Monday, March 30, 2015

Yakiniku Yoshimitsu 焼肉善充 - Affordable Yakiniku by Ginza Iwa Group

 This place has opened for a while and taking over Osaka Horumon’s space.   For some reason I just keep going back to 298 Nikuya,  Futago,  Wagyu Pure,  or Yakiniku Great.  All of these are very fine yakiniku options,  if I had to pick one as the absolutely favourite I will say Yakiniku Great is the most amazing one but that’s not to rob the others of their credentials.   Yoshimitsu meanwhile is on a more affordable course,  most items here start from the $60 – $98 range.   In Japan,  Yakiniku has a few classes of hierarchy – here it is more family style affordable.  But don’t under estimate their pedigree here,  it is in fact opened by the multiple Michelin starred Ginza Iwa Group from Japan and Hong Kong.



Daily Specials -
It kept the previous Osaka Horumon pedigree,  as they sell a few Horumon or innard dishes here.  For example,  Beef Liver can be had for only HKD $28.  Amazing deal..




Asahi Draught -
From memory about $38 or thereabouts.  Reasonably priced. 

Australian Wagyu Uchi Harami ウチハラミ -
There are 2 cuts of Harami in Japanese,  this is the Hanger Steak part instead of the Outside Skirt.  Both would have a kidney innards taste,  and why this is a must order in Yakiniku as it is said to be full of Vitamin A but always slightly cheaper.  Sorry been eating this for too many years so by default,  I assume this is part of yakiniku culture to always order one by default whether it is either of the two cuts.     Loved their minerally and bold flavour.  ~ 8/10



Misuji ミスジ -
This cut is near the Chuck and Brisket area.  Actually the definition of this cut is ambiguous,  as certain shops give you a different cut which literally melts in your mouth.   Not so here.  This was still good but not the elusive Misuji cut you can experience elsewhere in Japan or say Yakiniku Great.   ~ 7/10



牛もも肉 Momo Niku,  Wagyu Leg Meat -
Really gamey and strong,  as expected from a moving muscle.  This is one of my favourite cuts as it gives a bit of a chew and full of flavour.  Pairs perfect with rice.   ~ 8/10

Plain Rice – $20
It’s alright priced.  Cooked well.   Yakiniku without rice is like eating a castrated wagyu.  Oh well,  98% of them already are.  
Smile with tongue out




まぐろほほ肉 Maguro Tuna Cheek Meat -
Fun to see a Tuna Cheek on the menu for Yakiniku.  This was pretty fine although despite the marination,  still slightly fishy.  Definitely needs some rice to go with it.   ~ 7/10





Opens til 2am -
Keeping the spirit of an original Japanese Yakiniku Ya.
The Wagyu meat cuts are half Australian and half Japanese sourced,  but if you know how the Japanese system works there really isn’t much difference for normal Black Wagyu cuts,  as anything that has been bred 50%+ of time in Japan can be classified as local,  whether it grew up in Australia,  Argentina,  America or even Spain.   What’s more important is the Wagyu DNA.




Price:  $350 + 10%
Food:   ♕♕♕♕

Address:  G/F, Golden Dragon Building, 41-43 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Ph:  2591 1821

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

阿元來了 Yuan Is Here - Taiwanese Street Food in Hong Kong

 Hong Kong has always had many Taiwanese shops,  yet those of us foodies in the clear can instantly tell if it has been commercialized as a concept and unfortunately those that retain the original Taiwanese spirit and flavors are far and beyond scarce,  which never made much sense.   Miraculously it has taken until the latter half of 2014 for someone like Yuan Is Here 阿元來了 to open up in town to emulate the authentic Taiwanese experience.   It was long overdue as a concept but then again that’s business opportunities for you with a sharper observation of what the market needs..   Nowadays, queuing for a table here can be quite eventful and during peak times could be up to 1 hour or more.  Someone must be doing something quite right to be attracting the crowd..



Loving the Signage and the Font -
So Taiwanese like if not a bit cheesy with the fonts..




Their Green Apple & Jasmine Tea here is very good -
Having visited here twice spanning over a few months and ordering exactly the same food,  so far the drink has been consistent and refreshing,  with very strong hints of green tea leaves infused.  Thoroughly impressed and one of the best Iced Teas in town.  Not to be missed.   ~  10/10



魯肉飯 Ru Lou Fan,  Braised Pork Rice with Pickles and Additional Egg – $27 + $8
A lot of false information is written online about this dish.
   This is a Braised and Diced Pork dish that is hand diced but not to be minced for texture.  肉燥 a similar dish is more minced but often confused with this,  despite a similar braising liquid.  Think of a real diced Italian Bologna Ragu,  vs a bastardized Bolognese Minced Meat.   The ideal 魯肉飯 Ru Lou Fan Rice will be julienned into long strips by hand, carrying some pork skin, fat, and mushrooms. The version here was mostly braised pork and sometimes non-swallowable soft bones.  No skin, fat or mushrooms as its Taiwanese counter part. Flavour wise,  my 1st visit was more correctly braised and slightly sweetish,  on a 2nd visit still good but became more savoury and drier.  ~ 7/10



Zoomed shot -
This time around more dense savoury too.   I prefer it more sweeter and fluffier.




(Taipei,  Taiwan) – From the Historically Famous 金峰魯肉飯 in Taiwan
You can clearly see the differences.  More fatty layers,  some pork skins and mushrooms,  also julienne cut into strips on the Taiwan side.  So amazing over there if you can get over the guilt of the fatty strips.. 




Braised Egg Here -
True to it’s spirit.   But it could have received more braising liquid taste on the external marination..  ~ 7/10




Glad Hong Kong finally has this Option for Dining Out -
Wouldn’t say it’s as good as the Taiwanese equivalents,  but at least it is gaining traction as a plausible start..  Personally how hard is it to properly braise some hand diced pork strips, marinate an egg properly and scoop them onto rice and become a real winner?  




Price:  $27 to $47 + 10%
Food:   ♕♕♕♕

Shop 73,  3rd Street Sai Ying Poon,  Sai Wan,  Hong Kong
Ph:  3579 2460



Monday, March 23, 2015

Entertainer Guide HK 2015 - Buy 1 Get 1 Free Offers at 256 Locations in Hong Kong

 Previously I posted some information online about how you could either purchase an APP version for your Smart Phones,  or a Twin Books Version for the latest Hong Kong Entertainer Guide 2015.   This entitles you to many Buy-1-Get-1 Free offers ranging from Manicures,  Spas,  overseas Hotel stays and for me most importantly Lunch or Dinner Meals with your friends!    You can find out the latest offers on this link first,  before deciding on whether they will suit your needs:  ( )   I have used it a few times for myself since 2013 and it definitely can be a bargain,  even for Business Dinners to save some dosh for the company expenses,  coz your company needs precisely someone thoughtful like you..



Buy-1-Get-1-Free Offers for HKD $345 – Until the End of 2015
Most Restaurants or Cafes,  Hotels, Spa places offer you 3 x Individual coupons. 
For example,  you want to buy coffees at Cupping Room HK,  you can redeem it up to 3 times.  So you only pay for 3 coffees but can receive 6 coffees in total.  

Doppio Zero Food Pictures - Chitarra Sea Urchin (1)
[Doppio Zero] – Chitarra Sea Urchin Pasta with Crab Roes & Tarragon $228
Although with so many restaurants to choose from,  one of my favourites will be Doppio Zero’s hand made pasta’s with Sea Urchin.   I have already confirmed with the owners,  in fact I just bumped into him on the streets tonight coincidentally just as I was to type this App Review up -  this Buy 1 Get 1 Free Offer will extend to their main pastas.  




Doppio Zero Food Pictures - Pan Roasted Baby Chicken (2)
[Doppio Zero] Pan Roasted Heritage Farmed Chicken with Olives,  Roasted Peppers & Red Wine Vinegar sauce – $298
You can get another 2nd chicken for free with the deal as an example..  Hit 2 Chicks with 1 Coupon.




Doppio Zero Food Pictures - USDA Prime Ribeye with Bone Marrow
[Doppio Zero] Signature Grilled USDA Prime Rib-Eye 10Oz with Bone Marrow, 
Anchovy Garlic Butter,  Gremolata – $428
For me this is the ultimate dish to order here.  Pay for 1 and get a 2nd for your friends to share.  Obviously the above Signature Sea Urchin dish is also super attractive and the participating restaurants are also nice enough to provide as a gesture to extend the Buy 1 Get 1 Free offers to other Menu items.   Please do ask carefully what can be included or not in the offer first.  

Say for example this Steak and Marrows is priced at $428 – if you pay for the Entertainment Guide App at $345,  you just already make an instant saving.   Not counting in the rest of the meals you will have by the end of 2015.   Study the full index of the Merchants here at: 



Entertainer HK 2015 Website:

Mobile APP Purchase Link :

Doppio Zero:
Address:  The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand
Phone: 2851 0682


*Disclaimer :
1)  This is part of an Online Social Media Promotion to market Entertainer products within Asia-Pacific
2)  The Website,  Facebook and Instagram Account owner here does not receive any Commissions whether you purchase the App or the Book or not.  Wished I did.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sushi Tei 寿司庭 - Buy 1 Get 1 Free Lunch Promotion and Great Quality

 We were scheduled to have a meeting around Tsim Sha Tsui area and on the previous day,  I was somehow walking past Nishiki, my favourite Yakitori place in Hong Kong bar newly opened Keyaki,  both of which I don’t think I have covered as yet except for quick images on Instagram at EpicurusHongKong.  We noticed that the other 2nd outpost of Nishimura Restaurant 西村日本料理 here changed into Sushi Tei 寿司庭.  The Chefs remain mostly the same and with such an attractive Monday to Sunday Buy 1 Get 1 Free Lunch offer,  let’s just make this happen to test it out.   I should emphasize that in general I have been skeptical about eating sushi and sashimi in Hong Kong,  so far only Sushi Mori and Sushi Take have been kind to me,  also Sushi Shougun.  You could pay literally thousands in town but you might as well fly to Tokyo instead.   Here surprisingly, was almost up there and I can finally taste the seafood !




Sushi Platter 9 pieces with Tuna Maki roll – $258
There’s a good mix of white and shiny fishes,   surprisingly all of them were full of taste.  I hope it wasn’t a once off wonder.  Although there is no Toro,  the red Akami tuna was also carrying a good meaty taste.   At it’s normal $258 price I am already happy.  Can’t believe this is Buy One Get One Free for lunch at the moment…   I can eat 2 sets myself In love ~  8/10



Negitoro Minced Tuna Don with Onsen Egg – $230
Relatively speaking,  this was too expensive.  But the tuna was okay and notice that the Gari ginger is sliced whole,  which is appreciated as it indicates it’s home made by the chef.   For me personally I would order the above Nigiri set however.  ~ 8/10




Today’s Grilled Fish -  Hokke from Hokkaido $198
In HK,  this is decently priced even without the Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal,  although Oootoya is your next bet on getting one for nearly half the price.   We had some other food and desserts and tea in included.  Overall I was actually quite happy with the Sushi Set above and that’s the item I will come back for !





Price:  $258 Lunch + 10%  (Not including Buy 1 Get 1 Free Deal)
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address:  Shop 106, 1/F Regal KOWLOON HOTEL, 71 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ph:  2723 0168

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ebi no Hige 海老の髭 - from Niigata, Japan.

 Niigata is quite famous for their rice grains,  therefore sake and their very clean and sustainable seafood.  I have fond memories of visiting there during work,  and their 30 year old oysters are really memorable from the Northern coasts when they are to be sliced up with a knife for eating as they can be as long as 20-30cm in length.   This shop is originally from Niigata and opened up in Hong Kong as an expanded shop.   I was invited along others during its new opening.   Wouldn’t say everything really wowed me for now,  but it was okay in terms of being unique with the recipes,  the rice and sake part definitely tried to do the part here as expected ...  



Japanese Chef from Niigata chain of Ebi no Hige -
Pretty concentrated on his work,  delicate hands and plating

Sushi of Tuna Akami Zuke,  Sea Urchin,  Ikura with Oroshi -
  The sushi pieces were more on the savory side,  especially the Ikura salmon roes and the tsuke on the tuna,  which didn’t need extra nikiri or soy sauce.   Not a bad start but I guess overall it was a bit more powerful in design,  the rice shari was surprisingly not that sticky for Koshihikari rice grains.   ~ 7/10



Prawns with Chawan-Mushi -
Really plump indeed.  Overall this was smooth,  but could do with some more herbs being mixed in to elevate it to another level.   Loved the crunchy prawns though.. The steamed eggs has ginko nuts and meat and seafood inside,   despite the lack of any mitsuba herbs it was smoothly flavourful.  ~ 8/10




A Variety of Sake Pairings,  from Niigata Prefecture -
You honestly can’t fault any of them but if I had to pick,  the Nechi was more wine like in sophistication.  I also like the smooth sweetness of the one on the extreme ‘left’,   which paired the best with many following dishes especially when the water quality was amazingly crisp.



のっぺり 能平汁. Basically a Niigata version of 筑前 Chikuzenni,
but also with Ikura Salmon Roes and served cold – $58
This was such a homey dish,  and although served cold,  was sliced evenly and appreciated although the usual versions are warmer so it’s up to you to order or not..   ~ 7/10




Steamed Prawn Dumpling Soup -
Milky yet bouncy.  Somehow expected more layering within the soup,  like a tinge of yuzu zest or more bonito flavour.  As it was it’s a bit one dimensional.  ~ 6/10 


Murakami Village ‘Shiobiki’ Dried Salmon,  from North West Niigata -
This is dried for 1 year.  Dipped into the sake to soften it up and becomes such a great umami snack.  Actually I have reason to believe this recipe could be derived from Hokkaido,  because Hokkaido carries a similar dish Sake-Toba,  and even during the BC period in the Jomon era,  salmon and bear hunters in Hokkaido were already establishing trades with Niigata.  And hence both places also have large Ice houses to preserve food for throughout the years..  Just extrapolating from what I studied or heard.  ~ 9/10



Sashimi of Ikijime Hamachi,  Blue Fin Tuna Toro,   Nanban Ebi Prawn and Tai Sea Bream -
The quality was good but the chu-toro instantly stood out for the flavour.  Also note the overall presentation and composition of this was very macro thoughtful,  the sashimi even resting on ice underneath  ~ 8/10


Grilled Vegetables with Cucumber,  Pumpkin,  Tomatoes,  Aka Kabu Daikon,  Asparagus,  etc. 

The crudites mix was enviable,  but it was the two types of koji’s dips which elevated this salad dish,  in an unexpected way.  One Koji dip had Mayonnaise combined and worked with the lighter vegetables,  the other was rice Koji with Miso which was heavier but not too salty.  I always think that anything with koji has a slight ‘zinc’ taste to it,  which is interesting..   ~ 8/10






Tempura Dish -
This was overall good but predictable.  It’s always part of the Tasting package,  at least they had a Fried Shishito pepper for color contrast.  Needed more daikon oroshi for me however.   ~ 7.5/10





Fried Thick Tofu - 栃尾ジャンボ油揚げの炙り焼き $78
Originally part of a kitsune soba/udon add on,  the version here was frozen 1st to make the tofu inflate to a thicker state before frying.  Much like Koya Tofu and similar in Taiwan and China.  A Nagaoka city specialty which is worth coming back for,  the crispy external and porous interior is something I miss from eating in that region.   ~ 8/10





Grilled Akamutsu/Nodoguro with Hajikami Ginger のど黒塩焼き – $268 each
Presented here are both the fish necks and the fillet parts,  2 versions with pickled gingers as expected.  Really fatty indeed and I tried both parts,  and surprisingly the head and neck is smoother,  but the fillet is very oily during this time of the year so I will opt for it as it was very satisfying with oil leaking down your lips..  ~  8/10




Kinmedai Fish cooked in Soy Based Sauce and Veggies -
This was done reasonable,  even if it didn’t spring any surprises.  I like the goubou burdock and carrot on the side,  but somehow I expected slightly more sauce and once again complexity in layering.   But overall this was also flavourful.   I have had better elsewhere consistently..  ~ 7/10 




黄金豚ロースの溶岩焼き Golden Pork Sirloin – $158
The aged pork taste was good,  but I think it needs more grilling caramelization to bring out its full flavours and aroma.  I am starting to see more and more Japanese chefs doing low-temperature cooking to preserve flavours,  but this is Hong Kong and a lot of ingredients seem to need more provocative style of cooking to coax out their flavour?  Rather than aiming to retain the subtleness like cooking on Japan side.   I am sure the pork and beef usually do taste better in Japan,  that bit is quite obvious   ~ 6.5/10





A5 Kagoshima Wagyu Ribeye Beef on Lava Rock -  $368 / 100g
This cooked pretty instantly,  surprisingly it was over within 15 seconds.  The wagyu beef flavour was better than expected,  it actually reminds me of Okinawan wagyu in that robust flavour and crispy fat layering..    - 8.5/10




Mentaiko,  Salmon Harasu Belly, Ikura Roes -
Eaten Ocha Zuke style after trying out the Koshihikari rice plain by itself already.




Sakura Ebi Prawns with Niigata Koshihikari rice 桜海老の釜戸炊き土鍋御飯 -
The Sakura ebi could be more toasted to release more aroma,  and it probably needed more of them.   I have had better versions elsewhere so that’s why we could compare..  ~ 6/10




Followed by Green Tea anything is always good - 
No one will protest about such a dessert as a finish.  However I expected something a bit more local Niigata special somehow.  Overall the prices here are decent and I like how there are some local specialty dishes.  Will have to come back soon to judge further!   Thanks for inviting us to get a preview.  





Price:  $780 Dinner + 10% for Tasting Menu,  Around $350-500 A La Carte plus ( This Meal was by Invitation by the Restaurant)
Food:   ♕♕♕ 1/2 – ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address:  銅鑼灣霎東街15號12樓
15th Floor,  Franck Muller Building,  12 Sharp Street East
Ph:  2155 4186

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Infiniti Q50 2.0T Turbo Premium - Test Driving the New Infiniti by Nissan

 The latest Infiniti by Nissan-Renault group is every loyal Skyline fan's dream come true.  The Infiniti range is an upgraded version and derived from the same Nissan Skyline DNA linage over the years. It has returned wiser as a grown-up version and became a more mature design package, the L-Shaped LED front parker lights and the smoother curvy bonnet lines are definitively trendily European in style than all of its predecessors.  Rest assure the performance has also received a welcoming and deserving boost by the manufacturer, yet it manages to use less fuel than those before this generation.   The engine installed is shared with Mercedes and Daimler development.



Infiniti Q50 -
Sporty and with European curves,  suitable for Professionals in image.  This is the Premium package which sports 18” Alloy Wheels and Bridgestone tyres,  with an Electronically adjustable Suspension package and better interior.  In Macau,  this is currently selling in the MOP $440,000 range,  but knowing the Tax System discrepancy,  paying in Hong Kong Dollars here can give you around a $20,000 discount. 



Executive Looking yet Young Sporty -
Let’s give it some acceleration pedal action,  to see if this 2.0L Engine with Turbo can give the enthuasists some real action.





Blessed with a Wind Tunnel calibrated aerodynamic performance of a very low 0.26 Coefficient of Efficiency drag, the 2015 Spec Infiniti Q50 2.0T carries an impressive 0-100km/h time of only 7.2 seconds whilst managing to keep fuel usage down to under 7.3Litres/100Km - 
Impressive figure and this certainly is one efficient beast. In my mind instantly, I was drawing direct correlation to an equally worthy competitor in the upper end Lexus Performance series.  And don’t forget this Engine shares the same DNA as a Mercedes C-Class Turbo engine as mentioned above.





Seat Stitching - “Infinity” by Nissan-Renault Group
They are also present on the latest Formula 1 Red Bull-Infiniti team.   Since Renault and Nissan supply the engines to Red Bull Formula 1 Team as well,  in partnership.




Dual Monitors with Touch-Screen -
GPS System and the Control below is digitalized via Fibre Optics.   You can select every variable from Air Conditioning,  to Stability Control,  Braking and Steer Assist,  all the way down to the specially installed BOSE Audio system. 




Designed and built from scratch to emulate a European Spec Sports sedan experience,
Indeed the Infiniti Q50's underlying engine block also shares the same development program with a Mercedes-Benz C Class, the result of a joint manufacturing collaboration between Nissan and Daimler AG group.  Having evaluated the limits of the Infiniti Q50 2.0T S Premium package, under slippery and rainy conditions in Macau,  it still handled steadily and safely up to the point of Electronic Stability Control finally kicking in by calculations of its sensors, just as I very deliberately provoked it during cornering.   *None of the other passengers actually noticed my mischievousness as I put pedal to the floor in the middle of a wet corner to test if it will drift wide naturally,  or we can somehow trust it’s passive Electronics System to correct.  Not that one can’t control it if it falls out of hand but it is still a big test and expected in today’s technology,  just like the accelerometer in your iPhone and Smart Phone!  It gives the driver much needed confidence as a passive and non-intrusive safety feature as we are all humans after all, even for the most precise professional drivers having an off-day and it might catch them off guard.



As a long term dedicated Skyline-Infiniti line fan and enthusiast - 
One of my major inner concerns was how would the car ultimately perform when pushed to its limit during sudden turn-ins or fast cornering, in this rear wheel drive configuration historically famous for great handling.  I mean with the much sharper European design in looks, I somehow was skeptical they might become too safe and classy and nullify the handling side of things to make it too gentlemen predictable in behaviour just as we are just beginning to have fun.  Rest assure the Engine Power Distribution from the Turbo Engine and also the Drivability set up is as sharp as is expected and here I must give praise to Infiniti sticking to heritage.  Performance in all aspects is tuned by none other than multiple F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel, surprisingly even also down to the Engine Mapping.   Red Bull,  Renault and Nissan Infinity linkage definitely helped with its development.   Sure I would expect less understeer on turn-in,  but the balance was close and suitable for most novice.




18” Alloy Wheels with the Premium Package -
The Bridgestone tyres have a good amount of grip even in the wet.



Dashboard -
Revs to 6,500rpm but the power-torque delivery arrives quite early.  Such is modern Turbo technology.   Turbo lag nowadays is almost non-existent and it climbed up hill many times without effort.

7 Speed Gear Shift has only +/- Controls on the Gear Stick  -
The Shift-Paddles on the Steering Wheel are not present. And for what is an Automatic Gearbox with a Torque Converter still taking care of the power,  this makes inherent sense since the Tip-Tronic Gear set up wasn’t meant to be mechanically racy with thumping clutch gear changes.  


A lovely Package that is emulating a European Experience -
As an ex-Nissan driver I can totally see where this is heading in the European Sporty Cars section!   The no lag engine response with plenty of usable torque and a lovingly designed and manufactured interior is almost immaculate.   The chassis is convincingly stiff,  the suspension and handling characteristics was accurate with a good safety margin dialled-in.   I would love to own this as my daily car and it looks so cool yet executive. 


Despite looking Executive in Design -
If you are adventurous enough to turn off the brake assisted turn-in and other stability controls, you can manually test the car's ultimate balance. My final impression of this car is that it has definitely matured to become right up there with the best available European sporty sedans, even the suspension, built, engine and handling plus the design of the interior is very convincing. There is also a Hybrid V6 version available which carries a 360 Horsepower engine and can perform 0-100km/h in 5.1s, which is just touching on super car territory. Now I am excited to try that version,  and also the newly released Q70 series..




Address:  Avenida 1 de Maio, R/C D, Bloco 4, The Bayview, Macau
Phone:  (853) 2871 9838


Address:  G/F Hutchison House, 10 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong
Phonel: (852) 2756 9123


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