April 14, 2018

Dinner with know-nothing diva

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It's Babu's birthday today, so when pre-booking opened up for Sushi Saito (鮨 さいとう) Hong Kong, I made sure to secure a booking for tonight.  As long as she was gonna be in town, I would make sure that we spend some time together and treat her to some good Japanese food.

There are two seatings of 2 hours each for dinner, and the restaurant makes it a point to remind diners to arrive a little earlier so that service could start at the appointed time.  In spite of this, there always seems to be one group of people who takes a liberal interpretation when it comes to time - and arrive late.  Unfortunately for us, tonight would be no exception.

The 8 seats at the counter were taken up by two separate parties - Babu, Hello Kitty, and myself; and a group of 5.  Four people from the other group apparently trekked over from Macau, and ended up waiting a good 20 minutes for their diva friend living in Hong Kong.  Since Koba-san would not begin service until the entire party has been seated, that meant the diva's friends could only watch while the three of us started enjoying the delicious morsels being sent our way.

Mackerel bozushi (鯖の棒鮨) - I finally got a chance to try this, having seen pictures of it for quite some time.

April 13, 2018

Impromptu sushi

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My plans for today went through some changes in the last 36 hours.  My original plan was to hang with Fergie and the kids tonight while popping a few bottles from Napa, but I chose to "fly airplane" when another friend suddenly wanted to catch up.  I guess I'll have to make it up to the kids later...

After some back and forth, we finally settled on late dinner at Sushi Imamura (寿司処 今村).  It's an old favorite I used to frequent more than a decade ago, but these days it's largely neglected by my friends from the "foodie crowd".  It's always been good, though, whenever I have chosen to go back there.

Given that I'll be doing another sushi place for dinner tomorrow, I originally wanted to take a smaller set tonight.  But somehow it didn't work out that way... as I didn't want to have only sushi and give up on otsumami (おつまみ).

April 9, 2018

Gweilo twist on local classics

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My friend Uwe has opened yet another branch of Beef and Liberty in Hong Kong, and this time it's located in the restricted area of Hong Kong International Airport.  Apparently, the lease stipulates that they must introduce dishes which are unique and only served at that location, so Uwe has come up with a couple of interesting offerings based on classic dishes beloved by locals.

So it was that I strolled over from my office to the LKF branch of Beef and Liberty tonight for a quick tasting - because I wouldn't say 'no' to an invitation from an old friend.

Macaroni cheese breakfast toastie - the inspiration came from the now-classic Hong Kong breakfast set of macaroni in soup, fried egg, ham, and toast on the side.  Uwe decided to put them all into one dish, and used thick toast to make it extra special.

April 6, 2018

Hairy Ronin

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Tonight was meant to be a chance for Hairy Legs and I to catch up.  He had originally asked me to drop by Caprice for some cheese and wine, but a last minute change of plans saw the ladies join us at Ronin.  Hairy Legs has never been there, so even though Hello Kitty and I were just there 2 weeks ago, I figured we should just go along.  After all, I've never had a bad meal there.

Since we took the 8:30 seating tonight, both Matt and Elliot were in the house.  I had just seen Matt at the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards last week, and I'm guessing Hairy Legs and Matt at least got to shakes hands back then.

I didn't want to take the full tasting menu because it is just too much food, and I was afraid that many of the dishes may overlap with what I had two weeks ago.  So I picked out a few key dishes I wanted, and asked Matt to put together the rest for us.

Once again, we started with some kale flower, dashi, yuzu.

Senposhi oyster, red shiso vinegar, sudachi - the oysters are from Senposhi (仙鳳趾) in Hokkaido.  This was a little briny but also sweet.  The red shiso (紫蘇) vinegar granité delivered a good dose of acidity, and the shaved sudachi (酢橘) zest brought along beautiful citrus fragrance.

April 3, 2018

No soup picture today

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I'm back at Sushi Saito (鮨 さいとう) Hong Kong after a mere 5-day absence. This was an extra date that I had booked by mistake but was loathe to give up, and incredibly I had to ask - and get rejected - by around 10 friends before I finally realized who I should ask to join me.  Mrs. Birdiegolf would never say 'no' when it came to sushi...

I sat in the exact same seat as I did last week, and today the restaurant provided me with an extra napkin so I could rest my camera on the beautiful counter - made from Japanese cypress (檜) from a tree that had been 400 years old - instead of nestling it on my lap as I did last week.

Before we started, I was asked whether I wanted to substitute other neta (ねた) in place of bluefin tuna.  Yes, that would be nice... but I didn't want to cause too much trouble for Koba-san, so I left it up to him.

Japanese horsehair crab (毛蟹) - this was delicious.  The crab meat seemed to have been cooked with a little sake, along with some tomalley (蟹味噌).  Loved the fragrance while it was still warm.

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