January 31, 2022

Sushi to the rescue

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It's lunar new year's eve, and it's just the two of us at home tonight. Sankala doesn't feel like cooking, and dine-in service continues to be banned by the government. So that leaves us with ordering takeout. Ordering hot food is problematic as we discovered last year, since it's unlikely we would be enjoying it at the correct serving temperature without reheating... and likely overcooking it in the process. So ideally it would be something which would not need to be enjoyed piping hot - or perhaps we order something from a place that is a few minutes' walk from our home.

Yesterday, after a few days of me pestering him with requests, Fujimoto Kenichi (藤本健一) - who is still waiting for his Sushi Fujimoto (鮨ふじもと) to be done with the renovations and open - finally announced that they would have chirashi sushi (ちらし寿司) available for takeaway for tonight. This was exactly what I had been waiting for, so I placed my order immediately.

I went to pick up this afternoon, and got a quick tour from Fujimoto-san. The renovations were definitely not finished, so he doesn't have an exact date when he would expect to open.

Dinner time came around, and we had the perfect setting at home. Our mood lighting was provided not by romantic candles but by the Light Soy by Heliograf. Sankala was really happy with I got this light, and having it on the table next to our sushi could not have been more appropriate.

January 23, 2022

A long-overdue return

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The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely upended most people's lives over the last 2 years, and my dining habits have certainly been affected by the social distancing restrictions put in place by the government here in Hong Kong. One of the results of restrictions on party size has been a reduction of visits to Chinese restaurants. When you're restricted to tables of 4 or even just 2 during the worst of times, Chinese meals become a very different experience.

Historically, Seventh Son (家全七福) has been my go-to Cantonese restaurant - whether for dim sum or dinner. But my visits ground to a halt after the pandemic started, and amazingly I hadn't been back since June 2020! I had heard from a few friends about the declining standards over the last few months, but today was the first opportunity for me to see for myself.

Steam riceflour rolls with prawns (滑爽鮮蝦腸) - it only takes one look to know things have gone off. These rolls were much too thick, and they've been steamed for much too long. Cheung fun (腸粉) should never been this mushy.

January 22, 2022

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

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Thanks to the Hong Kong government cancelling dinner service, our semi-regular gathering over a few bottles of wine had to be rescheduled.  During these tough times restaurants like Écriture have to adapt just to be able to pay the bills, and I'm sure they are thankful that people like ourselves don't mind going out for 'lunner' at 3 p.m.

I always thought there should be occasion for the Film Buff and I to pop open a few bottles of Aussie wines. While they constitute a pretty small portion of my collection, I always have a special place in my heart for some Aussie shiraz. As for my friend, well... He would have a lot more interesting stuff in his cellar. So I decided to be wine Nazi again and insisted that we only bring Aussie wines, much to the dismay of the Candidate.

We started our meal with the usual premices:

Pomme dauphine, horseradish cream and caviar - this is a staple here, and I'm still fond of the balance between the salty caviar with the rich cream, with that kick from the horseradish. This was introduced as the Comté gougère... but looked exactly the same as what I'd had on previous visits.

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.


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