October 12, 2021

Celebratory dinner

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Tonight was a celebration of sorts - someone recently got out of quarantine jail, and we also took the opportunity to congratulate Danny on the recent results of The World's 50 Best Restaurants, where The Chairman (大班樓) was voted as No. 10 and also took home the Highest Climber Award on the 2021 list. We all convened at my favorite private dining facility, even though the observatory had raised the Typhoon 8 signal a few hours earlier. The streets were deserted but thankfully there wasn't any rain, or much wind where we were.

Pan-fried termite mushroom (煎雞盅) - the Mushroom Supplier is in the house, and very kindly brought us these beautiful termite mushrooms. They were pretty damn big, and the best way to enjoy them is to stir-fry them simply. Very sweet.

October 10, 2021

Stayin' alive, 1 year on

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It was just one year ago that a few of us gathered in the back of a restaurant to witness me finally growing up. One year later, Sankala and I are back at Caprice for our annual celebration of the occasion. It's Sunday night and I don't need to get up for work the next morning, so I'm in for a nice and relaxing evening.

Hairy Legs and Suveg decided to send over some new dishes we haven't had before, and made a special request for one particular dish I wanted to try.

Button mushroom and foie gras gelée tart

Balik salmon with Kristal caviar

Pita with curry chicken mousse

October 8, 2021

A sweeter sweetfish

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Tonight was my final booking for Godenya (ごでんや) in 2021, and I was happy to once again share the private room with Mr. and Mrs. Birdiegolf. I have been a fan of the cuisine and sake pairings here over the years, and this is now one of my most-frequented restaurants in Hong Kong.

Kawahagi, mushroom, peanut, figs (皮剥  ホワイトマッシュルーム  落花生  いちじく) - this was somewhat different from the way many of us consume thread-sail filefish - this one coming from Nagasaki Prefecture - where the ratio of liver sauce to raw fish is often quite generous. Here we barely tasted the smoky liver sauce so the flavors were more delicate. Sweet figs, crunchy peanuts, and mushrooms complete the mix.

Iseno Shiroki Junmai Nama Sparkling (伊勢の白酒 純米生活性), 2020-21 - served at 10°C. Seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 65%. Good fruity acidity and fizzy on the palate, with a little lactic acid.

October 7, 2021

Feels like the first time

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Unlike the impromptu dinner which serendipitously fell into place last year, this year I tried to nudge Sankala about early planning for her birthday. After all, many of our favorite restaurants are now booked up weeks in advance, and we can no longer try our luck the way we did last year.  Eventually we settled on Louise, a restaurant which - at the time of booking - I had never been to... and Sankala had not returned to after her first visit 2 years ago was marred by a selfish so-called influencer seated nearby.

We looked at both the signature tasting menu as well as the à la carte selections, and eventually chose the tasting menu. I do love that the restaurant still offers a choice where diners don't need to take a whole, long, tasting menu.

Variation de tomates anciennes, sorbet basilic - the amuse bouche tonight was similar to a dish I tasted here a few weeks ago. Very refreshing with tomato water gelée and basil sorbet, and the acidity helped to whet the appetite.

October 4, 2021

Five guinea pigs

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I have been wanting to do a comparative tasting of a few bottles of wine, and figured that DaRC and Fergie would appreciate trying them. Finding a date that worked for all of us turned out to be surprisingly difficult, and it took about a month and a half of advance planning before we could all meet up tonight. Thankfully we settled on a restaurant we all like, and I asked Maxime to reserve a table for us at Écriture.

Two nights ago I happened to come across Maxime's posts on Instagram, and I began a discussion with him on some of the "weird" dishes he was doing. He does like to experiment, and he promised to use us tonight as guinea pigs for some of these dishes. We are, of course, adventurous enough and always up for a challenge...

Premices:

Pomme dauphine, horseradish cream and caviar - always tasty, with a pretty sticky and thick consistency for the potato tater. The caviar was, naturally, salty, and there was barely a hint of horseradish.

A quick leg up

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I was looking for a quick lunch, and realized that I haven't been back to Yat Lok (一樂燒鵝) much lately. I was craving for some of my favorite Cantonese-style roast goose.

Roast goose drumstick with rice (燒鵝脾飯) - oh I have missed this so, so much. That crispy skin, glistening with melted fat. There was a lot of fat underneath the skin, and I actually removed some before enjoying the goose. I just love the seasoning and the crackle of the skin. I really should come more often.

October 1, 2021

When snacking turns to stuffing

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Chaat has been in business for some time now, and has always been one of the more difficult reservations in town since opening. While I have been curious about the food that everyone seems to be raving about, the hassle of making a booking - on top of having to cross the harbor, not to mention my initial but unfounded fear of the fake vanilla scent - put me off from making a visit.

But then Ro Ro decided that she would like to check out the place, so reluctantly, I turned to PR8 and asked for a table. I dislike asking for favors, especially when the favor is for me. And I also know that PR8 would likely get the chef to lay on some extra pampering, which isn't something I need at the moment...

Like its sibling on the other side of the floor, this dining room is also very dimly lit. Well, at least I could kinda read the menu here, but I had to bring the table lamp next to the dishes to get enough light for photos. Of course, the restaurant isn't very concerned about my requirements for photography, and nor should it be.

Baked samosa: jackfruit meat - this was pretty good.

Sweet potato chaat: pomegranate, tamarind, coriander - the first of the dishes coming with compliments of Chef Manav Tuli. The chunks of sweet potato had a crunchy exterior, having been sautéed with tamarind chutney. This gave it a level of heat that was rather strong, but still within my tolerance. Chopped onions and pomegranate seeds were added to the mix, and we were asked to consume this with pieces of the deep-fried nest made of rice.

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