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  1. [Hong Kong] Bibo - Art Tour & Champagne

    The last birthday celebration for J was at Bibo where we had a tour of its art installations before our dinner! We had been to Bibo before when it first opened two years ago and decided to revisit after we had a great chat with the restaurant group's sommelier about champagne when we dined at The Ocean a few months ago. J wanted to try more kinds of champagne and his birthday coincided with the last week of the month which is when the Art Tours are offered, so we decided to sign up for it. The Art Tours occurs every last Thursday of the month at 6:30pm with no costs and it was definitely interesting to learn about the many different artists on display in the restaurant. It lasted about an hour and we walked all around the restaurant (even up to the private dining room) before making our way back to main dining for the start of our meal. Coincidentally, we sat at the same table as last time right by the Invader wall. The Bernardaud plates designed by Prune Nourry and JR are still a prominent part of the table decor at Bibo. After J chatted with the sommelier Wallace on what he was looking for, Wallace recommended the Franck Bonville Prestige Avize Grand Cru Brut NV Blanc de Blancs ($1370) for us to try. He recommended the use of wine glass instead of the usual champagne flute to maximize the aroma and taste of the champagne. Food-wise, Bibo offers a 5 course tasting menu for $1100 but we decided to order a la carte instead for more flexibility. After placing our orders, a refreshing amuse bouche with apricot jelly and almond mousse arrived along with bread and butter (one of which was a seaweed butter!). We were treated to this off-the-menu house smoked salmon which had a subtle smoky flavor and deliciously chewy texture to go with our champagne. For appetizers, J went for the Le Pate En Croute ($290) with homemade terrine, foie gras from Les Landes, pistachio and pork belly. As opposed to the soft pate spread, the pate is baked in a crust and is a very "French" dish that may not be for everyone (the people next to us only took a few bites). My Le Calamar ($250) with pan-fried squid, Hokkaido scallop, chorizo, bok choy and lemon dice was solid with very safe flavors but I thought the scallops could have been more raw while the dish could have used more acidity to make the tastes more interesting. Moving onto mains, the Le Bar ($480) with pan-fried sea bass, cherry tomatoes, white asparagus and Jerusalem artichoke puree was nicely executed but again the flavors were pretty safe and tasted as expected. I preferred the Le Homard Bleu Roti ($730) with roasted blue lobster and seaweed butter better which was served with seasonal vegetables, salted butter sauce and triple cooked fries as the flavors were on point and the portion can easily be shared between 2 people! Lastly, we had the La Fraise ($180) with fresh berries, yuzu cream, strawberry and ginger sauce, sesame tuiles and lychee sorbet to round off our meal and birthday celebration for J! Bibo 163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan Tel: +852 2956 3188 http://www.bibo.hk/#new-page Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  2. Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ The second birthday celebration for J was at VEA Restaurant & Lounge - the brainchild of Chef Vicky Cheng from Liberty Private Works and famed mixologist Antonio Lai! The restaurant is split into two floors with the 30/F as the fine dining restaurant and the 29/F as the more casual lounge with different decor and offerings. I had been to the VEA lounge before where I really enjoyed the creative cocktails and snacks (especially the Parmesan Truffle Fries!) so I was looking forward to trying the real restaurant with J this time. A tasting menu of 8 courses is offered at $1280 per person with an optional cocktail or wine pairing for $680. Just like LPW, most of the seats are at the counter where you can see the live action in the open kitchen but they also have a few sit-down tables too for those who prefer it. I still remember the first time I saw this ensemble of water and napkin (where you pour the water into the napkin) was at LPW which was cool in the beginning but since then, a lot of restaurants in HK have been doing this too. A few edible table decorations had been placed in front of us on the counter already including a cute ladybug on a basil cracker and a yellow cream flower on a twig. A few more snacks continued to come including this rendition of "garlic bread" with Parmesan cream in a cannoli and topped with shiso leafs. This Cantonese style steamed fish with soy sauce powder was simply amazing as it managed to combine all the flavors in the traditional and classic dish onto a crispy fish skin! The Applewood-smoked quail egg seemed to pay homage to another classic Shanghainese dish tea smoked egg, and it was packed with flavors. The first cocktail pairing was this Dashi Cucumber with lemon and vodka which was light and refreshing to drink while the dashi gave it a very unique taste. Our meal got off to a fantastic start with this beautifully constructed signature dish Tuna with Hokkaido uni, espelette, and burnt cucumber jelly. While the uni could have been more fresh but the combination of flavors and texture was absolutely divine. A piece of longan was provided on the side as a palate cleanser of some sort. Basil with gin, yuzu, and egg white Spanish Sardine with trout roe, micro tomato and avocado Blood Orange with apple and elderflower I never thought that I would be served a Sea Cucumber stuffed with langoustine at a French restaurant but this was just another great example of how the chef managed to fuse French and Chinese cuisine together seamlessly. The Shitake with whisky and consomme reminded me of a juice pairing I had at Florilege in Tokyo using shitake mushrooms with houjicha. I think the drink here could have worked better with less consomme as it was almost like drinking broth which took away the unique flavors of whisky with shitake. The bartender told me that some people thought the whisky was too strong so maybe having the consomme on the side to add by ourselves could be a solution. The signature dish Egg with truffle, Parmesan and caviar was a dish that I loved at LPW and it was good to be reunited with a new addition of Chinese fried dough with truffle! Tofu Almond with gin and ginger I loved the Earl Grey Goose with "lo sui" goose breast, foie gras, taro puff and cherry with its intricate plating as I saw it being painstakingly assembled right in front of me. The use of "lo sui" (Chinese marinade) goose here was just genius and not at all out of place at a French restaurant. Chinese Rice with calvados and dark vinegar The Pork Belly with girolle, "mui choy" and asparagus was another home run as the pork belly was super tender and simply melted in the mouth. "Mui Choy" refers to preserved mustard greens which is used in a very classic Chinese dish with braised pork belly. The only blemish of the night was the Australian Wagyu beef they sold as an upgrade to the pork belly dish at the start of the meal. We were curious so J got it for an additional $390 but it turned out to be a big disappointment. Not only was the portion tiny for the price (like two tiny pieces), the beef was a bit chewy and the execution of the dish was not that creative compared to all other dishes that we had throughout the night. Granted it didn't help that we just had the best steak of our lives at Shima in Tokyo but even for a normal non-Japanese Wagyu, it wasn't that great to be honest. The staff happened to ask us what we thought when we were eating the beef so we gave him the honest feedback and they were courteous enough to remove the supplement fee from our final bill. The last cocktail pairing was a beautiful Fung Lei with pineapple black tea and rum which I though was a bit too sweet, but overall I thought Antonio and team had put a lot of thought into the cocktail pairing which is definitely worth a try if you dine here! The first of our two desserts was Pineapple with osmanthus, yogurt and wild walnut which was a modern twist of the classic Taiwanese pineapple cake complete with a theatrical smoking yogurt on the side. The second dessert was a whimsical Honeycomb with a bold combination of miso and edamame. I've never had edamame in a dessert before and I thought the fusion of sweet and savory flavors was certainly very interesting. In Chinese culture, a whole roasted pig is a symbol of celebration so we were served this cute chocolate piggy as a birthday dessert to J! Lastly to round off our meal, we had petit fours in a sphere jar with condensed milk mochi, hazelnut biscuit truffle, grilled corn & coconut macaron, and orange & earl grey madeleine. And just like at LPW, we also had a marshmallow and lychee rosewater that looked like the water and napkin we had in the beginning to come full circle with our meal. Verdict - VEA is definitely one of my top favorite restaurant in Hong Kong while the cocktail pairing is also one of a kind! The flavors of the dishes will tastes great to anyone but I think it is best appreciated by those who have an understanding of Chinese cuisine to fully realize the ingenuity of the food here. The menu changes one dish per week and I look forward to coming back to try the chef's new creations in due time! VEA Restaurant & Lounge 29/F-30/F, The Wellington 198 Wellington Street, Central Tel: +852 2711 8639 http://www.vea.hk/ Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  3. Rating: ❤❤❤❤ It's J's birthday week and one of first birthday celebrations we had with a group of friends was at Le Rêve - a new French-Japanese restaurant located in the hip ZING! building in Causeway Bay. The restaurant is headed by Chef Ryogo Ozawa who had trained at the 3* L’Assiette Champenoise in Reims, and he's combining his modern French technique with superb Japanese ingredients to deliver the best of both worlds in Hong Kong. For dinner, you can choose between 6 courses for $980 or 8 courses for $1380, and we went for the lighter 6 course set menu for our group. Optional wine pairing with 3 glasses and 5 glasses are also available for $320 and $520 respectively. The decor at the restaurant was modern and elegant with a bar and wine cellar at one end and the dining room with a view into the kitchen at the other. What was surprising was that the bar almost took up just as much space as the dining room which wasn't big to begin with. The theme of the menu is "A Harmony of Earth & Sea" and the table settings reflected just that with a wooden tree stump charger plate and a long brown leaf as a place mat. The attention to detail continued with the bread plates which was made from volcanic rocks in Mount Fuji. The bread was actually really nice and when I asked them if it was made in-house, they said no but that they have a Japanese bakery make it for them. The first dish was a refreshing Crabe (Hokkaido) / Peache with a mixture of Hokkaido crab meat, scallops, apricot and pear. Topped with beetroot, the taste was light, delicate and nicely balanced. The combination of Pike Conger (Hyogo) / Tomato was impressive as the pike conger tempura was fried to perfection which went exceedingly well with the tomato and cucumber gazpacho. The presentation of the Nodoguro (Nagasaki) / Vin Jaune (Jura) was beautiful as the blackthroat seaperch was surrounded by a crispy potato halo. The tender fish was delicious as nodoguro tends to have a high amount of fat and the accompanying wine sauce was superbly made as well. The Bateau House Challans Duck (Nantes) was another excellent dish as it corporate a bit of every flavor with sweetness, sourness, bitterness and spiciness. The duck was very flavorful while I enjoyed the sauce as well which was a bit spicy. The only thing was that this dish was placed backwards for half of our table which doesn't affect the taste, but for a fine dining restaurant it points to a lack of attention to detail. I loved the stark contrasting colors of the Bamboo Charcoal / Raspberry dessert which had a creamy filling but I thought that the pastry crust was a bit too dry. The Petit Fours was a stunning fusion of Japanese and French sweets with mochi, lychee, madeleine and chocolate. It was the perfect ending of our meal which reflected the chef's vision in what he wanted to deliver in his food. Verdict - there is no doubt that Chef Ryogo Ozawa is talented with a lot of potential but the only thing missing at the restaurant was the level of the service which wasn't bad but just not on par with the food. If Le Reve wants to play in the big league and potentially garner a star from Mr. Michelin, this is probably the area it needs to work on improving. Le Rêve 10/F ZING! 38 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay Tel: +852 2866 1010 http://www.lereve.com.hk/index.html Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  4. Rating: ❤❤❤1/2 T'ang Court 唐閣 at The Langham was the only new promotion to 3 Michelin stars in 2016 and one of the three Chinese restaurants besides Lung King Heen and Bo Innovation to receive this accolade. Although the Michelin Guide in Hong Kong has its fair share of critism, I was still curious about it and decided to take a friend from out of town to check out the dim sum here recently. We managed to snag a last minute reservation on a Sunday at 2pm which was a good and bad thing - good that we didn't have to wait a few months unlike Lung King Heen but bad because a lot of its signature dishes were sold out already by the time we got there like the Baked Barbecue Bun, Roasted Pork Belly and Baked Pastries with Abalone and Fish Maw. The restaurant has 2 floors with pale gold wallpaper and elegant tapestry and we sat upstairs by the windows where the tables were well spaced-out. The dim sum selection were rather small but we still ordered a few classics to try. The Siu Mai ($88/4 pcs) with steamed shrimp, pork, mushroom and conpoy tasted just like the ones at a regular dim sum restaurant and the ingredients were not premium enough to justify the high prices. They didn't have a regular Har Gow (shrimp dumpling) so we settled for the Steamed Shrimp, Pork, Coriander and Celery Dumpling ($88/4 pcs) which again was underwhelming and I could have done without the coriander or celery. The dumpling skin was nice and chewy though. Since the baked version was sold out, we tried the Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns ($78/3 pcs) instead which was decent but nothing that you can't get elsewhere. The Pan-fried Rice Flour Rolls ($80) with homemade XO spicy sauce was interesting though because the entire roll seemed to have been deep-fried instead of slightly pan-fried on both sides like the usual version. The result was extra crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside like rice cakes almost. The Smoked Sliced Cod Fish with Honey Syrup ($200) was highly recommended by the staff and one of the more impressive dishes of the meal as the outside of the cod fish was deliciously crispy while the coating of honey syrup was irresistible as well. The Roasted Lung Kong Chicken ($300/half) was solid with crispy skin, juicy meat and a few lotus root chips on the side. The Baked Seafood Rice with Cream Sauce in Crab Shell ($120) is a popular signature dish here as it is served in a decadent golden crab shell in addition to a real one. Its looks were probably more impressive than the taste though but it did have a good variety of seafood in the rice including prawns and scallops. The Baked Stuffed Crab Shell with Crab Meat and Onion ($180) was delicious though as the crab meat was nicely balanced by the sweet taste of onions. Lastly, we rounded up our lunch with the Mixed Vegetables with Vermicelli and Dried Wolfberries in Clear Soup ($180) which used quality vegetables but unfortunately the broth didn't have much flavor. Verdict - our bill came out to around $500 per person between the 4 of us which is what one can expect at a high end restaurant like this. The dim sum was average and overpriced though while the other dishes were solid but nothing that you can't find elsewhere in this city. For dim sum lunch, I'd much prefer the 2 Michelin star Yan Toh Heen at The Intercontinental Hotel instead where the food was more impressive in looks and tastes. T'ang Court 唐閣 1/F, The Langham 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Tel: +852 2132 7898 http://www.langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/hong-kong/dining/tang-court/ Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  5. Rating: ❤❤❤1/2 I usually don't eat a lot of Japanese food in Hong Kong because J and I go to Japan pretty often, but when I heard that Godenya - a sake pairing restaurant - may be the hardest restaurant to book in HK, I was intrigued and set out to make a reservation on its website. You need a code to make enter the reservation page (hint: it's on their Facebook page) and true enough, the restaurant was all booked up 2 months in advance already. I decided to waitlist for some of the dates that doesn't look as full and we lucked out on a last minute cancellation when I got an email notifying us of the availability of 2 counter seats last week. The restaurant was hard to find as well because even though the address says it's on Wellington Street, the entrance is actually in an obscure alley on Kau U Fong with almost no signage except for a tiny white plaque with the restaurant name written in Japanese. We slid the wooden door sideways to enter the cozy restaurant which only has 6 counter seats and a table for 2 plus a private room which can fit up to 8 people. The decor was very minimalistic with bare concrete walls and wooden furnishings, and standing behind the counter was the owner and sake master Goshima Shinya who would be taking care of us for the night. Only a set menu of 9 courses and 7 sake pairing is available here for $1500 per person and the food is described as a fusion of Japanese and Cantonese cuisine which is prepared by Goshima-san's younger brother. At one end of the counter were Goshima-san's tools where he can serve his sake at precise temperatures by using thermometers to measure the alcohol before serving. We noticed that the sake he serves were not from famous sake regions like Niigata and Goshima-san explained that he likes to discover sake from small producers so he can age them himself to develop an unique taste. The first course was Peach, Glass Shrimp, Soy Milk with a layer of soy milk panna cotta topped with Japanese glass shrimp and two pieces of peach which are in season now. I liked the sweetness of the peaches but the panna cotta didn't have much flavor so the whole dish came off as a bit bland. The first sake pairing was a sparkling sake Hanatome (Nara) Yamahai Junmai Ginjyo Nama 2016 served at 12°C. The Rock Oyster, Seaweed was better as the oyster wasn't too briny while I enjoyed the seaweed sauce on the side. Usually oysters grow at the surface but the rock oyster here came from the deep sea around the Mie prefecture. Chotin (Aichi) Junmai Gingyo Nama 2016 served at 15°C. The Abalone, Liver, Rice was probably the best dish of the night with a tasty risotto that had been cooked with cheese, mushrooms and pine nuts. The best part was the rich abalone liver sauce that tied everything in this dish together. Sogen (Ishikawa) Junmai Nama 2015 served at 43°C. The Katsuo (bonito), Roe, Iberico Ham, Beets, Black Olive was a disappointing dish though as the beetroot sauce was way too sour and overpowered any flavor of the other ingredients. Kazennomori (Nara) Junmai Nama 80% 2016 served at 12°C. The Kyoto Eggplant, Morel Mushrooms, Lobster Bisque was promising as I liked the flavor combination but it would have been better of the lobster bisque was stronger. Tenyurin (Mie) Junmai 2004 served at 48°C. The Lamb, Manganji Pepper, Blue Cheese was a bold combination with Okinawan bitter melon but personally I am not a fan of blue cheese so I didn't really enjoy the sauce here. Taenohana (Mie) Kimoto Junmai Nama 90% 2016 served at 18°C. The Wild Ayu arrived in a bamboo steamer and was the only dish of the night that really integrated Japanese and Cantonese cuisine together by steaming the popular Japanese fish with oil and soy sauce. The fish had a lot of tiny bones which made it hard to eat - maybe there is a reason why ayu is usually grilled in Japan - while the soy sauce wasn't rich enough at all like the ones used in Cantonese cooking so the dish ended up neither here or there in my opinion. Our last sake pairing of the night with Bongu (Saitama) Junmai Gingyo 2012 served 47°C. Interesting tidbit about the name of the sake which means common fool in Chinese so we asked Goshima-san about the name. He was surprised that we knew what the word meant because the kanji meaning fool is hardly used in Japanese anymore. As opposed to common fool, the name actually means "unique fool" in Japanese. The Crude Wheat (Brown Wheat) Udon, Mussels Soup was enjoyable as the soup was deliciously sweet and flavorful from the shellfish. The last course and dessert was the Black Cherry, Pistachio, Sake with pistachio ice cream and frozen sake on top. It was nice to come full circle by having sake as part of our dessert but I wasn't sure if the flavors worked as the sake was a bit bitter. Verdict - I wasn't too impressed with the food at Godenya to be honest but I think the sake pairing is quite unique and certainly a great experience for those who love sake. Godenya 182 Wellington Street, Central Tel: +852 6713 5917 http://www.godenya.com/about_us.php?lang=eng Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  6. Hidden in a basement of an office building, Shima wasn't exactly easy to find with a small discreet sign in front of Tully's. We had to wait outside for 30 minutes pass our reservation time because apparently the people occupying our table wouldn't leave. The lady receptionist was very apologetic about it though and she kept apologizing even as she ushered us into the elevator. The decor at the restaurant was homey and low-key with 6 seats at the counter and a few tables on the side. Standing behind the counter was Chef Oshima Manabu who turned out to be the nicest and friendliest chef ever as he spoke good English and was very hospitable to us. He selects his cattle personally from farms near his hometown Kyoto and grills the beef on binchotan which turns out to be the best steak I've ever had! Best of all, the prices are very reasonable here as the chef only charges ¥‎13,000 (US$120) per 150g of beef compared to the famous introduction-only Kawamura where I hear a meal can easily cost US$1000 per person. The menu was simple with a small selection of appetizers and mains (including steaks which is what we are here for). Two kinds of steaks are available - sirloin or fillet - and the chef came by to show us the beef that he uses for the steaks. For sirloin, he uses a Kobe beef from Tajima (Japanese black) cows which are highly prized for its pure bloodline and for fillet, a wagyu from around Kyoto. We ended up getting one of each and true to what we've heard, the chef didn't try to oversell us and assured us that 150g was enough for each of us. After we placed our orders, the meat were weighed in front of us to show us what we will be getting. It wasn't until I checked my pictures later that I realized the chef gave us 200g of beef each but only charged us for the price of 150g. We ended up trying two appetizers that were recommended by the chef as they were not on the printed menu. The first was a white asparagus cooked with eggs and drizzled with oil and vinegar. I liked the flavors of the simple dish but the white asparagus seemed past its prime and a bit overcooked. The deep-fried crab croquette was crispy with a delicious creamy filling of crab meat. Finally, our steaks arrived next! Both steaks were beautifully grilled on the outside with a medium rare center. Initially we were afraid that the fillet would be too lean but it turned out to be just right with delicate and subtle flavors. Check out the beautiful color on our fillet! In comparison, the sirloin was fattier with more marbling and it was equally delicious in its own way. We had heard from our Japanese foodie friends that restaurants serving Tajima beef would be able to produce a certification verifying the pedigree and production history of the beef, so we were curious and asked the chef if this was true. Indeed it was and he showed us the documentation which had the cow's birth date, name (and names of the parents, grandparents and great-grandfather), and even nose print (which I'm guessing is a unique identifier like our fingerprints?). It was borderline creepy knowing so much about the piece of sirloin steak we just ate...and if you must know, our virgin female cow's name was Yuna and Yuna was very delicious. You can also verify the legitimacy of the cow on the Tajima Beef Certification System by entering the 10-digit ID number on the certification (ours was 1417801143 - give it a try!). The chef ended up giving me the certification to keep as a souvenir so I now have this hanging on my wall! We were full after our steaks so we moved onto desserts where you can choose from a few options. I went for the custard pudding with caramel and fruits while J chose ice cream. The petit fours were surprisingly delicious actually. At the end of our meal, we received a take-away gift from the chef! I had heard that people would get a steak sandwich for takeaway at Shima, but maybe he had run out of the sandwich as we ended up getting a homemade cheesecake instead. Thank you Chef for the wonderful food and hospitality at your restaurant! I enjoyed my meal a lot and Shima is definitely a restaurant I will be returning to again in Tokyo. Shima 島 3-5-12 Nihonbashi Chuo Tokyo 東京都 中央区 日本橋 3-5-12 日本橋MMビル B1F Tel: +81-3-3271-7889 http://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1302/A130202/13000495/ Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  7. Rating: ❤❤❤1/2 Doutou clams (哆頭蟶子) festival is happening at Putien 莆田 with 7 new dishes to showcase this golden shell delicacy until the end of August! What's so special about Duotou clams you ask? These clams are a specialty from Duo Tou village in the Putian area with over 600 years of history, and they are of superb quality due to the rare black mud in which they are bred which has lots of nutrients and little sand particles. They may look small compared to razor clams but this species is only supposed to be 6cm long with plump and meaty flesh. The restaurant originates from Singapore (which just received 1 star in the Singapore Michelin Guide by the way) with several branches in Hong Kong now and serves Fujianese (福建) cuisine which I've never had before, so I was excited to try the new clam dishes along with some of its classic signatures as well. We started with drinks first and I fell in love in love with this Infusion by Mr. Qu which is a combination of two drinks and created by one of the restaurant's loyal patron Mr. Qu. The mixture of soursop, pineapple, green vegetables and plums was so delicious and refreshing that I ended up drinking 3 of these during the night! The Braised Pig Intestine is one of the signature dishes here where 12 inch-long intestines are meticulously washed, looped and braised with a house sauce containing 12 kinds of spices. Using only the delicate part between the large and small intestine, it is hand folded manually loop after loop before being braised for at least 45 minutes. This intricate and complex method ensures a springy texture with every bite and it is only available in limited quantity on a daily basis - I highly recommend trying this dish! The Iced Bitter Gourd is an interesting way to serve bitter melon with crunchy strips that is served chilled and with a honey dip. I'm not a fan of bitter melon but it should be great for those who love it to be able to eat it in such a refreshing way. The Seaweed with mini shrimps was surprisingly delicious as the restaurant only uses 15cm-long top-grade seaweed that is harvested within 30 days after cultivation. We then started our Duotou clams feast starting with the Stir-fried Duotou Clam ($98) which had been cooked traditionally with ginger and spring onion. The Steamed Duotou Clam ($98) with minced garlic, spring onion, chili is another classic way of eating clams. The Baked Duotou Clam ($98) served on hot plate with sea salt is highly recommended by the restaurant where you can dip the clam into the sea salt to eat. Duotou Clam Omelette ($98) The Salted Spicy Duotou Clam ($108) which had been crisp and lightly battered with spring onions and diced chilies. The Steamed Duotou Clam ($98) with the traditional Chinese Hua Diao wine turned out to be my favorite as the clams had absorbed the wine broth which was very delicious and soothing to drink! The Cereal Prawns was impressive as the prawns had been deep fried to golden crisp with egg floss, sliced chilli, curry leaves and cereal. It was interesting to use cereal as the crispy batter which added a distinct taste to the prawns. The Chinese Mustard Porridge was a crowd favorite and highly recommended by fellow foodies I was eating with! We went all out with the desserts as well as we tried some of the classics here including the Golden Rice Cake, Sweet Potato Balls and Putien Rice Cake. The Golden Rice Cake was probably my favorite of the bunch as it was like sticky rice cake with a deliciously chewy texture. This dessert is for the durian lovers out there - Deep-fried Durian! Another beautiful dessert here - Purple Sweet Potato with pumpkin cream. *By Invitation Putien 莆田 7/F, Lee Theatre Plaza 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay Tel: +852 2111 8080 http://www.putienhk.com/en/ Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  8. I was back at Mott 32 over the weekend to try its new specialty dishes featuring Yunnan Mushrooms which will be available until the end of August! I haven't eaten at the restaurant since new Executive Chef Lee Man Sing (previously at Man Wah of Mandarin Oriental) took over earlier this year, so I was excited its old and new dishes alike. We started with some classics like the Iberico Pork Char Siu and Siu Mai with black truffle and quail egg before sampling almost all of the 8 new dishes where I would be surprised with the many different types of mushrooms from Yunnan! The Fried Giant Garoupa ($480) featured sarcodon mushrooms and garlic stems. The fish was perfectly stir-fried while the overall flavors were rather light. The Fried Mantis Prawns ($560) with termitomyces mushrooms and fresh fennels turned out to be my favorite dish of the meal as the prawns were plump and juicy with deliciously rich flavors. The Free Range Chicken ($580) with matsutake mushrooms and fresh abalone casserole was also a stand-out especially with the super tender abalone which had absorbed all of the flavorful sauces. The Poached Chinese Spinach ($220) with matsutake mushrooms and fresh bamboo pith in rice broth was a good vegetarian option with light and subtle flavors. The Pan-fried Boletus Mushrooms ($230) was surprisingly delicious as the soy sauce used to stir-fry the mushrooms tasted like the premium kind with strong and rich flavors. I liked the combination of the Steamed Beancurd Sheet ($480) with matsutake mushrooms, but I wasn't sure that the Spanish ham worked here in this dish. The Deep-fried Rice Dumpling ($480) with diced Australian wagyu beef and wild mushroom was an interesting dish as the rice ball had been pan-fried with a crispy crust like a Japanese grilled onigiri almost. The rice was then broken apart and mixed with the sauce, and I highly enjoyed eating the crispy rice with the flavorful sauce. A visit to Mott 32 would not be complete without trying its signature Apple Wood Roasted 42 Days Peking Duck with its impeccably crispy skin and juicy meat! It was skillfully carved right in front of us and we were provided with steamed pancake and sauces to eat with the duck. Dessert time! I don't know how but we still managed to try a variety of desserts after all the food that we had including the refreshing Black Sesame Ice Cream, Water Chestnut Rolls with coconut, Almond Purple Yam Puffs, and the Sweetened Beancurd Cream with Mango Soup! *By Invitation Mott 32 卅二公館 Standard Chartered Bank Building 4-4A Des Voeux Rd Central, Central Tel: +852 2885 8688 http://www.mott32.com/ Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  9. [Tokyo] TAKAZAWA - Enjoy Your Imagination

    Enjoy your imagination at Takazawa where food is not bounded by rules or conventions! I first heard about the restaurant from my "mostly" vegetarian friend ("mostly" because he makes rare exceptions and this was one of the case) who highly recommended the place. It is currently #33 on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurant 2016 list with no Michelin star, but only because Chef Yoshiaki Takazawa declined - in my opinion, Takazawa could easily have 2 Michelin stars based on the creativity and quality of the food which is Japanese-French fusion. Reservations are not exactly easy since the restaurant only serves 10 seats per night, but it's not too hard either as they take reservations by email on the 1st of every month for the following month (i.e. if you want to visit in August, it's best to email them on July 1st). I corresponded with the chef's wife Akiko who confirmed our reservation and asked us to choose between 2 menus: 9 dishes for ¥‎24,000 or Chef's Tasting Menu of the Day for ¥‎30,000. We opted for the latter, and once we made our way up the stairs into the intimate restaurant, we were greeted warmly by Akiko who spoke fluent English and took great care of us during the entire evening. The main focal point of the dining room is the stark metallic table where the dishes would be assembled by the chef and his team. I was free to take photographs of my food but Akiko's only request is that I do not take pictures of the chef who is apparently camera-shy. A piece of paper titled "ENJOY YOUR IMAGINATION" had been placed on our table already with the 10 courses we would be getting for our Chef's Tasting Menu. All of the dish name had a year next to them which I assumed is when the dish was first introduced into the restaurant. The first of our amuse bouche is a refreshing Junsai with Tomato Water. Junsai is an aquatic plant from Akita which is best known for its slippery and gelatinous texture. The next dish was a delcious Baked Clam topped with a crispy cheese and basil crust. The last appetizer was a tender Octopus stuffed with its own innards and tentacles. The first course was the chef's signature dish which had been on the menu since the beginning - Ratatouille (2005) with a dash of sea salt and black bean from Kyoto where each of the 12 vegetables had been prepared differently in its own ways. We were instructed to eat this colorful reinvention of a traditional French Provencal dish in one bite and the flavors were very fresh with a myriad of textures and flavors! Our bread came next with a tube of onsen water and a jar of pork rillette made from Okinawan Agu pork. We were told to squeeze the tube of water into our mouths first before eating the bread, and it turned out to be one amazing piece of corn toast along with the super creamy and flavorful pork rillette. We continued our tasting menu with the next course Like a Caviar Canape (New) with sturgeon, caviar and garnishes of chives, shallots, lemon zest and capers on the side of the plate. I liked the presentation of the dish but not so much the flavors as the caviar easily overpowered the taste of the fish. The Scallop Spaghetti (2013) topped with murasaki uni turned out to be one of my favorite dishes of the night as it was my first time eating pasta made from scallop puree, and it was delicious! The 7 Tools (New) is perfect for monkfish lovers as everything on the plate was made from a part of fish with monkfish meat, monkfish skin jelly cube, monkfish liver ice cream and wasabi leaves. The name 7 Tools (七つ道具) refers to the 7 parts of the fish that is edible: flesh, skin, stomach, liver, ovaries, gills and fins. The stand-out was definitely the ankimo (monkfish liver) ice cream - I mean I love eating regular ankimo as is but I never thought it could be turned into ice cream which tasted even better! The Candleholder (2007) was another impressive dish with a foie gras brulee and apple jam with a piece of rosemary as the candle wick. We scooped a bit of each onto a piece of ciabatta and the combination was just heavenly. The Carbonara (2013) arrived in a case of smoke and the smoky aroma continued to envelop us after the lid was taken off to reveal the white asparagus with bacon and white truffle. Interestingly, I had a similar dish recently at Vinkeles in Amsterdam, but the execution at Takazawa was better with more depth in terms of flavors. The Fish & Chips (2016 version) was an interesting take on the British classic with deep-fried cod fish, edible paper made from squid ink, foams of ponzu and vinegar, and Hokkaido kombu seaweed mayo. It was like deconstructed version if you will but the presentation was probably more memorable than the taste. The Dinner in the Forest (2009) made a dramatic entrance in a haze of smoke, and it was then revealed that we were in for special treat as the meat on the tree stump was brown bear from Hokkaido! It was my first time eating bear meat but I'm not sure that I'm a fan of it as it is not as flavorful as beef - in fact it didn't really have much flavor. The baked burdock root was more impressive as it was soft and creamy like a sweet potato. We then transitioned to our dessert courses, and we had hot tea made from herbs that had been grown on a rooftop in Odaiba The desserts continued its playful presentation as the Chocolate & Mint (2015) may look like regular soba at first but it was actually noodles made of mint with a chocolate dipping sauce. While I liked the creativity of the presentation, I didn't really like the flavor combo as it reminded me too much of mint chocolate candy. The Rice and Egg? (2015) turned out to be another playful dessert with coconut rice, tea jelly, and mango as egg yolk! The eggshell containing the tea jelly and mango were poured over the coconut rice in front of us, and while I liked this dessert more than the previous one, I thought that the coconut rice was too dry. Lastly, we had four petit fours which included a cat-shaped cookie, shoyu (soy sauce) marshmallow, matcha macaron and sesame cake. Takazawa is a bit expensive compared to other French-Japanese restaurants in Tokyo like L'Effervescence or Florilege, but it's hard to compare them because the food at Takazawa is almost one of a kind and worthy of an experience if you don't mind paying for it. TAKAZAWA 3-5-2 Akasaka Minato Tokyo 東京都 港区 赤坂 3-5-2 サンヨー赤坂ビル裏側 2F Tel: +81-3-3505-5052 http://www.takazawa-y.co.jp/en/ Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  10. After our exciting adventure at the tuna auction, it was time to reward ourselves with sushi breakfast at the Tsukiji Fish Market. The place that most people think of is Sushi Dai but the queue is notoriously long (think 2-3 hours) and we heard that people were already lining up at the restaurant while we were waiting for the tuna auction, so we decided to check out Uni Tora Kurau instead which is known for its rice bowl with 5 different types of uni (sea urchin)! There are at least two Uni Tora Kurau restaurants in the Tsukuji and we ended up going to the naka dori ten which opens at 7am. The restaurant was bright, clean and modern with 9 seats at the sushi counter, and since we had time to study the menu while waiting outside, we already knew what we wanted to get. They mostly serve rice bowls here with sea urchin and seafood, and you can pretty much get any kind of combination you want. J got the Uni Tabekurabe Don with 5 varieties of sea urchin from Japan which costs ¥‎6,458 including tax. The cost is cheaper if you opt for overseas uni instead of the Japanese ones. The uni in the rice bowl included Bafun uni from Iwate, Kita Murasaki uni from Aomori, and Bafun and Murasaki uni from Hokkaido which were decent but not the best quality that we've had - some were better than others but they didn't seem too fresh to be honest. I'd rather have quality over quantity and since the price wasn't exactly cheap, I would prefer to eat sushi lunch at a real sushi-ya like Miyaha which costs about the same. I had the Original Kaisen Hitsumabushi with 12 kinds of sashimi and extra servings of domestic uni for ¥‎4,298. This was rather fun to eat since you can eat it in 3 ways: 1) Eat it as a Kaisendon by taking a portion of the sashimi, uni and rice into a small bowl. Season with soy sauce and wasabi as you like. 2) Eat it as Bara Chirashi by mixing the sashimi, mushrooms and lotus roots with the uni thoroughly until the rice turns into the color of the sea urchin. 3) Eat it as Ochazuke by pouring dashi broth over the remaining rice mixture I enjoyed this more than the Uni Tabekurabe Don, but I probably wouldn't come here to eat if I wasn't in Tsukiji already for the tuna auction. The unwelcoming service was a turn-off as well. Bonus round! After seeing someone making tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette) on a Japanese TV show, I really wanted to try some at the Tsukiji as there is a whole row of shops dedicated to this craft. The most famous one is Marutake where the son's owner is a famous TV personality, and you can buy a slice for just ¥100! They have pre-cut the omelette already so you can just pay and grab a tray. You can also buy a whole roll and I saw some Japanese old ladies doing just that. The tamagoyaki was still piping hot but I found it a bit too sweet for my taste. I decided try Yamachou just down the street as well which had a bigger corner shop with a tamagoyaki cooking demonstration through a window. They also sell a slice of tamagoyaki for ¥100 with options for an unsweetened or sweetened version which can be topped with grated radish if you wish. I opted for the sweet version which I liked better than Marutake as it was not as sweet and the grated radish also helped to balanced the flavors. Uni Tora Kurau 4−10−5 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan http://itadori.co.jp/shop/shop_04.html Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  11. I finally made it to the Tuna Auction at the Tsukiji Fish Market after going to Tokyo so many times before it moves later in November! It helped that I was jet-lagged from Europe so I couldn't sleep at night anyways. The tuna auction starts at 5:25AM and I knew that I had to show up hours before to line up since there is a limit of 120 visitors per day, but when I tried to look up the best time to go, I found various sources saying to show up at different times ranging from 3AM to 4:30AM. I was all set to go at 3:30AM when a friend told me that when he showed up at 3:30AM earlier this year, he got the last spots for the auction so to ensure that we get into the auction, J and I decided to go at 2:30AM. When we got to the Fish Information Center, there was already a line and a sign on the window that says the Tuna Auction registration time is from ~2:40AM to 3AM. All of the 120 visitor quota for the auction was filled by around 3:30AM so I would say that it's best to arrive by at least 3AM if you want to get into the auction. Also figure out where the Fish Information Center (that's where you register to watch the tuna auction!) ahead of time so you don't have to look around like we did in the middle of the night. We managed to find a paper map at the main gate and this map from Japan Guide is a good representation of it - the registration center is at the Kachidoki Gate on Harumi Street. The Tsukiji Fish Market is also not opened everyday so remember to check the calendar before you decide to show up in the middle of the night! Once you make it pass the registration for the tuna auction, you will be handed a colored vest to wear where the colors signify which of the 2 groups you will be. We got the yellow vests which meant that we will be watching the first auction at 5:25AM while the green vests indicated the second auction at 5:50AM. We were ushered into the visitor center where we had to wait for 2 hours before the auction started so brace yourself for the wait. Bring something to entertain yourself and something to sit on as there are no chairs in the waiting area. Everyone was handed an information leaflet to read about the rules of the tuna auction such as: Don't do anything to disturb the normal running of business taking place Because the buyers and sellers use their fingers to indicate their bidding prices, don't use flash photography as it may interfere with the bidding process Don't enter the wholesalers' market area before 9AM Be careful with the moving vehicles as you make your way to the auction and you are responsible for your own safety Finally it was time for the tuna auction! We were led to the warehouse where the bidding took place with the yellow fin tunas on one side and the blue fin tunas on the other. Before the auction started, we got to observe the bidders diligently inspecting the fish by looking at the color of the flesh and even taking a bit of the tuna to taste as well. After around 10 minutes, we got to watch the yellow fin tuna auction which lasted around 5 minutes. Watch the video below for the action and remember to turn up the volume as the auctioneer standing in front of us basically singsong his way through the entire auction. He is calling out which tuna is up for sale (each tuna is numbered from 1 to 33) while the bidders are bidding for the fish with their fingers. I hear that each auctioneer has a different style so your experience may be different depending on who you get. Either way it was a great experience to watch and totally worth waking up in the middle of the night for! After the auction was over, it was time for the bidders to claim their fish and time for us to depart to make way for the next group. On our way back to the visitor center, we had to stop multiple times for the turret trucks which drove around really fast so be careful walking around the market at this busy time. Once we made it back safely, we handed over our vests and it was time for us to get some sushi breakfast at the Tsukiji Market. Stay tune for the next blog post on where we went to eat around the Tsukiji area! Tsukiji Fish Market 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/tukiji_e.htm Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  12. Le Bistro Winebeast is one of my favorite French bistro in Hong Kong with its quality food and reasonable prices, and I was glad to learn that it moved to a bigger and better location! One of its main selling point is that the wines at the restaurant are priced exactly the same as their retail shop so you're not forced to pay higher prices unlike most other restaurants. My only complaint of the old shop was the cramped spaces and uncomfortable seating which was hard for frequent visits so the new location should solve that problem as it is big enough to contain both the retail wine shop and restaurant as well! We came here for dinner and had the 4-course tasting menu for $458 plus wine pairing for an additional $100 which is such an amazing meal. The tasting menu changes every 4-6 weeks but you can order a la carte dishes as well which contains most of its signature dishes. On top of our tasting menu, we had an appetizer platter where you can choose from a variety of Frapas (French Tapas) at $38 for 1 Frapa, $68 for 2, $98 for 3, and $128 for 4. We had the Beef Tartare, Croquette of Haddock Brandade, and Homemade Hummus, and my favorite was of course the famous beef tartare with smoked chili, red onion pickles, basil oil and coriander! The first dish of the tasting menu was the Sea Bass Tartare with pineapple marmalade, red onion, and cream of horseradish. I liked the tartare as it was fresh but I thought the pineapple marmalade was a tad too sweet which overwhelmed the flavors of the fish. Wine pairing: Alsace, Audrey & Christian Banner, Les Saveurs 2014 I loved the beautiful and colorful plating of the Seared Red Tuna and Pan-fried Foie Gras with reduced raspberry vinegar jus and fresh fruits, but there was a bit too much going on with all the different sauces and fruits so I'm not sure what I'm supposed to focus on. Wine pairing: Bourgogne, Dom. Pierre Damoy 2011 However, the Braised Beef Cheek with grilled new onion, horseradish jus, and spring onion oil was executed beautifully with rich flavors and tender textures. Wine pairing: Bergerac, Ch. de Larchere, La Coste du Moulin 2013 The Strawberry dessert was also outstanding with strawberry and lemongrass coulis, marshmallow, vanilla and wasabi mascarpone, and strawberry sorbet. It wasn't the first time I had wasabi in dessert and it was very well-balanced here! Wine pairing: Cremant de Loire, Langlois Brut Rose *By Invitation Le Bistro Winebeast 141 Thomson Road, Wan Chai Tel: +852 2782 6689 https://www.wine-beast.com/le-bistro Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  13. Rating: ❤❤❤❤1/2 22 Ships' former executive chef Nathan Green has just opened a new restaurant in Sai Ying Pun in collaboration with Yenn Wong - the mastermind behind 208, Chachawan, Duddell's, Fish School and Meen & Rice. Named after the chef's grandmother who's also a great cook, Rhoda is a family-style restaurant with a focus on ingredients cooked on wood fire and charcoal. The decor of the restaurant is anything but grandmotherly though as the industrial chic interior had been designed by Joyce Wang (the designer behind the stylish Mott 32) with metallic trimmings and bare concrete walls - there's even a small lounge area with designs that's been inspired by barber shops and tattoo parlors! I came here with a girlfriend on a Thursday night and we got seated at the counter which are arguably the best seats in the house with an unobstructed view to all the action in the kitchen! Besides the grill dishes, the counter is also where desserts are made and Chef Nathan Green was there to look over everything coming out of his kitchen. We got to observe all of the ingredients that were being grilled from meat to seafood to vegetables right in front of us and it was honestly tempting to try them all! The menu was divided by appetizers, cold dishes, grill items, and dishes meant to be shared so there was something for everyone - you can order as much or as little as you want. Since there were only 2 of us, we couldn't get the bigger dishes so we ended up ordering a bunch of appetizers and grill items which turned out to be more than enough for us. First up was the complimentary Beer Bread made with Suntory dark ale and served with seaweed butter. The bread was fluffy soft and light but I wasn't sure that the seaweed butter worked for me - I think I would prefer normal salted butter more. If one portion of bread isn't enough for you, you can order from the menu for only $28. The Lotus Root Chips ($38) was really addictive to eat as the chips were super thin and crispy, but it was the chicken liver cream that stood out to me with its rich and enticing flavors. One of the famous signature dishes here is the 12-hour slow cooked Hawke's Bay lamb shoulder that needs to be pre-ordered in advance and meant to be shared between 4-6 people, so we opted for the Pulled Hawke's Bay Lamb Shoulder Burger ($118) instead which uses the same lamb so we could get a taste of it. I polished it off in seconds as the lamb was flavorful and soft while I loved the sauerkraut which balanced the meat perfectly. The Chicken Wings ($118) came fresh off the grill with a smoky charcoal aroma and glazed with Xeres vinegar - a gourmet wine vinegar made from Sherry. As a result, the chicken wings had a deliciously sweet flavor with nicely crisp skin. I had heard good things about the Slow Cooked Octopus ($138) with fennel, oregano and preserved lemon, and it didn't disappoint with tender textures and refreshing flavors. We were already full at this point so we moved onto desserts with this colorful Summer Berries ($98) with cherry granita and lemon creme fraiche. It was very refreshing, not heavy at all, and the perfect ending to our wonderful meal. Verdict - the tab came out to only ~$500 total for the 2 of us which was more than reasonable for the quality and amount of food that we had considering that I had paid more than double at similar new restaurants with less satisfying experiences. Rhoda is a restaurant that I am definitely going back to and I'm getting a larger group next time so I can try the whole chicken, snapper baked in kombu and 12-hour slow cooked lamb shoulder! Rhoda 345 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun Tel: +852 2177 5050 http://www.rhoda.hk/ Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  14. Rating: ❤❤❤❤ Japanese dessert lovers will not be unfamiliar with Nakamura Tokichi (中村藤吉) - a renowned tea house from Kyoto - and it has finally reopened at The Miramar Shopping Center after the closure of its cafe at The One. Sure we've had pop-ups at Pacific Place and Mira Mall, but it's great to have the full-blown tea room again with a complete menu of savory and dessert items. While the view here may not as nice as The One, fans of the brand will be please to know that new additions have been added to the menu and best of all - no lines (yet)! The new location has more seats than the old one which helps to cut down the crazy queue that we all have become familiar with last year. Before jumping straight into desserts, we tried a variety of its noodles starting with the Matcha Wheat Noodle Set ($118) which comes with matcha udon, rice, pickles and matcha tea jelly. While the matcha flavor wasn't that apparent in the udon, I did enjoy the chewy textures of the chilled noodles and dipping them into the tsuyu sauce to eat. Besides matcha udon, Sōmen ($78) - a very thin Japanese noodle made of wheat flour - is also available as well. If you prefer a hot bowl of noodles, the Kitsune Matcha Wheat Noodle Set ($118) is the one for you with clear broth and topped with sweet aburaage (deep-fried tofu skin). Moving onto desserts! One of the new items that has just been released is Kuzukiri (葛切) ($88) - a popular Japanese dessert in the summer made from arrowroot flour that is served in ice. The thick gelatinous noodles were deliciously chewy to eat with your choice of homemade matcha or Okinawan brown sugar syrup and perfect for cooling down in the summer heat! One of the most sough-after items here is the Warabi Mochi ($88) which was only available in limited quantities before as it had to be flown in directly from Japan. The good news is that the cafe will now be making them in Hong Kong so more quantities of this delicious confection will be available each day! Two flavors are currently available (matcha and soybean flour) and while I usually like anything matcha, I preferred the flavor of the kinako (soybean flour) warabi mochi more actually. This dreamy Maruto Strawberry Parfait ($108) is only available for a limited time only with layers of matcha soft serve, matcha jelly, chiffon cake, mochi, strawberry cream and strawberry puree. Who can resist shaved ice in the summer and the new Uji Kin Ice ($98) will sure to be a hit with your choice of matcha, houjicha or brown sugar syrup and topped with matcha or houjicha soft serve! I got to try all 3 flavors of the syrup and honestly I thought all of them were equally good - it just depends on what you prefer. The size of the kakigori was huge and can be shared easily between 2-3 people. Apparently, a smaller version will also be available at the Nakamura Tokichi take-out shop on the ground floor in Mira Mall in a few weeks as well. If you want to take a piece of Nakamura Tokichi with you, you can buy some of its tea collection and an array of confections and cakes to enjoy at home. I couldn't help but get the fluffy soft Houjicha Chiffon Cake ($63) to eat as breakfast for next day, and we easily polished it all off in one setting as the cake was super airy and light! *By Invitation Nakamura Tokichi 中村藤吉 Shop 3005-9, 3/F, Miramar Shopping Centre 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Tel: +852 2156 1168 https://www.facebook.com/tokichi.hk/ Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article
  15. Tai Hang has always been one of my favorite hunting grounds for hidden gem cafes, dessert shops and local comfort food, and with the opening of Little Tai Hang (a new complex with hotel, serviced apartments and restaurants), there will be even more reasons to visit this quaint neighborhood! One of the new restaurant concepts is BOND which aims to bond the local community by providing classic Western comfort food at affordable prices. Located on the 2/F, the restaurant is comfortably spacious with a bar and dining room plus an outdoor lounge that is perfect for escaping from this hectic city. We started with the Beetroot Salad ($88) with goat cheese and orange which was light and refreshing to eat. The Deep-fried Calamari ($98) with zucchini had a deliciously light and crispy batter but I thought that the honey mint yogurt dip was a bit too sweet. The French Onion Soup ($78) with toast and Gruyere cheese smelled absolutely enticing but the soup itself could have been more flavorful. We saw the Table Side Spaghetti in 24 month Parmesan Cheese Wheel ($198) being wheeled around while we were eating our appetizers so we were pretty excited when it was finally our turn! The cheese wheel had to be prepped first with a torch to melt the cheese with Bicardi rum before tossing the pasta in it with black truffle and Tasmanian black pepper. The result was a heavenly rich mixture of spaghetti and cheese with a hint of spice, and even though some of my dining companions thought it was a bit salty, I thought the flavors were just right for me. This is a dish that you don't want to take pictures for too long or else the melted cheese will dry out and make it hard to eat! The Fresh Seafood with Homemade Strozzapreti ($268) with scallops, clams, squid, prawns and chili flakes is another great option for pasta as the seafood were all perfectly cooked while the pasta was delightfully chewy. For mains, the Sea Bass in Clam and Saffron Stew ($220) is a solid choice as the fish was nicely cooked with a crispy skin. The Slow-cooked USDA Baby Back Ribs ($230) had been slathered with a homemade BBQ sauce which contained a number of spices and is perfect for sharing. I don't know how but we ended up trying 3 desserts even though we were stuffed with the Seven Layer Chocolate Cake ($68), Thai Milk Tea Creme Brulee ($68) and Tiramisu ($78). It was a close tie for me between the chocolate cake and creme brulee but the Seven Layer Chocolate Cake won my heart with a rich chocolaty mousse, hint of rum and crunchy crust! *By Invitation BOND Restaurant & Bar 2/F, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang Tel: +852 2155 1777 https://www.facebook.com/bondhongkong/ Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/supertastermel Follow me on Instagram! www.instagram.com/supertastermel View the full article