November Birthday Month Celebrations Not For The Faint of Heart
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.
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:
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!
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!!!
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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