Friday, July 29, 2016

Tasmanian Black Truffles until 15th August 2016 [ Hong Kong ] - Chef Andrea Oreste Delzanno from Piedmont, He surely Knows his Truffles

 Thanks to Cucina from Marco Polo Hotel,  for inviting us over for yet another Decadent Australian Winter Truffles dinner.  During my last once-off Wine Pairing visit to here which wasn't even that long ago only a few weeks before,  I didn't post much except on Instagram.   This time around,  it was more about Australia's Tassie Winter Black Truffles,  and if I have time I will add in some dishes from my 2nd last Visit too gradually...

Arrived just before 7pm, 
Interesting how even in HK,  Sunset in Summer Times doesn't really set in until the later wee hours... Dinner nowadays will have to wait until 8pm ish to be darker.  I don't mind this shift,  but just wished the weather was cooler with less saturation !    

Earl Grape Tea with Tea Ice - $68
Apparently this was introduced during the International Iced Tea Day on 10th June 2016.   It comes with Grapes and also Elderflower syrup,  and some Turkish Delight Candies..

Bread Basket - 

Everyone always have their own preferences.  From the Tomato Focaccia,  Olive Bread,  others, etc.  From my Observation,  most eaters were going for the Crispy Thin Bread tonight...

Australian Winter Black Truffles from Tasmania - 

Lasting until 15th August 2016.  This is the peak season for them definitely.   I am seeing more Tasmanian truffles these last two years than the Western Australia Perth Truffles,  no clue as to why.  Tasmania also has really good Green Wasabi,  if anyone is interested in them...  

Organic Italian Egg 65C,  Mashed Potatoes,  Taleggio Cheese Fonduta,  Porcini Mushrooms,  Tasmanian Black Truffles - $268

Eggs and Truffles are said to be perfect pairings,  and then so are Sea Urchin and Eggs.  This was awesome,  although personally personally I believe Taleggio Cheese is an Odd-One out.  To me it needs to be really Gratinated or blow-torched to bring out its stronger bold flavors,  in my books this is one of the most mystical ingredients.   

Fresh Linguine Pasta,  with Fresh Tuscan Sausage,  Black Truffle,  Wild Mushrooms  - $408

This is a Tasting Portion size,  the A La Carte size will be bigger.  I thought this was good,  but ultimately it could probably do with slightly more tomatoes to defeat the heat during this weather.  I think serving Winter Black Truffles from down South from Australia, when it is in the middle of Summer here in HK,  could mean cycles could be a little confusing.  But no doubt this dish was done expertly!

Jerusalem Artichoke Puree,  Halibut Fish Oven Baked,  Fried Zucchini Blossom stuffed with Mascarpone Cheese,  Jerusalem Artichoke coated in Charcoal Black Powder - $458  

I personally thought the Fried Zucchini flower can be more battered and Tempura like crispy.

M7 Australian Wagyu Tomahawk - 30 Oz $1288.  Served with Romanesco Flowers and Rosemary Herbs -

Beef dishes here at Cucina are always trustworthy.  This came with some nice charring on the surface.

Served with a Black Truffle Sauce and Shaved Truffles,  Romanesco florets -

This smelt great and really whet our appetite.  My weakness became apparent here,  as despite being a small eater,  somehow I expected another half a piece of meat again and again : )    It was that good.

Chocolate Ball with Popping Candies was Served - 

I didn't eat any desserts as I was already pretty full.  This Concept is served in a few places nowadays,  especially at Robuchon L'Atelier.  

Sponge Cakes with Beetroot Ice Cream - $98

As mentioned before,  some of the Dessert Dishes here were quite Molecular and Ferran Adria inspired.   It's certainly almost like a Modulus Operandi nowadays, even down to the microwaved Cake Sponges.

Berries Tea - $75

We were recommended this.   We preferred it without the Sugar syrup,  that way it was more sour,  but also more refreshing for summer..

Price: HKD $700 Per Person for Dinner. (Meal Invitation by Marco Polo Hotel)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address: 尖沙咀廣東道3號海港城馬哥孛羅香港酒店6樓
6th Floor Marco Polo Hotel, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Ph: 2113 0808

Keyaki [ Hong Kong ] - Yakitori with Real Charcoal

 Keyaki's Restaurant Group has 4-5 different restaurants mostly based on Japanese or Japanese-Korean food,  and sister yakitori place Shiba even has a Michelin recommendation.   For me personally Keyaki might be the most expensive but it is also the best shop,  especially when they have a real charcoal bed for grilling their sticks.

Some Cucumber Appetizers to start -

Happy Hour Beer is $88 for 2 Drinks,
with 2 Snacks included

Hotaru Ika Firefly Squid -
A little late out of season,  this is usually eaten at the start of Summer!


Onion Carpaccio with Shaved Mentaiko roe - 
Have got to say,  this is my first time eating this recipe..

2nd Happy Hour Sake Drink served in the Masu box -

Tsukimi Egg,  Minced Chicken Tsukune Ball with Chicken Cartilage -
Was talking to my dining partner,  in HK nowadays almost all Japanese restaurants think its cool to serve a Tsukune with a raw egg.   Except,  most shops get it so wrong it's not funny.  There should be some tare sauce mixed with the egg,  but nope,  many places neglect this and just serve it with the egg yolk.   It's not only a case of seriously WTF,  but in Japan,  Tsukune often come in ball shapes without eggs too.   I think this dish in Hong Kong really has been taken out of context

Beef Tongue - 
Like the Black Pepper seasoning.  However just like the above Tsukune stick,  I think during this visit,  some items were under-grilled from the burning charcoal.   Meaning they haven't really started developing the maillard reaction aroma.

Grilled Chicken Liver -
Always a good companion with an ice cold beer

Grilled Chicken Skin -
This was the best item on this night,  as it was grilled until crispy!  Always feel a bit guilty after eating this though : P

Price: HKD $190 + 10% Per Person
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address:  G/F, 14 Wo On Lane, Central
Ph: +852 23627223

Monday, July 25, 2016

Best Char Siu BBQ Pork on Hong Kong Island side [ Hong Kong ] - Not Exclusive, and Will be Gradually Updated when I Find My Photos or Re-Eat Them..

 The best BBQ Char Siu Pork on Hong Kong Island side is subjective. What I might like, could become rather dry on another day due to meat supplies or the Chef's mood.   But from my multiple experiences visiting them each, I will say some perform better than others on Average. And this is only for HK Island side that I discovered over the past years, which is still subject to Updating yet..  Here's hoping. 

Fu Sing 富聲魚翅海鮮酒家 - $45 Take Away.
Fu Sing Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant Central,  Chinese 

Eating in will be much more in price,  but pivotally there is another option of ordering Take-Away for Office Workers.   This is almost as good as it gets when it comes to the best deals in Central Area.  8/10

The Roast Meat and Especially the Char Siu at Lung Kei 龍記飯店 is ultra famous for decades - G/F., 12 Queen Victoria Street, Central 中環域多利皇后街12號地下

After moving across a few streets,  luckily the Quality remains.  Unfortunately for our wallets, a Char Siu Rice with Double Eggs here is around $55 nowadays.   We were saying it's almost double that of Wanchai,  but I will happily pay up...  I give it 8/10

....  Updated Further soon

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Putien 莆田 [ Hong Kong ] - Fujian China Food in Hong Kong

 Thanks for Putien and Lee Garden for organizing this Chinese-Fujian Cuisine Dinner, of Singaporean base, It also received One Michelin Star in the Singaporean Edition today. Sporadically, we become interested in certain foods on occasions, this time around, the meal was planned on the seasonal Fujian Razor Clams. I have fond memories of having Razor Clams in Fujian in China, often stir fried or baked in salt mounds, and gladly I got to experience them here again.

Putien, Fujian Chinese Food Concept arriving in from Singapore side -
Now with 5 Outlets in Hong Kong 


Some Fried Seaweed with Peanuts, Pickles to start off with - 
Fried Seaweed were addictive,  even after a 2nd time

曲氏健康果汁 - A Signature drink here made with Soursop 紅毛榴槤, 
With other seasonal Fruits. Apparently, this drink was invented by a Customer, who ordered two different drinks here and combined them into 1 regularly. Very refreshing and said to be full of anti-oxidants. I also buy this when working in South America for the same healthy purpose.

蝦苗拌頭水紫菜 Seaweed with Mini Shrimps - 
The Seaweed are 'Virgin', plucked from sea bed rocks as the 1st round. Sourly appetizing, very similar to Japanese Mozuku.

九𨍭小腸 Braised Pork Small Intestine - 
This takes a long time to prepare. All fats are removed by hand, and the intestine is rolled in reverse, then marinated in their Master Stock sauce. Very impressed and no guilty feeling after eating them..

冰浸苦瓜 Iced Bitter Gourds -
This was hand sliced and curves up, a knife technique which is respectable. The Bitter Gourds were still a bit bitter yet refreshing... but ice bathed enough.

鐵板鹽焗蟶子 Duotou Razor Clams served on Hot Plate with Salt, 
The 6cm long Razor Clams are Sealed from Upside Down, ensuring the juices don't flow out. This so reminds me of the ones I used to eat in Fujian Province over the decade or so working up there... 

椒鹽蟶子 - Salted Spicy Duotou Razor Clams 
This sounded lovely, and Shell-less. I expected slightly more Salt & Spice, also the batter could be more crispier... Nice idea on paper, actually instantly inside my head I wanted this to be cooked with Salted Duck Egg Yolks too.

Sand Worms in Aspic Jelly土笋凍 -
A typical Fujian cold dish, the worms have a neutral taste and are said to be full of protein.

荔枝肉 Lychee Sweet & Sour Pork -
This is named as they have a lychee like shape on the exterior, it's a typical Fujian dish too and one wonders whether this preceded the Cantonese sweet & sour version or did it trickle down from up North.... with slight changes of recipes along the way?

花雕蒸蟶子 Steamed Duotou Razor Clams with Wine -
This was the favorite item for some of us on the table. It was fragrant with the alcoholic input, and cooking them straight side down was smart too..

蒜蓉蒸蟶子 Steamed Doutou Razor Clams with Minced Garlic
The 6 cm long Razor Clams were Steamed to perfection. In a way, I didn't expect anything much since this is what we grew up with eating every week.

蛋抱蟶子 Doutou Razor Clams Omelette - 
This was one of my favorite dishes. The Eggs had a wonderful taste, and the novelty of adding in some bitable Razor Clams was unique. Definitely better than putting them on top on a Pork Meat Patty and then charging a Million bucks for nothing..

薑蔥炒蟶子 Stir-fried Doutou Razor Clams with Ginger & Onion
Some Razor Clam dishes were good, but by this dish I was becoming a little Yawn. It was done okay well, however it wasn't really imposing anymore Razor Clams shininess ... If anything this needed some noodles or Vermicelli, which we got separately..

風味蟶溜 Boiled Razor Clams Soup -
This is reminiscent of what I used to get in Fujian, and everyone just shared their spoons and scooped in to share. With Eggs and now Tomatoes and all... 

金湯莧菜 Amaranth with Salted Egg & Century Eggs in Supreme Stock -
This surprisingly, was one of my favorite dishes. The base Stock was made with Salted Duck Eggs, so flavorful. The Amaranth veggies were only pulled from the top bits, meaning only the younger bits were eaten. Very good rendition, usually both the Salted Eggs and Century Eggs are chopped into pieces, here it differs by using the Salted Egg as the base stock. Yum !

興化炒米粉 Fried Heng Hwa Been Hoon -
With Clams, Prawns, Seaweed, Peanuts just like the Appetizer, and very fine strands of Rice Vermicelli. I personally was more interested in the Vermicelli as they are very fine, And worked so well with their Citrusy Chili sauce. 

黃金紫薯泥 -
Purple Sweet Potato in Pumpkin Sauce. We thought the Sweet Potato was too strong and needed more Sugar input

酥炸榴槤 -
Fried Durian Puff

黃金京棵 -
This was Caramelized Sugary on the surface, and tasted like an Alkaline Dumpling. So lovable, except I needed a Take Away Bag by now !! So good! 

莆田印糕 - 
A bit Chewy and filled with Lotus Seed Paste. There are similar items in HK but this Chiu Chow/TeoChew dessert was definitely unique... I can't pinpoint it. It's resting within my Memory banks somewhere, the closest I can register with is the Swallow Nests Puddings...

Price: HKD $300 + 10% Per Person (Meal by Invitation by Putien for Razor Clams Menu) 
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Shop A, 7/F, Lee Theatre Plaza, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay 
銅鑼灣波斯富街99號利舞臺廣場7樓A舖 Exit A, Causeway Bay MTR Station 
Ph: 2111 8080 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

OASIS Prix Fixe Menu [ The Woods ] - Cleansing Menu at a Cocktail Bar with Food & Desserts

 The Woods has been for a while one of my to-go Cocktail Bars. Truth be told there has been many new openings lately, but I prefer a spaced out and quieter time hanging out with my friends rather than a rowdy crowd.   I just remembered I have never posted about The Woods here before despite visiting quite a few times, twice via Invitations and a couple more by myself... If you know about my Eating and Drinking Habits, I would always go back to trusty places rather than explore new ones, since I need some places I deem dependable rather than seeking for new thrill..  I respect those who find new groove with new openings,  but at the same time this also highlights the competition vs rental in HK's situation.  Nowadays The Woods is doing an OASIS Prix Fixe Menu with Pairing Cocktails for $488 - it's totally vegetarian based this time and meant to evoke memories of past Cocktails which were like Elixir potions, and cleansing the body..  Not an expert on the topic but Something to that effect!

Bar Area -

Candles Floating on Waters -
They have always been pretty Creative here and over at The Walrus,  the Sister side Oyster Bar.   The Theme changes every now and then..

The OASIS Prix Fixe Menu - $488 + 10%
Cleanse is the word..  This probably suits Girls more in my own opinion,  but I have to say despite the Health Concept which it is pushing for,  the cocktails potions within were pretty potent Elixirs alcoholic!

Cleanse - Tanqueray No. 10 Gin,  Beet Kvass fermented in-house,  Sake -
The 1st floating cocktail to arrive..  almost Thai like in Presentation style.

Refresh - Ketel One Vodka,  Chlorella 'Granita' Terranium,  Green Chartreuse,  Chia Seeds,  TabooCha,  Jasmine Bloom Kombucha - 
A pretty looking Cocktail that you mix in later yourself with a Lemongrass stick,  it is quite aggressive.  Obviously the TabooCha and Kombucha come into attention, as they are more of a fad in New York these days than Hong Kong.  The Chlorella Granita Terranium was icy and topped with edible flowers,  but ultimately the Green Charteuse sang out the most and quite fennel like...  I liked the idea of this,  although deep under I think it was slightly too alcoholic balanced this time around for a cocktail.

A Vegetarian Pouch with a Hommous Filling -  Raw Food all along
This was one of my fav items.   Someone commented that this tasted almost like it carried meat, as the flavors and the chunky bits within made it filling and nutty meaty.  I thought this would be a great idea for a take-away lunch dish myself!

Revitalize - Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Oatmeal,  Maca Powder - with Hot Stone Treatment 
This Cocktail can be served both cold or hot,  they drop lava stones into it like some Ramen Tsukemen as options.  The Maca Powder from Peru was the highlight to this Cocktail,  tasting almost Malty or Horlick Powder like despite being Root Vegetables based,  the side of the bowl is also coated with this powder.

Vegetarian Sushi Platter - 
The Front Piece with Asparagus and I think some Tsukudani sweetish seaweed on Red Rice.  The 2nd with sliced Avocado.  The Last Piece was a mixed Maki roll with various layers and looking attractive in colors.

There was One Further Dessert Course x Cocktail Pairing to Come after This,  for the $488 Menu -
Unfortunately I had to leave rather early by 7pm and didn't quite experienced it.  It was meant to be a Ron Zacapa Rum 23 yo, Genmaicha,  Quo Coconut Kefir Yogurt,  Acai Berry,  Dark Cocoa Cocktail paired with Ice Cream!  Next Time then!

Price: HKD $488 + 10% Per Person  (Meal by Invitation by The Woods to Sample OASIS Menu.)
Food & Cocktails : ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Ph: +852 25220281


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