April 14, 2021

The hidden sushiya I never knew

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Last month I made two bookings at Godenya (ごでんや) in quick succession, once Goshima-san confirmed to me the approximate dates for the very short season for sansho flowers (花山椒).  This is why, 3 weeks after my last visit, I'm back in the private room with a few friends.

Sakura masu, hotaru-ika, warabi, kinome (桜鱒 蛍烏賊 わらび 木の芽) - I was so, soooo happy to have been served this. A variation of a dish I had last year, this showcases some of my favorite seasonal ingredients. What hasn't changed from last year was the presentation, which was pretty with lots of green from sansho leaves and sansho flowers. We've also got eagle fern (わらび) on top.

Underneath the green canopy we have some of my favorite firefly squid from Toyama Prefecture (富山県), cherry salmon from Aomori Prefecture (青森県), and some miso made with mashed sansho leaves. The squid was full of umami but also tasted pretty strong, and Hairy Legs didn't quite appreciate that. The fern was pretty crunchy.

April 13, 2021

Cheating with comfort food

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Hong Kong is a pretty tough market in terms of F and B, what with painfully high rents and fickle customers who seem to always be looking out for the next new thing. That's why it's amazing that Kichi (吉 田舎料理) is still around after some 27 years in this town. I remember first visiting this place at their old location more than 20 years ago, and the simple, comfort food has always been delicious. I have returned intermittently over the years, although it has been some time since my last visit. I used to come with a group of friends from my high school in Tokyo, and tonight this served as the venue of our gathering once again.

It's been over a year since my last trip to Japan, and incidentally that was a visit to Fukuoka - where Mama Yamaguchi-san hails from.  There would be a couple of dishes tonight that reminded me of my trip.

Otsumami (おつまみ)

Calcium senbei (カルせんべい) - I always order this when I'm here.  These deep-fried wafers made of tiny little fish fry are just so, soooo delicious that I'd actually love to have an order all by myself.  But that wasn't such a good idea tonight... despite this being a cheat meal from my current diet.

April 9, 2021

Friday night party crasher

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Tonight wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

Sankala took her second Covid vaccine today. We had planned on her developing some reaction to the vaccine, and we were meant to have a quiet evening at home.  Which was why I had initially turned down an invitation to join my VIP friend for dinner at Ren Ren Heping Restaurant (人人和平小飯店). But Sankala seemed to be doing fine most of the day, and she suggested that we go and join our friends for dinner. So that's how we wound up at the feast...

Award-winning honey char siu (本地蜂蜜叉燒) - pretty decent.

Poached foie gras with goose sauce (鵝汁浸鵝肝) - I guess it makes sense that they would serve up goose liver, given the number of geese they run through each day.  This wasn't the fine dining version, but tasty nonetheless.

April 8, 2021

A night of surprises

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The MNSC boys are trying to get back to a more regular schedule for our gatherings, and The Ox very kindly hosted us after flying back into town for the Easter holidays.  The last time I had a proper meal at The Porn Pawn was a few years ago, so it would be interesting to see what the kitchen is delivering these days.

Burrata, arugula, cherry tomatoes, aged vinegar - this was OK.

Beef carpaccio: Japanese wagyu, truffle - very, very thin. Very well-marbled, and definitely not kosher for my current diet. Pretty tasty, though.

Shrinking Boy 2.0: 1 month in

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So... it's been a month since I re-started my nutritional diet program, and other than my cheat meals - of which there have been quite a few - I've been pretty good.  So let's look at what I've accomplished so far:

Weight loss to date: 2.6kg

Not too bad, considering this time around I did ZERO exercise, whereas I was doing weight training once a week and jogging a couple of times a week during the first stint.

Cheat meals: 11

As with the first stint, I allowed myself generally 2-3 cheat meals per week where I ate and drank whatever and however much I wanted.  This keeps me sane and motivated.

So what have I been eating?

Just like in 2013, I have been eating a good amount of canned tuna in spring water with wheat toast.  I bought a ton of canned tuna as soon as I decided to embark on the program.  I also bought a supply of low-fat cheese singles.

I also have started eating cheap sushi again, with a couple of visits to Sen-ryo (千両) during the past month, and back to getting some supermarket sushi, too.  It makes things easy for me when it comes to portion control - the key for this program to succeed.

This time, though, I'm not exactly doing this alone.  Sankala eats a number of the meals with me, and I'm no longer free to do whatever I want - as my decision can have an impact on her.  The wonderful thing about her is that she's been trying very hard to come up with simple meals which fit my requirements, but at the same time can be jazzed up enough so that she would want to eat.  I'm grateful to have her around this time.

Let's see how much weight I can shed in my second month!

April 5, 2021

97 in the hood

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DaRC and I have been planning a tasting of 1997 Napa cabs since last year, and now that the situation with the pandemic has stabilized somewhat, we figured this was a good time to finally get it done.  The Man in White T-shirt has always taken good care of us, so we decided to do this at Neighborhood, with the added benefit of sharing the wines with the boss.

As usual I had no idea what was coming our way, but secretly hoped that a couple of dishes I had seen on social media would be coming our way...

Chicken liver mousse with black truffle - always happy to start with a little liver mousse, and the black truffle chiffonade on top makes it even better.

Of course this was meant to be taken with some sourdough bread, and once I started, I had a tough time stopping myself from digging into the cup for more.  And that meant chomping on more bread, which is generally not a good idea when there's a ton of food coming your way...

April 1, 2021

Years of the Ox

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It's April Fool's Day, and a few wine lovers decided to get together and pop open a few bottles.  Someone suggested that as a theme, we bring wines from vintages which were Years of the Ox.  This sounded like a fantastic idea, and we quickly put together a list featuring great wines from 4 different vintages - reaching back 60 years.

We were meant to check out a French restaurant I have yet to try, some a year-and-a-half after its opening.  However, their restrictive corkage policy didn't work for us, so I guess I'll just have to wait for another occasion to try it.  Instead, the Baller very wisely suggested dinner at Forum Restaurant (富臨飯店) - which turned out to be a most excellent idea. Having had some recent nibbles in the form of their dim sum, I was eager to see how they would execute a number of other interesting dishes. So I scrolled through their menu, picked out a number of things I wanted to try, and the Baller made arrangements with the restaurant to select a few of those for tonight.

The advantage of dining with the Baller - who certainly fit his moniker by the looks of tonight - was that we were able to get ourselves set up in a private room.  My friend also ensured that we had the attention of Chief Sommelier Jacky Luk, who helped us with our tricky bottles - and did so flawlessly.

Salad prawn on toast (沙律鳳尾蝦多士) - I love these nostalgic Canto dishes, and what better way for me to kick off a major cheat meal than some breaded and deep-fried prawns with deep-fried toast?!  I don't think I needed the mayo, but tried adding some to get the full effect.

March 27, 2021

Earth Hour 2021: 13th year

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This was the first year in quite a few where we are spending Earth Hour without our beloved asshole.  We've brought him out to the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui a couple of times, where he was pretty popular with the ladies, and last year we looked longingly at DaRC as we grilled our steak at home.  That would be his last Earth Hour on earth.

The Covid-19 pandemic is still with us, so we decided against crossing the harbor for the annual observation.  The Quarry Bay Promenade Pet Garden isn't far from us, and we decided we'd take CC out for a stroll under the stars.

As it was a nice evening, there was a good amount of traffic going through the park, with dogs and their owners, joggers, and just ordinary folks out for a stroll.

March 25, 2021

No zebra for me

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I first got to know Antimo Maria Merone's cuisine at L'Altro, the Italian restaurant near my old office.  They had themselves a macaron for 2 years, and I used to go there occasionally for lunch.  I did visit him once in Macau during his long stint at 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, but in general I haven't run into him much over the last few years.  I know he's been in Hong Kong ever since the pandemic started, and has been hanging out at Octavium, CIAK - In the Kitchen, and 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana on the Hong Kong side, but I didn't get a glimpse of him until this dinner late last year.  By then he was already slated to start his own place with JIA Group.

When word got out that he's doing a months-long pop-up at HAUS, featuring experimental dishes he's unlikely to offer in the future, I didn't hesitate to book us a table.  It's too bad that Little Rabbit isn't around, but we managed to grab a couple of ladies who were only too happy to join us.

The physical place reminded me of an Italian trattoria, in that the tables were small, packed close to each other, and as a result it was all too easy to eavesdrop on the conversations nearby.  To be honest, I couldn't care less that John Major "recognizes" the auntie sitting at the next table, but whatever floats her boat...

The meal started with three "bites":

Cheese and egg toast: black truffle - this was OK.

Shiitake tart: "colatura" fish sauce, onions - creamy with fermented flavors.

Spring roll: gambero rosso, burrata - tasted a little too oily, maybe from sitting around a little.

March 24, 2021

Flowers in springtime

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I was very, very excited about dinner tonight.  The little sansho flowers (花山椒) are back in season for a short few weeks, and Goshima-san at Godenya (ごでんや) started bringing them in a few days ago.  I was ever so happy that I snagged a coveted reservation during this period.

Hairy crab, broad bean, fish broth tofu, shiso flower (毛蟹  空豆  煮凝り  花穂) - the Japanese hairy crab (毛蟹) from Hokkaido came with some broad beans, fish broth jelly made with local fish as well as coral rockfish that was kinda smoky, and aromatic garnishes like shiso flowers and curry leaves. A very nice way to start dinner.

March 21, 2021

Supporting chef friends: rare and funky

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It was a few months ago that a couple of wine geeks got together to taste some interesting and relatively rare stuff, and we figured it was time for some of us to emerge from our cocoons.  When our original plan to return to a recent favorite hit a snag, Ta Vie 旅 became a sensible option.  The Film Buff and I have always been fans of Sato-san's cuisine, and we looked forward to trying whatever new that he was gonna throw our way.

We always start with the homemade nukazuke (糠漬け) bread, whose warmth and crispy crust brings a smile to my face without fail.

Butter and ricotta - of course these are also homemade.  

Dried figs and foie gras terrine with crispy buckwheat crêpe - so... a pretty classic combination of flavors, with a nice presentation.  I had to make sure to squeeze the galettes tightly while I grabbed this, or else the bottom layer of foie gras would remain stuck on the plate and detach from the rest.

Very smooth foie gras, as expected.  The sweetness from dried figs was always going to work well with the fat, and the crispy galettes together with the grains of buckwheat provided crunch.

March 18, 2021

Plus ça change

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I am unable to celebrate mom's birthday for a second year in a row, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.  I know mom misses hugging me, but there isn't much to be done.  So this year, at Sankala's excellent suggestion, I decided to order up a few dishes that would remind me of home.  I figured that there was no better place to do that than Liu Yuan Pavilion (留園雅聚), where they don't disappoint.

It's been 7 years since my last visit, and I can see that not much has changed.  While the restaurant has upgraded the physical menu books to something a little nicer than what I remembered, the contents seem to be pretty much the same - down to the Engrish translations.

Something else has also remained the same - the speed at which dishes come out from the kitchen.  This has, apparently, not improved with the award of a Michelin star.  Four of the five dishes I ordered arrived within 5 minutes of each other, and hot vegetable dishes arrived before cold appetizers.  Old school restaurants like this just don't give a flying fuck.

March 13, 2021

3-star classics

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Hong Kong dining scene has experienced a strong rebound ever since the government once again allowed dining in during dinner service, and four people can sit at the same time and have a decent conversation.  In the last couple of weeks, we've been unable to book some restaurants on even two weeks' notice, and this required us to come up with back-up plans often at the last minute.  

We were hoping to have lunch at a French restaurant with two stars, but alas, they could not accommodate us.  So instead, I ended up at an old school Cantonese restaurant with three Michelin stars - one I haven't been to in more than 10 years.

I honestly don't know much about the cuisine at Forum Restaurant (富臨飯店), as I've only been to the old location once.  Of course, Chef Yeung Koon Yat (楊貫一) is a household name in Hong Kong, although I have never had the privilege of tasting his cooking.  I was curious to see what three stars was all about.

Steamed wild mushroom and sarcodon aspratus dumpling (黑虎掌野菌餃) - with lots of Chinese celery along with them shrooms.  Fragrant and tasty.

March 10, 2021

Double disappointment

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I have been wanting to open a certain bottle of wine together with Mr and Mrs Birdiegolf, and this time around it was to be Chinese food.  Yong Fu (甬府) is a place that Sankala and I like very much, and I was pretty eager to return for some familiar flavors from well-executed dishes.

As usual the manager sent me a list of the dishes before we arrived, and I didn't think too much about them as I was busy during the work day.  That would turn out to be a mistake.

The amuses bouches tonight were preserved radish with green soybeans, and deep-fried peanuts with seaweed.

Drunken mantis prawns (熟醉溏心蝦姑) - these were as good as I remembered from my first visit.  Nicely chilled, with really sweet marinade and a little "drunken" from some Chinese wine.  Huadiao (花雕), perhaps, as it would make the most sense.

March 8, 2021

Shrinking Boy 2.0: day 1

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It's been more than 7 years since I ended my nutritional diet program, during which I lost about 9.5kg.  It took me almost 2 years to fatten back up to my weight before I started the program, I'd managed to keep things within 4-5kg of that starting weight until the end of 2019.  My eating trip to Fukuoka really pushed my weight over the limit, and I kinda freaked out a little in early January 2020.

But the pandemic hit, and the dietary change it brought on - with us cooking at home more thanks to social distancing restrictions - together with the stress I was experiencing at work, combined to see me drop almost 5kg in 5 months.  I was relieved.

Fast-forward to mid-February 2021, and I was back at the same peak weight I was in January 2020.  This had to stop.  I needed to get healthier.  So I decided to re-start my Shrinking Boy program, using what I learned the first time around.  I wasn't gonna be very ambitious this time around, and would do a trial run of 2 months to start.

Today was day 1, and I had bought all the supplies I needed over the last couple of days.

Breakfast was 1 glass of unsweetened soy milk (1 portion protein), 2 slices of wheat toast (3 portions of grain), 1½ slices of low-fat cheese (1 portion of protein), 120g of fat-free yogurt (1 portion of dairy), and 6 almonds (1 portion of fat).  (NB: I later realized this was 1 more portion of protein than I had been allocated, and reduced the portion)

March 6, 2021

Absolutely not a birthday dinner

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I last saw My Favorite Cousin a month ago, and that was just waaaay too long.  So I took the opportunity to grab dinner with her tonight.  When the original plan didn't work out, I was ever so grateful that RAW Bro stepped us to help arrange things for us at Nikushou.

Someone wanted deep-fried dishes, so I tried to pick out whatever I could from the menu.  I even went as far as to have the boss call the kitchen to get us something off-menu... just to make you-know-who happy.

Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹) - from Hokkaido.  Always taken with some salt here to bring out the sweetness, although I felt I had a few flakes too many.

Japanese mountain vegetables tempura (山菜天ぷら) - a seasonal special for spring.   Ostrich fern shoots (コゴミ), koshiabura (漉油) leaves which tasted a little like parsley and celery,  Japanese angelica shoots (タラの芽), and bamboo shoots.

March 5, 2021

Just the beef, ma'am

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It has been, once again, much too long since I last caught up with Fat Donkey over a meal.  This was partly thanks to the current situation, which saw the cancellation of a few planned group gatherings.  I had suggested a handful of venues for our Friday dinner, but as the local F and B scene seemed to be experiencing a strong recovery after almost 3 months without dinner serving, we were having trouble getting ourselves a table for Friday night with 10 days' notice.

In the end we defaulted back to Beefbar because, well, my friend loves steak.  And I don't have a problem with that.  As it turns out, he's enough of a regular that they greet him by name upon entry.

Neither of us were at our full capacity, so we decided to order up separate and smaller portions of beef instead of sharing a big hunk of meat.  We did decided to share a plate of pasta, though.

Our amuse bouche was a slice of roast beef with lemon mustard.

March 2, 2021

When it feels just right

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It's been a long, long time since I last had a decent dinner at a Chinese restaurant, thanks to the dining ban imposed by the government.  When the ban was finally lifted recently, I was happy to have been invited by The Great One to join her table at The Chairman (大班樓).  It was 5 months ago that I last had the pleasure of dining here, and we were all a little surprised at what seemed to be a (relatively) short menu put together for us by the kitchen.

Pickled mid-summer ginger root (大班樓子薑) - always nice to start with these.  I really wonder how much of this the restaurant goes through each year.

Cherry tomatoes pickled in basil reduction (醃漬蕃茄) - them tomatoes sure were sweet, and nicely accented with some basil.  The slices of crunchy pear were marinated in Chinese wine, although I couldn't figure out which type...

February 25, 2021

Life is more interesting without bluefin

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It's been a few months since I last had some decent sushi, and more than a year since I was last in Japan.  When the government announced that dining in past 6 p.m. was once again possible, I wasted no time in booking seats at Sushi Saito (鮨  さいとう).

Some of my friends have been singing the praises of Kubota-san, who was previously the chef at Taka by Saito in Kuala Lumpur.  So tonight I decided to ask for his services instead of chatting with Fujimoto-san as usual.

Gavin was kind enough to remind Kubota-san that we don't eat tuna, so we got substitutes which, honestly, we found more interesting.

Hokkai shrimp (縞海老) - the hokkai shrimp was served with its own roe, on top of a bed of wakame (若布).

February 22, 2021

First star in the ox

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We're still in the lunar new year festive period, and NC Chung has very kindly decided to invite me to lunch with the old gang for their team lunch.  I was a little surprised when he picked Ryota Kappou Modern, but happy that I get a chance to try it out.

I chose the slightly shorter Chef Specialties Lunch, but picked a main course requiring an add-on.  As it turned out, everyone else was doing the same!

Some deep-fried lotus root chips to start us off...

February 20, 2021

Delicious high end Chiuchow lunch

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Sankala had been wanting to try Howard's Gourmet (好酒好蔡) for quite a while, as she's heard a lot about the place.  In fact, she chose it as the original venue of our wedding last year, before an unexpected turn of events derailed our plans.  Knowing this was an itch she wasn't waiting to scratch, I figured we should have ourselves a nice lunch there.

The menu today seemed a little longer than I remembered from my last lunch 5 years ago, but that's OK.  Most restaurants have been trying to maximize revenue at lunch during the months when dinner service was banned.

Chaozhou snack (潮州開胃小碟) - marinated cucumbers were slightly spicy, and we've also got marinated wood ear fungus with some Chiuchow-style fish cakes - with the latter being pretty springy.

Chef's espresso (特色暖胃湯) - made with red rice.

February 19, 2021

Disappointing Russian department store

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I haven't been so disappointed in a restaurant in a long, long time. 

After the start of the Year of the Ox, we finally stopped working from home and working life went back to "normal".  I decided to take the team - the ones who are in Hong Kong, anyway - to lunch to kick off the new year.  While I originally thought about going somewhere just across the street from our office, I decided to venture a few blocks further and booked ourselves into Restaurant de Chine (中華匯館).  It's been 3 years since my last visit, but these guys have always delivered.  

What a mistake that was.

While I wanted to treat the team to a nice lunch, I was still a little conscious of budget since I'm not the boss, so I avoided any dish which charged per serving.  At a place like this, though, I still expected to come out happy without ordering anything really premium.

The trouble started when I began ordering.  A couple of dishes I wanted weren't available.  Then a couple more.  I got frustrated and asked our server point-blank which dishes I was able to order.  She didn't know.  After thinking that I was done ordering, she came back to the table to tell me that two more dishes were unavailable.

At this point I turned to specific menu pages and asked her to recommend substitutes for the dishes that weren't available.  On a particular page, only 2 or 3 options were available out of 10.  It was the same with another page.  She recommended dishes which were either charging by the serving (read: expensive) or completely uninteresting to me.  The restaurant manager, who undoubtedly was in a better position to help me order, was too chicken shit to come face the wrath that was building in me.  I was having déjà vu of this dinner from many years ago...

Barbecued Kagoshima Chami pork (鹿兒島茶美豚叉燒) - the best dish today.  At least they never disappoint with this one... The marbling just make it so tender and tasty.

February 13, 2021

Frying solo

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Sankala is off lunching with a friend, leaving me to fend for myself on a Saturday.  I wanted a meal that was a little better than a casual bite at a cha chaan teng (茶餐廳), but didn't wanna get killed by chef friends at places like Petrus or Écriture.   In the end, I placed a last-minute call to Ippoh (一宝) and got myself a seat for their second seating.

I have known about this place since The Great One first wrote about it years ago, but given the limited seating and the reported difficulty in securing a seat, somehow I never got around to visiting this place.  My hankering for quality tempura (天ぷら) has largely gone unsatiated in Hong Kong over the last few years, and I finally decided to see if this was, indeed, the best option for tempura in town.

I was told that the only choice available was omakase (お任せ), which was fine for me. I was just happy to have a seat, and that they had enough ingredients to serve me.

This was put down in front of me by the lone serving staff without any explanation.  I waited a little... but still, nothing.  Finally, I asked the chef in Japanese, and was told that this was olive flounder (平目).  Cooked and wrapped around shredded spring onions.  This was OK.

Then came the salad, which included lettuce, pickled rakkyo (辣韮), and salted kombu (塩昆布).

February 6, 2021

Swedish winter in Indian summer

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Another Saturday, another lunch at one of my favorite restaurants.  It was 11 months ago - before the world's borders began shutting down - that I last paid a visit to Frantzén's Kitchen.  Thanks to all that happened last year, I ended up neglecting a number of chef friends - and Jim was one of them.  I'm making a conscious effort to correct that wrong.

Things have suddenly been busy for Sankala and I was informed a couple of days ago that she wouldn't be able to join me.  Thankfully My Favorite Cousin is free, although she did warn me about her unreliable stomach capacity...

There's a "Sharing is Caring" option for lunch, where two people can get all the dishes on offer, and of course that was what we decided to do.  But first, My Favorite Cousin wanted something extra...

Signature French toast - always a crowd-pleaser, which is why the restaurant very smartly chose to make it an add-on... knowing that more than half the diners would go for it regardless.  And as usual, it's the aged cheese - and today it was back to Parmigiano-Reggiano Vacche Rosse - which made all the difference for me.  

The mushroom tea which always accompanies the toast was pretty nice.

January 31, 2021

Sunday beef

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We've been scheduling lunches on Saturdays as our weekly gourmet meal out, but I wanted to have something nice on a Sunday, too.  Unfortunately, I did not have the foresight to book anything in advance, so that kind of left us scrambling at the last minute.  After numerous calls which came up empty, we finally decided to hit one of our trusty standbys - Nikushou.

As I wanted to do something "a little nicer" today, we decided to forgo the easy one-dish lunch items and got ourselves some proper yakiniku (焼肉).

Thick cut Australian wagyu tongue (オーストラリア 和牛タン) - always happy to start with this... The thick cut gives a good amount of bite, and pretty springy texture.

January 30, 2021

Supporting restaurants: Japanese seafood lunch

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It's been a couple of month since we last met up with the Film Buff, and much to my surprise, he requested that we do Japanese food for a change.  Given the preference for cooked dishes, I figured it would be a great opportunity to introduce him to Godenya (ごでんや).

It's been only a month since my last visit, and I wondered how many of the dishes would be repeats.  Thankfully, the dish which I would have wanted as a repeat did show up...

Monkfish liver, thousand-year old egg, kumquat, monaka (鮟肝  皮蛋  金柑  最中) - always happy to start with this taiyaki (鯛焼き) monaka (最中).  The filling made with the liver of monkfish (鮟鱇) from Yoichi (余市) and century eggs (皮蛋) always carries that delicious, smoky flavor.  This time we've got Japanese kumquat (金柑) adding wonderful citrusy notes.  The red perilla leaves and crunchy curry leaves on top added some nice aromatics.

January 23, 2021

3-star lunner

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It's been a few months since Hello Kitty dined at Caprice.  In fact, she hasn't been back since we got married there 3 months ago.  We figured we would pay Hairy Legs a visit at the start of the new year, especially since he had very kindly given us one of the amazing Blue Mountain coffee tarts which Hello Kitty never had the chance to taste.

We started with some panini with Comté, ham, and topped with black truffles.  Just can't go wrong with this combination.

I was really hungry as I didn't get around to grabbing breakfast, so I wolfed down this sesame roll... followed by 2/3 of a mini baguette.  This is, of course, a real mistake here - given the amount of food we would be getting from the kitchen.

January 17, 2021

Delicious deep-fried veggie balls

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Neither Hello Kitty and I are fond of restaurants who don't take reservations, and we don't care to line up for food beyond, say, a 15-minute wait.  As a result, we have been strangers to one of Hong Kong's most beloved restaurants - among a certain crowd, at least.  My first and only visit to Yardbird came nearly 3 years ago, and Hello Kitty has never tasted their regular dishes.  We are much more familiar with the group's sister restaurant Ronin, as the latter is open for advanced booking.

But Hello Kitty felt like giving Yardbird a try, and it turned out there were seats available on a walk-in basis at lunch.  So off we went and got ourselves seats at the bar counter.  In fact, I sat in these very seats on my first visit.

Sweet corn tempura, sea salt, pepper - one cannot come here without ordering up a serving (or two) of this.  This is the second day in a row I'm having some deep-fried corn, and I absolutely love it.  I did find it a tad on the greasy side, though.  Delicious on its own, but even better with Yardbird's house blend shichimi (七味).

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