Category Archives: Hong Kong

Go Big or Go Home (Part 3 of 6)

November Birthday Month Celebrations Not For The Faint of Heart

(Part 1 – Day 1 to Day 5)

(Part 2 – Day 6 – Day 10)

Part 3

Day 11: Cantonese seafood

We have dined all over the world from street nibbles to Michelin Three Star restaurants of various cuisines.  With that in mind, we are confident when saying the Cantonese, particularly of Hong Kong, know their seafood and especially their steamed fish.  Simple, flavourful, perfect texture…nothing beats a properly prepared Garoupa in Lau Fau Shan.  Of course, you have to be willing to suffer the less the hygienic eating environment and please do not get us started about the toilets aka the place you would find unacceptable even to be buried.  Equally, you need to bring your own wine and glasses to pair with the delicious food.  Never mind, all in an evening’s work.  We were joined by our local friends at the place they have frequented for nearly three decades.

A Champagne Challenge was at hand with (in order of preference on the evening) White – Sparkling
NV Pierre Péters Champagne Blanc de Blancs Perle du Mesnil,
NV Vouette et Sorbée Champagne Fidèle,
NV Zoémie de Sousa Champagne Brut Precieuse and
NV Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut.

Magic!!!

Lau Fau Shan

Lau Fau Shan
Steamed Fish
Lau Fau Shan
A Champagne Challenge

Day 12: Master Kid Chefs

Our friends are special sort of parents.  First, if it is not obvious, they are not poor.  Second, they buck conventional wisdom in that they have no problem with their young kids (since they were around 6) sipping a thimbleful of wine now and again.  Finally, they constantly introduce their boys to the BEST restaurants, chefs and wine on the planet.  When we say “best”, we really mean it.  These young fellas have more Michelin Stars under their belts spanning three continents than most skies can boast similar constellations.  Truly fascinating.  More importantly, at least from our perspective, was their visit to our home to prepare a feast for an all day tapas dining experience.  We handled the wine.  They designed, prepared and cooked the food…supervised, of course.  It was a delightful process where two young “master kid chefs” combined veggies, fish, noodles and everything in our cupboard – which never is bare – to bestow upon us a simply awesome all day, dining extravaganza!  The wines, in order of sipping, did not suck and the master kid chefs sipped a bit of each:

1999 Alfred Gratien Champagne Brut Millésimé
2008 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard
1962 Château La Tour Haut-Brion
2011 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Annum and
2002 Château d’Yquem.

Wow, rockstars we were…

Day 13: Bibo bamboozles…in a good way

We hopped our Uber chariot around 11amish Sunday morning to visit Bibo in the now very trendy district of Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island.  To say scepticism was cascading through our minds would be an understatement.  This largely reflected the fact that “excellent” and “exceptional” dining in Hong Kong has been dying a fairly rapid death in recent years due to a fine blend of reasons including, but not limited to, high rents, poor service staff, cost-cutting on ingredients for obvious reasons, etc.  Simply stated, we have sadly happened upon too many a hyped-up restaurant, particularly in the trendy areas such as Sheung Wan, and we have not been impressed.  Couple that with the concept of Sunday brunch, which might include children – poorly behaved and not properly seasoned and cooked – and we were engaged in a journey of fear and loathing.

Not to worry as Bibo stepped up to the plate and went yard (for non-Yanks, let’s just say you cannot do much better).  First, the place is simply too cool for school.  An eclectic collection of original artwork – whether or not you like it – just feels right for brunch.  Second, free-flow Ruinart Blanc de Blancs!? Seriously!? They lost money on us!  Third, excellent, perfectly proportioned four course meal.  Fourth, attentive and, in most instances, professional service particularly from the French staff.  Finally, the cool vibe music being mixed by the DJ.  All the elements were there and, to our delight, they all came together as well as we have seen anywhere in Hong Kong in years. Kudos to Bibo!

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Despite arriving home five hours or so after brunch, we managed to pop open another two bottles to share with our neighbours before their departure to Southeast Asia for a month.  Great people.  Great Indonesian chef.  Great wine.  Exceptional sleep…the simplicity of math, i.e. Great + Great + Great = Exceptional…our school boy days were not wasted, mom!

Day 14: Bo Innovation…if you have visited, then you know we already have finished the explanation

For those who have not experienced Bo Innovation, we weep.  The brainchild of Alvin Leung, the “Demon Chef” and TV celebrity who was less than classically trained as an engineer, and now owns the world’s best – in our opinion – “X-treme Chinese” cuisine.  Wow, wow, wow!!!  Alvin’s play on various Chinese culinary concepts, i.e. Xiao Long Bao without pork, demands an open-mind, knowledgable nose and patient palate.  How about munching on a version of hairy crab in a small baby-food jar with a Hello Kitty spoon?  Dig into a Shark Fin soup like concoction with absolutely no violation of international fishing laws but all the flavours?  Or a glass of ginger tea that requires you to blow out smoke in a manner reminiscent of the favourite daily sport of those in Amsterdam?  Out of control, off the hook, exceedingly exceptional, mind blowing…the list cannot be too long for what Alvin has done.  Of course, you need to contact your credit card company to ensure your limit will not be exceeded as the set menus – especially when you choose the wine pairing – are, well, not cheap.  Never mind…if you only go once, you should go big…Bo Innovation, when in Hong Kong, is where you should go!!!

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Day 15: Wednesday sippin’ ’n snackin’ at home

After nearly six hours at Bo Innovation the night before, we decided awakening before 12 Noon was, well, uncivilised!  Nay, the idea of getting out of bed before 2pm was gut-wrenching.  Alas, we sallied forth as our Beagle was seeking to relieve himself and our previously full bellies were yearning for sustenance.  So, we opened a bottle of wine, steamed some white rice and sashimi-grade salmon, cut and nibbled on some raw carrots and cucumbers and fastened ourselves down to the couch for a day of Netflix. The bottle of 2014 Domaine Ludovic Belin Pernand-Vergelesses Les Combottes did not suck!

To be continued…

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Read
(Part 1 – Day 1 to Day 5)
(Part 2 – Day 6 – Day 10)

Go Big or Go Home (Part 2 of 6)

November Birthday Month Celebrations Not For The Faint of Heart

(Part 1 – Day 1 to Day 5)

Part 2

Day 6: Sunday sippin’ ’n snackin’ at home

Sunday morning – or was it afternoon – came fast and furious without any of the Hollywood glamour.  Whew, we were exhausted. With that in mind and a determined desire to avoid the little people (aka kids) usually scuttling about good eateries on Sundays,  we raided the fridge and wine cellar at home.  Thanks to Oisix, we munched on some succulent, sashimi-grade salmon, fresh vegetables,  lightly baked potatoes/onions/peppers and OMYG noodles.  We, of course, washed down these victuals with a 2010 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru.

Sippin’ ’n snackin’ at home does not suck!

2010 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
2010 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

HomecookingHomecookingHomecooking

Day 7: A bitza this, a bitza that

We embarked late morning for Wanchai, a district on Hong Kong Island with a bitza this, a bitza that…always fun!

Desiring, hoping and praying for exceptional Mexican fare, we parachuted into Verde Mar.  A self-proclaimed oasis of all things yummy Mexican, we found Verde Mar to be, well, average at best.  Somewhat soggy nachos, doughy burritos and nary a bottle of Mexican wine on the list (yes, Mexico has some good wine), the only positive light was the friendly service.  Alas, our search for exceptional, heck just good Mexican food, continues…

Not to be deterred and far from full, we decided to try the teeny little Japanese noodle shop known as Kamitora Ramen.  Happy we were with very good ramen. Not delirious, but reasonably satisfied.  We would not go out of our way for their ramen – the flavours did not soak into the noodles as desired – but we would not seek out other such shops if in the vicinity and yearning for a fix.

Still seeking a little more to end the snackin’ part of the day, we popped into 22 Ships.  We have been before.  We probably will not go again.  The food was good, but not enthralling.  The service was curt as the kitchen was closing in 30+ minutes.  The chefs were busy cooking food for the staff and offered little time to answer our questions regarding some of the dishes.  The glasses of wine were served with a huff… Sorry, folks, but a tapas bar with snooty staff and disengaged chefs is, well, unworthy of our praise…albeit the Padron Peppers were yummy!

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Day 8: Dan-Dan Mian day

A favourite dish for us is “Dan-Dan Mian” – a bowl of spicy Sichuan noodles.  We heard of some outstanding versions of the Southwestern China speciality being served up in Hung Hum, a fairly popular residential district in Kowloon, Hong Kong.  Off we were to seek out all things Sichuan!

We started at Wing Lai Yuen 詠藜園 to sample their “Dan-Dan Mian” along with several other Sichuan staples.  Hmmm…yet again, another disappointment wrought by the Cantonese aversion to spicy anything.  Bad? Nope.  OK?  Yes.  Great?  We booked our flights to Chengdu the next day.  Let’s just say we will not be going back.

Seeking something more credible for our palate’s spicy-quest, we stumbled upon a hole-in-the-wall called Yunnan Guizhou & Sichuan Noodle 唯一雲貴川風味.  Cheap as chips, littered with students and awaiting the annual cleaning, we faced a sceptical waitress when demanding the spiciest of noodles available in the joint.  We did not get the top-echelon – local people often mistake the colours of our faces to mean we do not understand Cantonese – but settled for a more than satisfying, tasty palate-burn.  We shall return.  We shall achieve spicy Nirvana.  So let it be written…

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That evening with more than full tummies, we treated ourselves to a bottle of 2011 Robert Foley Pinot Noir Hudson Vineyard.  Glorious…enough said!!!

Robert Foley
2011 Robert Foley Pinot Noir Hudson Vineyard

Day 9: Sai Ying Pun trendy…worthy of a visit

Sai Ying Pun is a district in the Western part of Hong Kong.  It has blossomed over the last few years into a somewhat trendy alternative to Central, Lan Kwai Fong and SOHO…and, dare we include K-Town?

We have visited quite a few eateries in the district before so we conducted some research to ensure no replication of the past good, bad and ugly.

Arriving just before 5pm at La Viola, we were pleased to be greeted by friendly faces offering us much desired, and exceedingly well-priced, glasses of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay from Veneto.  We cannot say top-shelf sips, but certainly acceptable for happy hour.  We enjoyed the somewhat dainty hustle ’n bustle of the local neighbourhood with the backdrop of two “lovers” having quite a boisterous, four-letter “discussion”…ah, culture!

La Viola
La Viola

La Viola

Happy and hungry – if not somewhat entertained by the scenery – we set-off on foot to Fish School.  From the ceviche to the crudo to the lobster popcorn to the Threadfin rice to the more than a few glasses/bottles of wine to the friendly and engaging service…we were impressed.  A winning combination in a light and breezy atmosphere ended four hours later with our Uber chariot whisking us home to peaceful and stuffed oblivion.

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Day 10: Wines of the Month

We enjoyed a slow Thursday culminating in dinner at The Hong Kong Jockey Club Beas River Horseshoe Grill.  As we live just a stone’s throw away from this oasis in the middle of nowhere Sheung Shui, we occasionally pop-in for some excellent “Le Gout de France” dishes prepared by Chef Ellis along with sampling the wines of the month, which happened to be the new “club private labels”.  The food was classical French prepared and served near perfectly.  Kudos to Chef Ellis who continues to meet our and exceed others’ expectations!  The 2014 Maison Foucher, Les Monts Damnes, Sancerre and 2012 Chateau Grand Peyrou, Grand Cru, Saint-Emillion, well, did not over-impress.  Just OK-Lah.

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To be continued…

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Read (Part 1 – Day 1 to Day 5)

Go Big or Go Home (Part 1 of 6)

November Birthday Month Celebrations Not For The Faint of Heart

 

It was a late, unseasonably warm October day in Hong Kong when we decided to research, plan and begin designing a slew of 30 November birthday month celebrations.  Perhaps it was the weather?  Or was it Bacchus aka Dionysus twisting our five senses? Or as Saint Thomas Aquinas opined in Summa Theologiae an inordinate desire of eating and drinking – gluttony?

Nay, pray tell, it simply reflected our wish to embark on a perilous, yet fab, culinary journey to include everything from simple sippin’ ’n snackin’ to decadent Michelin Star consumption…and everything in between.

Et voila, buckle up and prepare yourself for 30 days of pure debauchery…except for the occasional “break days” and daily workouts designed, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, to stave off losing The Battle of the Bulge!

Day 1: Roots

With our roots being well-entrenched in all Chinese cuisines, Hong Kong style, we trundled down the road to Yuen Long for a three hour culinary stroll.

Dress code exceedingly casual, we began with spicy Sun Kee Noodle Shop生記山西刀削麵.  We love watching the “chef” slice the noodles from a large, cylindrical piece of dough directly into our plate before drowning the same with his proprietary bright red soup.  If you push – and we are nothing if not good at pushing – the boss lady will happily serve up the spiciest of spicy noodles they can muster without local regulatory fines.  Beware: your toilet will never forget you the next day!

Sun Kee Noodle Shop生記山西刀削麵

We followed with a few dishes of dim sum (Har Gau, Siu Mai, Chuen Fun) at  Big Belly Dim Sum Restaurant 大肚腩點心腸粉專門店.  These lil luvlies are served as classical, bite size pieces, which ensures all the yumminess slathers down your throat rather than adorning your neck.  Two people?  No problem, two pieces.  No need to battle over that third piece with your partner or fear the second delectable of four may cause you to explode.  Perfect!

Big Belly Dim Sum Restaurant 大肚腩點心腸粉專門店

Given no wine during our local stroll, we popped open a 2013 Fisher Vineyards Chardonnay The Unity in the evening. We adore Fisher wines, and we love the Fisher story – we often hum “we are family”.  From A to Z, a winning formula!!!

Day 2: Spain and France make their debuts…

Ah, what would a birthday month celebration be without a visit to Fofo by El Willy?  The answer is simple: it would be not!!!  Our local foodie friends joined us for lunch.  They noticed our table was the only one outfitted properly with cloth napkins…we think Fofo is too good for the paper towel option and we insist upon the real deal….we are sloppy.  Our friends equally were shocked to receive “suggestions” (aka this is what you are eating today) from Chef Alex.  We, of course, debated among ourselves regarding the wines settling quite happily on a cava, Catalunya white and Rioja red.  Food to die for, service exceptional, sipping ’n snacking with Chef Alex and his team, perfection!

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Our nearly four hour lunch inspired a stumble down the road to LQV (Les Quinzes Vins) in a little, less than sanitary side-street in Central.  Gorgeous!!!  Another wine-lover joined us – yippee, we could sip more – as we embarked across the Pyrenees to Burgundy where we were greeted by beautifully terroir driven whites and reds along with cheese platter and baked Camembert. Oooh lah lah…thanks, Jordan, as we have little memory of our Uber chariot whisking us back home later that evening!

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Day 3: Sippin’ ’n spittin’

We were invited to, and attended most graciously, the Kerry Wine Annual Portfolio Tasting – both “Kerry Portfolio Tastingtrade” and “retail” sessions as approximately 130 tipples were parading through the exquisite Ciak in the Kitchen.  Master of Ceremonies “The Arrow” was, as usual, in good form as he whisked participants from France to New Zealand to California to England to…well, you get the drift.  Ciak’s Graziano ensured we were sufficiently well-fed with mouth-watering bread and tasty cheese to soak up that which we did not spit.  Was it 70 or 80 different wines, we sadly cannot honestly remember, but we can confirm safe arrival at home later in the evening.

IMG_6909
Pizza @ Ciak in the Kitchen
Ciak in the Kitchen
Baked Scamorza @ Ciak in the Kitchen

Day 4: Little Thailand in Hong Kong

We engaged in some kidney and liver cleansing reflexology in the morning before an adventurous jaunt to “Little Thailand” in Kowloon City.  Hong Kong has everything known to the five senses, particularly when seeking fantabulous food.  However, Hong Kong also has a local palate that, generally, eschews spicy food, which often results in “dumbing-down” the dishes to ensure a steady flow of clientele.  We find ourselves on the opposite side of the spectrum seeking to sweat profusely whenever embarking on a gastronomic visit to The Land of a Thousand Smiles.  Alas, were were far from impressed as both Lung Jie (Peelong) Thai and Amporn Thai offered only a little to satisfy our longing for super-spicy Siam salaciousness.  We shall return and continue our quest as “Little Thailand” in Kowloon City has no shortage of choices…we are confident one of them will rise to the occasion.

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Day 5: A taste of nostalgia with Chef Umberto Bombana at Ciak in the Kitchen

We have known, enjoyed and watched with great admiration over the last two decades Chef Umberto Bombana’s ascent to the summit of the culinary world.  A most humble rockstar with a Cheshire Cat like mischievous grin and unparalleled skill to make simple blossom into exceptional, Bombana always makes us happy.  We joined the journey back to his hometown of Bergamo at Ciak in the Kitchen with a feisty group of local friends ready to experience those delicious dishes of Bombana’s early years.  Nearly six hours later, tummies bursting at the seams and food merriment engulfing our very souls, we floundered into an Uber awaking only in time to flop on the couch at home. Bombana, quite simply, rocks!!!

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To be continued…

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Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll Part 2

We woke up thinking perhaps today would be a good opportunity to try several more Yuen Long eateries so we put on our walking shoes and began our Yuen Long Snacking Stroll Part 2.

Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll Part 2
Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll Part 2
Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll Part 2
Yoho Mall

Prior to beginning our stroll, we decided to park at Yoho Mall I (last time we parked in Yoho Mall II) because it boasted a dog-friendly environment. Simply stated, you can walk through the mall with your friendly canine friend (15kg or less) and enjoy outdoor seating at several of the restaurants boasting gardens and terraces. Awesomesauce! We intend to bring Buddy, our Beagle, for our next Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll…particularly so he can enjoy his first mall experience!!! The restaurants highlight somewhat pedestrian, if not interesting, fare and average wine lists, but we are thinking a beer in the garden of Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant would be a wonderful adventure for Buddy…and perhaps some good German beer on tap for us!

Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll Part 2
Tam Chai Yunnan Noodles

Tam Chai Yunnan Noodles 譚仔雲南米

Kwong Wah Centre, 34-46 Fau Tsoi St, Yuen Long
線元朗阜財街34-46號光華中心地下3號舖
CASH ONLY

We happily departed the Yoho Mall I to begin our stroll. First stop was Tam Chai Yunnan Noodles 譚仔雲南米線 . A very clean and, dare we say, fancy outlet of this fairly famous Hong Kong restaurant. Apparently, a family of brothers have decided to do something similar, but different, when serving spicy noodles. Ah, family! In any event, the waitresses at this outlet actually place your order by iPhone…seriously!!! By the way, we thought it might be useful for our English speaking/reading audience to point out you will have no problem at this noodle shop as the menus, if not the waitresses, are fluent in Anglo. We munched on the following:

Mouth Watering Chicken Wings 重慶口水雞翼. Well, we got the hint of the “ma la” spice 麻辣, but our mouths did not water. The chicken quality was OkeyDokey. The flavour equally OkeyDokey. Nothing special here!

Cucumber in Special Chili Sauce 紅油青瓜. We pretty much try this dish at every spicy noodle restaurant we visit. What can we say, we are cuckoo for cucumbers. Good cucumbers, but a dull, sweet spicy sauce resulted in half the dish being returned to the kitchen upon our departure.

Spicy Sichuan Noodle Soup With Chives 麻辣過橋米線. A winner as the soup was yummy to sip with our spoons (straws optional), the noodles soaked up the soup nicely and the flavours were excellent. The chives-only element was useful as we detest when they fill-up the bowl with slivers of tofu and other such stuff. Chives only, please!

Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll Part 2
Lo Dim Dim Sum

Lo Dim Dim Sum老點點心缽仔飯

23 Hong King St, Yuen Long 
元朗康景街23號華恩樓地下B舖
CASH ONLY

We decided our next stop should be for dim sum. Another “must” on any street nibble stroll, we absolutely love dim sum and can say it is the only type of Cantonese food we miss when away from Hong Kong for more than a few weeks. We chose Lo Dim Dim Sum 老點點心缽仔飯 . Well, folks, that was a mistake. Although the venue is quite swish with a light, fresh brick decor and offering antique-like stylish tableware, we were here to eat. Sadly, Lo Dim is the definition of form over substance. Equally, this venue is not English friendly. We sampled (and barely finished 30% of any dish…Buddy was happy to eat the balance upon our return home…he being not of a discerning palate Beagle) the following:

Hong Kong Style Steamed Pork & Rice 排骨缽仔飯. Average. Pork good. Rice average. Not as good as Big Belly.

Char Siu Bao 蜜味叉燒包. Over-fluffed pastry with dull pork. ‘Nuff said!

Har Gau 冬筍鮮𧎚餃. Our favourite dim sum dish ruined. Cute way to serve. The dumpling dough literally fell-off the shrimp. Horrible!

Spring Rolls with Shrimp 千島鮮蝦春卷. Slightly crunchy outside, mushy inside and shrimps tasted like they had been washed in dishwater. Thousand Island dip, really!? Loser from A to Z

Ham Shui Got 芝心鹹水角. With cheese and pork? Terrible!

Chun Fung with Shrimp 珍寶鮮蝦腸粉. As expected, no better than the Har Gau. Cut into small pieces before served…not sure we like when they mess with the standard way to serve.

Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll Part 2
Sun Kee Noodle Shop

Sun Kee NoodleShop生記山西刀削麵

Castle Peak Road 212
元朗大馬路212號華昌樓地下D鋪
CASH ONLY

We were major-league disappointed at this point. Dim Sum always features in our street nibbles strolls. We now were in a desperate need of a pick-me-up and the Sun Kee Noodle Shop 生記山西刀削麵 did the trick! Fantabulous!!! A relatively ordinary, standard layout, reasonably clean noodle shop. Chef is a “specialist” with noodles. Hey, we know “specialists” with pasta so we were all-in for the event. We saw Chef, he smiled and waved and then started his thing, which is slicing the noodles one-by-one off a large piece of dough. A visual treat, great showmanship and, well, the end product was mucho-yummy. If you do not speak Chinese, you will find this place to be a challenge…but a worthy one at that!

Spicy Noodle with Shredded Chicken 川辣刀削麵. OMYG. Forget the spicy (just a nudge above average heat) and the chicken (note it was very good) and focus on the noodles. The texture was stunning. The noodle soaked up the sauce like they had been made from the sauce. The taste of the noodles, we would imagine, would be just as good, albeit different, without the sauce. Folks, this is a MUST for noodle (or even pasta) lovers. Exceptional!!!

Green Bean Noodles with Peanut and Spicy Sauce 川北涼粉. A most interesting noodle made from green beans and doused with an excellent spicy sauce with peanuts. Hard to follow the previous dish, which is sad because this one was almost as yummy. Yet again, the mastery of noodles shined as the little rectangular tubes were outstanding. Wow!!!

Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll Part 2
Shaffi’s Indian Restaurant

Shaffi’s Indian Restaurant 石崗咖喱屋

14 Fau Tsoi St 
元朗阜財街14號地下

We were – with the exception of Lo Dim – happily stuffed to our gills so we took a little longer walk, did some shopping and finally arrived at Shaffi’s Indian Restaurant 石崗咖喱屋. Although we once had takeaway from Shaffi’s, we were keen to eat there if not for any other reason than to say we had ticked-off a visit from our Yuen Long “must do” list. The restaurant gives another word to tight seating. Equally, please do not use the toilet because than you have to walk by the door to the kitchen and, well, you might get ill. Dirty on steroids does not do it justice. Perhaps that is the secret to making very good Indian food. We do not know. We have been trying to obliterate the image of the big pan of raw meat on a thin tray resting uncomfortably on an inch or two of grime on the floor. Oh my… A big plus is everyone, mostly Filipinos and local Indians, speak English. If we were in Central, Hong Kong or Mayfair, London, we would not have been impressed. However, in a district in the Western New Territories of Hong Kong? Very, very good!

Amuse bouche (really!?) of Springs Rolls with Veggies and Fried Onion Dumpling. Too funny, don’t ya think, when an Indian restaurant offers you an “amuse bouche”? Well, the waitress actually said this is a complimentary starter. Same same…the French are coming, the French are coming. Sadly, the spring roll was worse than that served at Lo Dim, while the fried onion dumpling was, well, fried yumminess.

Vegetable Samosa. Good flavour, but the dough was a bit too thick. Huge serving of three pieces so Buddy, our Beagle, was in for a very nice treat!

Fish Vindaloo. Excellent, super spicy and we definitely remembered the dish the next morning as we completed our meal…on the toilet. No, really, we had hoped for that experience, and we were delighted the end was as satisfying as the beginning. You can order the normal spice-level, and we think it likely will be very good. Or go big like we did and, well, happy ouch!

Garlic Naan. Very good. We ate a bit without the Vindaloo just to taste the untarnished garlic, which was excellent. Thereafter, we smothered with the Vindaloo and, wow, it was excellent.

 

Photos (Yuen Long Street Nibbles Stroll Part 2)

 

EPURE Hong Kong 👍👍👍👌

We were pleased to meet pre-holidays with one of our friends visiting from overseas, and we decided lunch at Epure would be a fitting way to enjoy some excellent chatting, sipping ’n snacking.

As mentioned during our last visit, EPURE is swish, chic, reasonably comfortable, boasts a very good wine list, offers quality service and produces some very good to excellent food. A true “fine dining”, “excellent” establishment.

If you are in Hong Kong, you should book EPURE and expect an all around excellent event.

AMBIENCE

location. One of our least favourite places, ie Ocean City in Tsim Sha Tsui, but when you want some of the best, you have to suffer.
character and atmosphere. Modern chic with a hint of formal…just enough.
style and comfort. Very swish, formal, less focused on comfort. Definitely a place to be seen.
table and glassware. Excellent glassware.
other guests. Business and shoppers.
ambience rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍

SERVICE

booking. WhatsApp with the Manager. It is good to have friends.
reception. Professional. The Manager was not working today, but he arranged a complimentary bubble for us…xie xie!
floor staff (knowledge and presentation of food, attention to details and awareness of guests). The team at ÉPURE mostly have worked together in other, top-shelf restaurants in Hong Kong. We would have to say excellent!
sommelier, maitre’d, chef, manager. Impressed with Senki the sommelier. He formerly worked at The Principal and Jockey Club, where we met him. He knows his wine. He is not shy to explain and tell us why, based on his knowledge of our preferences, we should not choose a particular wine. We like people who put our pleasure first, their revenue second!
service rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍

FOOD

bread. Excellent selection! Excellent flavours. Exceptional textures. Excellent butter! Spectacular!
ingredients. Excellent.
presentation. Waiters doing a good job presenting the food.
creativity. Relatively simple…but better than last visit.
taste. Excellent.
smell. Excellent
execution. Excellent
food rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👌

An odd experience as we had some OMYGs and some, well, just OkeyDokey food today…hmmm….

Amuse Bouche of Beet Root, Cauliflower Mousse on Savoury Crackers and Lobster Foam. Beet root and cauliflower never, ever tasted so yummy. The Lobster Foam was delicious. OMYG!

Lobster Salad, Celery Root, Savora Mustard, Cilantro. Stunning flavours of mustard and cilantro. Even the celery was yummy. We thought the lobster was a touch too chewy.

Seared Duck Foie Gras, Jerusalem Artichoke, Shallots, Caramel Jus. Very good, but nothing special. How did that happen with Frog Grass!!!???

Flaky Butter Puff Ring, Lobster, Line Caught Fish, Liquorice Scented Coulis. The butter puff ring, not surprisingly, was outstanding. Lobster, yet again, a touch too chewy. Fish perfectly prepared. Flavours just OkeyDokey.

Grey Sea Bream, Sautéed Salicornia, Ile de Re Sea Urchin Butter Sauce. Everything was very good, but the sauce was exceptional! We could have sipped an entire bowl…OMYG!

Cheese plate from Toullousse. We opted for Chef’s choice. The Roquefort, in particular, was superb. All were excellent. The cheese “room” is top-shelf.

Petits Fours. Chestnuts to die for.

WINE

selection. Almost exclusively French, which is not surprising.
variety. Relatively good, but could be better.
value. Reasonable.
wine rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👌

Complimentary glasses (wine, not flutes) of:

NV Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Cuvée Sainte Anne. We were greeted by the sommelier with complimentary glasses of this pleasant bubbly from the manager of Epure Hong Kong, who made our reservations, but was not on service that day. Xie xie… Pleasant light, brownish-yellow (blend) on the eye. Less than 7 g/liter dosage, but quite dry. Bubbly bubble on the nose with vibrant and vivid citrus fruits. An excellent QPR aperitif for any lunch, dinner or party!

Glass of:

2012 Robert Comte Santenay 1er Cru La Truffière. An unusual drop from a region usually known for its reds, we were pleased with a vivid, brightness on the eye. Aromas of slightly earthy, vanilla, toasty oak with an almost Corton-Charlemagne personality. Fresh, smooth and silky on the palate with a pleasant, fairly long finish.

MISC

type of cuisine. Classic French
dress code. Smart Casual.
private rooms. Yes.
overall rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👌

Menu/Price

ÉPURE 
Chef Nicolas Boutin, Executive Chef
Chef Matthieu Godard, Head Pastry Chef
Shop 403, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong
www.epure.hk

GastroNaughties’ Restaurant Ratings Criteria

 

Photos (EPURE)

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Amuse Bouche
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Petits Fours.
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Grey Sea Bream, Sautéed Salicornia, Ile de Re Sea Urchin Butter Sauce
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Flaky Butter Puff Ring, Lobster, Line Caught Fish, Liquorice Scented Coulis
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Lobster Salad, Celery Root, Savora Mustard, Cilantro
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Oyster
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Seared Duck Foie Gras, Jerusalem Artichoke, Shallots, Caramel Jus
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Bread
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Amuse Bouche
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