January 30, 2011

The engagement party

Pin It

I got a text message from Pineapple yesterday inviting me for a drink tonight.  I was curious about the timing as it would be late on a Sunday evening, but I didn't think much about it as the venue was at Classified in Happy Valley - a stone's throw from my place.  I just assumed this would be a get-together for us to check out the new joint.

I arrived to the news that my host had just come out of the closet gotten engaged.  We had been expecting this to happen at some point, and we were quick to congratulate the happy couple.  There was, of course, good wines being served so we didn't hesitate, either!

January 29, 2011

Filling but not satisfying

Pin It

A friend and I were looking for a place for casual dining in Causeway Bay, and found Fleur de Sel by pure coincidence.  I wanted to see whether there was a worthy alternative to La Crêperie.

January 28, 2011

Another WTF Michelin moment

Pin It

I was running an errand at lunch today, and decided to check out Lei Bistro (利小舘), a cheap eatery run by the Lei Garden Group that somehow got themselves a macaron from the obviously delusional Bibendum.  I haven't given Lei Garden a dime of my money since my disastrous meal a year ago, and I was curious to see what this place was all about.

January 27, 2011

Cos d'Estournel dinner

Pin It

Some time ago, I received an email invitation from the Mandarin Oriental by mistake.  The invitation was for a dinner at Pierre featuring the wines of Cos d'Estournel, to be hosted by Jean-Guillaume Prats.  I replied to that invitation, and fortunately they were still happy to have me at the dinner, even though I wasn't the person they had originally intended to invite...

I arrived to find Pol Roger Champagne being served, and realized this was co-sponsored by Altaya Wines.  Hardly surprising, since Paulo has a good relationship with Jean-Guillaume and Cos d'Estournel was our first stop on our MNSC Bordeaux trip 2 years ago.

January 25, 2011

Blame it on Bordier

Pin It

It's been almost a year since I first took Tigger to Caprice, and during this time the iron grips of the Mandarin Oriental hasn't been loosened one bit.  Well, we found occasion for me to take him back for another visit.

I arrived very early and had a couple of bites of foccacia and sipped on some tea while waiting for everyone else to arrive.  That was my first mistake.

January 23, 2011

Alsatian evening

Pin It

I received one of my favorite text messages this afternoon, which read something along the lines of "...if you are free for dinner...am making an experimental choucroute..."  I stopped what I was doing in the office, picked up my phone and immediately returned a positive response.  An invitation for dinner at Susan's is pretty hard for me to refuse...

Offline at Sotheby's

Pin It

I returned to the Sotheby's auction again today, choosing to arrive around lunch time as there was nothing I wanted early on.  The room was full as expected, but the atmosphere was a little different today.

Yesterday's big online bidder was noticeably absent today.  Action returned to the room but there were still few bargains to be had.  I ended up picking up some old red Burgundy which I had tasted a few days ago, hoping that they'd turn out better than the bottle I tried.  Most of my friends were unable to pick up anything at what we thought were "reasonable" prices.

January 22, 2011

Revolving doors

Pin It

A few of us celebrated a friend's birthday tonight at Sabatini.  This is an old Hong Kong favorite, which I myself used to like a few years ago.  I particularly enjoyed their homemade pastas.  However, some two years ago I was advised against returning as the standards had reportedly declined since the departure of the old chef.  Therefore I was curious to see for myself if the food was at the same level as I remembered.

When I arrived at the Royal Garden Hotel, there were posters around advertising the arrival of the new chef for Sabatini.  Uh-oh... ANOTHER new chef?  And the second change in about two years?  That can't be good...

Sotheby's sells Andrew Lloyd Webber

Pin It

Ever since she started her new job, the Specialist has been prodding me to attend one of her wine auctions.  She complained about my continued patronage of Acker auctions while never having registered as a client of her more prestigious employer.  My response has always been that a poor slob like me isn't classy enough to be a Sotheby's customer.  In any case the prices at their auctions are simply ridiculous, even worse than those achieved at Acker.  If I couldn't afford much of the wines sold at Acker auctions, what chance do I have to pick up something at Sotheby's?

January 21, 2011

Acker Hong Kong XIII: Friday the 13th

Pin It

I went to the first session of the Acker auction tonight.  There wasn't anything I wanted at the start of the auction, so I kinda timed my arrival to the first lot I was interested in.  Amazingly, I sat down at the table exactly 2 lots before I needed to raise my paddle.

Before long I moved to join a friend along with my new best friend George.  We collectively marveled at the looney prices people were willing to pay, especially for old wine, and any old wine at that.  The old wines weren't even from good vintages and somehow managed to hit stratospheric prices.  Guys, when Gil stands on the podium and tells you that these wines are "rare", he's only doing his job to make sure all the wines are sold.  And there's a reason why the wines are "rare"... it wasn't a good and collectible vintage so almost all of it was drunk within the first few years of release!

January 20, 2011

Smelly, melted cheese

Pin It

It's been pretty cold in town lately, which to a couple of my friends can mean only one thing: hot, melted cheese.  We trekked across to the Dark Side and huddled in the warm, smelly confines of the Swiss Chalet for our ritual.

I arrived very late thanks to a last-minute meeting, and the gang was already digging into their pots of fondue.  I decided to go for something else tonight.

Oldies at Acker tasting

Pin It

Went to Acker's pre-auction tasting tonight. Got there right at the start so thankfully didn't miss out of anything. These things are like a feeding frenzy...

Saw George again, who had his own table and was pouring the wines we tasted two nights ago.

1989 Jaboulet La Chapelle - nose of dates, forest, wood.

January 18, 2011

Dinner with George

Pin It

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting George Levkoff tonight, and got to know the man a little better while seated next to him during dinner at Pierre.

Lili and I were first introduced to George's wines at Caprice last year, where Sebastien and Jeremy paired the 2008 George Hansen Vineyards Pinot Noir with a selection of cheese like Bleu de Termignon and Mont d'Or.  I took an immediate liking to the wine, but it had a more lasting impression on Lili.  Being the smart businesswoman that she is, she immediately reached out to George and inquired about selling his wines in Asia.  So here we are...

January 17, 2011

YET another black truffle evening...

Pin It

After my last meal at On Lot 10, some of my friends became upset that I hadn't invited them along, and threatened to organize a meal there without me.  Fortunately they weren't as mean as they pretended to be, and I was allowed to join them for dinner tonight.

I arrived early and discovered that David's not in the kitchen today.  He is opening a new restaurant today and was manning the new kitchen, so his staff would be taking care of us tonight.  I wondered whether things would be the same without him around...

January 13, 2011

Double-barreled piggy

Pin It

I'm back at the Kimberley Chinese Restaurant (君怡閣) with a bunch of piggies foodies.  Tonight was the most ambitious meal here yet, as we had ordered TWO piggies while our numbers dwindled down to a mere eight.

As with my last visit, we started with the clear ox bone soup (清燉牛骨湯), which wasn't quite enough to go around.  Nevertheless it was very delish, with plenty of collagen in between the crevices.  Loved it.

January 8, 2011

Zachys again

Pin It

It's been more than 2 years since I went to the inaugural Zachys auction in Hong Kong.  After a period of almost a year, during which they sent me catalogs of every one of their auctions - some of which were returned or destroyed by Fedex upon non-delivery while there was no one at home - I was taken off their mailing list.  No skin off my nose, since I ended up giving all my business to Acker.

January 7, 2011

More of the usual

Pin It

I've been working on a deal recently, and needed another set of eyes to go over the legal docs, so I called in some reinforcements and enlisted the help of my Favorite Cousin.  I took her out to dinner at Irori (いろり) to show my gratitude.

Being the creature of habit that I am, I ended up ordering the same selection of dishes that always show up on the table whenever I'm here...

Monkfish liver (あん肝) - I've always loved the paté made from the liver of monkfish, here dipped in some ponzu (ポン酢).  Smooth and round on the tongue.  Mmm mmm good.

Le roi de l'île

Pin It

There was a gathering at lunch today to do a "send-off" for a friend who will be touring the US for a few weeks, and I found myself back at Island Tang (港島廳).  I've always liked this place, in spite of its reputation in some circles for being "gweilo-friendly".

Baked barbecued pork buns in pineapple shape (焗菠蘿叉燒包) - tasted good, but I wish the buns themselves were a little crispier and not as soft.

January 6, 2011

A cold night in Macau

Pin It

I needed to go to Macau tonight for an emergency board meeting, and decided to visit an old favorite for dinner.  I've been going to Estabelecimento de Comida Portuguesea Porto Exterior for the last few years, and found their Portuguese cuisine to be pretty yummy.  It's reasonably close to the ferry terminal and too short of a cab ride, so we braved the cold weather and trekked over on foot.

The chouriço assadas was a nice way to start the meal.

January 5, 2011

Who said there's no free lunch?

Pin It

I was treated to lunch today at W52 by the restaurant, who extended the invitation to me so that I could sample some new dishes by Chef Francesco.  This was a totally new experience for me, and I've never accepted an invitation from a restaurant for a free meal in a blogger's capacity.

I started with a selection of antipasti, including some nice cold cuts and 36-month Parmigiano-Reggiano that was just so delicious.

January 4, 2011

Air-flown French pastries

Pin It

I organized a little afternoon tea party today, with the generous help of a friend who lent us her conference room for a couple of hours.

On Sunday I had managed to pick up a galette de roi from Sadaharu Aoki in Taipei.  It looked good enough and I was curious to see how well the pastry chef in Taipei could execute this.  I carefully hand-carried the precious cargo back to Hong Kong, only to have the box fall from atop my rolling suitcase and drop sideways on the floor...  Fortunately as my friends predicted, the puff pastry nature of the thing meant it was very likely to survive such a fall.  In fact there wasn't even a single dent!

January 2, 2011

Neighborhood eats

Pin It

I'm hanging out around my parents' home today, and dropped in on Mama Tu's Puli Restaurant (塗姆埔里小吃) for lunch.  It looked like just the rustic, country cuisine type of place that I love so much.

I knew we were in good hands when the amuse bouche - vegetarian chicken (素雞) - arrived.  These tofu pieces might look simple, but it's the balance of flavors between the coriander, chopped garlic, chilis and thick soy sauce which ended up as a complete symphony in the mouth.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map