October 13, 2019

Disappointing fat bastard

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After resting up a little in the hotel, it was time to head to dinner.  I had asked some people for suggestions on Sunday dinner in London, and one of the places mentioned was Claude Bosi at Bibendum.  Not having stepped foot in London for more than a decade, naturally I haven't paid much attention to Claude Bosi as a chef.  As a matter of fact, the last time I dined at Bibendum was more than two decades ago!

But... around the time I was looking to book dinner, there was talk that this place could be promoted to 3 stars by... Bibendum, of course!  As the announcement was due to come this past Monday, I figured that if the promotion actually happened, I would be among the first to dine here after the promotion.  That sounded kinda cool.

I was rather surprised that we chose the 'surprise menu' featuring 6 courses.  I thought for sure we would end up doing à la carte...

Bibendum black olive – crushing it inside the mouth delivers a liquid dose of ratatouille and basil. This was really, really good.

No nose and no tail

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I'm in Europe for a week on business, and landed in London before sunrise this morning.  I haven't stepped on UK soil since 2006, so lots of things have changed... specially the dining scene.  There are many, many places that have popped up since my last visit, and I was determined to hit a few of them.

It was too early to check in to the Athenaeum Hotel, so we dropped our bags off and went strolling around the area.  We crossed into Green Park, then ran into the Royal Parks Half Marathon circling around the three parks in central London.  it's amazing how clean and fresh the air is in London, compared to Hong Kong...

Lunch time rolled around, and I went to scratch and itch that had been around for a long, long time.  St. John needs no introduction, and Fergus Henderson has long been considered an iconic chef in this country.  I just had to come here.

Roast bone marrow and parsley salad - BUT OF COURSE I had to order this one up!  The dish that has been copied by so many chefs.  Plus I LOOOOOVE bone marrow...

October 7, 2019

Bluefin for Kitty

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It's Hello Kitty's birthday, and much to my surprise, she asked to be taken to Sushi Saito (鮨 さいとう).  She hasn't been back in over a year, and I guess she kinda missed it...&nbOctopus (蛸)sp; It's been over a year since I was last here, so the reservation situation has changed a little.  Thankfully I still have some contacts at Global Link.

Given that I have a morning meeting tomorrow, I decided to take the first seating at dinner.  I chose to be seated in front of Koba-san tonight, as I was curious to see how things have changed with him.

As usual we started with a series of otsumami (おつまみ):

Octopus (蛸) - very, very tender, and the sweet marinade it was simmered in is always delicious.

Abalone (鮑) - also very tender.  Just love the texture.  That dollop of sauce made with the abalone's liver seemed a little bigger than I remembered from previous visits.  Very delish.

October 3, 2019

Krug x Pepper

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It's that time of the year again... when Champagne Krug rolls out their annual single-ingredient pairing.  Having told PR8 to fuck off politely declined an invitation from PR8 last year due to a busy schedule, and seeing that he's only managed to use up 1 meal out of his quota this year, I accepted the invitation with pleasure to join the many-hands dinner tonight... especially since this time, we don't have to travel from restaurant to restaurant just to taste one dish at each location.

The theme this year is Krug x Pepper, and early in the year a group of Krug Ambassades traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico for a little powwow.  Each participating chef has since created a dish to serve in his/her restaurant.  Tonight, 5 of these chefs came together in a showroom in a shopping mall to introduce their dishes to us.

Thanks to being stuck in traffic for about 50 minutes, I was the last to arrive with one other person.  The staff were clearly very busy, as I had to look around to get myself a glass of bubbly... at a wine dinner!  In fact, I kinda had to snap my fingers at PR8 for this...

We were soon seated at the long table, and the first dish was served:

Braised abalone, cuttlefish noodle and shishito pepper tempura, by Robin Zavou - very Japanese.  The braised Japanese abalone was very tender, as were the beautiful ribbons of cuttlefish noodles.  The scored calamari was nice and springy, and we've got some nasturtium to accompany the rather strong sauce made with abalone liver and shishito pepper (獅子唐辛子).  We also had the pepper on the side, although I wouldn't exactly call it tempura (天ぷら)...  This was pretty tasty.

September 30, 2019

When generosity turns painful

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Goh-san is back in town for a few days doing a 4-hands with Goldfinger.  On his last night in Hong Kong, he wanted to check out VEA.  So I got drafted invited by The Great One to join them since, you know, I kinda speak a little Japanese and can help translate.  Honestly, I hesitated for a while before agreeing... because my last visit left me with the conclusion that I am not the target audience.  In the end, though, curiosity got the best of me... and I wanted to see whether things have evolved.

And we started with a series of snacks, as usual, with the first one being a familiar sight:

Quail egg - marinated in Japanese vinegar and soy sauce, and smoked with apple wood.  Served, of course, under a glass dome which releases the smoke when lifted.

Wagyu and sea urchin taco - aaaaaand here we go.  Luxe and attention-grabbing ingredients.  A scallion pancake bearing a layer of minced wagyu from Kagoshima (鹿児島), topped with a few tongues of sea urchin from Hokkaido.  We were told to treat it like a taco...

September 28, 2019

Happy to meat you in Hong Kong

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I've kinda been itching to try a new place, but a couple of the prime suspects were either a little too new, or too hot to score a reservation on short notice.  Somehow I ended up calling Wagyu Vanne, and was pretty happy that they didn't seem to have a problem fitting us in on the same evening.

I'm a big fan of Yoroniku (よろにく) in Tokyo, although I've only been to their location in Aoyama and not the more upscale location 蕃 YORONIKU in Ebisu.  I heard that owner Kuwahara "Vanne" Hideyuki (桑原秀幸) chose to open an outlet here, following in the footsteps of Yakiniku Jumbo (焼肉ジャンボ) and Wagyumafia.  I wasn't in a hurry to go, but I figured enough time has passed by now.

There were a few choices of set menus, but other than a couple of items, they didn't seem particularly appealing.  So we decided to order à la carte instead.

Wagyu sushi "3 ways" (和牛握り三種類) - Hello Kitty regrets ordering this, and it's probably the only thing we had tonight that we didn't enjoy.
Maki (巻き) - my first reaction to this was simply W-T-F... Why the fuck was gold foil needed here???!!!  The freeze-dried powder made from beef fat was interesting as it added flavors and richness, but even the gold couldn't save this crappy roll with the dry and overcooked pieces of beef inside.

September 21, 2019

No gold for me, again

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Farmer Chris is back in town after his months-long stint in the Big Apple, and was making his rounds catching up with people.  We had initially tried to get into a couple of restaurants I haven't been to, but much to my surprise, these places were actually busy on a Saturday night.  Maybe the F and B industry isn't hit as badly as we've heard...

We ended up at HAKU, of all places.  For a guy who was initially pretty critical of the kind of dishes seemingly created primarily to be Instagrammable, I have certainly come around and nowadays willingly step through the doors without much coercion.  The flavors of the food are strong enough to speak for themselves, and there are now fewer things on offer that I consider "form over substance".

Caviar / somen - well, speaking of "Instagrammable dishes"... we actually kicked off with one.  This has been all over social media over the last couple of months ever since it was introduced in the restaurant's summer menu.  A nice dollop of Kaviari Kristal caviar on a pinch of somen (素麺), which has been flavored with plankton powder and Spanish olive oil.  Of course, we can't forget those pretty perilla flowers to get an extra few "likes" on IG...

We were instructed to mix it all together before tasting.  I, on the other hand, seriously contemplated either bending down to the plate, or lifting the plate up to my mouth so that I could just suck it all up in one big bite...  But obviously I didn't end up doing it...

September 16, 2019

No inspiration

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Another month has passed from our last gathering, and we were finally doing our third MNSC tasting of the year.  With three of the boys perennially outside Hong Kong and in Shanghai, it is increasingly difficult to get enough of us together to pop a few bottles.  Given the low turnout tonight, our host Curry decided to serve us some steaks at the American Club.

The butcher platter - I only tasted the mortadella.

The bread was a little bitter thanks to the grilling...

September 14, 2019

Night out with Koreans

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I've been pretty damn busy at work this year, so I've had to pass up a few opportunities to travel.  I was pretty crushed about not being able to join a group of friends in Seoul last week, because I was really, really looking forward to going to the new Born and Bred.  A few of us had a fantastic dinner at the original location two years ago, when I almost died from the massive amount of food we were fed that evening.  Going back with a few more friends would have been totally awesome.

When The Man in White T-shirt messaged me from Seoul the next day, telling me that owner 30K was coming to Hong Kong for a few days and asking me to join them at Neighborhood, I was naturally excited at the prospect of meeting up with the boss again.

Just about the first thing I noticed after stepping foot in the restaurant was this giant tray of porcini.

Hello Kitty couldn't resist picking up a big one.  Being the clumsy one, of course she ended up breaking it...

Mooncake 2019

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Despite having grown up with this Chinese tradition, mooncakes these days are no longer my thing.  I do have a sweet tooth, but somehow these festive traditional sweets just don't appeal to me... with few exceptions.  So I've been buying less and less each year... and as I'm once again not visiting the parental units for the holiday this year, I almost ended up not buying any.

Instead, I'm mostly taking what has been given to us just to make sure I have some.  Here are a few that I tasted out of curiosity...

We got a box from Lalamove (貨拉拉), and they took a cue from Kee Wah Bakery (奇華餅家) - who have been selling biscuits in bus-shaped tins for years.  There are three different flavors in the tin, and they are white labelled and made by Forgain Foods (富錦食品) in Shenzhen.  I had my expectations toned down...

September 5, 2019

Enfin, Envol!

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So it finally happened.  I finally accepted an invitation from PR8.  After jokingly telling him to fuck off numerous times this year, and being constantly reminded that he has yet to use his quota of free meals - I suggested to Gastronaut that we could go check out L'Envol together.  Both of us are known for the occasional bouts of bitchiness and not giving a flying fuck about offending chefs - and my friend had just been called a "cunt" by an asshole chef - so this could be a real interesting evening!

My first taste of Olivier Elzer's cuisine came when he first arrived in Hong Kong 10 years ago.  He's had a few different gigs since then, and gradually developed a repertoire of dishes which earned him a following.  We've been kinda waiting for the St. Regis Hong Kong to open, as it seemed to have taken a while.  And I waited an extra long time before deciding to come for dinner, having heard mixed reviews from people who came during the early stages.  Finally, more than 4 months later, I got the "all clear" from PR8.

First, a glass of Champagne from a producer I like very much.

Françoise Bedel Entre Ciel et Terre - I believe the base vintage was 2010?  Nice and ripe, lovely on the palate.

We started with a series of nibbles:

Breakfast radish dipped in black garlic butter.  This looks kinda familiar...

September 4, 2019

Sine Qua Non toast, part 4

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It's taken us almost 2 years since our last gathering to get our act together.  There aren't many of us, but we are a devout bunch.  I'm talking about those who are fans of Manfred and Elaine Krankl's wines from Sine Qua Non.  When one speaks of "Californian cult wine", it doesn't get much more "cult" than this...

As we were scouting for a location for this gathering, I kicked the ball over to DaRC.  He suggested that we take the private room at Nikushou, and it seemed like a great idea.  RAW Meat Bro was kind enough to accommodate us - even to the point of cancelling his own reservation at another restaurant - to ensure that we could have the best experience.  He also mentioned that he may be able to serve us some special beef which he was planning on bidding for...

Not having tasted any Sine Qua Non wines - and only knowing that we were bringing whites, pinots, and grenaches, RAW Meat Bro had to use his imagination with regard to the flavor profiles of the wines in order to come up with the right food to pair with the wines.

We were pretty hungry while waiting for our late arrival, so we ended up getting a couple of snacks to go along with our first sips of wine...

Grilled cod crackers - haven't had these in years, but always great with some Japanese mayo.

Shredded cuttlefish tempura - pretty surprised at these.  Very, very tasty.  But very bad for you...

September 3, 2019

More seafood and sake pairings

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I can't believe that the last time this group got together was a whole 5 months ago.  We've been trying to schedule a dinner at Godenya (ごでんや) for a few months, but with busy schedules all around it took until tonight when everyone's free.

I was even happier when I found out that two more friends were joining dinner, which made for 3 people who were coming for the first time.

Scampi, peach, muscat, ruta (赤座海老  桃  マスカット  臭草) - the Japanese lobster from Sagami Bay (相模湾) was served raw with its eggs, along with diced Japanese peach and muscat grapes which provided sweetness.  The sauce was made from the shells, and the oil was also made from the lobster - both delivering pretty intense flavors.  The rue (臭草) garnished on top had pretty strong fragrance.  A nice way to start.

September 1, 2019

Hung up

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The Hong Kong Jockey Club has an amazing guest chef program, and over the years I've had the privilege of enjoying a number of fantastic meals without having to travel across the world.  The Man in White T-shirt will generously invite friends to his table during these events, and I've been lucky enough to have been included on some of them.

What I know of Francis Mallmann mainly came from the episode of Chef's Table devoted to him.  He seemed to be a very different kind of chef, and when I found out that there would be a pool-side barbecue dinner at the Jockey Club, I didn't hesitate to put my hand up.

But as it had been raining on and off over the last few days - and there were showers earlier in the day - the dinner was moved indoors to the Derby Restaurant. Meanwhile, they did set up his custom wood fire grill so that he could hang the ingredients up on strings.

Choripan with criolla sauce - man, that is one salty chorizo!  And I really thought there was some cheesy flavors in the salsa criolla.

Farina with confit tomato - very nice, with diced olives.

August 31, 2019

A perfect Saturday lunch

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Hello Kitty was spending a couple of days wining and dining with the girls in Macau.  I was too busy at work to join her, but I figured I could possibly join her for a meal on Saturday.  Boss Jonas had pinged me to invite me over for a meal, and generously chose to extend the invitation to the whole party.

After failing to catch Kwuntau (罐頭) at Loja das Conservas Macau, Hello Kitty and I arrived early at Robuchon au Dôme.  I can't believe it's been a year since my last meal here.

Chef Julien Tongourian came over to greet us and also asked what we wanted for lunch.  While Hello Kitty and I are pretty easy-going, we immediately said "No" to the suggestion of beetroot... It is, after all, one of the very few things we don't eat.  He asked whether we wanted "light, or good"... which led me to ask him whether those two options are mutually exclusive.  I don't think he really wanted to answer that question...

Crispy waffle with scampi and sea urchin - always happy to start with these... A classic that I never tire of.

August 23, 2019

Spinning plates

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Another week, another team spinning class.  I was clearly not in good condition today, as I felt fatigued not long after we started.  After cooling myself down and cleaning up, I trekked back uphill to the office to finish some work.

Little Meg pinged me yesterday and invited me to dinner tonight.  I told her that my attendance would depend on my physical condition after spinning, and truth be told, I was pretty fatigued.  But as she was entertaining a visiting foodie who was coming for the first time, I figured us locals should try to be hospitable.  So I walked the short distance from the office to Neighborhood to dine there for the second time this week.

The menu tonight was, of course, put together by The Man in White T-shirt while he's off on his European vacation.  I figured there'd be a reasonable amount of overlap with what I had on Monday, but I guessed there would be at least a special or two...

Basque saucisson "Noire de Bigorre", culatello di zibello "Massimo Spigaroli" - I can never complain about starting dinner with these... Just so tasty.

August 22, 2019

Annual rendezvous

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I'm a big fan of Gert de Mangeleer's.  I was completely bowled over by his cuisine during his pop-up dinner in Hong Kong in 2015, and every since then I have managed to meet up with him once a year - in Hong Kong in 2016, in Taipei in 2017, at Hertog Jan in 2018, and once again tonight in Hong Kong.

When Goldfinger decided to do a 4-hands collaboration with Gert, he knew I wouldn't wanna miss out on this event, so he very kindly saved 2 seats for me.  Perhaps with PR8's guidance - or perhaps not - he also had the wisdom to have me come to HAKU tonight so that I could avoid being in the presence of certain people.  That was much appreciated.

First, a welcome drink...

Peter Lauer Saar Riesling Brut - big on the palate.  Some ripeness on the front palate but definitely showing acidity in the middle.  Flinty on the nose.  An interesting sparkling riesling.

Potato / coffee / vanilla, from Gert de Mangeleer - we started with one of my favorite dishes from Gert.  This combination of potato foam, coffee powder, Mimolette, and vanilla has always been an amazing combination of sweet and savory.  But even though I'm having the dish for the third time, this was the first to have included some raw sea urchin tongues at the bottom.  The potato foam seemed a little more dense tonight, and as usual the flavors from the coffee were pretty pronounced, punching through the savory notes from the Mimolette shavings.  Beautiful!

August 19, 2019

Californian Bong

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It's August and once again, we find ourselves at only our second MNSC dinner of the year.  Just like last year, I was tasked with hosting.  With several chef friends announcing job changes while others go on their summer break, I was at a loss trying to choose a venue for us.  I then explored the somewhat crazy idea of hosting the dinner at Neighborhood, and surprisingly the boys seemed to welcome the idea.

While The Man in White T-shirt is on his European vacation, I have full confidence in the kitchen when it comes to execution.  We just wouldn't have any special fishies - which was fine, because of the wines I would be serving.  Once the logistics for decanters and glasses were resolved, it looked like it could work.

But we weren't gonna be in a private room tonight - as we almost always are - so I cautioned the boys about keeping their voices down and to watch for colorful language.  We don't want to be the assholes that other diners hate.

I noticed a familiar face after I walked through the door.  It was Bong, who used to be our friendly waiter upstairs at On Lot 10.  He's put on a little weight (well, so have I...) and changed from wearing white to wearing black.  I always wondered what had happened to him, but I was happy to see him.

I also noticed a table next to us with a couple of old fogeys, and wondered why they had chosen a restaurant with a rather noisy environment.  One of the older gentlemen looked familiar, but I didn't think much about it.  Two minutes after the appointed time for dinner, the first of the boys finally strolls in.  The Ox clearly noticed the older gentleman at the neighboring table but did not react.  When Pineapple finally arrived, he immediately greeted the tycoon.  That was the point when the boys realized that they REALLY had to behave tonight... at least while uncle was still here.

I had reserved two of the large dishes ahead of time, and picked a few small dishes to go with the wines.

Mochida tomato / salted plum / melon - I had ordered this but cancelled it minutes later, thinking that it would mess with our palates.  But the kitchen had already plated it, so they offered it to us on the house... I love these fruit tomatoes from Mochida Farms (持田農園) for their ripeness and sugar levels, and tonight they came with thin slices of Italian melons. The sweetness worked well with the acidity and savory notes of the salted plum powder.

August 18, 2019

No urge to cross the road

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It's another day of protests in Hong Kong, despite the downpour we've had at different times throughout the day.  Since large parts of Hong Kong Island was now closed to road traffic, any excursion outside the apartment today would need careful planning of the route to be taken.  We needed to get to Tai Kwun, so I got us a taxi and instructed the driver to take a somewhat loopy trip.  My plan largely worked and we saw very little traffic or obstruction - except for getting stuck at one spot.

Hello Kitty and I finally got around to visiting the Murakami vs Murakami exhibit, just a couple of weeks before the end of its 3-month period.  After the exhibit closed at 7 p.m., we moved to Old Bailey (奧卑利) for dinner.  I have only been here once before for an interview lunch, so I didn't remember too much about the food.  But in all of 10 months of working across from Tai Kwun, I have never once saw the need to come here for a meal...

House made pickled turnip (醬蘿蔔) - complimentary, and actually pretty good.

August 15, 2019

Impromptu crab and beef

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Tonight we had our first team spinning event, which also happened to be the first time I've tried out this form of exercise.  While most people went their separate ways after the class, I decided to spend some time with my new colleague who was in town on his own.

Based on a few guidelines from my colleague, I ended up asking RAW Meat Bro for help.  He was busy attending some fancy schmancy dinner, but he was kind enough to make last-minute arrangements for me at Nikushou.

We weren't very hungry after the intense workout, so we went à la carte and just picked out a few things.  Quality over quantity.

Summer bamboo shoots in mentaiko sauce - on the house.  Nice and refreshing way to start our meal.

August 12, 2019

One night from Bangkok

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This wasn't a dinner I was gonna miss.  I had practically been shouting at the top of my lungs from the table during my dinner at Chef's Table at lebua.  My old friend Vincent Thierry was delivering what I felt to be an experience worthy of the coveted 3 macarons, and I wanted all my friends to know.  I was so, so, so happy for him.

So when Maxime told me that Vincent was coming to do a 4-hands collaboration at Écriture, I wasted no time in saying 'Yes', and got myself a table for the one-day event.  I also roped in DaRC and RoRo to join us.

It amazes me how some service staff just have the ability to piss people off.  I was getting messages from Hello Kitty even before I arrived at the restaurant, telling me how they were being served by a condescending Caucasian waitstaff.  The ladies were, not surprisingly, thirsty on a hot summer night.  Knowing that DaRC and I would take care of the wine selection, they wanted to order something by the glass.  Apparently the menu only showed Champagne by the glass, and while the ladies discussed whether they wanted the fruity cocktails (read: girlie drinks) mentioned by the waitstaff, said waitstaff proceeded to suggest that the ladies could take some non-alcoholic cocktails.  Bad mistake.

Then said waitstaff did something even worse.  He was condescending when introducing the selection of Champagnes.  The ladies felt insulted, as said waitstaff spoke in a manner where he assumed that the ladies knew nothing about Champagne.  What he ended up doing was pissing off two people who drink pretty good wines on a regular basis.  And he brought back Hello Kitty's memories of the last time a French white man was being condescending to her.

I arrived to find both ladies seething, so I tried to calm things down a little.  After DaRC arrived, we were finally ready to start our meal.

The usual tater tots came to kick off dinner.

The little buckwheat cracker carried a cube of cauliflower mousse covered in nori (海苔) powder.  Topped with confit (?) of baby sardines (ちりめんじゃこ).

August 7, 2019

Minimum-Maximin

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I have been a fan of the rieslings from Weingut Maximin Grünhaus for more than a decade, and I've drunk more riesling from them than any other winery in Germany, so when their local importer Fine Wine Experience arranged a dinner with the 6th generation winemaker Maximin von Schubert, I didn't hesitate to sign up for the event at Kin's Kitchen (留家廚房).

It was good to have Maximin here, as he told us about the history of the winery, the different vineyard plots, and of course many finer details regarding the wines and the vintages.

2016 Maximin Grünhauser Abstberg Kabinett Auktion - a bit of honey, flint, polyurethane.  Actually a bit sweeter than I expected, but still has a good balance of acidity mid-palate.  Quite a long finish.

August 5, 2019

Long time no goose

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It's been a long time since I was last at Yat Lok Roast Goose (一樂燒鵝), and on this day when a large part of Hong Kong could not get to work due to the general strike, I finally could get in without waiting in line...

No surprise that the shop wasn't allocating any goose legs at the time, and even less surprised when the staff tried to upsell by suggesting that people take the lower quarter (下庄)...

Roast goose chest with rice noodle (鵝胸瀨) - OK lah... Always good to drink the MSG-laden soup, which gets augmented by goose fat.

Blanched choy sum (菜心全走) 

August 3, 2019

Macau quickie: the filling Moon

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With just three hours between our long lunch and dinner, I needed to walk around a little to kill time.  Thankfully there is an art exhibit entitled "Garden of Earthy Delights" at the Wynn Resorts, so we crossed the road and headed to Wynn Palace Cotai.

There had been plenty of posts by "influencers/KOLs" on Instagram of the pieces here, and most of them have been focused on just one piece - Refik Anadol's "Melting Memories".  Of course, lots of people - yours truly included - were here trying to capture the mesmerizing transformations in pictures and on video.  There were only plenty of IG hoes who inserted themselves into the pictures pretending to be cultured.

While Refik Andol's pieces were undoubtedly interesting, for me the more striking work was actually Edoardo Tresoldi's "Sacral".

I joined Hello Kitty on her shopping tour to kill more time, but we got tired of walking in circles around the corridors with our luggage... so we arrived at Sichuan Moon (川江月) about 20 minutes before the appointed time and parked our bags at the table.

Macau quickie: another 3-hour lunch

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I woke up early this morning, even though I was sleeping in a large and comfortable bed in a hotel.  Surprisingly my stomach growled at this early hour.  Loudly.  This was puzzling given the dinner we had last night.  But perhaps because we didn't have any carbs, the meal wasn't as filling as I expected.

It was past 10 a.m. when we headed to Sei Kee Cafe (世紀咖啡快餐) in Nam Van (南灣).  Ever since my friend KC recommended it, Hello Kitty and I have wanted to come and try the signature sandwich.  But since this place only opens at 10 a.m. on a Saturday and closes on Sundays, and we always have big meals whenever we come, it's just never been in the cards.  Until today.  Today I needed this sandwich, come hell or high water.

So the two of us took one order of egg and luncheon meat on toast (午餐肉厚蛋多士).  After all, we were less than 2 hours away from starting lunch.

August 2, 2019

Macau quickie: 50- and 60-year-olds

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Mr. Christmas is making a trip around southern Guangdong Province, which included a stop in Macau.  Being the nice guy that I am, I decided to meet up with him this weekend and share a couple of meals together.  I was very surprised to find that he had never dined at The 8 (8餐廳) in the Grand Lisboa, so I made arrangements for us to be here tonight.  As always, the kind people at the Grand Lisboa were very accommodating and put us in one of the private rooms.

I left the ordering up to Mr. Christmas, since the main reason for this dinner was to let him have a taste of the cuisine here.  As usual, we started with a duo of nibbles:

Abalone with water bamboo celtuce stem - the waitstaff introduced it wrong...

Turnip with shrimp mousse, mushrooms, and mushroom paste

July 31, 2019

No. 7 typhoon at No. 7 son

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DaRC had rounded up a bunch of us for a dinner at our favorite private kitchen tonight, but Typhoon Wipha decided to come pay us a visit.  As most of Hong Kong began shutting down this afternoon, we were advised that our dinner venue would have to be changed.  Thanks to last-minute efforts by RAW Meat Bro, we managed to get ourselves a table at Seventh Son (家全七福) - which surprisingly remained open.

I wasn't surprised to find the restaurant less than half full tonight.  Given the lack of transportation options, most of Hong Kong was probably trying to stay home and hunker down.  I guess we were just too die hard...

I had to take a work call as soon as I arrived at the restaurant, so I almost missed the first course...

Deep-fried chicken kidney mixed with egg custard (雞子戈渣) - pretty much as always... fluffy and delicious.

Barbecued whole suckling pig (大紅片皮乳豬全體) - RAW Bro ordered it cut into thin strips, instead of separating the crackling from the rest of the piglet.

July 27, 2019

A shelter in concrete jungle

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Time to catch up again with the Film Buff after our last dinner a few months ago.  Since then they've had a little addition to their family, so we were very happy to see them out and about.  We thought we would check out a new restaurant which neither of us have been to, and as it happens, Arbor was kinda near the top of my hit list.  While I've heard a lot about Chef Eric Raty's cuisine, their restrictive corkage policy has served as a deterrent for me.

It's been a few years since I last saw Timothy, and I was glad to see him running the place.  He offered to have the chef put the menu together for us, and how is one to say 'no'?  Hello Kitty and I mentioned our dislike of beetroot, while Mrs Film Buff had a few birdies on her list of no-no's.  I wondered what the kitchen would do for us.

Mentaiko butter and laver butter - actually both tasted pretty good.

Brioche

New potato - the first part the dish came as tuna tartare with wasabi and chives on rice cracker.  I also tasted some citrus zest.

July 25, 2019

Leave the gun, take the cannoli

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Ninja and I haven't caught up in person in a while, so while she's back in town for a stopover between her travels, we figured we should have a meal together.  I asked my friend which types of cuisine she wanted to avoid, and eventually we settled on Locanda dell'Angelo for our dinner.  I know that Chef Angelo Agliano had taken up command of Tosca at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, but I figured we would still get a decent meal here.

Our amuse bouche was Parmesan flan with pesto and jamón ibérico.

July 23, 2019

Floored at dinner

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I had promised to take Fat Donkey out to celebrate his fourth finish in the Cape Epic, but we just hadn't gotten around to it.  We finally decided we should grab a casual dinner tonight, but where to go on such short notice??  Well, fortunately the bar counter at Neighborhood is usually available, so I decided to meet my friend there.  As they weren't completely full tonight, we ended up getting seated at a proper table instead of snuggling up to The Man in White T-shirt.

It was just the two of us, so there was no point getting one of the larger dishes.  Which was just as well, as it's been a while since I last had the opportunity to just come for a casual meal.  The Man in White T-shirt did make a few suggestions, and it usually pays to listen.

Sardines / Jerez vinegar - YASSSSS!!! The last time I came, the boss served us sardines that I described as "melt-in-your-mouth".  Since then he's change the cut from squares to long, thin strips reminiscent of Cantabrian anchovies.

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