February 29, 2024

Another crawl around Sham Shui Po

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A few days ago I put up a post on social media about something I ate earlier this month, which elicited reactions from a few friends who expressed interested to give it a try. I decided to organize a mini food crawl and asked them to come along. The itinerary would include a couple of places I tried out on my last crawl here, plus other famous places I have yet to check out.

It was less than 5 minutes before the appointed time for our meeting, and I have already received a message about keeping a few hangry ladies waiting. These people are so hard to please!

Hop Yik Tai (合益泰小食) is just across the street from Exit C2 of Sham Shui Po MTR station, so this became our first stop this morning. They are known for street food items like rice flour rolls and fish balls, and we quickly grabbed a table inside.

Steamed rice-flour rolls and fish siu mai (腸粉 魚肉燒賣) - I've never been a fan of these siu mai (燒賣) made with fish mousse, but the signature rice flour rolls are soft and slippery as always.

February 26, 2024

Not a blind tasting

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I was planning on hosting my blind tasting wine dinner at Andō tonight, getting Carlito gor gor involved in the fun of tricking the boys. Unfortunately something came up a few days ago and forced me to postpone the gig, and I had to scramble to grab a couple of people on short notice. The last thing I wanted to do was to be an asshole and cancel on a chef friend's restaurant with 2 days' notice. Thankfully DaRC called in a friend and Foursheets also came in to help, so it wasn't a total disaster.

I had previously asked for a menu that was red wine-friendly, but told Goldfinger that this was no longer necessary. Always happy to see what they have in store for us.

Bocaditos: as usual, we started with a trio of bites.

Shiroebi tart - we've got some yuzu (柚子) cream in the tart below the raw Japanese glass shrimp (白海老).

February 22, 2024

Eight is (more than) enough

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As Uwe would occasionally, subtly remind me, it has been too long since I've been to see him at Restaurant Petrus. Over a year, in fact, since my last visit. Fortunately I know of a worse offender when it comes to this, which is how the Great One came to be my lunch date today.

I messaged Uwe and pleaded with him not to kill me, although I did give him permission to kill the Great One. We ended up with eight courses - not counting the amuses bouches and the petits fours - but in reality it's much more than that!

It would feel strange if a meal with Uwe didn't start with some Krug...

Krug Grande Cuvée, 171ème Édition, ID 122014 - the nose had plenty of toast, as expected. Once again the acidity was on the high side, which was the same as the last time I tasted this vintage.

Then we started with a trio of bites:

February 21, 2024


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It's been some time since we were last at UZA by Nikushou, and we had been thinking of returning to support RAW Yeah. When he told us last week that they would be doing a collaboration with Brother Hon of Sun Hon Kee Restaurant (新漢記) - a restaurant which ranks near the top of Foursheets' favorites list - it took me all of 2 seconds to ask him to save us two seats. There was no chance of us missing out on this special event!

We were seated at the counter around the open kitchen, which afforded Foursheets a good view as Brother Hon worked his magic in a small kitchen that he's unfamiliar with. This was really a lot of fun, and I'd been drooling since I got a glimpse of the menu before we even arrived.

Male and female snow crab (松葉蟹 x 香箱蟹) - it made total sense for the meal to kick off with this delicacy. As the season for catching female Japanese snow crabs (香箱蟹) for most Japanese prefectures have already finished, these came from Hokkaido. Always feel privileged whenever I see this in front of me, and I love how tasty Japanese snow crab meat gets!

February 15, 2024

A feast for Juve

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It's our last night in Taiwan on this trip as we wind down our lunar new year break, and it just happens that Juve Fan has decided to come to town for a short break. When he initially asked me for recommendations of where to eat in my hometown, the criteria were "local food no bullshit". Well... most of the decent Taiwanese places which have been around don't do any bullshit - food is straightforward and honest. After discussing with Little Rabbit and taking into consideration that our friend would be landing just hours before dinner, we eventually settled on Maoyuan Restaurant (茂園餐廳), an old favorite from my days working in Taipei.

I also extended an invitation to Scubagolfer, whose writing I've been following for more than a decade. This would be the first time for us to actually meet in person. So exciting!

Little Rabbit got us booked into a private room, but I gotta say it's kinda small and claustrophobic... I do understand, though, that it's the first day back in operation after lunar new year for many restaurants, so we just have to live with it. I was happy that I didn't have to do the ordering tonight, although it's pretty much the usual stuff...

Buddha jumps over the wall (佛跳牆) - had to do this since it's still lunar new year. Glad they don't do it with chicken testicles like that other famous place... 

Singapore in Taipei

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Small Uncle is back in Taiwan for another teaching stint, and wanted to get together before I went back to Hong Kong. Once again I was tasked with picking a restaurant on short notice, once again during the lunar new year holidays. Taking into account mom's dietary restrictions, and remembering that she enjoyed our dinner at JL Studio, I decided to take the family out to Chope Chope Eatery and check out the place.

I didn't read the menu descriptions too carefully, but I figured that Jimmy would not be serving all the dishes in their traditional form. For a young and ambitious chef intent on making a mark - and he has certainly done that - he was, naturally, going to introduce a few twists. I, of course, don't mind new takes on classic dishes at all... as long as they are still tasty and faithful to the flavors.

Gado-gado - as the sweet peanut sauce came on the side, I made sure mom got a good selection of the veggies without the sauce. The tempeh was pretty decent, and everyone liked the krupuk udang.


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