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).

January 9, 2021

Supporting chef friends: my happy place

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Another Saturday, another lunch at a fine dining restaurant.  It's been a while since I last showed some love and supported one of my favorite restaurants in Hong Kong, and when Hello Kitty saw a post about something she was dying to have, we decided it was time to get a table at Ta Vie 旅

With sit-down dinner still banned in town, lunch is the only option.  That means a short menu at half the price of the regular dinner menu.  Not ideal, as I'd like to get as much out of any meal here as possible, but I guess this will have to do for now...

A meal here always starts with the signature nukazuke (糠漬け) bread.  It is easily one of my favorite breads in town.

And it's always accompanied by butter and ricotta - both also made in-house just like the bread.

Kegani crab and avocado cocktail with black vinegar sauce, covered with chrysanthemum jelly - such a beautiful, classic dish from Sato-san.  The layer of jelly on top was encased with chrysanthemum leaves.  This artistic presentation suited the glass dish perfectly.

January 2, 2021

Supporting chef friends: MONO solo

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It's the first Saturday of 2021, and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal.  We are still banned by the government from dining in past 6 p.m., so it's gotta be lunch.  I felt very bad about cancelling my dinner at MONO at the last minute a few weeks ago, so I figured it was only right that I go back for my first fine dining meal of the year.

Ricardo obviously was eager for me to try out the whole shebang, so we were put through the entire 8-course tasting menu for lunch.  Unfortunately, Hello Kitty would have to leave in the middle for a meeting, leaving me powering through it all on my own...

We were treated to a nice glass of bubbly at the start of our meal:

Charles Dufour Bulles de Comptoir #8 Stilllebenm, dégorgée mars 2020 - interesting nose with honey, apricot, flint... pretty toasty and lean.  More intense on the palate.

Normandy sea urchin / saffron vichysoisse / parsley - hidden underneath the layer of parsley emulsion and warm vichyssoise (BUT WHY?!) flavored with saffron were really huge tongues of sea urchin from Normandy.  Little grains of crispy buckwheat were pretty interesting, and the texture kinda reminds me of crunchy Cantonese roast pork crackling that has been braised.

On a cold winter's day, it's nice to start with something that warms the stomach and gives you that comforting feeling.

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