Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FINDS [Hong Kong] - Unique Nordic Finnish Afternoon Tea for Two, Great Price at $356

  FINDS x iittala is doing a Finnish cross-over Afternoon Tea recently, and for Two Persons including drinks it's being offered at an affordable HKD $356 only.  I personally was really excited to try out this Tea Set ever since seeing someone post photos of it on Instagram,  as this would be a good deviation from the British Style Tea Sets,  when most items on the menu here are Scandinavian & Finnish recipes.

The FINDS x iitala Tea Set - $356 for Two with Drinks
The Items are all Finnish or Nordic inspired, unique in HK context.  There's a Lapland Cheese cake with Cloudberry Sauce,  or a Chocolate Mousse cone with Sea Buckthorn Berries & Popping Candies, Air Dried Beef on Malt Bread,  Ice Cellar Smoked Salmon & Trout Roes Tart, etc

Finnish style Scones and Pastries -
The right is similar to a Danish Pastry,  and the Scone is slightly sugar coated already,  and is eaten as is without Clotted cream or Jam.  I suggest to show some respect for the food recipes and don't insist on asking the staff for clotted cream here.. haha

Savory Items -
As mentioned there's Ice Cellar Smoked Salmon,  a tart of Trout Roes,  and Air Dried Beef on Malt Bread,  a staple in this region..

Real Lingonberries on this Crème Dessert -
They import the ingredients directly from Finland and Scandinavia..

Milk Chocolate Mousse Cone with Sea Buckthorn Sauce and Popping Candies -
Very Nordic combination, which I enjoy when I travel to that region

Raspberries on Finnish Pancakes -
These are mini versions similar to lätyt, or Dutch poffertjes..

Fruit Teas and Hand Shaven Hot Chocolate -
The Hot Chocolate was topped with some baked meringues,  and was wonderful indeed.  Ideally thick and European like..  this is one of the best versions in town I tried.

Am Glad I finally made it to Here to try the Afternoon Tea Set -
The Food was uniquely Finnish,  plus The Luxe Manor is a great relaxing space to take a drink to calm down in the middle of TST,  and then to sit down and enjoy the tea set.  I have heard some people expected more items,  but I guess at the end of the day this is very reasonably priced plus it is not meant to be a big meal afterall...  at least not in the UK definition with refills!  A previous review of a Dinner can be found here:  http://foodofhongkong.blogspot.hk/2014/12/finds-nordic-christmas-dinner-with-wine.html

Price:  $356 + 10% for Two  (Tea Set organized via The Luxe Manor)
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address: 尖沙咀金巴利道39號帝樂文娜公館1樓
1F,  Luxe Manor Hotel,  Kimberly Road,  Tsim Sha Tsui,  Kowloon,  Hong Kong
Ph:  2522 9138

Sunday, June 25, 2017

巴依餐廳 Ba Yi Restaurant [Hong Kong] - Xin Jiang Cuisine in Hong Kong

  Ba Yi Restaurant in Sai Ying Poon area is one of the rarer Xinjiang and Uyghur based restaurants in Hong Kong,  and even carries a Michelin Recommendation.  It was actually my first time visiting here even though it's been on my radar, and luckily we had a sudden last minute change of plan.  They offer mostly Lamb and Camel dishes here,  with a few vegetarian options albeit they did run out of camel meat during this visit. 

The Menu was surprisingly quite Pricy in General -
Don't expect Ethnic cuisine in Hong Kong to be similar to China prices! 

Natural Yogurt - $28
Like an Ayran or a Lassi drink,  I expected much more flavors.  This wasn't very tangy sour and was quite bland or diluted,  albeit big in size...

Century Year Old Eggs on Tofu,  with Spicy Pickles -
We ordered two of these since we had quite a few people.  This was doused with quite a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce.  I wasn't entirely sure this is a Xinjiang Uyghur dish,  but it turned out to be the best and most normal dish this night.. and decent knife work to make it flower petal shaped  ~ 8/10

Minced Lamb with Flat Bread - $68
The bread is like a Roti or Pita style crepe.  This is a typical dish in the North, from Beijing to further upwards, although it's origins could be traceable more towards India or the Middle-East?  The minced lamb had little flavors, and were totally under seasoned,  also dry gritty.  Probably the worst of such a similar dish I have had in many years,  a child could cook and reheat this recipe better.  ~ 4/10

Roasted Lamb Leg on the Bone - $368
They ran out of many dishes here, including Cumin Lamb Skewers and any Camel based dishes, despite us arriving quite early.  We decided to order this instead.  When it arrived - we were second guessing what kind of spicy sauce it arrived with.... someone joked it's probably just Ketchup.  It really was ketchup *frowns*.  The meat was again way under seasoned compared to authentic Xinjiang Cuisine, also quite dry, and the surface was like it was steamed rather than spit roasted.  You could get way better in Shenzhen or anywhere within China.  ~ 6/10

Lamb Dumplings - $68
This turned out to be quite fair in price compared to other dishes.  The morsels are on the smaller size, with evenly folded skins. Inside, the mutton lamb taste was a bit muted and it wasn't that seasoned nor juicy.  They were edible but not memorable compared to my favorite shops in town, one which is just down the street from here.  ~ 6.5/10

Michelin Plates -
Actually I felt a bit 'robbed' personally at how mediocre the food tasted here, considering up in Shenzhen or many places in China especially in the North, such cuisine tastes completely different.  And Xinjiang cuisine also has sub-regional dishes but not many were presented here.  Everything tasted quite toned down,  and a lot of dishes were sold out early.  The quality of the food was so far off the mark from I am used to eating for Xinjiang cuisine,  I doubt I will be in a hurry to be back anytime soon... But then again,  food is subjective and it could just be me.

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

Address: G/F, 43 Water Street, Western District
Ph: +852 24849981

Friday, June 23, 2017

Alibi at Cordis Hotel [Hong Kong] - New British Chef James Oakley and 4 Course Menu at Only $428

  Recently Alibi Wine Dine be Social inside Mongkok Cordis Hotel,  part of the Langham Hotel Group,  welcomed new Chef de Cuisine James Oakley to create brand new dishes for the restaurant.  James has worked previously in some other notable restaurants in Hong Kong and also the UK such as Restaurant Gordon Ramsay at Claridge Hotel, and Aqua Group Hong Kong,  and this time we were invited over to try out some New Dishes as the 1st batch of diners.  Personally I thought their Dinner Set Menu at HKD $428 for 4 Courses was super attractive,  plus Desserts are priced at only $98 each,  making here an ideal place for a drink and dessert any time as well.

I come here Occasionally for Drinks and Snacks with Friends -
It's location in Mongkok,  which is in the middle of Kowloon,  is very convenient as a meeting point,  and to me Cordis Hotel's Alibi is comfortable for chillaxing.  Now with the new Menu,  there is added incentive to come for Dinner altogether.

Cocktails Created in situ by Mixologist -
On top of the Menu items,  we can give our own preferences to the Cocktail Bartender and she will instant shake up a new recipe to suit our personal tastes..  I asked for a Whisky based Summery drink just to see her resulting drink creativity!

Seafood Platter for 1 Person -
This had 2 Oysters, Cherrystone Clam, Alaskan King Crab Leg.. 

Misty Forest -
Pickled Mushrooms, Goat's Cheese Mousse, Pine nut Purée, Edible Parsley Moss served with Brioche Toasts.  This was served with Dry Ice and followed up the coolness with great taste,  especially loving the morel and black trumpet mushrooms in this rendition.  A Signature appetizer here..

White Crab Meat with Seaweed Crisp & Coconut -
A refreshing dish that had some elements of Asia in it,  but without the typical South East Asian exotic chili and sour sauces.  I liked the cleanness of this..

Summer Burrata Cheese with Heirloom Tomatoes, Bread -
This was topped with a Bloody Mary Granita

Scotch Quail Eggs, with an Aioli Dip -
This came with the smaller quail eggs wrapped in pork, more bite size morsels.  On a birds nest made of Fried Leeks...

Open Lasagna with Mushrooms & Cheese -
This was gratinated on top and was quite cheesy.  I love melty cheese food so this would be a crowd pleaser indeed,  and we ate this more like pasta sheets

Saikyo Miso Black Cod,  with Clams, Ice Plants,  Avocado Puree & Crispy Quinoa -
This was interesting because the crispy quinoa reminded me of sand in the ocean,  topped with two seafood.  This margination was spot on for me because it's not overly sweet or overboard,  it doesn't look like it but it will give Nobu Matsuhisa a run for his money.  The Ice Plants here are not the usual lettuce leaf like types,  but a rarer European Carpobrotus Edulis specie..

Two Ways of Lamb with Anna Potatoes, Peas -
Both the Lamb types,  from a Iberico to a mountainous Pyrenees cuts were quite gamey surprisingly for a hotel restaurant.  Even it took me some seconds to get used to it!  This was really lovely,  and with the lamb jus it worked really well with the mille-feuille potatoes with burnt edges. 

US Sirloin with Soy Glazed Beef made from Leg & Shin, Fried Garlic, Thrice Cooked Potatoes The beef presented Two Ways was lovely and Chef Oakley smartly used some secondary cuts to make the centre of this dish,  which slow braises the cuts until tender.  In Hong Kong people are used to ordering Prime cuts instead of Butchers cuts,  but here you get both so it suits everyone.  Loved the crispy potato but wished there was more,  and I saw that others eating this dish after me got some fried Beef Tendons too!  Something I experienced more in the UK dining scene..

Maple Smoked Pigeon -
Served with a Spicy aioli sauce.  This was quite smokey and really medium rare tender inside.  One of the best pigeons I have had recently.  Will be back just for this dish,  and the dip we had to order some extra fries to eat with them!

Light Cocoa Cake, Mango, Cocoa and Sea Salt Sorbet with Mango Tuile Crisps -
A pretty dessert that was part of the $428 for 4 Courses Meal,  by itself this is just $98.  Desserts work on rotation daily,  so there's always some elements of surprise.

Baked White Chocolate & Miso deconstructed Cheesecake, Banana Puree & Caramel Sorbet  -
Quite a British banana dessert for me for some reason.  This Signature dessert is definitely for you if you like Caramel and Banana,  with Cheesecake!  Balanced by some dehydrated Raspberries for sourness.   Overall I was surprised at how affordable a 4 Course Dinner here is at only HKD $428, and it is definitely on the top of my list of to do's if I am in the area near Cordis Hotel.

Price: HKD $428 + 10%, Wine Pairing $180 for 2 Glasses  (Tasting Preview by Cordis Hotel)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address: 旺角上海街555號香港康得思酒店5樓
Level 5, Cordis, Hong Kong, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok
Phone: +852 35523028

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Whisk at Mira Hotel [Hong Kong] - New Tasting Menu with Japanese Ingredients $690 for 4 Courses

  WHISK at The Mira Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui, seems to have undertaken some revitalized changes with the Menu which is geared towards exotic Japanese Ingredients being cooked in a Modern French manner. The Tasting Menu is attractive with the 4 Courses offered at only HKD $690, and 6 Courses at an affordable HKD $890 during dinner. Wine Pairing is optional at $360 for 4 glasses chosen by the Sommelier, and here are some dishes we tried during the night.

Red White Pepper Crackers, Squid ink & Chestnut breads, Garlic Herbs -
With Spreads of Dijon Cream Cheese, Scallion & Sun-Dried Tomato Horseradish.  A pretty bread basket to start with..

Chateau D'Esclans Rock Angel Rose, Cotes de Provence, France 2014 -
A sparkling Rose to start off the meal. Sommelier's Selection Wines are $360 for 4 Glasses, very reasonable.

Tokudani Tomatoes, Hokkaido Scallops, with White Asparagus Grilled and Fried,
Coriander & Coconut Oil -
This had fried asparagus to give it a textural supplement to the dish,  and the green herbal sauce actually worked really well with the grilled scallops,  giving it almost an Asian element.  I usually like my Scallops sliced thicker,  but somehow this work well in this scattered biteful presentation.

Seared Duck Foie Gras with 松茸 Matsutake Broth, Mushroom Powder,
dotted Miso and Okra-

It had a great earthy Mushroomy broth, and I thought on top of Matsutake I could taste Porcini too somewhat.  This was an interesting take on a trusted flavor combination for me,  yet somehow injecting a Japanese accent into it smartly.

Dr. Burklin Wolf Riesling, Bohlig 1er Cru, Pfalz, Germany 2014 -
A lovely tropical fruit in the palate and being a trocken was more on the drier side, but with a round finish which appeals to many as a starting wine..

Enshui Hokkaido Murasaki Sea Urchin, Menegi,
Cauliflower Cream & Cauliflower Florets with Curry Oil - 
Personally this is quite a Japanese x British accent flavoring, especially with the curried cauliflower as base.  This worked a treat as underneath the cauliflower cream was a urchin flavored warm custard, which was umami packed enough to stand up to the curry.

Kegani Hairy Crab with 20 Years Aged Soy Sauce, Okinawa Onsen Egg on Koshihikari Rice cooked slightly chalky like Risotto style -
Another Japanese inspired dish which mixed together and tasted like a Japanese risotto, with sweetness from both the crab and the aged soy sauce.  I can imagine that certain customers might prefer the rice to be more cooked through,  although I like this statement like approach to pronounce it as a uniqueness selling point

Banfi Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy 2011 -
When I saw this wine presented as a pairing, I felt that this was a safe yet exploratory pairing at once. I am sure the Sommelier has many choices for the following meat courses,  but thus far the wines were sensible without going overboard with exploration, but not overly conservative either.  It suits most diners in my opinion.

Grilled Kumamoto Pork Belly with Roasted Aubergine, Bonito & Kale for Main Course 1 -
This was slightly smoky and the pork had a good oiliness.  The Kales were fried. 

Main Course 2 - Sizzling Kumamoto A3 Wagyu with Black Garlic (+$250 Supplement) -
This was quite meaty at the same time as having Wagyu fat taste. I thought this tasted quite memorable compared to many Wagyu's marketed in town,  partially I think because of the lesser A3 marbling grading which actually helps achieve balance between red meat and fat flavors.  Almost craved for another piece in the end !   For some reason,  I think we could do with some Carbs such as some Potatoes or a Mash at this stage too.

Le Guishu L'Umami Demi Doux Yellow Wine, France NV -
A wine made from Rice, which is emulating a certain yellow wine style from China and Japan,  apparently this is sold only at The Mira,  and it is a smart Dessert pairing.  I have drank this previously before but it would be the 1st time to pair it with a dessert..

静岡県 Shizuoka Musk Melon with Milk Sorbet & Kinome Leaf to finish -
The melon was super sweet as expected, and the sorbet gave it a cleansing yet creamy effect, topped with some spicy numbness from the kinome.  The French made rice yellow wine under this pairing carried a strong Jackfruit aroma, which gave this combination a new interesting dimension and I must say was also unique in my palate training..

Wagashi as Petits Fours -
Made of Adzuki Red Beans and Chestnuts, these were formed into balls.  I almost wanted to have a Green Tea Zen like finish to this slightly Japanesque Tasting menu! 

Price: HKD $690 - $890 + 10%, Wine Pairing $360  (Tasting Menu Organized by The Mira Hotel)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ - ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address:尖沙咀彌敦道118號The Mira Hong Kong 5樓
5/F, The Mira Hong Kong, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Phone: +852 23155999


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...