Archive

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Tonkatsu lunch at IMM.

imageLunchtime at IMM was getting more difficult because we tried almost everything remotely appealing. One we didn’t get to yet was ‘Saboten’ and since it fitted my newly rediscovered love for tonkatsu I didn’t hear myself say no when a colleague suggested it. After sitting down and before asking a question first thing the waiter said to us was that we were not allowed to customize the lunch sets. So much for a warm welcome.

I ordered the set with ‘Fillet Katsu‘ which turned out to be rather average; the meat was a bit dry and didn’t have much taste to talk about. The cabbage obviously was awesome as always but I would have preferred the usual and lighter sauce instead of the sesame dressing they used here. Miso soup and macha cake where okay but that’s about it.

Food here was only ok and the service came across a little rude so let’s just say there is still some room for improvement here. Bye for now.

Saboten Japanese Cutlet 勝博殿日式炸豬排
2 Jurong East Street
#01-19 IMM Building
Singapore 609601
Tel: +65 6898 3432

My first visit to Ramen Champion.

imageI read about ‘Ramen Champion’ a lot but stayed rather sceptical considering the big number of very average ramen shops in Singapore. On occasion I actually saw some tempting stalls popping up and leaving again before I managed to come down here but tonight some friends and I had planned to finally try it out. Researching during the day, my choice fell on ‘Bario’ because it had that ‘Jirokei‘ or ‘Jiro Style‘ ramen that I ate only once before at ‘Menya Shinchan’ (麺屋しんちゃん) which have closed down their shop at Robertson Quay a long time ago.

The bowl was massive and just loaded with stuff, heapz of sprouts that added some nice crunch and big slices of soft and smokey charred chashu that was good but not more. The thick and porky broth had an outrageous garlic punch that made my tongue feel furred and unknowing as I was, I had even added some additional fresh garlic from the freeloader station as well. “Hey again there Mr. Dragon Breath”! The extra chilli though seemed a much better idea. All this was already pretty great but what I loved most about this bowl were the noodles; they were those thick curly ones, springy and extremely entertaining to eat. All noodles should be like that.

Even that they didn’t do a bad job trying to create a comic style Japanese ramen town of some sort, ‘Ramen Champion’ still has a touch canteen atmosphere to it, also because of the fast turnover of customers, vibrating order alerts and the obligatory plastic trays. Nevertheless I was very positively surprised with ‘Bario’ and might take this as a reason to give some of the other stalls here a chance to do the same.

Bario バリ男
201 Victoria Street
#04-10 Bugis+
Singapore 188067
Tel: +65 6238 1011
http://ramenchampion.com.sg/index.php/portfolio/bario/

Sticky Notes.

imageLast time we didn’t realize that this was such a popular place and sadly had to watch the obviously smarter guests getting their grub on from the outside window. But not this time, I wasn’t super well prepared to be honest but at least managed to book on a Friday evening for two and was lucky enough that the nice booking lady squeezed us onto the bar so we didn’t strike out again. Yes baby, we were in.

Going through the pages of the menu I just kept on ordering more and more so that at the end I had totally forgotten where I had started or how many sticks we were going to get. Thankfully they first plate also brought back pieces of my memory and I was excited to begin in style with their special and my first ever ‘Fugu Sashimi‘ (puffer fish). It was pretty awesome, not necessarily a lot of taste of its’ own but the freshness and pleasant chunkiness of the fish made this a joy to eat. As this was so delicate they probably would’ve slapped me if I had asked for wasabi, but the side served ponzu-shoyu sauce (soya lemon) together with some green onion and other beautiful looking things did a much better job. This was a great kick off to our meal, just the skin was something I could’ve easily lived without as ugly and chewy as it was and since my heart was still beating (even though on a higher frequency) it was about time to bring on the sticks.

I’m gonna warn you right now, this is gonna be a long one.

imageBefore the first skewer, we had some ‘Tamanegi‘ coming, grilled onions, sharp and sweet at the same time with some garlic salt to dip in. I could’ve ordered that all night.

imageFinally the first stabbed piece of meat arrived and without planning it like that we started with the most decadent of choices, the twelve dollar ‘Jo Wa Gyu‘, top grade Japanese wagyu beef. Probably we should’ve had this a bit later down the track to build up the excitement but I didn’t mind this pure butter beefness that melted away in my mouth at all. The smallish portions made even this extremely fatty bits very enjoyable and so delicious that my friend didn’t even wait for me to take a picture before she ate hers in the blink of an eye.

imageThe ‘Shiso Buta Maki‘ (bacon and shiso leaf) was outstanding. I loved the shiso leaf, because it tastes like nothing else and come on, wrapped in bacon! Also the ‘Enoki Wa Gyu‘ (beef and enoki mushrooms) were great, the tangy charred thin wagyu wrapped around those delicious squeaky mushrooms were just a lovely combination. My smile grew wider, stick by stick.

imageUp next we had a selection of the ‘Sasami‘, some awesomely filled chicken fillets; one with wasabi that knocked our socks off and had some additional shiso leafs in it just for me and one with plum that was good too but extremely sour which made me pull some funny faces but therefore prevented it all of just being dry and boring chicken.

imageNow we were on a roll and had three sticks flying in at once: the ‘Gyu Tsukune‘ (spicy beef meatball) that was tasty but unfortunately had some unpleasant fat chunks in it, the absolute fabulous ‘Hatsu‘ (chicken hearts) that were firm but wonderful soft and tender with a hint of giblet gamey taste and last the ‘Sakana Bacon Maki‘ (bacon wrapped fish fillet) which wasn’t too bad but a bit of a weird combination. I’ve never been very big on surf & turf but must admit, that even that it wasn’t really for me, the saltiness of the bacon complimented the milky fish meat rather well.

imageThe ‘Buta Tsukune‘ garlic pork meatballs were amazing, lovely fine minced meat with a hint of garlic. The chicken meatball ‘Tsukune’ weren’t too bad either but the black sesame somehow gave it a bit of an odd texture and the leftover ‘Uzura Tamago‘ (quail eggs) were hard boiled, a tad dry and compared to what we had before rather boring.

imageMy friend remembered a previous visit and suggested the ‘Tontoro Ringo‘ (fatty pork jaw and apple) which looked a bit off-putting with the thick layers of fat on the stick and unfortunately also felt unpleasantly chunky and gelatinous in my mouth. Purely judged from the taste though, this was actually pretty good as the pork, the fat and the baked apple worked fantastically well together. I still had much stronger feelings about the consistency than about its’ flavours so I probably won’t order them again.

imageJust because I missed ‘Okonomiyaki‘ so much I had to have their same titled (‘Okonomi Yaki’) skewer and to be honest they did a fantastic job bringing the aromas of this usually fifteen minute pancake into a tiny little yaki ball. Pretty great.

imageWe were almost full but kept on going strong. I had another view through the menu deciding which of those skewers may be worthy enough to make me explode. For this very important task I chose the ‘Enoki Buta Maki‘ (bacon wrapped enoki mushroom) which were pretty great and the more than qualified ‘Gyu Maki Cheese‘, wonderful gooey and salty cheese, wrapped into thin and crispy charred beef. These were insanely good and definitely the wrong cheesy choice to finish a twenty ish little course dinner. I was so stuffed and yet so happy.

I smiled a lot, which is the perfect sign for a great dinner and even though I had brilliant company and quite a little bit of sake I’m pretty sure that the food had a great deal to do with it too. This was fun to eat, we got a part of the action watching the master working his magic on the grill and enjoyed the cozy yet busy atmosphere of this little shop at Cuppage Plaza. I so will be back here.

Kazu Sumiyaki Restaurant
5 Koek Road
#04-05 Cuppage Plaza
Singapore 228796
Tel: +65 6734 2492

Mexanese or Japexican?

imageI was a bit excited as I wanted to try this place now for a long time and today after yoga I finally managed to hop by. I was a bit disappointed how the shop was set up, somehow I was expecting this hip hang out for the cool kids and instead I stood in yet another rather basic fitted Subway shop like place. Focusing back on the reason I came here for I ordered two halfs of their ‘Rainbow Shrimp‘ and ‘Yummy Belly‘ rolls.

Yummy Belly‘ was filled with crunchy and partially pickled veggies and deliciously sweetish marinated bulgogi beef which tasted so good it didn’t survive for very long in my hands. The ‘Rainbow Shrimp‘ is their signature roll and was a bit more extravagant than the others on the menu. The protagonist was a tempura prawn surrounded by pickled radish, cucumber, sliced narutomaki and other lovely crunchy things. This all together was pretty good by itself but the absolute kicker was the layer of pink fish floss that tasted a lot like cotton candy and weirdly fitted in here pretty well. There were probably healthier choices then the ones I went for but they were really really tasty and I’ll take them up as after yoga grub anytime again. Nice and different.

Sushi Burrito
100 Tras Street
#01-06 100AM Shopping Mall
Singapore 079027
Tel: +65 6543 6860
http://www.sushiburrito.com.sg/

Tingling for your pleasure.

imageAfter my lunch I went outside into the sun to warm up a bit and there it was, the ‘Magnum Pleasure Store’. Dessert decision made. I chose the dark chocolate dip and let them sprinkle it with some chocolate pearls and pop rocks. Latter were a great idea as they made it so much more fun to eat, creamy vanilla ice cream, dark and slightly bitter chocolate infused with these prickly buggers, bubbly and tingling away. It was so hot though that the ice cream melted faster than I could keep up with which resulting in me making such a mess eating it, that one of the considerate waiters came out to bring me some extra napkins. Thanks so much.

Magnum Pleasure Store
1 Harbourfront Walk (in front of VivoCity)
Singapore 098585
http://www.mymagnum.com.sg/

Fatter is better!

imageI haven’t been to VivoCity in over a year and was surprised how much it had actually changed and how many new shops and restaurants had opened up. One of them was ‘Le Nu’ a ‘Taiwanese Beef Noodle‘ shop that was so new the congratulation flowers were still standing around. I was just about to leave for another trip to Taipei and wasn’t sure if it was such a good idea but since I obviously don’t come by here very regularly and it looked kinda tempting I sat down and hoped for the best.

I ordered the standard bowl with braised brisket with the flat broader noodles and to my joy they also had these little side dishes which you always get in Taiwan so I had two of those as well. The cucumbers were great but the chilled beans with garlic were fantastic, squeaky and delicious. Then came my bowl and yet another positive note, the noodles they used were as fat as those at ‘18 Café‘, wonderful chewy and tasted awesome. The broth was rich of beefy flavours and I appreciated the spoon of preserved greens that added a certain bitterness. The catch was the beef, that taste wise was alright but unfortunately came out stringy and dry which also the freshly made signature bean dip couldn’t really help much with.

It wasn’t perfect, mainly because of the beef chunks but these were hands down the best ‘Taiwanese Beef Noodles’ that I have had in Singapore so far and I wouldn’t mind having those again, maybe trying the more expensive wagyu version next time. Best of success and stick around.

Le Nu 樂牛
1 Harbourfront Walk
#02-91/92/93 VivoCity
Singapore 098585
Tel: +65 6376 9039
http://www.paradisegp.com

Under the bridge.

imageFinally it was ‘Bak Kut Teh‘ night since I had heard so much about the fantastic K.L. herbal pork ribs that I always neglected to try because I was a very patriotic supporter of the peppery version that’s so popular in Singapore. Anywho, my old colleague friend, who lives down here now, picked me up and we took a little ride to ‘Ah Wang Bak Kut Teh’ in a picturesque location at a roadside, under a bridge. A bit f@#&ed up but in a “don’t judge the book by its’ cover” kind of way, still comfortable, not yet repellent.

That dish they served was brilliant, even that I could’ve lived without the thin layer of beancurd skin, the broth was amazing with a dense and strong herbal pork taste. The ribs were lean, soft and satisfyingly meaty and we also ordered some enoki mushrooms aside which made a fantastic add-on to the soup that I haven’t had before. I loved this stuff and all in all it was a lovely evening at a lovely dodgy place. Off to dessert.

image

Ah Wang Bak Kut Teh 亞旺肉骨茶
No. 32, Batu 4 1/2
Jalan Klang Lama
53320 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: +60 13 2282 288

What’s up with all the ‘Expresses’?

imageWalking around the foot outlet cramped basement arcade connecting Mid Valley and the Gardens Mall seeking for some dinner inspiration gave us a severe case of sensory overload. We were tired and couldn’t really make up our mind and since my friend just wanted something light and healthy we ended up at ‘Zun Express’ a Chinese herbal soup place. The ‘Ginseng Herbal Chicken Soup‘ I had was actually pretty good, I mean it was just boring chicken soup but seemed to be perfect when you’re down with the flu or something; strengthening I guess and the little chicken meat that was in there was tender and tasted ok. All in all this wasn’t a very filling experience and I skipped the rest of the non soupy dishes on the menu because despite them all being called healthy, 99% also had the word “fried” in their description. Let’s just say I was happy there was a ‘Hui Lau Shan‘ just around the corner to fill up the leftover space with awesome moussy mango.

The Zun Express 尊厨
Lingkaran Syed Putra
The Gardens Mall
Lot LG-231, Lower Ground Floor
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

Express yourself!

imageI was on a training course in Kuala Lumpur for the week and for whatever reason my German colleagues just loved the foodcourt at the upper floor of Mid Valley Megamall and suggested to go back there for dinner tonight. Was I stoked? Maybe not, but since they were the guests I tried to accommodate to their wishes. Somehow tonight they couldn’t decide for any of the stalls here and so we settled for ‘Express Teppan-Yaki’ one of these ten minute teppanyaki experiences in the entrance corner of the ‘Food Junction’.

I ordered the ‘Beef Tenderloin‘ and asked for some extra chili to be added. Everything here was prepared the same way and no matter if pork, chicken, seafood or beef, all was topped with the same tangy gravy. My meat was perfectly medium and tender  and, together with the generous amount of garlic and the stinging chili, made up some simple and tasty comfort food and the crunchy salty greens and sprouts added some contrasting flavours and textures.

It was nothing spectacular nor too memorable but a nice and different way to get in some meat rather than just steak-ing it up.

Express Teppan-Yaki
Lingkaran Syed Putra
Mid Valley Megamall
T-013 Third Floor
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: +60 3 2283 6439

It’s getting crowded on the podium.

imageI often read about this place but didn’t pay too much attention to it because it is a bit out of my way and because it just looked like another franchisy burger shop to me. Recently it had gained increasing popularity and was also voted amongst several “Best Burger in Town” lists and since I was on the road anyway I decided to take a little detour from my way home and give this one a shot.

When there, I wasn’t too impressed by its’ looks nor by the help-yourself-condiments-station but didn’t let that hold me back from ordering their ‘Bacon Cheese Burger‘. Looked quite normal and pretty small to me, especially for the seventeen bucks that i’d just paid but a second later all this didn’t matter anymore as this was one of the best freaking burgers I have ever eaten, inhaled actually might be a more suited description. The homemade bun was pretty small for sure and a bit too buttery for me but this patty was nothing else than perfect. It was crispy charred, almost like a crust on the outside and full of juicy meat on the inside. The texture was great and it was so good and had such a natural and ridiculous beef flavor that it somehow actually made me really happy. All the other stuff on that bun was great too, thick and gooey melted cheese and the salty crispy bacon, but that beef patty was really something else.

Location is off and inconvenient, the setup like at any other fast food joint nothing special and the menu is less inventive than others but oh that burger! Looks like DeBurg just got themselves some serious competition. 

Omakase Burger
200 Turf Club Road
#01-05 The Grandstand
Singapore 287994
Tel: +65 6763 2698
http://www.omakaseburger.com/

Little french breakfast café.

imageOn the lookout for a quick breakfast before shopping we stopped by ‘Choupinette’, the place with the radiant and colourful sign on Bukit Timah Road. I didn’t have french style breakfast for ages and couldn’t go past the ‘Croque Madame‘ which is pretty much a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with a sunny side up. It looked quite neat there with that perfect circled egg and the squarish thick cut double layered toast underneath and taste wise it was pretty good as well. Salty ham, saltier gruyere cheese but unfortunately greatly over-toasted which made it all super dry so that I was really glad I had made my sandwich a “madame” as the runny yolk at least added some moisture to the dish. So flavours were good, execution regrettably didn’t delivery 100% but it’s still a pretty nice place for a quiet breakfast off the Dempsey Hill crowds with very friendly service as well.

Choupinette
607 Bukit Timah Road
#01-01
Singapore 269708
Tel: +65 6466 0613

A great friend recommend.

imageFriends invited us to join them for Vietnamese dinner tonight at ‘Viet Express’ at China Square and even though I was a bit worried about that unpromising name I was confident that our friends would’t bring us to something boring. It actually didn’t look like an “Express” kinda place more simple and a bit frumpy but the food here was really a surprise. I ordered my all time favourite,  ‘Pho Bo‘ with sliced raw meat. First slurp and it had me, this was the best pho I have had in Singapore to date, nicely infused with cinnamon and with this light beefy sour taste. It got even better after I threw the side greens and a good dash of the chilli and oyster sauce into it. The sharp onions and some fresh chilli made it nicely spicy, the beef was lean and tender, alone the noodles were nothing surprising. Service related I wouldn’t know what to write about really as besides serving the food we ordered pretty much nothing else happened but some things are just secondary after a delicious meal. Thanks A. and D., this one comes on the list.

Viet Express
3 Pickering Street
#01-34 China Square Central (Nankin Row)
Singapore 048423
Tel: +65 6536 9114

Refuelling awesomeness.

imageOh man I missed this place and finally I made it back here on a day they were actually making their beautiful noodles. I was psyched and first up I had to have the ‘Dan Dan Mian‘ or ‘Spicy Sichuan Noodles‘ how it says on the board. The noodles were freshly handmade and nice and soft, maybe a bit too soft. The gravy was insane, just mildly spicy but enough to squeeze some drops of sweat out the back of my head, thick and rich and full of peanut sesame flavour. The savoury pork mince on top together with some crushed peanuts, fresh chives and cilantro finished the job just nicely.

imageI was already pretty filled up but not finished just yet as I also wanted to finally try their ‘Zha Jiang Mian‘. The bowl was loaded with freshly thin shredded spring onion and cucumbers sitting on beautifully thick and gooey minced meat soya bean sauce that was lukewarm and made this a great dish for the tropical heat today. I know this all sounds like raving and exaggerating but I really think it’s that darn good, M. this one’s for you.

image

Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao 中国拉面小笼包
335 Smith Street
#02-135 Chinatown Complex Food Center
Singapore 050335

Jumbo coming in.

imageDuring our last visits funnily having weird random food at ‘Tsui Wah Eatery’ has become part of the normal schedule. This time we didn’t really get around to it during our stay but were given a last chance at their airport branch which I had never recognized before.

I ordered their ‘Jumbo Frankfurter Hot Dog‘ which I remembered being not too bad. Actually it was better than my memory suggested, humongous indeed with its’ 11 inches and with great flavors. The sesame bun was nicely toasted and held up it’s part of the deal pretty well. The frank bedded in crunchy lettuce actually was great too, it was pretty well seasoned and the casing snapped perfectly. So far this was a good yet still ordinary dog but what made it truly delicious was the mix of condiments they used, sweet tomato sauce – or “ketchup” as I would call it – a sweet and sour mustard pickle relish and a brilliant nose -hair-curling horseradish cream. Totally satisfied.

image

Tsui Wah Eatery 翠華餐廳
Hong Kong International Airport Chek Lap Kok Terminal 1
Shop 8T007 East Hall 赤鱲角香港國際機場一號客運大樓第7層離港層東大堂 (禁區)
Lantau
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2261 0306
http://www.tsuiwah.com/en

Spicy noodles made it to the island.

imageThis is not going to be a full review as I have already posted about their location in TST but this is great news I thought you should know. They have opened another shop in the Food Republic at City Plaza in Tai Koo and this is awesome for many reasons: First the trip to have spicy noodles is much shorter now when you’re staying on the island and secondly this is a much cleaner setup. The latter comes together with a loss in character, so no manga paintings on the wall, no grumpy waiters and no sticky tables (not overly sticky anyway) but on the other hand the ingredients seem to be much fresher and taken care of here, especially the greens like coriander are actually green and heaps compared to the small welk portions you get at the original shop nowdays. So up to your preference but I for one had enough character experience at this place and will probably visit this new and “fancy” shop more often from now on. Thanks RJ and CL for pointing me into the right direction. Yeah!

P.S.: Was fiercely reminded that medium spicy should be my absolute limit and tried the dumplings for the first time, they’re awesome

image

Sing Lum Khui Rice Noodle House 星林居雲南米線餐廳
Shop No.308 Cityplaza I
18 Taikoo Shing Road
Tai Koo
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China

Shanghainese folklore.

imageOur friend brought us all to her Dad’s favourite Shanghainese restaurant in Wan Chai tonight for some pure and traditional food.

The ‘Scallion Pancake‘ was awesome with a nice toasty crust and some chewy dough inside, fitted with enough scallions and sprinkled with loads of sesame. The french beans with minced meat were also tasty, savoury and rich from the meat and gravy with a snappy texture from the beans.

imageI really liked the beef dish here, not particularly because of the meat, nor because of the peppers but rather because of the bamboo that was so thinly slices it came across like noodles and made it all really nice. I was slowly starting to think that every dish here comes with a very similar gravy, thankfully a very tasty one.

imageAfter a plate of lovely chewy stir fried rice cake finally their signature dish – ‘The Lion’s Head‘ – showed up at our table. I had never heard of this before but it was pretty much an oversized, softly tender Chinese meatball covered in bok choy and the same delicious gravy that we knew so well now.

‘Lao Shang Hai’ is no thrills for sure but offers great and solid homecook style Shanghainese fair with highly friendly and dapper waiters in a traditional atmosphere. Pretty good.

Hong Kong Lao Shang Hai Restaurant 老上海飯店
UG1 Novotel Century Hong Kong
238 Jaffe Road 5-7號大會堂低座3樓
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2827 9339

My first Peruvian.

imageSince in Hong Kong we wanted to go back to ‘Brickhouse‘ in LKF but since they still had a 1.5 hour waiting list at 9:30 p.m. we continued further hunting on the hills. We wanted to have some sort of tacos though and apparently fate was in our favour tonight as some people didn’t show up for the booking at ‘Chicha’ a Peruvian restaurant on Peel Street and without further ado we snatched it away.

I never would’ve thought that I like hardshell tacos but these ‘Fish Tacos‘ were brilliant, a bit difficult to eat but super flavourful with the fried moist fish, the crunchy coleslaw and the fruity and sweet mango salsa, delicious. We had the fried ‘Chicken Tacos‘ as well but those unfortunately were a bit dry and not as much fun.

imageWe couldn’t decide which ‘Ceviche‘ to take so we ordered the tasting set with three smaller sized portions of all. My favourite was the one with seabass (‘Corvina‘) on the left, the fish was fantastic fresh and had a pleasantly firm texture. My second choice was the ‘Mixto‘ which had everything in it – shrimp, octopus, scallop, squid – mixed with some fruity passionfruit and honey, a nice mix of textures as well. The ‘Tuna‘ version was also good but a bit of a weird combination with the watermelon and the fish actually was a bit tough to chew.

imageThey also have some dishes which they call ‘Hot Ceviche‘ which of we had the scallops. This could’ve been outstanding with the extremely awesome humongous scallops and the mix of butter, lime, soy and honey if only the cook would have taken it easier on the salt (a german saying suggests he was in love). Still good but mouth-drying salty which unfortunately overpowered the other flavours too much.

imageNext up we ordered a selection of the ‘Anticuchos‘ (grilled skewers), the ‘Oh My Cod‘ would have been the shining star if they weren’t prepared by the same Romeo cook as the scallops; super tasty moist fish, miso glazed that took an extensive salt bath. Well the sweet potato with the quail egg was okay but still only sweet potato, however the beef hearts again were amazing, perfectly seasoned, not too gamey, just pure muscle with a strong beef taste.

imageAnother ‘Hot Ceviche‘ we tried was ‘Crab Claw‘ which was, as the name suggested, a huge plate of pre-cracked crab claws in an extremely sour sauce. The crabs were nicely fresh and no hazzle easily sucked off the shells but the sauce was just too acidy for me to enjoy it fully.

imageWe were already pretty full but had one more thing coming up, their suckling pig sliders which were super good, suckling meat indeed sitting on a thin slice of sweet potato and topped with some pickled onions and gooey cheese. Great buns too and the whole thing reminded me a bit of the pork buns you get in the old town of Duesseldorf even that this here was a way more delicate and less greasy version.

I totally loved ‘Chicha’, the staff was great and obviously had some romantics amongst them, the food, besides the extreme overdosing with salt of some dishes was delicious and really something special and all in all we had a lovely evening with a nice atmosphere. Oh, they also do some quite decent cocktails here as well.

Chicha
G/F 26 Peel Street 中環卑利街26號地下舖
Central
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2561 3336
http://conceptcreations.hk/chicha/chicha-central/

High Tea at City Hall.

imageFinally it was dim sum say and our host took us to City Hall to go to ‘Maxim’s’ as I turned out a great place for high tea. The queue was massive and we had to wait for a good hour before we could get a table. The place is elegant, a huge bright room with hundreds of people sitting and eating and running around in between.

We tried heaps and heaps of baskets of which the first was the above with the steamed ‘Prawn Dumplings‘ which were stuffed ’til bursting with big prawns. I always find their texture really odd but tastewise they were fantastic.

imageThe pork filled pockets were my and everybody’s favourite, the dough was super chewy and stuck to your teeth and the meat gravy filling was delicious too.

imageAnother bbq pork filled option were the pastry buns which were good but together with the glazed pork inside the sweetish pastry was just a little bit too much. I didn’t really like the ‘Shao Mai‘ but then I never actually do cause their awkward pork-prawn-mix that weirds me out.

imageThe vegetarian option for the day were the steamed mushroom dumplings that had some lovely crunchy texture and the above waterspinach version that was fresh, juicy and simply delicious.

This was a great place to get dim sum, the nice ladies with the trolley’s full of goodies hovering around and just really really good food. Recommended.

Maxim’s Palace Chinese Restaurant 美心皇宮
3/F City Hall, 5-7 Edinburgh Place 中環愛丁堡廣場5-7號大會堂低座3樓
Central
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2521 1303
http://www.maxims.com.hk

Mango Mania and Chewy Balls.

imageI wasn’t too excited when our friend suggested some Hong Kong style dessert after dinner because I thought everything would be filled with some sort of beans or corn or whatever but boy, was I wrong. She brought us to Hui Lau Shan (許留山) and it was a-mazing. Everything seemed to be made out of Mango and I went for the ‘Mango Chewy Ball’, a nice mixed bowl of sweet fresh mango, funny chewy glutinous rice balls, mango ice cream and an amazing cold mango mousse. Even though it might not have been, everything tasted natural, fresh and sort of healthy. My new favourite dessert place that is.

image

Hui Lau Shan 許留山
G/F 2-6 Yee Wo Street 銅鑼灣怡和街2-6號地下3號舖
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2972 2292
http://www.hkhls.com/

Dan Dan surprise from Sister Wah.

imageI’m always up for some brisket noodles and since the ladies felt a bit sick today I ventured a couple of MTR stops out east to pickup some ‘Brisket Noodles‘ from ‘Sister Wah’s’ at Tin Hau. When there, I realized they also had some ‘Dan Dan Mian‘ on the menu, so in the cart with it and back home.

The ‘Brisket Noodles‘ were okay but a bit watery so nothing too exciting. The brisket was tender though and not too fatty and I appreciated the many chives they had sprinkled over it but the winner of this takeout clearly was the ‘Dan Dan Mian‘. The noodles were the same but as this was a dryer version they had a much better bite and texture and the thick gravy had a mild heat and was wonderfully rich in sesame flavour, delicious. The beef shank wasn’t too bad either but could’ve been leaner. The shop was pretty basic and oldish but the people at the counter were super helpful and the food was decent. Great stuff.

image

Sister Wah 華姐清湯腩
G/F 13A Electric Road 天后電氣道13號A地下
Tin Hau
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2807 0181