April 29, 2012

A little tongue teaser

Pin It

It's my last meal in Hong Kong this trip, and I arranged to meet up with 2 lovely ladies for lunch.  For all the buzz this place has created since it opened, I've amazingly managed to stay clear of Linguini Fini.  I guess it was about time that I checked out the place…

I was running really late and wasn't able to check-in first, so I ended up bringing my big duffel bag to the restaurant.  I showed up at the reception on the ground floor, gave them my name for the reservation, and was sent upstairs.  I exited the elevator, and spent a few seconds looking for the ladies.

Having failed to locate the ladies - who had their backs to me - I wondered why none of the staff came up to me to see if I needed any help.  They seemed content to leave me standing around like an idiot…  Finally I asked the two people closest to me for help, saying that I had a reservation and that my friends were already here; could they please help me locate my table.  Blank stares came my way for a few seconds.  After asking for a second time, one of them disappeared, presumably to look up where they had seated my friends with the reservation under my name.

April 28, 2012

Above and Beyond expectations

Pin It

I needed one dim sum lunch on this trip, and met up with a few friends at Above and Beyond (天外天) at Hotel ICON.  This was an interesting location for me, not just because I had never been to the hotel before or that Tsim Sha Tsui East is out of my normal "comfort zone".

I never paid much attention when the hotel first opened for business, and therefore did not realize its background as being owned by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, or that it is being used as a training ground for students from the university's School of Hotel and Tourism Management.

The restaurant was located on the top floor of the hotel, affording guests views of Victoria Harbor.  We were not seated next to the windows and I had my back to them, but I was still able to enjoy the beautiful skyline thanks to strategically placed angled mirrors.

April 27, 2012

Trip to the Principal's office

Pin It

It's been more than 2 months since the boys of MNSC gathered for dinner, and we finally managed to get 6 out of the 7 of us together last night.  I have never been to the Principal since it opened last year, but it seemed a natural venue for this gathering when one of the principals behind the venture was hosting the dinner.  I was pretty excited to see what was in store for us tonight.

There were some snacks on the table, including gougères, sweet popcorn and macadamia nuts coated with green tea powder.

April 24, 2012

More of my favorite lamb

Pin It

It's Mrs. Tigger's birthday and I'm back in Hong Kong.  We had dinner at the same venue as last year's birthday dinner - 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana.  I was very happy, because it's been quite a while since I was able to have some of that delicious lamb…

There was a plan to open a bottle from the birthday girl's birth vintage, but it turned out that a couple of us weren't in the best condition to consume alcohol, so we fêted Mrs. Tigger this year sans alcool.  Uncharacteristic of me, yes, but we'll just save those bottles for future years…

April 22, 2012

Another Taiwanese Japanese sushi joint

Pin It

The Japanese theme continues… and my guests and I were introduced to Jin Fu (錦富日式料理) by their friend.  I'd actually been to this alley restaurant once many years ago, and was curious to go back and try it again.

From the moment we walked in, it was obvious that this was much more local Taiwanese in style.  It also looked more like a neighborhood restaurant.  We were seated at the counter, and asked the chef for omakase.

Taiwanese abalone (九孔) - not a bad way to start.

April 21, 2012

Rustle of the bamboo leaves

Pin It

Got a couple of out-of-towners staying with me for a few days, and they're all focused on eating their way through Taipei.  A list was drawn up last week and they're checking them off one by one.  I decided to join them for lunch at Sasa Sushi (笹鮨), a place I'd read about but had never tried.

The L-shaped Japanese cypress (檜) counter looked immaculate, and seats less than 15.  I knew we were in for some very personal service.  Not wanting to do omakase (御任せ) for lunch today, we opted for the priciest of the 3 business lunch sets at half the price.

Pickles are always important to me at a sushi restaurant.  They should be home made, and what we were served made me happy.  The radish came with finely chopped perilla (紫蘇) leaves, with just the right balance between being savory and sweet.  The cucumbers were carefully chosen to ensure they didn't have too many seeds, and marinated with a combination of soy sauce, mirin (味醂), sake and bonito (鰹). The flavors coming from the bonito made it pretty interesting, and I wondered which soy sauce they used because I detected the distinct fragrance of fermented beans.  I liked the ginger, too… and it's not often that I find myself in that situation.

April 17, 2012

The best option, indeed

Pin It

Another really busy day, and thankfully I was able to unwind with the Specialist and friends.  We met at Le Mieux Bistro, a place they seem to have discovered recently.  I didn't have time to check out the menu that was circulated via email, and naturally didn't have any expectations.  I just wanted to grab some food and a few glasses of wine…

Iberico ham, roasted asparagus, "spa egg", truffle mash - the slice of ibérico was pretty good, and the asparagus spears were pretty nice.  The onsen egg was done very nicely, and having it together with mash that's got truffle oil is never a bad thing.  A very good start to the meal.

April 16, 2012

Double trouble

Pin It

At the end of a very long and hectic day, I met up with a few old friends for dinner.  Since we weren't able to secure a table at Lupa - despite the fact that the reservation request was made by my friend Susan - Doppio Zero became our backup.  I had a quick lunch here back in November, and it was good to have an opportunity to check out the place again.

I was pretty disappointed when I stepped foot into the restaurant.  The place was completely dark - especially the area where we were.  I had carried around my SLR in my work bag all day, which was a pretty heavy load.  So now it had all been for naught…  Sigh.

We decided to share a few starters, and then I ordered two primis.  The menu advised us that the primis were not large enough to be taken as mains, and suggested anyone thinking of doing so to upgrade to a bigger portion.  To some of us, that opened the possibility of having two regular-sized primis.

April 15, 2012

Lame duck

Pin It

The birthday celebration continues, and tonight I had the opportunity sample cuisine from the famed DaDong Roast Duck (北京大董烤鴨店) for the first time.  This is the second year that the Mandarin Oriental has invited the restaurant to showcase their cuisine at Man Wah (文華).  I was invited to attend a preview/tasting last year, but was unable to attend as I was scheduled to be in mid-air - on the very day of the massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.  I was therefore very glad that I happened to be in town this time around.

Tigger ordered the Chef Dong's Signature Dinner set for us, which I suppose is their "greatest hits".  Unfortunately I was in the middle of a crisis tonight, and this severely affected my attention span as well as my mood and my palate.  It also put a little damper on the mood of everyone else at the table...

April 14, 2012

Yummy lamb for birthday

Pin It

We were celebrating a birthday tonight, and lamb was the order of the day.  I was tasked with finding a new place to have lamb other than my favorite lamb at 8½ Otto e Mezzo or L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon.  I thought about the little tiny lamb chops I had at Cépage last year, and posted on Chef Sebastien's Facebook wall asking if he had any lamb on the menu.  Silly me.  The same lamb is still on the menu, only better since April's the best season for spring lamb.

So I met up with Tigger and family at the restaurant, and eagerly waited for our food to arrive.  Ever mindful of the need to keep my svelte figure, I took the Menu Épicurien instead of the larger Menu Gastronomique.

April 8, 2012

Paying for home-cooked meal, AGAIN

Pin It

On my first visit, I didn't find the food at D-Jen Food (鼎珍坊) to be anything to write home about.  The food wasn't bad, but honestly my mom could do as good of a job or better on many of the dishes.  For someone who is lucky enough to have a great cook at home, there's very little incentive to go out and pay for a meal like this…

But tonight Diplomatic Uncle is back in town, and decided to treat us to dinner there.  A rare opportunity for a family gathering.  I decided to keep my mouth shut and let others do the ordering.

April 6, 2012

Third and last visit

Pin It

It was supposed to be a quiet evening at home, but I got called out by the parental units to have dinner with them and some friends.  Since there's nothing fancy around my run-down hood, dad suggested we go to Le Palais (頤宮) since it's the closest nice restaurant we could think of.

It was a late casual dinner, so we each ordered something.  I could detect that service was a little off today, as we were assigned to a very small table that wouldn't fit more than 3 dishes despite the restaurant being half-empty.  We were also not given any complimentary appetizers other than the fruit vinegar.  We did ask to switch to a bigger table and were much more comfortable afterwards.

April 2, 2012

STAY… for awhile

Pin It

It was about time I did it.  I have stayed away from this place for long enough, giving it enough time to go through growing pains.  The comments from my foodie friends have been very mixed, and skewed towards the negative side.  Second hand stories from people who have worked on the inside - who grew frustrated with the French-Taiwanese JV and eventually quit - didn't exactly make me eager to spend my money here.

By now the original chef is gone, so my friend and I decided to check out STAY - Yannick Alléno's outpost here in Taipei and the fourth location for the chain.  The acronym stands for Simple Table Alléno Yannick, and is meant to be more casual, serving relatively straightforward cuisine.  Once again it was a romantic dinner between two guys, at a place where other guys were taking their dates or having business meals…


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map