Korean with a twist

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Hello Kitty and I were visiting My Favorite Cousin and Wolfie after an kiddie birthday party, and figured we should go out for a bite to eat.  Since there wasn't much that was interesting in her neck of the woods, we figured we'd venture out to the up-and-coming hoods around the western end of the island.  I had seen a post on U-Hang on Gourmet KC's blog just a week ago, and then overheard The Great One talking about the place a couple of days ago.  This piqued my curiosity, and I figured we should probably check this place out - even though I hadn't heard anything about the place before.

The menu was pretty simple and short, which was just fine for a casual eatery.  We decided to just order a couple of items and check out their "east meets west" style...

Bulgogi beef taco - kinda interesting, with chives added to give it an "Asian" feel. Taste-wise this wasn't bad, but the beef/sauce was just too wet, so it dripped down and splattered all over the plate.  That's a pet peeve of mine...

One-star food, zero-star service

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I was looking for a lunch spot near the office, and suddenly realized that I haven't had dim sum on a weekend in a long time.  The Boss (波士廳) is one of the places nearby with pretty good food, so I poked my head in to see if we could get ourselves a table...

Curiously, after we were seated and asked what kind of tea we preferred, no one was in a hurry to see what we wanted.  No one bothered to bring us the menu, even though there was a set sitting on the empty table right next to us.  I pressed the button on my chronograph and proceeded to twiddle my thumbs while we waited... and waited...  After about 5 minutes, someone probably overheard our discussion and finally brought us the menu.

We ordered a couple of dim sum items, plus one of my favorite dishes at the restaurant.  Unfortunately, the poor service continued...

Baked egg tarts (牛油蛋撻仔) - WTF?!  In what universe is it kosher to bring out the dessert first?!  Especially when the menu specifically highlights that it takes 20 minutes, and yet these arrived at our table around 2 minutes after we placed our order?!

April 25, 2015

Rockin' the hood

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It's been a while since H-man was last seen in Hong Kong, and even though I've been able to meet up with him in Tokyo for the last couple of years, it certainly been a long time since he, Rice, and I last sat at the same table.  Three winos getting together was cause for celebration, and I decided we should open our bottles at Neighborhood.

At our dinner together earlier this week, I made sure that David would be in the restaurant tonight, so that I could share our wines with him - especially given he is on very friendly terms with one of the winemakers whose wine we would be drinking.  And sitting at the bar would be the perfect setup.

Charcuterie - always good to start with something like this... Neither of my friends knew what the white stuff was, so my answer?  "FAT!"  No, I don't think I will ever get tired of lardo, even if it did come seasoned with the rosemary that I don't like.

Sea urchin / flounder ceviche - I enjoyed this so much last week that I absolutely had to have it again tonight.  The wonderful mélange of sea urchin, flounder, coriander, kaffir lime leaves, avocado, radish, and peppercorns soak in a bowl of acidic citrus solution.  Absolutely beautiful and delicious.

April 22, 2015

No fork day, part 2: 1-star dinner

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Despite decent-but-no-magic last visit, I'm back at Akrame tonight with the Great One... at the kind invitation of Chef David Lai.  Apparently Chef Akrame Benallal was back in town, and I was invited to join a small group for dinner.  I figured that going with David couldn't hurt, and the food was bound to be better when Akrame himself was around.

Even though I'd seen my weight shoot up over the last week and secretly preferred the 6-course menu, I decided that I should just take 8 courses like everyone else.  Based on past experience, I did not expect the leave the restaurant feeling stuffed.  I would be right.

After taking out my camera, I put my bag on the floor against the wall.  As the owner was in the house and she certainly remembers me, a stool was offered for my bag, but I politely declined.

As usual the meal started with a small selection of nibbles.

These "oreos" were made with Parmesan cookies and sardine cream filling.  Yum.

Celtuce with foie gras (?) and raspberries - can't remember what the filling was... but possibly not foie gras as the whole thing was pretty light.

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