January 18, 2022

Dood your dood dood!

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My friend BM pinged me out of the blue. Would I like to try some gelato that is of very qualify? Ummm... sure! I'm happy to try something new, especially if a friend recommends it highly. With that response, my friend sent me the daily selections so Sankala and I selected 5 different flavors we were curious about.

We had never found opportunity to taste anything from Dood Bottega Gelateria, which makes Italian gelato and sorbetto. As I would find out later, quite a few of my friends had visited them when they were in Wanchai, and really liked their offering. But they didn't know that the shop had relocated to K11 Musea.

The delivery which arrived at my office was a total surprise. I had expected my friend to send me 5 cups of gelato. What arrived was 5 PINTS. For the two of us, that's A LOT of frozen sweets. I always knew my friend is generous, but I was still surprised and grateful for his generosity.

January 15, 2022

Second chances in the 'hood

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It's been way, way too long since I last caught up with the couple in the Tiny Urban Kitchen, so we made plans to meet up for a meal.  When the Hong Kong government imposed a ban on dining in beginning at 6 p.m. each day, we quickly converted that to a lunch reservation.

My friends had dined at Neighborhood only once, as a four-top of all newbies. She wanted to give them another try, and of course I have been posting and raving about The Man in White T-shirt for more than a decade. I did explain to her my take on why people have different experiences coming to Neighborhood, and I hoped she would get to see a different side of the place today.

As usual I asked for the boss to send us whatever he wanted, and most of the dishes were part of the current menu with a couple of notable exceptions.

Saucisson and lardo rillette - I am always happy to see this. How is it possible for me not to love something made from saucisson and lardo di Colonnata? As much as I knew there is a lot of food coming, I couldn't resist spreading this beauty on the sourdough bread.

January 8, 2022

Playing with fire

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Dinner's been cancelled by the Hong Kong government. As of yesterday, restaurants are no longer allowed to serve dine-in guests from 6:00 p.m. We've been down that road before a couple of times over the last 2 years, and restaurants scramble to adapt and adjust their service schedules. Meanwhile, lots of bookings are cancelled.

The Great One pinged me a couple of days ago, inviting me to a special event that was rescheduled from dinner to lunch today. I was curious about this collaboration between The Chairman (大班樓) and Interval - especially since I've never had much exposure to the cooking by Twins Kitchen - so I accepted the invitation.

We slept in this morning, then took our time cleaning up and getting out of the house. While choose which pair of freshly laundered jeans to put on, I made a mental note to leave a particular pair for tomorrow, because that is the day I would need to go out for this special lunch.

At 11 minutes past 1pm, I'm sitting in a taxi on our way to have lunch with CC, and I'm scrolling my phone. A message pops up from the Great One: "See you soon?"

OH SHIT! Why did I think that lunch would be TOMORROW?! I'm already more than 10 minutes late, and I'm nowhere near the restaurant on the south side of the island!

I hopped off the taxi I was in, flagged down another taxi and jumped in. Twenty minutes later, I was at my destination. A mere half-hour late. Oops.

My tablemates had supposedly started drinking and nibbled on some bread to start while they waited for me. This was basically the pizza dough that came out of the Stefano Ferrara wood-fired pizza oven.

January 3, 2022

Small circle dinner

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It's the first working day of the year, and I thought it would be a good idea to get the team out for a dinner at a local neighborhood joint. I've been talking up this place for a while so it was time for me to show the team. The funny thing is that each of the team members seem to have a different dish that they really looked forward to trying.

Ren Ren Heping Restaurant (人人和平小飯店) had just finished renovating, and they now have new tables and booths. Looking pretty nice now.

Deep-fried Bombay duck (椒鹽九肚魚) - this was OK. Not as light and fluffy as some of the best versions, but decent. A little bland for my taste.

December 31, 2021

The best dishes I had in 2021

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Five years ago I decided to browse through my posts for that year and recount the "best" dishes I had eaten during the previous 12 months. I have kept it up each year since, and this year things would be no different. I've certainly dined out more this year compared to last year, as social distancing was no longer as strict thanks to vaccination.

The "best" dishes are the ones which elicited the most excitement, the largest outpour of emotion (usually accompanied by something along the lines of "FUCKING GOOD!!!" in my notes), and the ones which I wish I had endless stomach space for ("I'll have 3 of these"). So here they are in chronological order:

Tuscany veal rack, from MONO - a beautiful bone-in piece which was grilled with glaze from tendons, which made it crispy on the outside along with flavors from herbs. And that was before lathering it up with mole. Chomping down on it on the second day of the year, during my first fine dining meal of the year, made me so, so happy.

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