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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/

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Meat Heaven is Close

imageThe evening of the actual farewell party had arrived and to kick off the night we had a guys dinner before meeting up with the girls for some drinking games in Wan Chai. My mate chose the ‘Blue Butcher’ which was just a 2 minute walk away from the apartment that I had rented for the weekend.

For starters we had besides others the ‘Truffle Fries‘ that were actually made with real truffles rather than truffle oil and tasted great and crisp.

imageAnother one was the ‘Bone Marrow‘ that came together with delicious crusty toasted bread, some arugula with caper berries and sea salt. Putting all ingredients together this became a delicious combination of flavors.

imageThen we had the ‘Compressed Organic Tomato with Burrata‘ which consisted of green and red tomatos that were skinned and glazed with a light tasteless oil as well as a knot of burrata cheese. The cheese was light with only a very little creamy center which I liked but real burrata fanatics might feel let down by. The tomatoes on the other side were refreshingly cool and had a clean tomato-y taste with a nice texture. This was pretty okay but still kinda just tomatoes.

As mains we ordered the ‘Australian Wagyu Bone in Ribeye‘ 32 ounces rare and the ‘Free Range Charred French Chicken‘. The steak was absolutely amazing in quality and taste. It had a strong char on the outside so the fat had melted and the inside was wonderful red and moist with a lovely marbling and a good fatty flavor mixing with the beef aroma. Brilliant. The chicken came accompanied by some crunchy caramelized carrots and was wonderful moist and glazed with slightly sweetish sauce. Tasty stuff.

The ‘Blue Butcher’ is a stylish and modern place that sure comes with a price tag but therefore you’ll get a great ambience and some amazing food. Nothing for every day dining but definitely a place for a special night. Pretty good.

The Blue Butcher
108 Hollywood Road
Central
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2613 9286
http://www.bluebutcher.com/

Shanghainese Soul Food

imageI went hiking on the “Dragon’s Back” with a friend from Australia who accidentally was in town at the same time and without breakfast and real lunch I was super hungry when it got to dinner time. We all met up at the ‘Double Happiness Cafe’ in Soho for some Shanghainese fair which was one of the places my other friend wanted to bring me the night before to try out their ‘Dan Dan Noodles‘.

And so this was one of the first dishes we ordered. The bowl arrived piping hot which unfortunately cooked the noodles a little too soft and caused me burning myself on several occasions. There was a very strong peanutty flavor to the broth emphasized by the whole peanuts swimming around in there which also added some crunchy texture. The soup was creamy but not unpleasantly thick or heavy. The meat was nice and juicy with quite a few fatty chunks that I left aside. Nevertheless a lovely dish.

imagePretending to be healthy we ordered the crunchy and refreshing ‘Spicy Garlic Cucumber‘ with vinegar and the ‘Sichuan Style Vegetables‘ that consisted of cabbage, onions, peppers and broccoli and had a nice numbing punch.

imageI hardly leave any Chinese restaurant without having some dumplings if they have some so we ordered their ‘Steamed & Panfried Shanghainese Jiao Zi‘. They had a tasty skin which was a bit thicker and instead of chives they used preserved vegetables that gave the dumplings a unique taste I never had before.

imageMy hiking friend said she had to have the ‘Stir Fried Glutinous Rice Cake‘ which I never even heard of before so I was more than up for it. When it arrived it reminded me of the haloumi from the night before. The slices of panfried rice cake had a nice charred flavor and were much harder than I anticipated, a bit similar to squid. With the sweet savory glaze and the veggies this really worked well together and creatively used something as basic and plain as rice and turned it into a tasty, tasty dish.

imageWe were slowly filling up but had the ‘Roasted Pork Shanks with Herbs‘ left to tackle. The meat was quite tough and stuck to the bone but the spice rub tasted interestingly great with a strong hint of cinnamon.

I liked this place already for it’s name but also for the Chinese interior, the free welcome walnuts and above all the great food. I’m a huge fan of ‘Dan Dan Mian‘ and this sure is one I wouldn’t mind having again. Double happiness for everyone.

Double Happiness Cafe
48 Stauton Street
Soho, Central
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2549 1862

Northern Africa in Central Hong Kong

imageI flew to Hong Kong over the weekend to see a good old friend before his move to Australia. I messed up my room booking so we spend a long time calling up hotels so all the place we planned to have dinner at had already closed. As it was getting late we went to ‘Sahara’ a Northern African restaurant in Soho. As starter we had the ‘Haloumi Salad‘ that tasted deliciously light with a sweetish caramelized dressing. Just the haloumi didn’t make the funny squeeky noises that I was hoping for.

imageAfter we shared the ‘Moroccan Lamb Tagine‘ with ‘Cous Cous‘. The lamb was super moist and tender and the potatoes were cooked just right. The kick though were the dried plums and apricots that I made a brilliant combination. Only off ingredient were the olives which I though were a bit out of place.  We finished it completely soaking the extremely fluffy cous cous with the hearty meaty gravy.

‘Sahara’ is a great buzzing place to start, or like us, end a night with it’s low chairs and tables, soul food, clapping waiters and the option to closing your dinner by smoking a shisha. My second and probably not last time here.

Sahara Mezz Bar
11 Elgin Street
Soho, Central
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2291 6060
http://www.sahara.com.hk/