Category Archives: 3 Thumbs Up

Locando nel Borgo Antico 👍👍👍👌

Wow, stunning, modern farmhouse with an exceedingly contemporary funky design. We are hopeful our photos do justice…not too many farmers can boast a “farmhouse” like this one!

We were greeted by the wife – Luciana – at the front door. Chef Massimo Camia visited to say hello, albeit his English is far from his best language…and our Italian is virtually non-existent! They both smiled when we mentioned Chef Antimo of [L’Altro HK, now Otto e Mezzo Macau]. Thanks, Mino! Continue reading Locando nel Borgo Antico 👍👍👍👌

The Hinds Head 👍👍👍

We slowly strolled 2.5 miles (4 km) from The Oakley Court Hotel to the little – I mean teeny, itsy bitzy – village of Bray where quite surprisingly several of the most highly rated UK restaurants call home.  If you sneezed while driving down Windsor Road, you easily could miss the village.  To use such terms as “adorable” or “quaint” would not be inappropriate when describing the village and The Hinds Head, which is the famed Chef Heston Blumenthal’s “gastro-pub”….our first after more than 30 years of “pub-grub” experiences around the world.

Continue reading The Hinds Head 👍👍👍

Bvlgari, Milan 👍👍👍👌

The Bulgari Hotel was hived off the central area of the historic town center on a private street. We would expect nothing else from this style icon.  So private, our Concierge cautioned against trying to walk to the hotel, as it was truly impossible to find unless with a local, knowledgeable driver.  Very swish, brown and black hues, modern and young, happy people. Slick! Memories of our stay at The Bulgari Hotel in Bali many years ago…of course quite different, but a name is a name…and the attention to all things glorious was the same!

We would be walking more than 5km after lunch to see part of the old city as well as buy train tix to Turin so we decided missing the pre-lunch walk was acceptable.

Excellent, rustic, best “farm” bread we ever had munched! We slathered with exceptional olive oil and ate like truck drivers!

WINE

Glasses of:

  • 2008 Franciacorta Contadi Castaldi Spumante. Actually very nice. A very good Franciacorta usually is a nice aperitif. Champagne still has no worries, but this is good for a start.

  • 2011 Proseco Valdobbiadene. Super sweet, OkeyDokey for an aperitif.  We definitely are not Proseco people.

  • 2011 Contadi Castaldi Adro (BS) Curtefranca. Blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco from Lombardia. Nice, fresh, slightly fruity, dry, fair amount of acidity.  Excellent by the glass offering.

  • 2011 Villa Gemma Bianco Masciarelli San Martino sulla Marrucina (CH). Blend of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Cococciol and Chardonnay from Abruzzo. Trebbiano very pronounced.  Pleasant.

Bottle of:

2007 Az Agricola Cos Acate (RG) Contrade Labirinto IGT.  A Sicilian Nero d’Avola. Crazy, Port like bottle. The Sommelier said this is “the best” Nero d’Avola in Sicily. Dark, cherry red. Darn good expression of the “black grape of d’Avola.”  Very happy, reasonably priced given the locale, bottle!

 

FOOD

Burrata mozzarella with spinach and tomatoes. Excellent and simple. We had rested approximately 40 hours since our last mozz at Obika so we were ready and we loved it!!

Salmon carpaccio. Basically, a very good smoked salmon. Nothing special.

Veal Milanese. Excellent, but the veal was a bit too thick as was the bread coat. Not as good as Otto e Mezzo in Hong Kong. Three cheers – or stars – for Umberto Bombano!!!

Swordfish with Sun Dried tomatoes and various veggies. Yummy! Beautifully prepared and succulent piece of fish. Tomatoes special!

Apple Tart. A gallant effort to challenge Bombano’s equivalent dish at Otto e Mezzo in Hong Kong, but not winning the battle! Pretty good, crunchy, not too much yogurt.  Happy lil piggies.

Time to walk!!!

Menu/Price

Bvlgari 👍👍👍👌
Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Milano

Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7/b – 20121 Milano
Italy
http://www.bulgarihotels.com/en-us/milan/bar-and-restaurant/il-bar

Photos (Bvlgari)

Bvlgari
Burrata mozzarella with spinach and tomatoes
Bvlgari
Swordfish with Sun Dried tomatoes and various veggies
Bvlgari
Salmon carpaccio
Bvlgari
Apple Tart
Bvlgari
Veal Milanese
Bvlgari
Az Agricola Cos Acate (RG) Contrade Labirinto IGT 2007
Bvlgari
Bvlgari

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)

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