October 30, 2013

Supnormal evening

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It's been a few weeks since I last got together with the Specialist, as both of us had been studying hard for our exams.  As I was done with my exam and she needed to take a break from her studies, we figured we should gather the troops for a night out.  After debating through different venue possibilities, the Specialist settled on the new Sup 1, which has now re-opened on the western end of town after being booted out from Gough Street thanks to skyrocketing rent.

This was meant to be my lone cheat meal this week, but things didn't exactly go according to plan last night.  I was still gonna eat whatever I wanted tonight, but figured I could at least cut down on the quantity.

Not surprisingly we started with some sashimi, and I took a piece of the sea urchin and squid roll

October 29, 2013

The party crasher

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I've been studying for an exam for the last couple of weeks, and today was the big day.  I was kinda borderline failing the mock exam I took last night, so I got a little nervous and spent most of the workday hiding in a conference room studying.  While failing the exam wouldn't be the end of the world, I didn't exactly wanna look like an idiot in front of my boss.

So it was a little distracting when I received not one, but two invitations to dinner mere hours before my exam.  One of them came from my friend David Lai, who dangled the prospect of white truffles and who knows what else in front of me.  I thanked him but turned him down.  This is the last week of my 3-month weight-loss program, and I was already gonna have a cheat meal tomorrow.  No, I need to be a good boy.

After passing my exam in the afternoon, I finished up in the office and decided to head to On Lot 10 to make a delivery.  After dropping off the package with one of the guests, I made sure to thank David for his kind invitation, but said I was going home.  I needed to be a good boy, and besides, I didn't really know the guest of honor and most of the crowd.

That's when David said the magic words: "rice birds".

Now I knew I was staying for dinner.

October 28, 2013

The other Italian

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It was supposed to be a casual business lunch, and with a big group of us I was kinda expecting Cantonese.  However the partner at my service provider kinda realized that I enjoy my food, and decided to take us to L'Altro - the Italian restaurant not far from my office which has earned themselves a little macaron last year.  Given that I'd never been here before, it was an unexpected chance to check it out.

Going to a new restaurant is always a challenge while I'm on my diet, and the problem gets worse when it's a limited menu.  My colleague and I took some time trying to pick out the "lighter" choices from the list, although I think he had an easier time… since he didn't need to make sure he got all the food groups in.

October 25, 2013

A quiet Friday evening

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It's been a while since I last caught up with Rice and his wife, and I wanted to see them to celebrate their anniversary, however belatedly.  Rice was busy galloping around the world for the last few weeks, and finally had time to meet up tonight.  As he left the choice of venue to me, I decided to revisit someplace that I'd been wanting to return to.

When I stopped by Island East Markets last Sunday to pick up weekly ration of organic veggies and bread, I purposely pretended not to see Grégoire even though I know he had spotted me.  He was chatting with Jeremy from Mirror, and since I had already booked Mirror as the venue for tonight, I chose to stay away.  I wasn't sure if Jeremy would recognize me, but I rather preferred to be dining incognito tonight.  Most of my friends haven't been back to the restaurant since its early days, and I wanted to see whether things have changed, as they've gone through the gaining (and subsequent losing) of a macaron.

Well, turns out that Jeremy wasn't even in town!  He'd flown up to Shanghai for something, and announced it on FB.  Incognito it is.

I arrived to find the restaurant mostly empty and quiet, and in fact it stayed that way on this Friday night, with all of 12 covers.  I suppose that was good for us, as there was no problem getting anyone's attention.

Living with my Basis

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When I first started my diet/nutritional program, a friend suggested that I get myself a new fitness toy, as a way to motivate myself.  I was looking around at the usual suspects from Nike, Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin…etc.  But nothing I saw really appealed to me.  Having a GPS would be real nice, but that severely limited my choices.  Yes, I wanted a heart rate monitor, but didn't want to strap anything to my chest while I ran.  There didn't seem to be a single solution which combined a GPS with a wrist-based HRM.

Then someone posted a story about Soylent on my Facebook timeline.  While the story was interesting (I would never want to replace eating with drinking Soylent) what really caught my eye was a little gadget called Basis B1.  The thought of wearing something 24 hours a day and then analyzing how your body behaves suddenly seemed intriguing.  After doing some research online and reading a few reviews, I suddenly wanted one.  Since Basis themselves were kinda back ordered and wouldn't have shipped directly to Hong Kong anyway, I found someone on eBay who would.  The premium I paid was justifiable in my mind, so I bid on it, won, and patiently waited for the seller shipped it from the US via USPS…

There was a public holiday during my waiting period, and I took a few days off to spend it with my family back in Taipei.  After returning to HK, I eagerly checked my mailbox at work and finally found the package after some three weeks' of waiting…

October 22, 2013


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WARNING: this is a rant post.  Skip this if you are looking to read about some delicious food at a restaurant.  Also skip this if you are a someone who writes a food blog.  You may be offended, even though it wasn't my intention to offend you - unless you are a very particular someone who writes a food blog… in which case I don't give a flying fuck if you're offended.

October 15, 2013

What the Fook?!

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We did a belated birthday dinner for BM, even though I'd already attended another belated dinner for him 2 weeks ago.  It's the first time that the four of us - BM, Tigger, the Ox and me - have gotten together for a meal as a group.  The venue?  Some place where all of us are regulars - Fook Lam Moon (福臨門).

Since the Ox and I had just had dinner at Guo Fu Lou (國福樓) a mere two nights ago, he thought it'd be fun to order some of the same dishes and compare the two restaurants.  I heartily agreed.

October 13, 2013

A taste of national fortune

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We had another full house at MSNC tonight.  Fortunately for me, our host dispensed with his usual choice of venue and booked somewhere that was new to me, which also necessitated him to forgo wearing his favorite flip-flops to dinner.  For some reason, I never made it to Guo Fu Lou (國福樓) - neither the original location in iSquare nor its new "branch" in Wanchai.  It's already been a few years, and actually long enough to earn the location on the Dark Side a macaron.

I arrived a few minutes early and found myself alone with Dayliao.  About a minute later I realized Pineapple was in the next room, as I started hearing his voice coming through the partition.  Apparently he got a little worried that our host wasn't serving enough wines tonight, and decide to send over a bottle of Le Pauillac de Château Latour - the third wine of the château.  Such generosity…

October 12, 2013

Tim ho haam

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Grandma and Grandpa Bear are back in town after a long trip abroad, and I haven't seen them in a while.  Given their complaint about the lack of decent food on their trip, it's no surprise that they wanted to go for some good local Canto fare.  So off to Tim's Kitchen (桃花源小廚) we went, and ordered up a few favorites.

Roast crispy baby pork belly (脆皮燒腩仔) - tonight's not meant to be a full cheat meal, so I allowed myself just one piece of the sinfully fatty pork belly.  This was OK, but I've certainly had better.

October 9, 2013

The first of autumn

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Remember that 3,000-calorie dinner (actually two within the space of a week) I had not so long ago?  Methinks tonight's dinner definitely blew that away… by a very wide margin…

The last time we met, my friend the Krug Lover and I discussed the possibility of booking the Krug Room so he could try it out.   He was pretty excited at the prospect, so I checked with Uwe on the next available date and - after ruling out an earlier date because of a pre-existing conflict - settled on tonight. I figured we needed a reasonably big crowd, so I asked Krug Lover to invite a few of his friends while grabbing a couple of mine.

I arrived at the Mandarin Oriental, got upstairs and walked through the Chinnery as I normally would.  I wasn't expecting to be stopped by a bouncer, who informed us that the room wasn't ready.  They were preparing a surprise for us, and we would only be allowed to enter the room once everyone has arrived, as we needed to be surprised simultaneously.

So I was dutifully led back outside, where we were seated in the bar section of Mandarin Grill + Bar, and served our first glass of Krug while waiting for the whole gang to get here.  Unfortunately, that was gonna take a while because My Favorite Cousin was running pretty late.  So I sat down and took a few sips of Krug Grande Cuvée

October 7, 2013

Back to the usual

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Today was a pretty busy day for me, both work-wise and cheating-wise.  My friendly neighborhood prime broker hosted an investor conference for us, and I spent the day playing the role of a broken record, telling different groups of prospective clients throughout the day why my boss is Da Man.  I think it got to the point where even the boss was tired of hearing me sing his praises…

But it wasn't all bad today.  There was plenty of good food around, and boy, do our prime brokers eat well!  We spent our lunch hour in their staff cafeteria, and I saw people going for seconds (and thirds) of baked Alaskan king crab legs, deep-fried mantis prawns and other delicacies.  They even managed to bring in a small team of elves from that world-famous export from my hometown - Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) - who made xiaolongbao (小籠包) to order right in front of us!  That was pretty impressive, coz I don't think Din Tai Fung makes house calls for just anybody…

Unfortunately I'm still trying to stick to my diet, so I only cheated a little by having 1 basket of xiaolongbao - which had 4 dumplings (and 4 portions of fat against my meal allowance of 1).  These may not have been the best or the prettiest dumplings I've ever had from them, but I was plenty satisfied.

The rest of my lunch consisted of food that stayed within the boundaries of my diet - udon (うどん), corn, celery, cucumber and green peppers.  Boring stuff, but I needed to save some quota for dinner…

October 3, 2013

Shrinking Boy, two months later

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Now that I've gone through two months of my nutritional program, it's time to do another update!

Weight lost to date:  5.0kg.
I'm a little annoyed, because just two days ago I had lost 5.8kg.  Unfortunately, since my morning weigh-in that day I decided to gorge myself on tons of yummy food at a housewarming party, and my body ended up retaining some extra water.  I'll be taking in some food rich in potassium to help me drain out that extra water weight…

So my weight loss seems pretty steady - about 2½ to 3kg a month.  If I can keep this up for a couple of more months, I'd have no trouble hitting my short-term target of losing 10kg.  I'll figure out what to do next once that target is reached.

Seventh on Sixth

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Tonight's dinner was a highly anticipated event, as the venue chosen by the birthday boy was on the top of my list of new restaurants to try - Seventh Son (家全七福).  As long-time fans of Fook Lam Moon (福臨門), it was naturally sad for us to see the brothers split with each other, but the result is that we now have a third outlet in the Wanchai area serving cuisine that is comparable to FLM.  Nominally it was BM's birthday dinner, but in fact we were kinda celebrating 3 birthdays together.  I'm glad BM ended up booking us a room here.

Upon my exit from the elevator on the sixth floor, I was led through a maze of corridors, passing trolleys loaded with supplies, dishes…etc.  Not exactly classy or grand for a high-end restaurant targeted at the city's elite, and tonight our neighbors in the next door included one of the city's most recognizable tycoons.  The decor here was a little bare, I thought…

I was just around 15 minutes late, and two starters were already on the table:

Deep-fried frog legs (椒鹽田雞腿) - unlike at Fook Lam Moon, the frog legs we got here were full-sized pieces, providing a more satisfying sensation of having meatier chunks in one's mouth.  Unfortunately, this also meant they're no longer as crispy and yummy as the FLM version.  BM made a comment to the staff, and moments later we got a second plate that was a little better.

October 1, 2013

Party with blackfoot

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I'd been looking forward to this day for a while.  After months of hard work (and lots of mullah being spent in the process), I Love Lubutin's new pad is finally ready.  Given that it's also around the time of her birthday, this housewarming and birthday party got me pretty excited.  An extensive menu was planned and circulated, and I looked forward to a fantastic home-cooked cheat meal.

Half the gang had already arrived and was already busy prepping our lunch.  We had collectively bought a whole leg of Jabugo Cinco Jotas jamón as the housewarming gift, and Kung Fu Panda was busy slicing it up when I walked in.

It was indeed a beautiful sight… a whole leg of jamón ibérico de bellota set up on a jamonero, with some of the fat and skin already trimmed off, and the fat starting to liquefy and dripping down…

Several people tried their hand at slicing the jamón, although I think Kung Fu Panda delivered a plate of the most beautiful and even slices.  The Cinco Jotas jamón was actually a little sweeter than I remembered, and although most of the pieces I ate today were relatively lean, the few that carried the wonderful fat were simply heavenly.


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