Sunday, March 27, 2016

SEPA Bacaro Veneziano [ Hong Kong ] - New Italian Venetian Menu and with FeedMe Guru App

 Thanks to FeedMeGuru App on mobile phones platform, to organize this lovely Venetian style dinner.  SEPA is a place I adore and have been quite a few times,  but never really managed to put up a post yet.  Their Smoked Eel Pasta, Beef Cheek Ravioli, and Bomba Bread with Truffles and Cheese are my absolute favorite items.

Rosemary Spritz Cocktail -
I always order this Cocktail..

Beetroot Tartare with Tuna, Jerusalem Artichoke Puree - $98
Have also had this a few times,  I personally think this is a nice concept but the tuna could be more seasoned or even with wasabi or horseradish to increase the taste..  ~  7/10

Arancini Rice Balls with Mozzarella Cheese, Tomato, Oregano - $88
Done just like in Italy itself...  it has White or Red versions over there,  this is the red version with tomatoes but not overly so.  ~  8/10

Modern style Beef Carpaccio with Egg Yolk Sauce and Black Truffles - $198
The beef looked well marbled,  but to me was a little too thinly sliced rather than pounded.  And the Black Truffles looked better than they smelt,  nice concept in theory though!  ~  6/10

Beef Tartare with 12 Sauces and Condiments - 
I like the idea,  and make sure you do it yourself.   

Thickly Hand Diced -
I appreciate this as it is actually not easy to cut up raw meat, for this or for a ragu

Veal Cheek Ravioli, Parmesan, Thyme & Veal Sauce Reduction - $158
Always has been one of my favourite dishes here, although the ravioli sizes do change as my last time here they were very small parcels instead. Full of veal cheek and reduction sauce taste, so memorable.    ~  8.5/10

M7 Wagyu Beef Bolognese Tagliatelle with 12 months Aged Parmesan - $158
My 1st time having this, I don't know I think the base sauce can have more depth or even a milky taste. The beef seemed to come in both large chunks and minced forms. I think compared to the ones I ate in Bologna itself, actually I am starting to think some pork contribution is also important?   ~ 6.5/10

63 Degrees Egg, Cured Pork Cheek Guanciale, Aged Parmesan Cheese - $158
The onsen egg was a nice idea, although I did expected more egg yolk coating on the pasta itself. The Guanciale were fried crispy well just like in Rome and thickly diced, expect them to be very salty!  Personally I am still trying to work out the perfect Carbonara cooking method, wouldn't it be fun if we had a Cook Off Competition just for this recipe? : )   *Imagine a Food Blogger vs Chef cook-off,  who ever loses just accepts it with grace and cheers !!   ~  7.5/10

Risotto with Chicken, Asparagus, Truffles -
The Risotto was quite creamy and well done. The Chicken Jus on top was quite concentrated and we joked that this tasted like a Cantonese dish. Overall, and ultimately, for this recipe I think it needed some actual chicken pieces.   ~  6/10

Lobster Tagliatelle Pasta -
The lobster pieces were good. The Pasta itself,  I find the base sauce can have even more crustacean sauce.  ~  6.5/10

Sausage Tagliatelle with Thyme & Potatoes -
On the Specials Board but forgot to take photo of the price. Someone commented that this was salty, although personally the above Carbonara was much more saltier just like in Rome. I liked this dish, but somehow think if there's so much potatoes, it needed even more cheese.  ~ 7.5/10

Ordering a Peroni Beer = 20% Off Pasta Dish

Tiramisu - $98
Done very well and with a creamy Mascarpone Cheese whipped well with Espresso. Not very alcoholic with Marsala or the alternative Rum. I think this was interesting because the Ladie's Fingers remained hard enough within, but overall for this price more wine please! If you make a Kid's version as an offer,  then why can't we make that as a separate offer please : ) ~ 8/10

Interior of the Venitian Space -

Price: $400 Per Person  (Meal Organized by FeedMeGuru App)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕

Address - 61 Caine Road, Mid-Levels
Ph:  25219800

Monday, March 21, 2016

Camper's 坐忘 - [ Tin Hau, HK ] Japanese Curry Shop with Emphasis on Vegetables

Camper's is one of the Japanese Curry places I have always admired.   Truth be told,  I think Izumi Curry from Osaka has a better Curry base, but in terms of heart,  I think it is better here.   

The Menu - 

They Advertise that there are at least 15 Vegetables here daily in Each Dish -
This grilled Beef Short Ribs salad here was surprisingly executed really well.  Nice Grilling Flavor and soft tender.   The Lotus Roots and Pumpkins and all the other Vegetables were prepared well.   For $84 only this was begging for more relieve in the taste and complexity.   ~  8/10

The Yasai Vegetables Udon with Sesame Sauce -  $64
This on the other hand was mostly boiled despite looking good with vegetables varieties.
I didn't enjoy it as much as the above dish but its normal.  It was slightly a bit dry and I have already been here and Quarry Bay outlet to compare   ~  7/10

Price: $60 - $84 + Per Person
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address - G/F, 127 Electric Road, Tin Hau
Ph: 2889 7377

Monday, March 14, 2016

Japanese Eggs Tamago Cooking Class with Kei San 杉内馨 - Learning to make 2 Types of Omelettes and Dessert

 We were being introduced to a Cooking Class with Kei San from Hokkaido, together with a theme centred around Japanese Eggs, which is usually absolutely my favourite in terms of egginess and balance of overall taste.  I am sure there are great eggs in Italy and France, even in China and locally in Hong Kong too, etc. But on average I personally did find Japanese are as good as their fruits over the years,  they just seem to be able to work out how to maximize all parts in the equilibrium..

Japanese Cooking Demo was at Easy123 Dining & Cooking Studio in K11 Mall,  Hong Kong -

Some who were Invited to the Cooking Demo I already know for Years, but some aren't as Familiar Faces yet..

Kei San demonstrating the Different Steps to handle Japanese Eggs - 
Kei San is a Japanese Celebrity Chef in Hong Kong & Japan, and also a Qualified Shochu Sommelier.  I have attended quite a few of his events and dinners actually.. He can write in Chinese language better than me!

Un-wrapping our Japanese eggs to make Omurice base -

Beating the Eggs to prepare for our Egg Wraps !  Looking Forward to the results 

But 1st of All, there was a Tamago-Yaki pan, to make the Tamago Yaki or Dashi Maki -
Itself is also an Omelette if you compare it to an Omurice,  with a slightly different wrapping style.

It looks Nice & Moist inside when Sliced Open - 

Time to heat up the Chicken Rice and have it Wrapped around the Egg Omelette - 
Apparently, the key is to not overly put too much rice inside the egg wrap all at once..  That is sort of expected.

Smiling from the Omurice - 
Although we didn't have time to practise making a Tampopo style Omurice, which you slice it in the middle and automatically self wraps itself around the rice.

Inside my Omurice 

Making a Creme Brulee with a Blow-Torch with a bain marie baked Japanese eggs custard,
The temperature and moisture control must be accurate..

Finished Creme Brulee Product - 
In my experience making this, the sugar used and an even hand with distribution of the sugar grain is important. The type of Heat Gun used is also important, as personally I prefer a Blue Flame and Concentrated Flame for control. It is almost counter-intuitive too, but I find the general weaker flame guns to be too much affected by the distance before it becomes blown away by the vacuum air from the ventilators. Every cooking equipment do take getting used to after all!   Cooking takes Experimentation,  and that's part of our fun attending this class.

Easy123 Dining & Cooking Studio
Address: 18 Hanoi Road, K11, Shop 221, 2/F

Tel: 26280616

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tartine [ Hong Kong ] - French Open Sandwich Concept for Birthday Party

Tartine is consulted by Chef Philippe Orrico, who runs Michelin 1* On Dining and also Upper Modern Bistro, but previously headed the kitchen at my beloved Pierre at Mandarin Oriental and St. George.   The tartine open sandwich concept is quite unique to Hong Kong, so is Picnic on Forbes which is run under the similar management and very French! 

The Menu Tonight..
It's not the whole Menu but some things were added later..

Prosciutto Ham, Figs, and Ricotta, Honey on a Tartine Bread -
A trusted recipe, the cheese was quite strong gamey for HK as some people noted, I personally was fine with this but may be I don't have a sweet tooth these days, I found the honey slightly sweet. The bread was so aromatic though, I could just survive on that. : ) ~ 7/10

Charcuterie Platter -

There's a spread of French Ham,  Spanish Chorizo,  Salami,  House Cured Beef,  etc.
To me it is always interesting because there is not doubt Spain carries the best Iberico ham,  even when I went to French-Basque area,  some restaurants were serving Spanish Jamon despite the area also producing French Jambon.  Here it was a mix of both but balanced.  

Beef Filet Mignon,  with Butter Peas,  Blue Cheese Sauce,  Rosemary - 
This was presented well.  The Blue Cheese sauce wasn't that apparent,  but the steak was charred on all sides.  It was slightly dry and could be more buttery or cheesy to me,  quite gamey in grass myogoblin taste...  ~  6.5/10

Truffled Ham Sandwiches -

Similar to a Spanish Bikini.  This was served warm and melty.   Nice buttery..  ~  8/10

Beef and Potato Parmentier - 

Pretty homey.  Somehow I expected this to be more herbal or burnt with an accent,  this was like a Shepherd's Pie.  ~  7/10 

Several Cocktails - 

Lobster Tartine - 

With Bechamal sauce.   A mother of all sauces...  I personally think it could do with more Crustacean taste for this concept.  ~  6/10

Lobster Risotto- 

Again,  I expected more Crustacean taste somewhat.  But this was cooked to the right risotto standards.  ~  6.5/10  

Truffled and Lardon Egg Quiche - 

This was really well done and even the pastry crust was done exemplary.    Encore  ~  9/10

Cheese Platter - 

Munster was my favourite.  Not even the 24 months Comte can over-ride it.

Bread Pudding -

Apparently,  it was my Birthday.  Loved this buttery Crust and at least someone remembered the date!

Berries Tartine,  with Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice Marscapone Cheese Tartine -
A Signature dessert here.  This was balanced and bready..  ~ 8/10

Price: $200 - $300 + 10% Per Person
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address: 2-3/F, 38 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central
Ph: 28080752

Friday, March 4, 2016

Zafran, with New Chef from Barcelona - [ Hong Kong ]

 Zafran just one street up from Lan Kwai Fong bar district,  Central at Wyndham Street,  has always been one of the most mysterious underground Spanish restaurant and bar ever since they opened.  It has a low ceiling and I would say quite romantic,  I have been here a few times for either drinks or food,  but this time around it was for a Cooking Class with new Chef Pere from Barcelona who has been here for 6 months behind the background.  This round of a class only had basically myself and also organized by who were present here too,  themselves successful Restauranteurs and in Marketing of the same field. 

We Brunoise Diced up initially some Piquillo Pepper,  Onions,  and decided to slice the larger Squid into Rings instead of Dicing them for mouth feel.
Have to say this might not be the most traditional Spanish way but hey we thought this worked well,  as Chef Pere said we can be open mined..   Mixed with Spanish Bomba rice for the upcoming Paella..

The Latest Menu -
Actually from my own memory of visits,  Zafran (meaning Saffron) has undergone at least 3 Generations of Chef changes.  Nowadays it is more Catalan or Barcelonan in accent to me,  yet modernized too.

Palamos Red Prawn Tartare,  Sesame Caviaroli,  Sea Samphire Asparagus,  Avocado,  Radish,  with Tostadas bread -  HKD $190
I jokingly said during the cooking class,  we barely helped to peel these.  I was actually surprised they decided to use the extra rare Palamos red prawns here from Girona Spain,  as they are so treasured they are hardly exported  (coming from a Red Prawn Seafood distributor myself).  There is an element of Spanish molecular cooking here silently behind the background too,  typical of the upcoming trend of kitchen fare especially from Spanish trained Chefs.  

65C Slow-Cooked Egg Fried with Bread Crumbs,  Wild Mushrooms and Porcini Cream, Chives and Pinenuts - HKD $80
I find it interesting with the Egg Temperature and cooking time.  Personally I do the same from 63 to 63.5 to 65C with varying times,  it is again quite molecular Scientific,  but within this micro-window it seems every Chef still have their preferred temperature vs cooking time.  Here on this day it was full of Porcini cream aroma,  whereas apparently the week before it was Black Trumpet,  my favorite.

Salted Cod Brandade,  with Black Garlic,  Fried Garlic,  Parsley Leaf and Oil,  with Piquillo Pepper Sauce - HKD $80
This was creamy and not overly salty,  overall a very satisfying dish for sharing.  Right on the spot I kept thinking the term brandade is quite French,  but then again Salted Cod is usually registered with Spanish or Portuguese cuisine....   As a Miss Universe might say,  if everybody can reconcile their differences,  let's hope for World Peace  

Our Squid Ink Bomba Rice Paella,  with Squid,  Baby Squid,  Garlic,  Onions,  Red Pepper, Catalan Saffron,  Dollops of Red Prawn Head Emulsion,  Garlic Allioli - $320 
This is what we were learning to cook and dicing up,  of course Chef Pere helped the final finishing touches.  

Socarrat 'Crispy' Layer - 
This is quite similar to Cantonese Bo Jai Fan rice,  but in a shallower dish.  I did enquired before we finished this whether this would be the traditional Bottom Socarrat layer or the Top Salamander finished Socarrat style -  I don't mind both although the former is more traditional,  but the latter style I have seen many times recently.  (Which I suspect they are pre-cooked just Salamander finished for efficiency).   Not here !  Expect a 20 Minutes wait as they adjust the fire during the course of cooking from scratch.

Price: $300 - $400 + 10% Per Person
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address:  中環雲咸街43-55號地庫
B1,  43-55 Wyndham Street,  Lan Kwai Fong,  Central,  HK
Ph: +852 21168855


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