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.

March 30, 2019

Earth Hour 2019

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It's Earth Hour again tonight, so Hello Kitty and I once again left our apartment and headed to the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui.  This year we decided to take our little asshole Kuma with us, as he enjoyed the experience a few years ago.

But I did something stupid.  While every year I make it a point to be outdoors so that my apartment or hotel room has its lights turned off, I actually left one little light on when I left tonight.  And as it was very humid I also left one of our aircon units on.  TOTAL FAIL...

We decided to go to the upper level of the Kowloon Public Pier so that I could get a better view of Victoria Harbour.  I set my camera on a tripod, and clipped my phone on top of my camera.  I made the mistake of using my phone to film a timelapse video, and what I should have done was to film the timelapse with my Sony camera while going live on Facebook with my phone.  Oh well, next year.

March 27, 2019

A dinner not to be missed

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The Specialist pinged me.  They were hosting a tasting in conjunction with an upcoming collection of amazing wines, and she wanted to know whether I would be available that evening.  Unfortunately it was to be held last night - the same evening when Asia's 50 Best Restaurants would be announced - and I was meant to be in Macau.  There was no way I could have made it to both events, and for a minute or so, I actually considered skipping the awards ceremony just so I could taste those wines.  Yes... it was truly a special selection of wines.  But eventually I gave up on the idea, and decided that I would rather go to Macau and see friends instead.

Then I got another message.  There was a dinner tonight, with wines from the same collection.  Best of all, it's being held at Uwe.  Would I be available for this?  FUCK YEAH!

So I dragged my tired ass - as I was surviving on less than 4 hours of sleep - and my luggage to the restaurant.  Uwe and I had spent a little time together last night at the awards, but I think he got a little more sleep than I did.

But first I met up with a friend from the Philippines who I caught up with last night, as she was having a drink with Hello Kitty at Le Quinze Vins.  So before I would go drink some serious wines tonight, I continued my bongwater streak from last night and took in some Ganevat...

Anne et François Ganevat J'Y Aime - first whiff showed much more metallic notes than expected, mineral, kinda ripe fruit, almost jammy, and a little sharp.

I was one of the last people to arrive at dinner, and most people had already started on their first glass of bubbly...

1979 Krug - beautiful.  Sweet and caramelized with some Chinese licorice, also coconut butter along with some salty plum.


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