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About this blog

喜愛美食、喜愛旅遊、喜愛學習。希望於此留下些生活的足印,於忙碌、灰心之際,提醒自己生活的可愛之處~

Entries in this blog

empresswantscoffee
IMG_5521.jpg


The CNY aside, February is always a busy yet rewarding month for men and women alike. We plan what to buy, where to dine, and how to spend the romantic night together. Everwhere you have special treats and menu for Valetine…

As I can hardly resist a nice afternoon tea, I was excited to try the Island Shangri-la’s recent special that is only available for a short while. As if a decent cuppa and fine little sweets are not enough, this afternoon tea came with Pierre Jouet’s Rose. Having afternoon tea in a Harbour-side hotel with your loved ones sounds, I know, cliché, but you do have a decent Champange here to bringhten things up. It was foggy day when I was there for a media event; that glass of champagne was particularly helpful.
IMG_5524.jpg

Not that I did not enjoy the company of good friends and the exquisite food. The scone here is especially commendable; it is difficult to find a nice piece of scone these days, even in London, let alone in Hong Kong. I was still haunted by my recent experience in one of the big name hotels in London, but the scone here was a pleasant surprise. It got a nice fluffy texture; it would be even better if it is more buttery.
IMG_5530.jpg
IMG_5565.jpg




The menu was, I presume, tailored to suit the champagne. I found the lobster sandwich, Alaskan crabmeat sandwich and foie gras terrine went particularly well with the champagne. The champagne marinated Gravlax was very refreshing; could be a good appetizer for my dinner.
IMG_5558.jpg



Many of the sweets are worth trying. I would recommend the cherry and champagne cheesecake and the mascarpone and champagne rollcake. I am not a big fan of cheesecake but I did like this one. It was not heavy at all and actually quite balanced between the cheesy and sweet flavours. The rollcake was very moist and filled with creamy mascarpone. Shangri-La should consider keeping these items in their cake shop. But it was the Amour cake that won the day. It was beautifully constructed sponge cake with champagne infused cream layers, with shiny bubbles on top, possibly a tribute to the champagne. I could easily finish my slice.
IMG_5555.jpg
IMG_5557.jpg

 

IMG_5519.jpg
Apart from the tiny glitches here and there, this thematic afternoon tea was beautiful. The chef’s effort in pairing the food with the champagne was particularly commendable. There was no “tea” per se here; this French interpretation of tea works just fine for me. https://www.blogger.com/null' name="_GoBack">

Island Shangri-La

Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Central, Hong Kong
Food: wwwww
empresswantscoffee
IMG_5521.jpg


The CNY aside, February is always a busy yet rewarding month for men and women alike. We plan what to buy, where to dine, and how to spend the romantic night together. Everwhere you have special treats and menu for Valetine…

As I can hardly resist a nice afternoon tea, I was excited to try the Island Shangri-la’s recent special that is only available for a short while. As if a decent cuppa and fine little sweets are not enough, this afternoon tea came with Pierre Jouet’s Rose. Having afternoon tea in a Harbour-side hotel with your loved ones sounds, I know, cliché, but you do have a decent Champange here to brighten things up. It was foggy day when I was there for a media event; that glass of champagne was particularly helpful.
IMG_5524.jpg
The scone here is commendable; it is difficult to find a nice piece of scone these days, even in London, let alone in Hong Kong. I was still haunted by my recent experience in one of the big name hotels in London, but the scone here was a pleasant surprise, though it is by no means perfect. It got a nice fluffy texture; it would be better if it is more buttery. The flavour needs some more work. I had much worse but I indeed had better ones.
IMG_5530.jpg
IMG_5565.jpg


 

The menu was, I presume, tailored to suit the champagne. I found the lobster sandwich, Alaskan crabmeat sandwich and foie gras terrine went particularly well with the champagne. The champagne marinated Gravlax was very refreshing; could be a good appetizer for my dinner.
IMG_5558.jpg

Many of the sweets are worth trying. I would recommend the cherry and champagne cheesecake and the mascarpone and champagne rollcake. I am not a big fan of cheesecake but I did like this one. It was not heavy at all and actually quite balanced between the cheesy and sweet flavours. The rollcake was very moist and filled with creamy mascarpone. Shangri-La should consider keeping these items in their cake shop. But it was the Amour cake that won the day. It was beautifully constructed sponge cake with champagne infused cream layers, with shiny bubbles on top, possibly a tribute to the champagne. I could easily finish my slice.
IMG_5555.jpg
IMG_5557.jpg

 

IMG_5519.jpg
Apart from the tiny glitches here and there, this thematic afternoon tea was beautiful. The chef’s effort in pairing the food with the champagne was particularly commendable. There was no “tea” per se here; this French interpretation of tea works just fine for me.

Island Shangri-La

Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Central, Hong Kong
Food: wwwwwww
Service:wwwwwww1/2w
Environment: wwwwwww1/2w


Source

empresswantscoffee

雖然還有好多關於台灣、日本和英國的旅遊點滴未寫,但心癢先記下澳洲café的體驗。寫blog就是可以讓我不按次序,隨心所欲地寫。返回正題,澳洲是我嚮往已久的旅遊目的地,因為第三浪咖啡文化於此地發展蓬勃,我怎有不來之理?其中墨爾本的咖啡店更是遍地開花,我每天都飲上67杯咖啡,根本吃不下午飯。

在墨爾本最後一天,返酒店拿行李之前,趕到附近的Market Lane Café。雖說是café list上首5間,卻因最近酒店而放到最後。Café 位於Queen Victoria Market,逛完market來杯咖啡最好不過。都說Melbournian愛咖啡,即使只賣咖啡,人客依然絡驛不絕。
 IMG_0159a.jpg
當我忙著拍照和選咖啡豆之時,CM已找到位。在墨爾本的咖啡店,極少遇到打開課本溫書的人,特別是座位少的café,大家都很自覺地讓位。與其說是人的本質不同,不如說是香港空間少,無論家中,還是café的空間都不足。其實,誰會喜歡焗促的環境?
IMG_0167a.jpg
IMG_0163a.jpg手沖咖啡用上蜜處理的La Fany,濃郁的酸梅味,混和蜜糖甜,味道很豐富,是很成功的一支蜜處理豆子。特別喜愛這店用來盛載手沖咖啡的白瓷杯,手工細緻,感覺優雅,可惜售價有點高,當時我不捨得買了,現在倒有點後悔。
IMG_0165a.jpg

另一杯flat white,以澳洲的高標準而言,同樣出色。牛奶幼滑,與咖啡融合得好,於果酸之外,突出咖啡的甜,甘香於口腔中纏擾,不肯離去。這支豆味道比較平衡,與Brother baba Budan 的風格截然不同,但一樣得我心。回港後不久,上環便開了間以marketlane 咖啡豆作招徠的咖啡店—Brew Bros Coffee—香港人實在有福。關於該店的review,我再另文詳述。
IMG_0183a.jpgIMG_0169a.jpg
在墨爾本數天,嚐到太多好咖啡,最重要是澳洲人實在太友善,而且這裡的空氣清新、節奏緩慢,實在教我身心放鬆。要每天都飲到好 咖啡極為容易,咖啡店比麵包店還要多。可惜此外,教我感興趣的活動不多。間中放慢腳步,閒遊數天是不錯的,但不足十天,我已開始想念工作了。或許解決方法 是將咖啡與工作結合,工作於娛樂,自己打理間café~
IMG_0162a.jpg

Market Lane Coffee
Shop 13, Prahran Market/163 Commercial Road, 
South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia
Food: wwwwwwww1/2w
Service:wwwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwwww


Source

empresswantscoffee

雖然還有好多關於台灣、日本和英國的旅遊點滴未寫,但心癢先記下澳洲café的體驗。寫blog就是可以讓我不按次序,隨心所欲地寫。返回正題,澳洲是我嚮往已久的旅遊目的地,因為第三浪咖啡文化於此地發展蓬勃,我怎有不來之理?其中墨爾本的咖啡店更是遍地開花,我每天都飲上67杯咖啡,根本吃不下午飯。

在墨爾本最後一天,返酒店拿行李之前,趕到附近的Market Lane Café。雖說是café list上首5間,卻因最近酒店而放到最後。Café 位於Queen Victoria Market,逛完market來杯咖啡最好不過。都說Melbournian愛咖啡,即使只賣咖啡,人客依然絡驛不絕。
 IMG_0159a.jpg
當我忙著拍照和選咖啡豆之時,CM已找到位。在墨爾本的咖啡店,極少遇到打開課本溫書的人,特別是座位少的café,大家都很自覺地讓位。與其說是人的本質不同,不如說是香港空間少,無論家中,還是café的空間都不足。其實,誰會喜歡焗促的環境?
IMG_0167a.jpg
IMG_0163a.jpg手沖咖啡用上蜜處理的La Fany,濃郁的酸梅味,混和蜜糖甜,味道很豐富,是很成功的一支蜜處理豆子。特別喜愛這店用來盛載手沖咖啡的白瓷杯,手工細緻,感覺優雅,可惜售價有點高,當時我不捨得買了,現在倒有點後悔。

IMG_0165a.jpg

另一杯flat white,以澳洲的高標準而言,同樣出色。牛奶幼滑,與咖啡融合得好,於果酸之外,突出咖啡的甜,甘香於口腔中纏擾,不肯離去。這支豆味道比較平衡,與Brother baba Budan 的風格截然不同,但一樣得我心。回港後不久,上環便開了間以marketlane 咖啡豆作招徠的咖啡店—Brew Bros Coffee—香港人實在有福。關於該店的review,我再另文詳述。
IMG_0183a.jpgIMG_0169a.jpg
在墨爾本數天,嚐到太多好咖啡,最重要是澳洲人實在太友善,而且這裡的空氣清新、節奏緩慢,實在教我身心放鬆。要每天都飲到好 咖啡極為容易,咖啡店比麵包店還要多。可惜此外,教我感興趣的活動不多。間中放慢腳步,閒遊數天是不錯的,但不足十天,我已開始想念工作了。或許解決方法 是將咖啡與工作結合,工作於娛樂,自己打理間café~
IMG_0162a.jpg

Market Lane Coffee

Shop 13, Prahran Market/163 Commercial Road, 
South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia

Food: wwwwwwww1/2w

Service:wwwwwwww

Environment: wwwwwwww

Source

empresswantscoffee
_MG_2476.jpg


Taipei is one of the few places in Asia other than Tokyo and Hong Kong where you can find a few genuinely good patisseries. Sweet as Hope, opened by Chef Robert Hope, the former Head pastry chef at Savoy and Executive pastry chef in Futian Shangri-la, is definitely one of the best among the competitive Taipei patisseries.

_MG_2479a.jpg_MG_2534a.jpg
I visited Sweet as Hope immediately after landing with an empty stomach expecting a rather sweet lunch. In fact, the lunch consisted of only sweets, but one has to keep the pretence when travelling with CM, who clearly lacks the imagination to eat just sweets for lunch. To ensure that I would miss nothing, I pre-ordered Scottish Trifle and Whole Candied Lemon, both signature desserts of Chef Hope.
_MG_2481a.jpg_MG_2483a.jpg


A freshly baked cinnamon roll marked the beginning of my noontime-feast of sweets. Compared to the one I had at Nordic Bakery in London that was sinfully rich in flavour, Chef Hope’s version was lighter but no less pleasant. The edge of the roll was crispy as chips and the centre was soft as marshmallow. Chef Hope’s roll was definitely better baked.

_MG_2490a.jpg_MG_2489a.jpg
I also ordered a glass of iced coffee. Compared to the superb specialty coffee shops in Taipei, this did not stand out.
 
_MG_2492a.jpg
As that was CM’s birthday, I ordered the strawberry almond cake for him (a prelude of my Victorian sponge for him when we were back to HK). He claimed that the cake was the best he had since our honeymoon trip. Apparently the cakes in HK could not satisfy him. The almond cake was moist and dense, with an optimum degree of sweetness to complement the strawberry without overshadowing it. He was glad that he agreed to skip the lunch to have all these desserts with me – see, always listen to your wife!
_MG_2494a.jpg


The Scottish Trifle was my favourite. It contained several layers: chocolate, whisky-infused custard cream, hazelnut custard, fresh raspberry, jam and sponge cake soaked with whisky. The chocolate layer became even creamier when you eat it with the super-moist sponge cake. The richness of the chocolate and whisky complemented with each other while the lightness of custard cream and the sourness of raspberry both gave a healthy dose of balance. I put the spoon deep down into the bottom to get all layers in a bite - what a complex mixture of taste and texture! Each layer may be ordinary when alone, but together they made a complex and sophisticated experience. I would definitely come back for this dessert.

_MG_2497a.jpg  

Apart from the Scottish trifle, the Whole Candied Lemon was another signature dish that has to be pre-ordered. The lemon was hollowed and candied with syrup – the process alone consumes the better half of an hour even for masters like Chef Hope. He then filled it in with lemon custard and grapefruit. One could hardly forget the glorious moment when it was sliced open with lemon curd oozing out. The lemon skin was very aromatic but the custard was a bit less sour and lemony than I expected.
_MG_2501a.jpg

While we were still enjoying our desserts, the lady owner asked us if we wanted to try their soufflé. It must be pre-ordered and ordered for 2 portions minimum. We were lucky to share it with another customer. The soufflé was fresh from the oven behind us. Its golden crust reminded me of what I had at The Ledbury in London. This one was less sweet and a bit floury. Speaking of texture, the one at the Ledbury was better, but the one here was also excellent.
_MG_2522a.jpg
_MG_2531a.jpg
I keep only a short “must-visit” list for Taipei, most items on it are cafes. Sweet as Hope is one of the few patisseries that is on my list. Perhaps I should consider taking Chef Hope’s class when I visited Taipei next time!

Sweet as Hope Bakery
新北市板橋區中山路一段158巷17號

Food: wwwwwww1/2w
Service:wwwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwww1/2w


Source

empresswantscoffee
_MG_2476.jpg


Taipei is one of the few places in Asia other than Tokyo and Hong Kong where you can find a few genuinely good patisseries. Sweet as Hope, opened by Chef Robert Hope, the former Head pastry chef at Savoy and Executive pastry chef in Futian Shangri-la, is definitely one of the best among the competitive Taipei patisseries.

_MG_2479a.jpg_MG_2534a.jpg
I visited Sweet as Hope immediately after landing with an empty stomach expecting a rather sweet lunch. In fact, the lunch consisted of only sweets, but one has to keep the pretence when travelling with CM, who clearly lacks the imagination to eat just sweets for lunch. To ensure that I would miss nothing, I pre-ordered Scottish Trifle and Whole Candied Lemon, both signature desserts of Chef Hope.
_MG_2481a.jpg_MG_2483a.jpg


A freshly baked cinnamon roll marked the beginning of my noontime-feast of sweets. Compared to the one I had at Nordic Bakery in London that was sinfully rich in flavour, Chef Hope’s version was lighter but no less pleasant. The edge of the roll was crispy as chips and the centre was soft as marshmallow. Chef Hope’s roll was definitely better baked.

_MG_2490a.jpg_MG_2489a.jpg
I also ordered a glass of iced coffee. Compared to the superb specialty coffee shops in Taipei, this did not stand out.
 
_MG_2492a.jpg
As that was CM’s birthday, I ordered the strawberry almond cake for him (a prelude of my Victorian sponge for him when we were back to HK). He claimed that the cake was the best he had since our honeymoon trip. Apparently the cakes in HK could not satisfy him. The almond cake was moist and dense, with an optimum degree of sweetness to complement the strawberry without overshadowing it. He was glad that he agreed to skip the lunch to have all these desserts with me – see, always listen to your wife!
_MG_2494a.jpg


The Scottish Trifle was my favourite. It contained several layers: chocolate, whisky-infused custard cream, hazelnut custard, fresh raspberry, jam and sponge cake soaked with whisky. The chocolate layer became even creamier when you eat it with the super-moist sponge cake. The richness of the chocolate and whisky complemented with each other while the lightness of custard cream and the sourness of raspberry both gave a healthy dose of balance. I put the spoon deep down into the bottom to get all layers in a bite - what a complex mixture of taste and texture! Each layer may be ordinary when alone, but together they made a complex and sophisticated experience. I would definitely come back for this dessert.

_MG_2497a.jpg  

empresswantscoffee

It’s been a while that I haven’t updated my blog. One chef restarts it: Tom Aikens. When I heard about that he is going to open a restaurant in HK, I was exalted. You have “celebrity” chefs opening restaurants here and there in HK these days, but you don't always have them actually cooking in the kitchen. When I knew that he would be cooking during the soft opening, nothing can stop me from giving it a go!

The original "old Hong Kong" interior decor of the Pawn is revitalised by a clever use of potted plants, colourful features, and sleek furniture. The bar is turned into a stylish yet relaxing space, a venue worthy of the best afternoon tea.

When I went up to the restaurant, I could not believe what I saw: Chef Tom Aikens, whom I saw on the BBC last week, stood in front of me inside the open kitchen! I couldn’t help staring at him during the whole night, at the expense of becoming a laughing stock of my half-witted husband who failed to understand my excitement and possibly many others. I managed to go back to the menu and ordered some traditional dishes and innovative combinations of ingredients, not without considerable struggle. I was kindly assisted by Karen the waitress, the manager, and other staff members who helped us to pick the best dishes and matching wine. They also explained the dishes to us clearly and interacted with us with a healthy dose of humour - a rare gift these days. 


While waiting for the appetisers, I lost no time to get closer to the open kitchen and observe Chef Aikens. He was busy preparing food like a surgeon tending a full camp of wounded soldiers. I know it is not the most appetising parable but his seriousness really made me think of that. 
IMG_2366a.jpgIMG_2373a.jpg
Back to the food. The house-made ricotta was silky smooth and bursting with a distinctive milky favour. The lightness of ricotta and the sweetness of balsamic was a perfect combination for an appetiser. This can be an awesome filling for cannoli too. Another appetiser was one of our favourite dishes that night. Usually I could not resist Duck liver parfait, but I always find it hard to finish one by myself. This one was exceptional. The creamy parfait was well seasoned, and was filled with duck meat and crispy skin. You just cannot get enough of it. My husband usually refuses to eat duck livers but he succumbed that night and finished half of the dish. 
IMG_2368a.jpgIMG_2375a.jpg

The main dishes came from another open kitchen. My truffle mac and cheese was so aromatic that even the diners next to us couldn’t help staring. Little could go wrong if you can manage to make a dish that aromatic. The macaroni was chewy and the cheese sauce was just right. It was a simple dish, but could easily go wrong. They nailed it. Completely.
IMG_2385a.jpg
I always tell my husband not to order seared scallop when eating outside as I too can manage that at home. However, I suggested him to order the Scallop, celeriac puree and black pudding crumb at the Pawn. Because the dish was a lot more than perfectly seared scallops; it was a combination of matching ingredients that offers a sensational experience. When the dish was served, we were instantly impressed by the elegant plating. A lot was going on, but you can see the careful construction and the considerable amount of thought behind it. I particularly liked the lard and celeriac puree - a rather "yin-yang" combination that raised the dish to another level. The scallops were of course perfectly seared, cooked with down-to-seconds precision.
IMG_2381a.jpg 
We also picked one traditional and one innovative dessert. The sticky toffee pudding was expectedly good. British puddings pose a constant dilemma to me. It is succulent and comforting but is also sinfully sweet. Tom’s version was a rather classical one. The prune ice-cream did justice of the pudding by enhancing the fruit flavour. All were good, but I slightly prefer the lighter version at Bread Street Kitchen (by none other British chef but the legendary Gordon Ramsay) another night.
IMG_2394a.jpg
Chef Aikens' interpretation of panna cotta with lime leaf and basil was mind-blowing to me. I could hardly resist basil-infused dessert. This one was more than that. The lime and sweet basil ganache inside the panna cotta was amazing. There was so much going on in my mouth. Milky panna cotta, aromatic and rustic sweet basil, sweet and acidic berry sorbet and a little salty black olives were all there - it was a challenging yet satisfying experience. That was exactly my impression about Chef Aikens when I watched the Great British Menu.
IMG_2390a.jpg
IMG_2395a.jpg


From my observation, Chef Aikens never stopped working except perhaps during a few moments of lull. His attention to detail was admirable. It's not rocket science or brain surgery: one can tell the difference between a chef who did not attend his restaurant’s opening and one who spend the entire night working on most, if not all, of the dishes passing in front of him. He had all my respect after that night.

There was something more after the glorious desserts - the staff kindly asked Chef Aikens if he could take a picture with me and he agreed! That was extraordinary.

It seems to me that the Pawn experienced something a lot more than a mere renovation. From chic decor to exemplary staff members to impeccable food, we witnessed a revolution there. One thing still grinds my mind, though: I wrote about the Pawn long ago and noted the gap between the place and the surrounding community. That did not change much, except the fact that more ridiculously priced properties are being built there.

The Pawn
62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai

Food: wwwwwwwww
Service:wwwwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwwww

Source

empresswantscoffee

It’s been a while that I haven’t updated my blog. One chef restarts it: Tom Aikens. When I heard about that he is going to open a restaurant in HK, I was exalted. You have “celebrity” chefs opening restaurants here and there in HK these days, but you don't always have them actually cooking in the kitchen. When I knew that he would be cooking during the soft opening, nothing can stop me from giving it a go!

The original "old Hong Kong" interior decor of the Pawn is revitalised by a clever use of potted plants, colourful features, and sleek furniture. The bar is turned into a stylish yet relaxing space, a venue worthy of the best afternoon tea.

When I went up to the restaurant, I could not believe what I saw: Chef Tom Aikens, whom I saw on the BBC last week, stood in front of me inside the open kitchen! I couldn’t help staring at him during the whole night, at the expense of becoming a laughing stock of my half-witted husband who failed to understand my excitement and possibly many others. I managed to go back to the menu and ordered some traditional dishes and innovative combinations of ingredients, not without considerable struggle. I was kindly assisted by Karen the waitress, the manager, and other staff members who helped us to pick the best dishes and matching wine. They also explained the dishes to us clearly and interacted with us with a healthy dose of humour - a rare gift these days. 

While waiting for the appetisers, I lost no time to get closer to the open kitchen and observe Chef Aikens. He was busy preparing food like a surgeon tending a full camp of wounded soldiers. I know it is not the most appetising parable but his seriousness really made me think of that. 

IMG_2366a.jpgIMG_2373a.jpg
Back to the food. The house-made ricotta was silky smooth and bursting with a distinctive milky favour. The lightness of ricotta and the sweetness of balsamic was a perfect combination for an appetiser. This can be an awesome filling for cannoli too. Another appetiser was one of our favourite dishes that night. Usually I could not resist Duck liver parfait, but I always find it hard to finish one by myself. This one was exceptional. The creamy parfait was well seasoned, and was filled with duck meat and crispy skin. You just cannot get enough of it. My husband usually refuses to eat duck livers but he succumbed that night and finished half of the dish. 
IMG_2368a.jpgIMG_2375a.jpg

The main dishes came from another open kitchen. My truffle mac and cheese was so aromatic that even the diners next to us couldn’t help staring. Little could go wrong if you can manage to make a dish that aromatic. The macaroni was chewy and the cheese sauce was just right. It was a simple dish, but could easily go wrong. They nailed it. Completely.

IMG_2385a.jpg
I always tell my husband not to order seared scallop when eating outside as I too can manage that at home. However, I suggested him to order the Scallop, celeriac puree and black pudding crumb at the Pawn. Because the dish was a lot more than perfectly seared scallops; it was a combination of matching ingredients that offers a sensational experience. When the dish was served, we were instantly impressed by the elegant plating. A lot was going on, but you can see the careful construction and the considerable amount of thought behind it. I particularly liked the lard and celeriac puree - a rather "yin-yang" combination that raised the dish to another level. The scallops were of course perfectly seared, cooked with down-to-seconds precision.

IMG_2381a.jpg 
We also picked one traditional and one innovative dessert. The sticky toffee pudding was expectedly good. British puddings pose a constant dilemma to me. It is succulent and comforting but is also sinfully sweet. Tom’s version was a rather classical one. The prune ice-cream did justice of the pudding by enhancing the fruit flavour. All were good, but I slightly prefer the lighter version at Bread Street Kitchen (by none other British chef but the legendary Gordon Ramsay) another night.
IMG_2394a.jpg
Chef Aikens' interpretation of panna cotta with lime leaf and basil was mind-blowing to me. I could hardly resist basil-infused dessert. This one was more than that. The lime and sweet basil ganache inside the panna cotta was amazing. There was so much going on in my mouth. Milky panna cotta, aromatic and rustic sweet basil, sweet and acidic berry sorbet and a little salty black olives were all there - it was a challenging yet satisfying experience. That was exactly my impression about Chef Aikens when I watched the Great British Menu.
IMG_2390a.jpg
IMG_2395a.jpg

From my observation, Chef Aikens never stopped working except perhaps during a few moments of lull. His attention to detail was admirable. It's not rocket science or brain surgery: one can tell the difference between a chef who did not attend his restaurant’s opening and one who spend the entire night working on most, if not all, of the dishes passing in front of him. He had all my respect after that night.

There was something more after the glorious desserts - the staff kindly asked Chef Aikens if he could take a picture with me and he agreed! That was extraordinary.

It seems to me that the Pawn experienced something a lot more than a mere renovation. From chic decor to exemplary staff members to impeccable food, we witnessed a revolution there. One thing still grinds my mind, though: I wrote about the Pawn long ago and noted the gap between the place and the surrounding community. That did not change much, except the fact that more ridiculously priced properties are being built there.

The Pawn

62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai

Food: wwwwwwwww

Service:wwwwwwwww

Environment: wwwwwwww

Source

empresswantscoffee
IMG_3041.jpg
工作令我明白週末的重要,在週末能真正放鬆休息,才能於星期一精神奕奕地上班。每個人放鬆的方式都不同,而享受一頓高素質的brunch,相信是個好的開始吧~


我不太喜歡分兩輪的brunch,週末食brunch就應該慢慢享受,邊食邊聊天,兩小時實在不太足夠,Le Dome de Cristal絕對明白此道理。Brunch的時間由11:303:30,時間充裕。環境更沒話說,餐桌之間有足夠的位置,保留點私隱,亦不會侷促。之前曾來吃晚餐,對其用料極具信心,索價$480brunch真的很抵食。再加$280便有unlimited champagne,真的推廣時期才會有的吧?

Brunch包括了半打生蠔,appetizer buffet1main coursedessert buffet。與其吃任食生蠔,不如來半打高質生蠔。Life is too short for bad food!當日供應的是紐西蘭生蠔,爽口又充滿海水味。一口香檳一口生蠔,享受人生不過如此~

IMG_3046.jpg

吃畢生蠔,我已急不及待享用那appetizer buffet。款式不需要太多,最重要是味道。36個月的Parma ham,成為大家的焦點,油脂豐富,咸香之中帶點甜。$480的價錢,單是Parma ham和生蠔,足教人滿足了吧~
IMG_2982.jpg

沙律吧除了自助形式的,亦有預製的,其中最愛海鮮沙律。不僅足料,而且新鮮,魷魚爽身,白身魚軟滑,絕非雪藏貨可媲美。

IMG_2995.jpgIMG_2991.jpg
IMG_2983.jpg

另外,新鮮蟹肉釀蕃茄仔、鵝肝醬多士、煙三文魚和吞拿魚迷你撻等,均為高質貨色,同樣不能錯過。

IMG_2984.jpg
IMG_3003.jpg
IMG_2988.jpg
IMG_2986.jpgIMG_2993.jpg

IMG_2996.jpg

主菜方面,我要了蘆筍配太陽蛋,從蘆筍的苦澀味多少便能得知其來貨素質,而Le Dome de Cristal從不教我擔心,所配的鴨蛋煎得漂亮,彷彿摘下了太陽。
IMG_3057.jpg

同席的海鮮意粉和Rib eye相較普通,而lamb shank就最出色。羊肉炆得入味軟腍,紅酒味香濃,輕輕用叉就能切開,帶點羊羶味,份量作為晚餐主菜亦不為過。

IMG_3060.jpg
IMG_3056.jpgIMG_3059.jpg


吃甜點之前,應先來份cheese platter,但我們早按捺不住,於主菜來到之前便食芝士。是日供應的全為法國芝士:Mothais sur Feuille, au Lait de Chèvre, Comte and Roquefort,均為經典之選。芝士的素質實在高,於自助餐供應此高質芝士,實為意料之外。曾遇過酒店buffet供應的芝士素質低得難以入口,香氣及味道均欠奉,豈不是平白浪費有限的胃納?
IMG_3031.jpg


同席的戰鬥力驚人,竟能吞下整件紐約芝士蛋糕,據其所言,芝士味香濃,質感軟滑。我則差點舉白旗,僅嚐了數款bite size甜品。其中最愛香檳啫喱,味道清甜,魚膠粉下得恰到好處,轉就滑進喉嚨,所到之處留下一陣清香,教人著迷。
IMG_3008.jpgIMG_3013.jpg
IMG_3022.jpgIMG_3015.jpg
IMG_3004.jpgIMG_3005.jpg             



與友人悠閒地享用brunch,環境、食物素質和時間極為重要,Cristalbrunch符合我對這三項要求。尤其近日春雨綿綿,未能郊遊的話,食頓高質寫意brunch豈不更合適?

Le Dôme de Cristal
3/F, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong

Food: wwwwwwww
Service:wwwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwwww

Source

empresswantscoffee
IMG_3041.jpg
工作令我明白週末的重要,在週末能真正放鬆休息,才能於星期一精神奕奕地上班。每個人放鬆的方式都不同,而享受一頓高素質的brunch,相信是個好的開始吧~


我不太喜歡分兩輪的brunch,週末食brunch就應該慢慢享受,邊食邊聊天,兩小時實在不太足夠,Le Dome de Cristal絕對明白此道理。Brunch的時間由11:303:30,時間充裕。環境更沒話說,餐桌之間有足夠的位置,保留點私隱,亦不會侷促。之前曾來吃晚餐,對其用料極具信心,索價$480brunch真的很抵食。再加$280便有unlimited champagne,真的推廣時期才會有的吧?

Brunch包括了半打生蠔,appetizer buffet1main coursedessert buffet。與其吃任食生蠔,不如來半打高質生蠔。Life is too short for bad food!當日供應的是紐西蘭生蠔,爽口又充滿海水味。一口香檳一口生蠔,享受人生不過如此~

IMG_3046.jpg

吃畢生蠔,我已急不及待享用那appetizer buffet。款式不需要太多,最重要是味道。36個月的Parma ham,成為大家的焦點,油脂豐富,咸香之中帶點甜。$480的價錢,單是Parma ham和生蠔,足教人滿足了吧~
IMG_2982.jpg

沙律吧除了自助形式的,亦有預製的,其中最愛海鮮沙律。不僅足料,而且新鮮,魷魚爽身,白身魚軟滑,絕非雪藏貨可媲美。

IMG_2995.jpgIMG_2991.jpg
IMG_2983.jpg

另外,新鮮蟹肉釀蕃茄仔、鵝肝醬多士、煙三文魚和吞拿魚迷你撻等,均為高質貨色,同樣不能錯過。

IMG_2984.jpg
IMG_3003.jpg
IMG_2988.jpg
IMG_2986.jpgIMG_2993.jpg

IMG_2996.jpg

主菜方面,我要了蘆筍配太陽蛋,從蘆筍的苦澀味多少便能得知其來貨素質,而Le Dome de Cristal從不教我擔心,所配的鴨蛋煎得漂亮,彷彿摘下了太陽。
IMG_3057.jpg

同席的海鮮意粉和Rib eye相較普通,而lamb shank就最出色。羊肉炆得入味軟腍,紅酒味香濃,輕輕用叉就能切開,帶點羊羶味,份量作為晚餐主菜亦不為過。

IMG_3060.jpg
IMG_3056.jpgIMG_3059.jpg


吃甜點之前,應先來份cheese platter,但我們早按捺不住,於主菜來到之前便食芝士。是日供應的全為法國芝士:Mothais sur Feuille, au Lait de Chèvre, Comte and Roquefort,均為經典之選。芝士的素質實在高,於自助餐供應此高質芝士,實為意料之外。曾遇過酒店buffet供應的芝士素質低得難以入口,香氣及味道均欠奉,豈不是平白浪費有限的胃納?
IMG_3031.jpg


同席的戰鬥力驚人,竟能吞下整件紐約芝士蛋糕,據其所言,芝士味香濃,質感軟滑。我則差點舉白旗,僅嚐了數款bite size甜品。其中最愛香檳啫喱,味道清甜,魚膠粉下得恰到好處,轉就滑進喉嚨,所到之處留下一陣清香,教人著迷。
IMG_3008.jpgIMG_3013.jpg
IMG_3022.jpgIMG_3015.jpg
IMG_3004.jpgIMG_3005.jpg             



與友人悠閒地享用brunch,環境、食物素質和時間極為重要,Cristalbrunch符合我對這三項要求。尤其近日春雨綿綿,未能郊遊的話,食頓高質寫意brunch豈不更合適?

Le Dôme de Cristal
3/F, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong

Food: wwwwwwww
Service:wwwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwwww

Source
empresswantscoffee
2/3 Dolci應該是近來其中一間熱店吧~ 短短數月便從灣仔的本店,擴展至又一城,相信應該有點能耐。又,從網上的相片及其專頁,看到多款賣相精美的蛋糕,包裝亦甚精緻,讓我甚為期待。此店標榜其甜度是意大利食譜的2/3,可惜連水準都只得2/3


早前情人節前夕,特地拉CM來訂蛋糕,順道一嚐其自家製雪糕。最近實在太忙,是以相隔兩個月才有時間整理好相片,更新網誌。當晚飯過後來,蛋糕櫃剩下的款式不多。蛋糕約$40件,但較一般的小,定價頗為進取。我倆點了蛋糕雪糕套餐,可以嚐到兩款蛋糕和四款口味的雪糕。另外,又預訂了四件蛋糕於情人節當天取。


店員放好蛋糕和雪糕後,沒有通知我們要自行到櫃面拿,以致我們留意到時,雪糕已溶了一點。坦白說,這雖說沒plating可言,但於此「相機先食」的年代,放得美觀點可以嗎?

_MG_2181.jpg
先談蛋糕,Leggero Caramello外層的焦點奶油丁點焦糖味都沒有,味道與內裡的雪芳蛋糕未能造成對比,底層的朱古力碎又少得可有可無,我食到一半已放棄了。另一件柚子蛋卷稍為好些,蛋糕很軟綿,質感不俗,奶油亦清甜,淡淡的柚子味於口腔閃過,尚可與日本普通餅店的出品媲美。


_MG_2190.jpg
_MG_2187.jpg

至於雪糕,味道都未見突出,絕非我會再試的出品。朱古力不夠香濃邪惡,伯爵茶茶香不俗,而開心果則欠果仁香,與意大利當地的開心果gelato,味道相距甚遠。其後發現其為gelato,而非雪糕,更教我跌眼鏡,無論味道,還是質感,不少本地品牌都比它好,遑論意大利的出品了。


有點後悔衝動地訂下蛋糕,應該先試一、兩件再決定嘛!


情人節當晚拿的蛋糕包括了7-layers espressoAmoreNocciola83%Cupola

_MG_2356.jpg
7-layers espresso由咖啡cream、海綿蛋糕和朱古力相間而成,咖啡的味道都夠突出,與朱古力配搭得不俗,能突顯其苦,可惜稍欠甘香。味道尚算不錯,但蛋糕質感就不及格了,未能做到層次分明,口感有點糊。


_MG_2361.jpg_MG_2354.jpg


















 Nocciola則是簡單的榛子慕絲蛋糕,中間以榛子醬點綴,令蛋糕更為滑溜,惜比例較少。榛子果仁香不俗,甜度不高,慕絲幼滑度一般。以其味道和價格而言,不太值得一試。
_MG_2376.jpg
_MG_2374.jpg

83%Cupola亦甚簡單,由83%的黑朱古力慕絲、榛子牛油餅底和朱古力鏡面組成,牛油餅底有點乾,同樣未能留下深刻印象。
_MG_2365.jpg
_MG_2362.jpg 

整體而言,蛋糕於味道和創意方面均未能令我能下深刻印象,即便簡單的款式,香氣和質感仍有改善空間。意大利常用的開心果、朱古力和榛子等味道的甜品未見突出,反而以味道清甜為賣點的甜品做得比較好。即使於香港,其出品絕對談不上是一線的蛋糕店,遑論意大利,以至巴黎的出品。在香港心癢想食甜的話,以此價位,有更好的選擇,應該不會到此了。
 
2/3 Dolci
G-Kiosk S1, (Half Landing), Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong

Food: wwwwww
Service:wwwwww1/2w
Environment: wwwwww


Source

empresswantscoffee
2/3 Dolci應該是近來其中一間熱店吧~ 短短數月便從灣仔的本店,擴展至又一城,相信應該有點能耐。又,從網上的相片及其專頁,看到多款賣相精美的蛋糕,包裝亦甚精緻,讓我甚為期待。此店標榜其甜度是意大利食譜的2/3,可惜連水準都只得2/3


早前情人節前夕,特地拉CM來訂蛋糕,順道一嚐其自家製雪糕。最近實在太忙,是以相隔兩個月才有時間整理好相片,更新網誌。當晚飯過後來,蛋糕櫃剩下的款式不多。蛋糕約$40件,但較一般的小,定價頗為進取。我倆點了蛋糕雪糕套餐,可以嚐到兩款蛋糕和四款口味的雪糕。另外,又預訂了四件蛋糕於情人節當天取。


店員放好蛋糕和雪糕後,沒有通知我們要自行到櫃面拿,以致我們留意到時,雪糕已溶了一點。坦白說,這雖說沒plating可言,但於此「相機先食」的年代,放得美觀點可以嗎?

_MG_2181.jpg
先談蛋糕,Leggero Caramello外層的焦點奶油丁點焦糖味都沒有,味道與內裡的雪芳蛋糕未能造成對比,底層的朱古力碎又少得可有可無,我食到一半已放棄了。另一件柚子蛋卷稍為好些,蛋糕很軟綿,質感不俗,奶油亦清甜,淡淡的柚子味於口腔閃過,尚可與日本普通餅店的出品媲美。


_MG_2190.jpg
_MG_2187.jpg

至於雪糕,味道都未見突出,絕非我會再試的出品。朱古力不夠香濃邪惡,伯爵茶茶香不俗,而開心果則欠果仁香,與意大利當地的開心果gelato,味道相距甚遠。其後發現其為gelato,而非雪糕,更教我跌眼鏡,無論味道,還是質感,不少本地品牌都比它好,遑論意大利的出品了。


有點後悔衝動地訂下蛋糕,應該先試一、兩件再決定嘛!


情人節當晚拿的蛋糕包括了7-layers espressoAmoreNocciola83%Cupola

_MG_2356.jpg
7-layers espresso由咖啡cream、海綿蛋糕和朱古力相間而成,咖啡的味道都夠突出,與朱古力配搭得不俗,能突顯其苦,可惜稍欠甘香。味道尚算不錯,但蛋糕質感就不及格了,未能做到層次分明,口感有點糊。


_MG_2361.jpg_MG_2354.jpg


















 Nocciola則是簡單的榛子慕絲蛋糕,中間以榛子醬點綴,令蛋糕更為滑溜,惜比例較少。榛子果仁香不俗,甜度不高,慕絲幼滑度一般。以其味道和價格而言,不太值得一試。
_MG_2376.jpg
_MG_2374.jpg

83%Cupola亦甚簡單,由83%的黑朱古力慕絲、榛子牛油餅底和朱古力鏡面組成,牛油餅底有點乾,同樣未能留下深刻印象。
_MG_2365.jpg
_MG_2362.jpg 

整體而言,蛋糕於味道和創意方面均未能令我能下深刻印象,即便簡單的款式,香氣和質感仍有改善空間。意大利常用的開心果、朱古力和榛子等味道的甜品未見突出,反而以味道清甜為賣點的甜品做得比較好。即使於香港,其出品絕對談不上是一線的蛋糕店,遑論意大利,以至巴黎的出品。在香港心癢想食甜的話,以此價位,有更好的選擇,應該不會到此了。
 
2/3 Dolci
G-Kiosk S1, (Half Landing), Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong

Food: wwwwww
Service:wwwwww1/2w
Environment: wwwwww



Source
empresswantscoffee
IMG_5047.jpg

之前說過要介紹英國的市集,現在終於的起心肝寫第二篇。雖然還有很多倫敦的市集未寫,但今次想先跳到愛丁堡,介紹其最著名的市集—Edinburgh Farmer’s Market
雖稱為Farmer’s Market,所售的不只限於農產品,還有芝士、自家製果醬、麵包、朱古力和熱食等售賣。The Chocolate Tree 是當地有名的朱古力店,水準亦不俗,值得一試;而之前提及的烤豬堡Oink亦在此設有餐車(詳文見此:http://empresswantscoffee.blogspot.hk/2014/03/blog-post.html)

IMG_5048.jpg

IMG_5049.jpgIMG_5054.jpgIMG_5055.jpg


當中自然少不了當地產的士多啤梨,我到訪的時候雖然非士多啤梨當造之時,仍能看到其蹤影,個人覺得蘇格蘭的士多啤梨比英格蘭的甜,可能是氣候的關係吧~

CM和我特來此吃午餐,他買了份水牛漢堡,而我則試了當地人的自家製scone。牛肉漢堡就食得多,原來水牛肉更美味,牛味更濃,肉質比較煙韌結實。再煎得久一點,可能就會老了,幸好檔主掌握得好。加上大蘑菇和燒烤醬汁,實在惹味非常。 


IMG_5058.jpgIMG_5050.jpg
我的scone就很一般了,我覺得我做的比她更好。梳打粉味重,質地亦過於鬆散。Clotted cream亦只屬一般貨色(不過我在香港高級超市見到,小小一瓶都要五十多元),但士多啤梨果醬很清新,用新鮮水果製的果然不同凡響,如果能保留更多果肉就更好了。

IMG_5051.jpg

IMG_5052.jpgIMG_5057.jpg



這市集每逢星期二早上9時至下午2時營業,想知道更多可參見:


Source
empresswantscoffee
IMG_5047.jpg

之前說過要介紹英國的市集,現在終於的起心肝寫第二篇。雖然還有很多倫敦的市集未寫,但今次想先跳到愛丁堡,介紹其最著名的市集—Edinburgh Farmer’s Market
雖稱為Farmer’s Market,所售的不只限於農產品,還有芝士、自家製果醬、麵包、朱古力和熱食等售賣。The Chocolate Tree 是當地有名的朱古力店,水準亦不俗,值得一試;而之前提及的烤豬堡Oink亦在此設有餐車(詳文見此:http://empresswantscoffee.blogspot.hk/2014/03/blog-post.html)

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IMG_5049.jpgIMG_5054.jpgIMG_5055.jpg


當中自然少不了當地產的士多啤梨,我到訪的時候雖然非士多啤梨當造之時,仍能看到其蹤影,個人覺得蘇格蘭的士多啤梨比英格蘭的甜,可能是氣候的關係吧~

CM和我特來此吃午餐,他買了份水牛漢堡,而我則試了當地人的自家製scone。牛肉漢堡就食得多,原來水牛肉更美味,牛味更濃,肉質比較煙韌結實。再煎得久一點,可能就會老了,幸好檔主掌握得好。加上大蘑菇和燒烤醬汁,實在惹味非常。 


IMG_5058.jpgIMG_5050.jpg
我的scone就很一般了,我覺得我做的比她更好。梳打粉味重,質地亦過於鬆散。Clotted cream亦只屬一般貨色(不過我在香港高級超市見到,小小一瓶都要五十多元),但士多啤梨果醬很清新,用新鮮水果製的果然不同凡響,如果能保留更多果肉就更好了。

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這市集每逢星期二早上9時至下午2時營業,想知道更多可參見:

Source

empresswantscoffee
_MG_2278.jpg


Like Blue Butcher, another restaurant by Maximal Concepts, it is difficult to get a table in Fish and Meat even months after its opening. With the success of Blue Butcher and the Brickhouse in mind, I surely expected a lot from Fish and Meat. My experience at F&M confirms that this restaurant group is among the best in Hong Kong.

The decor of Fish and Meat followed the simple but cozy industrial style of Blue Butcher this kind of style is getting more popular in Hong Kong. The biggest difference is probably the semi-open kitchen where the dinners (mostly with camera) can have a glimpse of the cooking process.
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_MG_2281.jpg
















To start with, we had roasted bone marrow crostini and sea urchin with lardo bruschetta. Roasted bone marrow was sinfully good. Who could resist the crunchy crostini soaked with some melted bone marrow. The sea urchin was very fresh; its sweetness was brought to another level of complexity by the saltiness of the lardo. It was indeed a lovely combination!

_MG_2294.jpg
_MG_2290.jpg















After that, I was nearly filled up by the rosemary hand-ground Dutch veal and pork meatballs. More tomato sauce and melted cheese for the meatballs would make it a remarkable dish.

I then had a rather light and refreshing Pepperoncini cocktail to clean my palate. It contained Ice Fox vodka, Lillet blanc, jalapeño and cucumber. The apricot and cucumber smelled and tasted strong, while the expected spiciness from jalapeño went nearly unnoticed. It was a perfect substitute to the lemonade. 
_MG_2288.jpg
For the main dish, we first had fresh tagliatelle in fontina and pepperoni sauce with chicken skin & truffle emulsion. The tagliatelle was a little soft; the chicken skin was very crispy. A simple truffle cream sauce was good enough for a decent homemade pasta.

_MG_2298.jpg
The cocktail here was really a trap for women. I finished it amazingly quickly! I had another signature cocktail, Pesto martini. Pesto was my favourite companion of bread and pasta, and it turned out to be great with cocktail. Compared to the previous one, this cocktail tasted stronger and had a distinctly creamy texture and a hint of basil aroma. Again, the cocktails of the restaurants under Maximal Concepts did not disappoint.
You can hardly miss fish and meat in a restaurant that is named after them. Of what was offered, the roasted French turbot with carrot puree, brown shrimp, and smoked prawn was my favourite. The turbot was perfectly seared. Its slightly crispy edges and the tender and flaky meat were pretty enjoyable. Even the shrimp was full of the taste of seawater. Fish lovers must not miss this dish.  
_MG_2325.jpg

 Another main dish, Peter’s Farm Dutch veal chop 'Milanese' was heavily seasoned on the skin, but it was a bit overcooked, at least to me.
_MG_2312.jpg


Although I had had a lot of carbo, I could hardly resist the sweet corn polenta. It was very sweet and light. A little less watery would perfect it. 
_MG_2316.jpg


By then, I was pretty satisfied with the whole meal, but the best had yet to come. The country clotted cream whipped mascarpone "cheesecake" with raspberry and shortbread crumble forcefully challenged the idea that cheesecakes are always heavy. The one I had was silky and light. 
_MG_2336.jpg

Dark chocolate fondant with salted caramel and homemade Tahitian vanilla ice cream was quite nice too; would be better if the chocolate was more bitter and richer.
_MG_2341.jpg
The best was the last to come. The Sicilian lemon tart was definitely worth fighting for. The tangyness and sweetness, and the proportion of the tart base and the lemon curd was perfectly balanced. I would be the first one to join if the pastry chef of F&M offers a baking class.
_MG_2343.jpg
 

Like her sister restaurants, F&M offers great food; but it is the fabulous dessert that makes her stand out. There are several dishes that I would like to try, such as the duck egg ravioli and the chocolate pot. I shall arrange with my husband... 
_MG_2330.jpg
Fish & Meat 
2/F., 32 Wyndham street, Central

Food: wwwwwwww
Service:wwwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwwww


Source

empresswantscoffee
_MG_2278.jpg


Like Blue Butcher, another restaurant by Maximal Concepts, it is difficult to get a table in Fish and Meat even months after its opening. With the success of Blue Butcher and the Brickhouse in mind, I surely expected a lot from Fish and Meat. My experience at F&M confirms that this restaurant group is among the best in Hong Kong.

The decor of Fish and Meat followed the simple but cozy industrial style of Blue Butcher this kind of style is getting more popular in Hong Kong. The biggest difference is probably the semi-open kitchen where the dinners (mostly with camera) can have a glimpse of the cooking process.
_MG_2279.jpg
_MG_2281.jpg
















To start with, we had roasted bone marrow crostini and sea urchin with lardo bruschetta. Roasted bone marrow was sinfully good. Who could resist the crunchy crostini soaked with some melted bone marrow. The sea urchin was very fresh; its sweetness was brought to another level of complexity by the saltiness of the lardo. It was indeed a lovely combination!

_MG_2294.jpg
_MG_2290.jpg















After that, I was nearly filled up by the rosemary hand-ground Dutch veal and pork meatballs. More tomato sauce and melted cheese for the meatballs would make it a remarkable dish.

I then had a rather light and refreshing Pepperoncini cocktail to clean my palate. It contained Ice Fox vodka, Lillet blanc, jalapeño and cucumber. The apricot and cucumber smelled and tasted strong, while the expected spiciness from jalapeño went nearly unnoticed. It was a perfect substitute to the lemonade. 
_MG_2288.jpg
For the main dish, we first had fresh tagliatelle in fontina and pepperoni sauce with chicken skin & truffle emulsion. The tagliatelle was a little soft; the chicken skin was very crispy. A simple truffle cream sauce was good enough for a decent homemade pasta.

_MG_2298.jpg
The cocktail here was really a trap for women. I finished it amazingly quickly! I had another signature cocktail, Pesto martini. Pesto was my favourite companion of bread and pasta, and it turned out to be great with cocktail. Compared to the previous one, this cocktail tasted stronger and had a distinctly creamy texture and a hint of basil aroma. Again, the cocktails of the restaurants under Maximal Concepts did not disappoint.
You can hardly miss fish and meat in a restaurant that is named after them. Of what was offered, the roasted French turbot with carrot puree, brown shrimp, and smoked prawn was my favourite. The turbot was perfectly seared. Its slightly crispy edges and the tender and flaky meat were pretty enjoyable. Even the shrimp was full of the taste of seawater. Fish lovers must not miss this dish.  
_MG_2325.jpg

 Another main dish, Peter’s Farm Dutch veal chop 'Milanese' was heavily seasoned on the skin, but it was a bit overcooked, at least to me.
_MG_2312.jpg


Although I had had a lot of carbo, I could hardly resist the sweet corn polenta. It was very sweet and light. A little less watery would perfect it. 
_MG_2316.jpg


By then, I was pretty satisfied with the whole meal, but the best had yet to come. The country clotted cream whipped mascarpone "cheesecake" with raspberry and shortbread crumble forcefully challenged the idea that cheesecakes are always heavy. The one I had was silky and light. 
_MG_2336.jpg

Dark chocolate fondant with salted caramel and homemade Tahitian vanilla ice cream was quite nice too; would be better if the chocolate was more bitter and richer.
_MG_2341.jpg
The best was the last to come. The Sicilian lemon tart was definitely worth fighting for. The tangyness and sweetness, and the proportion of the tart base and the lemon curd was perfectly balanced. I would be the first one to join if the pastry chef of F&M offers a baking class.
_MG_2343.jpg
 

Like her sister restaurants, F&M offers great food; but it is the fabulous dessert that makes her stand out. There are several dishes that I would like to try, such as the duck egg ravioli and the chocolate pot. I shall arrange with my husband... 
_MG_2330.jpg
Fish & Meat 
2/F., 32 Wyndham street, Central

Food: wwwwwwww
Service:wwwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwwww



Source
empresswantscoffee
為是趟愛丁堡短遊搜集資料時,便被這烤豬堡的相片吸引。我素來不太喜歡豬肉,除了叉燒和少數烤豬扒,但看到那皮脆肉嫩的烤豬,不無心動之理。



從城堡步行下山,穿過樓梯,便嗅到烤豬的香氣。循著香氣行,很易找到那小店,粉紅色的招牌醒目又富趣味。
IMG_4827.jpg



烤豬彷彿從櫥窗向我們招手,怎有不嚐之理?
IMG_4832.jpg

豬堡分三種大小—Piglet, Oink & Grunter,我倆剛食完早餐不久,胃納有限,都點了最小的piglet size (£2.80)
IMG_4828.jpgIMG_4829.jpg

熱烘烘的麵包,拿在手中,傳來陣陣溫暖。麵包極為軟熟,有點像我們的餐包,可惜落單後才發現有麥包可供選擇;烤豬肉頗為嫩滑,肉汁豐富,沾了肉汁的麵包極為好食。我的豬堡跟蘋果醬,酸酸甜甜的,中和豬肉的油膩,蘋果粒帶點咬口,層次更豐富。蘋果蓉和烤豬是我最喜歡的配搭,兩、三口就吃光了。
IMG_4831.jpg

CM的加了chili relish,比較重口味一點,但就更能帶出其燒烤的香味,更為惹味。

IMG_4834.jpg

另外還有芝士、洋蔥醬和haggis等配料可供選擇,應該不難找到你喜歡的配搭。啖啖肉,而且肉嫩多汁,最合我心意,下次再去愛丁堡,我也會再訪~

Oink
34 Victoria Street
Grassmarket

Edinburgh, EH1 2JW
1100-1700

Food: wwwwwww1/2w
Service:wwwwwww
Environment: wwwwww

Source

empresswantscoffee
為是趟愛丁堡短遊搜集資料時,便被這烤豬堡的相片吸引。我素來不太喜歡豬肉,除了叉燒和少數烤豬扒,但看到那皮脆肉嫩的烤豬,不無心動之理。



從城堡步行下山,穿過樓梯,便嗅到烤豬的香氣。循著香氣行,很易找到那小店,粉紅色的招牌醒目又富趣味。
IMG_4827.jpg



烤豬彷彿從櫥窗向我們招手,怎有不嚐之理?
IMG_4832.jpg

豬堡分三種大小—Piglet, Oink & Grunter,我倆剛食完早餐不久,胃納有限,都點了最小的piglet size (£2.80)
IMG_4828.jpgIMG_4829.jpg

熱烘烘的麵包,拿在手中,傳來陣陣溫暖。麵包極為軟熟,有點像我們的餐包,可惜落單後才發現有麥包可供選擇;烤豬肉頗為嫩滑,肉汁豐富,沾了肉汁的麵包極為好食。我的豬堡跟蘋果醬,酸酸甜甜的,中和豬肉的油膩,蘋果粒帶點咬口,層次更豐富。蘋果蓉和烤豬是我最喜歡的配搭,兩、三口就吃光了。
IMG_4831.jpg

CM的加了chili relish,比較重口味一點,但就更能帶出其燒烤的香味,更為惹味。

IMG_4834.jpg

另外還有芝士、洋蔥醬和haggis等配料可供選擇,應該不難找到你喜歡的配搭。啖啖肉,而且肉嫩多汁,最合我心意,下次再去愛丁堡,我也會再訪~

Oink
34 Victoria Street
Grassmarket

Edinburgh, EH1 2JW
1100-1700

Food: wwwwwww1/2w
Service:wwwwwww
Environment: wwwwww


Source
empresswantscoffee


愛丁堡近年的發展漸趕上英國的二線城市,連咖啡文化都進步得多,緊隨倫敦之後,但要追得上,相信還有很大段的距離。

於愛丁堡最後的一天,終於能到我此行其中一個重點—Artisan Roast。其本店設於Glasgow,愛丁堡則有兩家分店。


招牌與門前的畫都極具風格,這種街道上的畫,不可能在香港出現吧~


IMG_5063.jpg
IMG_5062.jpg





Menu就畫在牆上,帶點隨性。 
IMG_5065.jpg
IMG_5066.jpg

吸引我的是那部Mirage三頭手動咖啡機,對女生來說,用起來都有點費力,而且全靠barista掌握時間,很講究經驗。而那爆炸頭barista一身裝束與這店實在很合襯,那些畫是出自其手筆吧~?

IMG_5067.jpg



這裡有自家烘焙的咖啡豆,亦有供應給餐廳。雖然於倫敦已買了數包,但既然來到,我怎忍得下手?最後選了Malawi geisha咖啡豆,卻因現金全花光了,店內又只接受現金,只好點了杯v60在店一試。

IMG_5064.jpg
等候之時,看到此告示。的確,這裡的氛圍不似J.K Rowling會久留之地 : )
IMG_5069.jpg

Malawi Geishahand drip£3,便宜得嚇人,更重要的是barista手勢很好。橘子味道鮮明,尾段帶點酸莓味,就如飲果茶一樣。有點後悔拖到最後一天才來,未能嚐到更多。
 IMG_5070.jpg
這杯咖啡成為我該趟旅程中,到訪咖啡店的終結,及後到法國中南部,都要自行沖煮在倫敦買的豆。下次再訪時,希望能一嚐其espresso,想必不會失望。



IMG_5073.jpg
Artisan Roast
57 Broughton St, Edinburgh


Food: wwwwwww1/2w
Service:wwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwww
 

Source

empresswantscoffee

愛丁堡近年的發展漸趕上英國的二線城市,連咖啡文化都進步得多,緊隨倫敦之後,但要追得上,相信還有很大段的距離。

於愛丁堡最後的一天,終於能到我此行其中一個重點—Artisan Roast。其本店設於Glasgow,愛丁堡則有兩家分店。

招牌與門前的畫都極具風格,這種街道上的畫,不可能在香港出現吧~

IMG_5063.jpg
IMG_5062.jpg

Menu就畫在牆上,帶點隨性。 
IMG_5065.jpg
IMG_5066.jpg

吸引我的是那部Mirage三頭手動咖啡機,對女生來說,用起來都有點費力,而且全靠barista掌握時間,很講究經驗。而那爆炸頭barista一身裝束與這店實在很合襯,那些畫是出自其手筆吧~?

IMG_5067.jpg

這裡有自家烘焙的咖啡豆,亦有供應給餐廳。雖然於倫敦已買了數包,但既然來到,我怎忍得下手?最後選了Malawi geisha咖啡豆,卻因現金全花光了,店內又只接受現金,只好點了杯v60在店一試。

IMG_5064.jpg
等候之時,看到此告示。的確,這裡的氛圍不似J.K Rowling會久留之地 : )
IMG_5069.jpg

Malawi Geishahand drip£3,便宜得嚇人,更重要的是barista手勢很好。橘子味道鮮明,尾段帶點酸莓味,就如飲果茶一樣。有點後悔拖到最後一天才來,未能嚐到更多。
 IMG_5070.jpg
這杯咖啡成為我該趟旅程中,到訪咖啡店的終結,及後到法國中南部,都要自行沖煮在倫敦買的豆。下次再訪時,希望能一嚐其espresso,想必不會失望。

IMG_5073.jpg
Artisan Roast

57 Broughton St, Edinburgh

Food: wwwwwww1/2w

Service:wwwwwww

Environment: wwwwwww

 

Source

empresswantscoffee
As there is only a handful of places in townthat offer hearty French bistro cooking, I was excited to see what this new “modern bistro” can offer. I lowered my expectations, however, after I read the close-to-monotonous description of the several signature dishes and the decor of the restaurant in many of the previous reviews. Anyhow, I found an opportunity to find out if the restaurant is a genuine article.


The decor of the bistro was anything but exciting. Maybe I am not a big fan of modern chic design, but I just have difficulties understanding what the decor is telling me about this restaurant and its food. Maybe it is part of the problem: this place is a “modernised” bistro, but instead of enjoying the interesting tension between tradition and modern, I found myself slightly disoriented.
_MG_2097.jpg_MG_2096.jpg



Alas, the menu shared the problem of the decor. Many traditional classics in a bistro such as beef stew and confit duck were absent, or could I find many modern twists. We had a hard time to pick an entrée and two mains; we almost decided to have a second round somewhere else.


Foie Gras Crème Brulee sounded very interesting. The dishes that combine sweet and savory usually works for me, but this one was not among them. The foie gras crème was smooth, albeit a bit watery. The taste was too light and so was its texture. Again, I just did not see the tension between the sugar crust and the foie gras.
_MG_2108.jpg 
The baguette, on the other hand, was better, as it was crispy outside and soft inside. My only problem was the rather bland butter and table salt. 
_MG_2101.jpg_MG_2109.jpg

The first main dish was a mushroom tagliatelle with 63 degree egg and parma ham. The tagliatelle was chewy and flavourfulthe best part of the dinner. While the creamy cheese sauce worked well with the egg, the parma ham was insignificant.

_MG_2112.jpg_MG_2120.jpg 
The chicken “demi deuil” was a rare dish in Hong Kong – it was, however, a real disappointment that night. We did see black truffle stuffed between the skin and flesh of the chicken parts – no problem with that. But the truffle failed the dish. We were like eating braised chicken with black fungus in Chinese style – not itself a problem – except that the chicken was bland and not tender.
I read about the background of the chef and found that he was the chef of St. George. I recalled what I had and found the two experiences pretty consistent. The food was okay, good perhaps, but lacking in something to make it truly interesting. If I dined in a lovely historical structure like 1881, I would be more willing to pay for this dinner with this price, but not in a “chic” bistro. There are gaps, not intriguing tension, between the decor, the food, price, and the positioning of this restaurant. With time, I hope, these gaps can be filled; after all, the food was by no means bad in local standard.
 



Upper Modern Bistro
6-14 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan

Food: wwwwww1/2w
Service:wwwwww
Environment: wwwwww





Source
empresswantscoffee
As there is only a handful of places in townthat offer hearty French bistro cooking, I was excited to see what this new “modern bistro” can offer. I lowered my expectations, however, after I read the close-to-monotonous description of the several signature dishes and the decor of the restaurant in many of the previous reviews. Anyhow, I found an opportunity to find out if the restaurant is a genuine article.


The decor of the bistro was anything but exciting. Maybe I am not a big fan of modern chic design, but I just have difficulties understanding what the decor is telling me about this restaurant and its food. Maybe it is part of the problem: this place is a “modernised” bistro, but instead of enjoying the interesting tension between tradition and modern, I found myself slightly disoriented.
_MG_2097.jpg_MG_2096.jpg



Alas, the menu shared the problem of the decor. Many traditional classics in a bistro such as beef stew and confit duck were absent, or could I find many modern twists. We had a hard time to pick an entrée and two mains; we almost decided to have a second round somewhere else.


Foie Gras Crème Brulee sounded very interesting. The dishes that combine sweet and savory usually works for me, but this one was not among them. The foie gras crème was smooth, albeit a bit watery. The taste was too light and so was its texture. Again, I just did not see the tension between the sugar crust and the foie gras.
_MG_2108.jpg 
The baguette, on the other hand, was better, as it was crispy outside and soft inside. My only problem was the rather bland butter and table salt. 
_MG_2101.jpg_MG_2109.jpg

The first main dish was a mushroom tagliatelle with 63 degree egg and parma ham. The tagliatelle was chewy and flavourfulthe best part of the dinner. While the creamy cheese sauce worked well with the egg, the parma ham was insignificant.

_MG_2112.jpg_MG_2120.jpg 
The chicken “demi deuil” was a rare dish in Hong Kong – it was, however, a real disappointment that night. We did see black truffle stuffed between the skin and flesh of the chicken parts – no problem with that. But the truffle failed the dish. We were like eating braised chicken with black fungus in Chinese style – not itself a problem – except that the chicken was bland and not tender.
I read about the background of the chef and found that he was the chef of St. George. I recalled what I had and found the two experiences pretty consistent. The food was okay, good perhaps, but lacking in something to make it truly interesting. If I dined in a lovely historical structure like 1881, I would be more willing to pay for this dinner with this price, but not in a “chic” bistro. There are gaps, not intriguing tension, between the decor, the food, price, and the positioning of this restaurant. With time, I hope, these gaps can be filled; after all, the food was by no means bad in local standard.
 



Upper Modern Bistro
6-14 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan

Food: wwwwww1/2w
Service:wwwwww
Environment: wwwwww




Source

empresswantscoffee

_MG_1638.jpg


剛過去的聖誕新年假,我又回倫敦了。行程中少不免到訪不同的咖啡店,可惜很多咖啡店都於這些時節休息,連我喜愛的Kaffeine Prufrock都沒開。幸好,今次列入行程的新店都教我很滿意,總算勉強滿足了我的咖啡胃。

位於zone1邊緣的Ozone成為我這次行程的咖啡補給站,從我住的地方乘巴士10mins就到。我早已將其列入到訪列表,但奈何倫敦實在太精彩,我想去的地方太多,遲遲未能成行。


外露的牆磚和原木桌椅正合我意,加上鐵欄杆和枱腳,帶點rustic味,教我感覺自在又舒適。

_MG_1644.jpg_MG_1640.jpg



Ozone設置Probat UG22烘焙機,自家烘焙咖啡豆,咖啡豆的水準有保證。嘗過其Ozone blendespresso, flat white, latte cappuccino,更能嚐到此豆的特色。


以巴西豆作基調的Espressocrema夠厚亦夠甘香,咖啡圓渾,果香豐富,帶點earthy,餘韻悠長。雖非我嚐過最佳的espresso,但整體亦不俗。 

_MG_1652.jpg


Flat white才是驚喜,奶打得尚可,至少夠flat。入口迎來一陣朱古力香甜,這非來自熱牛奶的lactose甜味,而是咖啡豆的甜,很能突出奶香。將其朱古力味道發揮得淋漓盡致,是我在這店嚐到最出色的一杯。

_MG_1662.jpg


之後又嚐過這店的lattecappuccino。前者相對失色,那份朱古力的香甜乃三者中最弱的,而cappuccino則介乎兩者之間。這亦難怪,香甜味來自espresso,牛奶比例最多的latte自然最弱。
_MG_1938.jpg_MG_1931.jpg


Ozone又推出了Christmas blendmedium dark roast,建議沖製方式包括aeropress。本來欲點杯嚐試,可惜barista說沒有recipe,只能用其製espresso,只好點杯Christmas blendflat white
 _MG_2093.jpg
相比起house blendChristmas blend的果酸更突出,欠缺前者的香甜,個人認為不太適合用以製奶類咖啡,用來作手沖可能更適合。最後,我亦買了包回家。這Christmas blend尚算不錯,口感頗圓渾,果酸不嗆,可惜略欠層次和驚喜。

_MG_1642.jpg_MG_2090.jpg
除了咖啡,Ozone亦供應早、午餐,旅程食滯了的我只嚐過其牛角包、提子酥和朱古力蛋糕。甫拿起麵包,便知道不好吃了。感覺很重身,而且面層不脆。咬下去,口感亦如是。只能說是很「抵食」的麵包,但剛從巴黎來到倫敦不久的我,實在思念巴黎外皮酥香鬆脆,內裡軟熟的牛角包呢~

_MG_1927.jpg
朱古力蛋糕看起來是homemade的,所以吸引了我。切下去的時候,還擔心會太乾。吃下去卻不俗,外層帶點脆,中心仍算軟熟。不知道是放久了,碰巧造成的效果,還是原意如此,反正好吃就是了。

以倫敦top café而言,Ozone的奶泡打得不夠好,仍欠滑溜,與PrufrockWorkshop Coffee Co.有段距離,希望有機會嚐到Ozone其他barista的手勢。每次寫倫敦的咖啡店最熬人的就是勾起我對它們的思念再訪倫敦,要待到年末了吧~


Ozone Coffee Roasters 
11 Leonard Street
 

Food: wwwwwww
Service:wwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwwww


Source

empresswantscoffee

_MG_1638.jpg


剛過去的聖誕新年假,我又回倫敦了。行程中少不免到訪不同的咖啡店,可惜很多咖啡店都於這些時節休息,連我喜愛的Kaffeine Prufrock都沒開。幸好,今次列入行程的新店都教我很滿意,總算勉強滿足了我的咖啡胃。

位於zone1邊緣的Ozone成為我這次行程的咖啡補給站,從我住的地方乘巴士10mins就到。我早已將其列入到訪列表,但奈何倫敦實在太精彩,我想去的地方太多,遲遲未能成行。


外露的牆磚和原木桌椅正合我意,加上鐵欄杆和枱腳,帶點rustic味,教我感覺自在又舒適。

_MG_1644.jpg_MG_1640.jpg



Ozone設置Probat UG22烘焙機,自家烘焙咖啡豆,咖啡豆的水準有保證。嘗過其Ozone blendespresso, flat white, latte cappuccino,更能嚐到此豆的特色。


以巴西豆作基調的Espressocrema夠厚亦夠甘香,咖啡圓渾,果香豐富,帶點earthy,餘韻悠長。雖非我嚐過最佳的espresso,但整體亦不俗。 

_MG_1652.jpg


Flat white才是驚喜,奶打得尚可,至少夠flat。入口迎來一陣朱古力香甜,這非來自熱牛奶的lactose甜味,而是咖啡豆的甜,很能突出奶香。將其朱古力味道發揮得淋漓盡致,是我在這店嚐到最出色的一杯。

_MG_1662.jpg


之後又嚐過這店的lattecappuccino。前者相對失色,那份朱古力的香甜乃三者中最弱的,而cappuccino則介乎兩者之間。這亦難怪,香甜味來自espresso,牛奶比例最多的latte自然最弱。
_MG_1938.jpg_MG_1931.jpg


Ozone又推出了Christmas blendmedium dark roast,建議沖製方式包括aeropress。本來欲點杯嚐試,可惜barista說沒有recipe,只能用其製espresso,只好點杯Christmas blendflat white
 _MG_2093.jpg
相比起house blendChristmas blend的果酸更突出,欠缺前者的香甜,個人認為不太適合用以製奶類咖啡,用來作手沖可能更適合。最後,我亦買了包回家。這Christmas blend尚算不錯,口感頗圓渾,果酸不嗆,可惜略欠層次和驚喜。

_MG_1642.jpg_MG_2090.jpg
除了咖啡,Ozone亦供應早、午餐,旅程食滯了的我只嚐過其牛角包、提子酥和朱古力蛋糕。甫拿起麵包,便知道不好吃了。感覺很重身,而且面層不脆。咬下去,口感亦如是。只能說是很「抵食」的麵包,但剛從巴黎來到倫敦不久的我,實在思念巴黎外皮酥香鬆脆,內裡軟熟的牛角包呢~

_MG_1927.jpg
朱古力蛋糕看起來是homemade的,所以吸引了我。切下去的時候,還擔心會太乾。吃下去卻不俗,外層帶點脆,中心仍算軟熟。不知道是放久了,碰巧造成的效果,還是原意如此,反正好吃就是了。

以倫敦top café而言,Ozone的奶泡打得不夠好,仍欠滑溜,與PrufrockWorkshop Coffee Co.有段距離,希望有機會嚐到Ozone其他barista的手勢。每次寫倫敦的咖啡店最熬人的就是勾起我對它們的思念再訪倫敦,要待到年末了吧~


Ozone Coffee Roasters 
11 Leonard Street
 

Food: wwwwwww
Service:wwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwwww



Source
empresswantscoffee
_MG_1588.jpg


與香港一樣,倫敦亦有不少地區出現士紳化(gentrification)的現象:原有的人口和鄰里關係被有產階級取代,社區變成合乎中產品味的特色小區。以往因治安問題,不太敢到東倫(我和CM太細粒,去旅行還是安全為上),但隨著當地的gentrification,東倫的確煥然一新。首次來到Hackney區的Broadway Market,雖然早有心理準備,但目睹的仍與預期中有點出入。我已經來遲了,這裡已經是gentrified的社區,光鮮的屋子、高級食品店、街角的地產店、以售賣設計和生活書籍為主的書店,還有如財爺所說,代表中產的咖啡店,都反映了這社區的定位。

聖誕節後的週六來到,market沒有開,幸好路邊的商店大多已開門營業。走到街尾的Climpson & Sons,一如所料的人聲頂沸。舊木枱長凳的裝潢,感覺平易近人,但吸引我目光的卻是位衣著新潮的斯文英國型男(沒錯 !正是我喜歡的類型,我早已暈倒了~),從其與barista的對話,相信他是住在附近的熟客,這裡算是英國新潮的居住地嗎?

好不容易定過神來,到counter前落單。對其cookies & cakes都不感興趣,只點了杯espressolatte。不止一眾穿著有個性的客人,收銀的女生同樣有格調,帶點凌亂美的長髮,白色背心,我認出她就是 Nicky
 
_MG_1563.jpg
鮮紅色的La Marzocco為沉樸的咖啡店添上色彩
_MG_1569.jpg


說回咖啡甘香豐厚的espresso入口帶點焦糖的香甜味道平衡在口腔中留下花香餘韻悠長較早一天在Workshop Coffee Company喝到的更好,又比Ozone 的更有層次

_MG_1576.jpg
是日的barista 是Anthony,他的奶打得不錯,溫度掌得好,我能嚐到釋放的乳糖香甜與帶點焦糖味的espresso base合拍得很。很喜歡其espresso blend用來沖製奶類咖啡實在不俗。

_MG_1567.jpg

我另外買了包Rwanda Red bourbon回家,似乎手沖比aeropress更適合~ 豆的大小很一致,圓渾飽滿的,素質不錯。咖啡的口感頗圓融,有包裝說明所提到的lime acidity,但不很突出。整體算是我飲過的Rwanda中,不錯的了。
_MG_1562.jpg_MG_2088.jpg


回港後,到訪早於出發前已想去的St. Francis Street,竟能喝到Climpson & Sons的咖啡。這裡gentrify的情況比Hackney更是有過之而無不及,更糟糕的是這區的連鎖店眾多,
遍地「豪宅」,不知是喜是悲?

Climpson & Sons

67 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH
Mon-Fri : 7:30am – 5.00pm | Sat: 8:30am – 5:00pm | Sun: 9:00am – 5:00pm


Food: wwwwwwww
Service:wwwwwww
Environment: wwwwwwww




Source

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