July 22, 2015

Foamy, pretty, and tasty

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Sick Note No Fish and I enjoy exploring restaurants together, and it was time for us to visit a place neither of us have been before.  Tate Dining Room and Bar isn't new, and has been on my "to tick off" list for a long time, but somehow I've never found the right people to go with.  So I was particularly happy when No Fish agreed to accompany me tonight.

We decided to choose the smaller of the two tasting menus, entitled Sensualist Menu.  A lighter load would be good for me after a heavy eating schedule over the last week.

First up was a quintet of nibbles, which are arranged in order of the 5 Chinese elements (五行):

July 21, 2015

Not getting the memo

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A friend is back in town for a few days and decided to round up a few people for dinner and open a few bottles.  I found out earlier today that we would be dining at Hong Kong Cuisine 1983 (壹镹捌叁), a place in Happy Valley that I'm not familiar with.  After moving out of the valley 3 years ago, there are few reasons to draw me back...

The place was mostly empty tonight, and together with the fact that my friend is a regular customer, meant that we got very attentive service.  I was also very relieved to not have the responsibility for ordering the food...

Marinated jellyfish (香蔥油海蜇花) - pretty crunchy, and marinated in sesame oil.

Deep-fried tofu with bonito (木魚椒鹽脆豆腐) - pretty forgettable and nothing really special, other than the bonito flakes on top.

July 19, 2015

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams

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After my birthday feast last month, Hello Kitty got herself some Russian caviar and wanted to share it with me.  So on the last Sunday that I was spending at my "summer vacation home", we decided to crack open the jar and also pop the cork on some bubbly.

We had some discussion about how best to go about consuming this precious ingredient, as we're both novices when it comes to caviar.  The original suggestion from the supplier was to do it "the Russian way" which, presumably, involved blinis, sour cream, chopped onions, hard boiled egg yolks and whites...etc.  Let's face it, that's a lot of work just to have a little fish roe!

July 18, 2015

Big ol' hunk of beef

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Due to poor planning on my part, Hello Kitty didn't get her steak fix last week.  I was determined to make it up to her, so we made the trip down to the Steak House Winebar + Grill at the InterContinental Hong Kong.  There are a number of steakhouses around town - both "homegrown" as well as branches of well-known international operators - but this was the only established deemed worthy of a macaron by the Rubberman.  Now the world ain't exactly overflowing with macaron-encrusted steakhouses - even in cities like New York - so I figured I owed it to myself to check out how things are.  After all, it's been a good 4 years since my last visit.

The first surprise came when I called to reserve a table and the hotels' central restaurant reservations desk picked up the phone.  The use of caller ID, plus what I'm sure is a world-class CRM system, meant that the person at the other end soon addressed me by name without the need for me to tell them who I am.  That was a real pleasant surprise.  As I've said, my last visit to the restaurant was 4 years ago, and to have hotel staff speak to me as if I were a long-time regular does kinda give me that warm-and-fuzzy feelin'.

The second surprise came after we were seated.  The restaurant's menu was rather large, and when we opened it up, it turns out these were simply two large tablets with backlit LCD screens.  For someone who really hates not being able to read a menu in dimly-lit restaurants - and the lighting was definitely on the dim side here - this was the high-tech yet elegant solution.

July 16, 2015

A dark and noisy tapas bar

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It's been a month since I last met up with a friend, and this afternoon her hubby pinged me and asked if I had dinner plans.  As I just found out that my wine dinner wasn't happening, and my friends wanted to drop by Catalunya - which I last visited more than 2 years ago - I decided to join them.

I've forgotten how dark this place is.  As there was no spotlight above my seat, I had real trouble reading the menu, and resorted to turning on the torch of my cell phone to provide adequate lighting.  As I get older and presbyopia sets in, reading in low light has become increasingly difficult.  So I guess restaurants like Catalunya are sending me a message... that people over the age of 40 are not their target customers...

I was ever so glad not to have the responsibility of ordering, leaving it instead to my friend with dietary restrictions...

Spherical olives - this was OK, but I'm just a tad over these...

Cantabrian anchovies - love these, but I really should just get tins of them and eat them at home...


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