Friday, December 23, 2016

Three on Canton Buffet [Hong Kong] - Marco Polo Hotel. Buffet for $598 is Reasonable ..

Thanks to Marco Polo Hotel and its relatively new Three on Canton Buffet restaurant for inviting us over. I have been here quite a few times, and Be On Canton on the outside is really great for a Shisha smoking session too. They also offer non-nicotine options. The annual Marco Polo Bier Oktoberfest for the last 3 decades or so are also held by the same Hotel group so it is always well organized. The Dinner Buffet ranges from HKD $598 to 648, and has evolved to become one of the best value buffets in town lately.

Wines are HKD $98 per Bottle only - 
Surely this is an attraction by itself.  How many restaurants in Hong Kong don't try to squeeze you dry from their drinks?  Not so over here.  

Seafood Counter with Crawfish, Mussels and Crab Legs -

Unlimited Bread Crabs, Lobsters,  Crab Legs, Whelks, etc - 

Fresh Oysters here are Famous and Opened Fresh by order - 

Indian Section with plenty of Naan and Papadum -

Salmon, Ama Ebi Prawns, Tuna were decent - 
Call it Personal, I think the Herring Roes and Saba Mackerel option is more of a gap filler.  More Hamachi or Buri,  a bit more Akagai surf clams is more convincing.

Penne Pasta with Parmesan Cheese Wheel,  Fried Oysters -
You can't really beat this for an all you can eat at HKD $598 ..

Roasted Lamb Racks -

Roasted Turkey, Beef -
Meat options are aplenty here.  I am becoming full already though...

Roasted Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, some Brussels Sprouts, Risotto - 
Beef was okay, the Yorkshire pudding was better ~ 7/10

Peking Duck - 
One of my biggest criticisms here.   It sounds promising during each visit,  but the Duck Skin and Wrap is a little softish.  To me this is the Key to promote this Buffet setting.. ~6/10

Steamed Fish - 

Gaufrette Fries,  Cheese Nacho's and Yorkshire Puddings -

Peking Duck Waffles,  Gaufrette Potato Fries, Tian Mian Jiang sauce,
Foie Gras poele -

Bread Crabs and Lobsters - 

Christmas and Ice Creams - 

Bread & Butter Pudding - 

Cheese Platter - 

Pancakes Station -

Chocolate Fondant Lava Cake, with a Choux Caramel Pastry -

Earl Grape Tea - 
Earl Grey Tea with Grapes,  and Frozen Ice.  It is a signature at here..

Price: HKD $598 Per Person (Meal by Invitation by Marco Polo Hotel)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ – ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Level 3, Gateway Hotel, Harbour City, 13 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ph: +852 21137828

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cassio by Barrafina [Hong Kong] - Spanish New Opening and Trend Setting, If only Portions were Bigger to Share

 Cassio recently opened in Hong Kong,  by the people behind Dragon-i Group.  Located inside LKF Hotel,  there was no doubt which type of cool Crowd it intended to attract including Models and Celebrities alike,  and within just weeks of opening it had garnered a large following from the Central Crowd.  The Spanish food here is looked after by Barrafina of Europe London, New York, Sydney and Spain's fame.  The portions were a little too Small to our likings,  but the taste was really good for most items ...


Some Cocktails and Spanish Estrella Galicia beer to start off the night - 

Pan Con Tomate - 
Nicely done. With a good portioning of rubbed Garlic, Tomatoes, Olive Oil and some chopped Herbs on aerated bread.  Forgot how much this is and will have to go back to re-check the Menu prices..  

Jamon Croquetas - $68 for 2 Pieces
The Bechamel sauce within to me isn't starchy or consistent enough with what I eat in Spain,  and the Jamon Ham pieces were a little weak,  especially when compared to Spain itself and El Cerdo in HK - I would barely give these ones a pass..  ~ 6/10

Courgette Zucchini Flower Blossom Tempura,  filled with Crab Meat,  Mushrooms, with a Spicy Tomato Sauce - $118
Another weakish dish on this visit. The tempura method was a little too soft,  and there wasn't enough Crab taste this time.  The life saver was actually the spicy tomato sauce !  This was also too small in portions.  ~ 6.9/10

Spanish Carabinero Prawn - $248
I saw that a lot of people say why this is pretty expensive for a just a single prawn,  but as a supplier myself I have to this one was of a Jumbo size and really expensive to source.  From a business point of view,  may be the Customers expect at least 2 prawns but of a smaller size..   That base Bisque like sauce was super intense and likable by the way.  Price issues aside,  this was excellently executed ~ 9/10

Gambas al Ajillo - Obsiblue Prawns with Garlic and Olive Oil,  Espelette Pepper  $178
This isn't as EVOO bubbly as the traditional formulae,  and this time around the Fried Prawn Legs were taken off during our night of visit, replaced by fried Garlic chips.  This is their Signature Dish here.  ~7.5/10

Potato & Eggs Tortilla - $88
Very well done indeed.  The only better version I know in town is at Catalunya..  ~ 8/10

Seafood Paella Rice with Clams, Calamari and Carabinero Prawn - $178
This was smaller than expected and we were saying it's less than 1 person's portion.  The taste was really great oceanic, but when we go out to eat,  we expect to be filled at least!  ~ 8.5/10

Roasted Suckling Pig with Pea Sprouts -  $228
Really gorgeous.  Apart from Ole on a good day,  this has to be the best Crispy skinned Pig in town.  The sauce was also reduced properly and sophisticated great! ~10/10

Stuffed Chicken Wings - 
This was decent but the exterior was slightly under-fried limpy.  And it wasn't cheap either at over HKD $100 a pop.  ~ 6.9/10

Rubia Gallega Steak,  with Peppers, Mashed Potato - HKD $188
A relative Bargain.  I think the Tapas and Racione sized dishes here are priced similarly,  so you might as well order more Mains!  ~ 8/10

Macedonia Mille-Feuille Filo Pastry - with Berries and Chantilly Cream - $98
This was really good,  if you can forgive that it isn't really a thousand layered Mille-feuille version.  Technical definitions aside it was very likable ~ 8/10

Churros with Chocolate Ice Cream,  Chocolate Dip - 
The one at El Cerdo is definitely the one to beat in Hong Kong.  If that is a 9/10,  here I would give it a 7/10 as it is a bit too dense and the Chocolate dip was quite floury,  compared to the Drinkable ones in Spain,  Austria, etc.   

Price: HKD $700 - $800 Per Person 
Food: ♕♕♕♕ – ♕♕♕♕♕

Address: 33 Wyndham St, Central 
Phone: 3792 0129

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ole with Winter Game Dishes [Hong Kong] - A most Convincing Spanish Restaurant in Town and Still Improving

 Those who know me well know I really adore Ole.  Although there is an influx of Spanish Openings in the past few years, and also Cassio opening this month serving Barrafina's Spanish food and also welcome,  but Haute Cuisine style Spanish food aside - when it comes to solid Spanish food in Hong Kong which doesn't re-invent the wheel,  I cannot find a replacement for Ole.  A previously combined review of my separate visits can be found here for reference, although I have been here dozens of times but probably didn't post: .  Although this has been on the Michelin Guide for every year from memory,  I actually even think the food has improved these days and is actually Michelin Star worthy.

Ole - 
In the past, as a Spanish Pioneer, it even served real Spanish Anguilla baby eels for more than HKD $500 a pop.  Nowadays it doesn't serve them anymore as it is even more pricier rarer, and is a perishable good...  But that shows you how advanced this restaurant was well ahead of its time,  even without going down the more Molecular cuisine type.   

Almost Cave like Atmosphere - 
There are always Musicians playing here every night. The atmosphere has stayed the same all these years,  but the food has not - it is always improving and keeping up to trend!

Porcini Mushrooms Croquetas - $110
A little too pricy.  I also thought the Porcini taste wasn't too apparent enough to warrant this premium price, plus the bechamel sauce consistency was too thin compared to similar recipes in the past.  Luckily this was probably the only let down for the night...  ~ 5/10

Morteruelo of Cuenca Hunted Wild Partridge, Pork Belly with Liver Pate, served on Bread -$95
It's now within the permitted Season for hunting these wild birds and until sometime around January 2017.  Very lovely Winter dish,  and will be a recurrent theme for tonight. ~ 8/10

Gamey Wild Winter Duck from Spain, with Mushrooms, Oloroso Sherry, Herbs & Bomba Rice - $290
My type of Wintery Hunting season dish.. I enquired about whether this duck is shotgun hunted, or twisted by its neck to retain its gaminess flavor.  The answer wasn't settled in the end as it could be either but I think this would have been twisted but then blood drained to keep this flavor profile.  Very lovely dish, and shows that it is not only nearby France which can execute this game dish so perfectly balanced and sophisticated, also well trimmed neatly..  ~ 9/10

Wild Venison from Basque Pyrenees Mountain - with a Spiced Berries Sauce & Sweet Potato - $380
I wondered if this Northern Spanish dish had any Swiss or Nordic influence as this is to be definitely an Alps or Mountainous recipe. I just had similar Venison/Deer dishes in Tokyo,  and those were well marbled and doesn't need larding for cooking.  Sometimes Venison is so lean it can be tough.  This sits somewhere above the median range and is very well handled,  kudos to the Chef. Slightly spiced too from the lovable fruity sauce.  X'mas is all on this plate!  ~ 8/10

Paella Valenciana with Snails, Rabbit & Chicken. The original paella on the Spanish East Coast & nowadays rare to find - HKD $440
Looking pretty, although somehow I think it lacked some flavors compared to their Seafood Paella options, which by itself also fluctuates on occasions.  I think this could improve if it carried either more Fish stock or Chicken stock somehow, just my 2 Cents... ~ 6.9/10

Rubia Gallega Txuleton - 45 Days Dry Aged Spanish Beef. Served with Padron Peppers,
Roasted Potatoes & Garlic -

This 12-15 year old Cattle is best eaten with some Basque Apple Cider just as a tradition ! Every 100g is around HKD$120 - one of the best Steaks I had in a few years with that unique intense Rubia Gallega flavor!

Price: HKD $400 - $500 Per Person
Food: ♕♕♕♕ – ♕♕♕♕♕1/2

Address: 中環雪廠街24-30號順豪商業大廈1樓
1/F, Shun Ho Tower, 24-30 Ice House Street,, Central
Ph: 2523 8624

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sonata at Rosedale Hotel [Hong Kong] - Bargain Dinner Buffet Starting from just HKD $238

 The Buffet Restaurant inside Rosedale Hotel is pretty concise and precise. At first glance it doesn't have too many options, and it knows that at this Location, it is not likely to attract a lot of walk-in Crowds. However I find this highly recommendable if you like certain dishes here. If you book 5 Days in Advance and Download their Coupons or via , the buffet starts from only HKD $238 and up to $268 on Weekends. Furthermore, at this price each patron will also receive half a Lobster Mornay. Even during X'Mas and New Years period, they also have 30% off and the buffet will remain only in the mid $200's range, making this possibly the biggest buffet bargain in town to celebrate with family and friends !

Snake Soup -
Interesting to see this in a Buffet !  It could do with some more Chrysanthemum and Kaffir Lime Leaves too !

Melty Raclette Cheese -
Here I ate it with Bread, Pickles, Potato Wedges and also some Fried Chicken pieces...

Main Course - Baked Lobster Mornay
This is given to each Customer during the Dinner

Presentation of Food - 
I find that the Lighting here could be much brighter and sharper,  and this is actually my 2nd time visiting here in 2016!   They could also refill the food quicker just to look more appealing,  although the food quality itself is actually pretty good

Seafood Pasta - 
Creamily good,  I added some more seafood on top from the Seafood Counter myself DIY style!

Roasted Suckling Pig with Sticky Rice -
Pretty Wintery and actually unique in a Buffet setting.  

The Cold Seafood Selections -
Not bad for the $238 price range !

Fried Food and Takoyaki Balls - 
The Takoyaki balls were actually really good !  Beware that they are super hot too as this is the fried version...  Similar to Ramen Jo's one.

Some Seafood Salad -

Roasted Beef -

Okay You want to Hear the Truth from Me  - 
The Sashimi and Sushi section here is a little weak.  Look at those Imitation Crab sticks?  Although they do give out Abalone too.  Look for only $238-268 its expected,  since sashimi grade seafood is expensive to source!  From my point of view,  I did think this could be improved somewhat though... Why not do more Hamachi and Salmons

Dessert Counter -

Movenpick Ice Cream Counter -
I like how here they have quite a few flavors

Self Pressed Pancake Machine -

My Pancakes with Ice Cream -

Some Eggy Portuguese Tarts -
Overall if you are after a budget Buffet anytime or during Christmas,  I actually think this was presentable.  The food were cooked better than the lighting and room set up would suggest.  Seriously nowadays in Hong Kong you cannot even pay for a Main Course below say $300.  In relative terms an All You Can Eat Buffet at $238 is a relative bargain!

Price: $238 to 268 + 10%
Food: ♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address: 2/F, Rosedale Hotel Hong Kong, Shelter Street, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣信德街8號香港珀麗酒店2樓 Ph: 2127 8828


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