Wednesday, March 30, 2011

ABC Kitchen

I really enjoy ABC Kitchen, though surprisingly never really liked M at the Fringe. The food at ABC is hearty, good value, and served with a whole lot of love. What's more, the fact that it's in a cooked food market means I get to sample food from the other stalls too :) I've tried the 饺子 at 老北方饺子馆 which were delicious, as well as the 扬州炒饭 from 陈财记, but today we opted to pair ABC with Indian food.

We started the meal with delicious bread rolls. Usually I'm not a fan of their homemade bread which I find too doughy. However, they seem to have changed their rolls from the herb ones they usually offer to these:

It tasted almost like cheese bread and was absolutely delicious, served fresh out the oven! I didn't want to fill up on bread but couldn't help polishing these off.

First dish to come was my favourite dish at ABC:

linguine carbonara ($58)

Usually I prefer tomato sauce to cream, but this is an exception. The sauce is pretty rich but somehow, doesn't make me feel sick as normally happens - perhaps because I make sure to exercise portion control when it comes to this dish :P But the pasta was cooked perfectly, served with a generous amount of ham, and is always an absolute delight to eat. It helps that it's great value too! Note: you have to order it off-menu during dinner service.

chicken satay

We also sampled some chicken satay and naan from the Indian restaurant next door. I took one bite out of the satay and passed on the rest. I really miss good Malaysian/Singaporean satay!! The naan was alright but I preferred the homemade bread from ABC. Here's our array of "starters":

Bizarre combination eh? :)

Moving on to what everyone comes to ABC Kitchen for:

roast suckling pig ($118)

Mmm...The crackling skin was delicious and the meat is super tender and juicy. The only complaint I'd have is that there's quite a bit of fat, but after careful carving I had perfect mouthfuls of skin and meat, sans fat. I love the mashed potatoes as well. The portions at dinner are significantly larger than the ones during lunch, although I believe they cost the same?

All in all, this was a delicious, comforting meal and I left with a big smile. Probably went a bit overboard on the ordering as there were just two of us plus a whole lot of carbs!

A precaution though - I've come to ABC quite a few times now and my regular orders tend to be the linguine, suckling pig, and perhaps the soft shell crab or chicken. Some of the other dishes haven't fared as well. The steak diane came out tasting like mushy hamburger meat, the pizza (available at lunch) was definitely not a pizza, and their desserts once drove me to ordering a McFlurry later on in the night. Needless to say, I declined to order any this time round. Also, while I love the fact that it's in a cooked food market (prices are cheap, you can order other food, and they still spruce it up with cute chequered tablecloths), be prepared for the inevitable fly or two.

ABC Kitchen
Shop 7, Queen Street Cooked Food Market
Sheung Wan

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Just a Restaurant

I've never actually eaten at 798 but I've come to JAR on 3 occasions now and must say, I'm rather torn. I like the ambiance, which is simple and fresh; the service, which is efficient and friendly; and above all the complimentary bread, which always leaves me wanting more.

On my previous two occasions (once for lunch, once for dinner), I've enjoyed a couple of their dishes, most notably the tagliatelle with tiger prawns, served with a very refreshing lemon cream sauce and sizeable prawns. However, their grilled flatbread (which I had heard so many rave reviews about) was uninspiring and left me craving either a plain pita or at the other extreme, pizza. Perhaps my expectations were too high? Worse though was the Secreto de Iberico which I found dry, tough to chew, and served lukewarm (though to be fair, the apple-rhubarb chutney was a hit and I doused all my meat in it). That dinner ended with earl grey panna cotta which I was really excited about. However, the consistency was a bit strange being more rubbery than creamy - perhaps too much gelatin. Or again, my overly high expectations.

The lunch menu is good value and I enjoyed their salad bar and vanilla bean ice cream, though my main of risotto with slow-braised oxtail was unmemorable.

YET, I still returned for a third dinner visit.

warm bread rolls, served in a sack filled with hot stones :) cute.

baby spinach & sweet corn salad with bacon and poached egg ($88)

i enjoyed everything about this salad except the egg. it was so bland and may have been the biggest disappointment of a poached egg i've had in a while. where's the salt???

chargrilled squid & chorizo ($65)
quite enjoyed this, especially the squid.

half roasted farm chicken ($150)
sorry you can't see much of it but the skillet was too heavy to turn haha. it was a huge half chicken though and the manager was sweet enough to offer to carve it up:

looks like he's carving peking duck! yummmm

he even did the corn :)
though watching him was the most enjoyable part of this dish. the chicken was cold, dry, and lacked the crispy skin i look so forward to in roast chicken.

creme brulee ($5o)
this was huge. not much to complain about.

peking duck carving became the norm throughout the night. though i wished that was what i was eating rather than bland chicken... will I return? Maybe for a lunch as I've been wanting to try their Boston lobster roll, something I've yet to find in Hong Kong elsewhere. But I'm in no rush to head back for dinner.

2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Le Parisien

After a session of kickboxing, the best reward is something deceptively simple: Joel Robuchon's baguette parisienne. This tastes almost like the ones I used to get while living in Paris. I was lucky enough to live next door to Arnaud Delmontel, a boulangerie that won "la meilleure baguette de paris" in 2007, the year I was there. It was great being able to trek over in my jammies for an early morning fix of freshly baked baguettes - plus each morning trucks would come to cart over baguettes to the Palais de l'Elysee for Sarkozy to eat! Made me feel all the more privileged.

Joel Robuchon's don't quite live up to those in Paris, but they definitely come close. Whenever I'm missing Paris, I always turn to this:

sandwich parisien - w/ camembert cheese

While I love ham and camembert cheese, I would be just as satisfied eating this baguette with a generous serve of butter. I love l'ancienne, these traditional baguettes with the pointy-ends. The ones at Robuchon are great with a hard crust, chewy texture, and insides that are...a bit of both! Plus with large irregular air holes, you know they weren't made industrially :)

Baguettes are bliss. I miss those days in Paris where 60 centimes could buy such happiness!

Le Salon de The, de Joel Robuchon
Shop 315, 3/F
The Landmark

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sushi Hiro (TST branch)

Sushi is something I never tire of and I love the sushi at Sushi Hiro! The first time I tried it was in the Causeway Bay branch at Henry House, home of many Japanese restaurants. On a side note, I always want to call it Oh Henry house - I guess because I'm permanently missing and craving this:

Why oh why can't you find them in Hong Kong??

Further tangent... I discovered Lays Ketchup Chips recently when a friend brought them back from Toronto. They are AMAZING and I can't believe I never tried them in the States. Anyway, I finally found them in Hong Kong, right by where I live!! There's a small grocery store on Third Street called MiniMart (they have a facebook page) which stocks a bunch of US products. I often drop by to get my fill of Quaker's Hot Oatmeal (Maple & Brown Sugar) - this was my go-to breakfast on cold Boston mornings. Anyway, they finally started stocking Lays Ketchup Chips!!!! They're charging a pretty hefty premium - each small pack costs $15. But they are so worth it. And I guess the price is a good thing, it means I might be able to exercise some self-restraint :p

Anyway...Sushi Hiro. I tried the TST branch for dinner one night and I think I might have enjoyed it even more than the one in CWB! Sure the restaurant is pretty no frills and the service isn't exactly up to par, but the price you pay is for the quality of the fish which definitely exceeds expectations (so many sidenotes but 'exceeds expectations' always makes me think of Harry Potter and his OWL results)

chu toro was delicious and better than o-toro which I find too fatty.

selection of sushi. loved the scallop.

assortment of sashimi. again the scallops and tuna were amazing :) hamachi was great too and i loved how thickly cut the sashimi was!

cod fish sashimi was my favourite though. this was my first time trying it - it's a bit tougher to chew but the texture really grew on me.

grilled halibut cheek.

perfect end to any meal.

Definitely recommend going to Sushi Hiro for their lunch sets too. I always get their Sushi Gozen - a selection of 9 sushi's and one roll for only $140. Definitely a steal considering the quality. Their toro taku don is really good too, though I'd be just as content eating the ones at Doraya:

Cheap, hearty, real comfort food.


Sushi Hiro
7/F, Toy House
100 Canton Road
Tsim Sha Tsui

Shop 72K
Fook Moon Building
Third Street, Sai Ying Pun

10, Cameron Road
Tsim Sha Tsui

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Sometimes all I want is to chill out with a slab of meat and ice-cold beer. How I miss BBQs... can't wait for summer!


Monday, March 14, 2011

FoFo: Worth the Extra Chubb

I absolutely adore Fofo - from the drinks, the interior design, the concept, the service, to the most important aspect, the food. I've been a few times now and it has never disappointed. I recently discovered upon my last visit that the name "Fofo" was selected because it's Spanish for "chubby". Apparently this idea inspired the decor as well, with an army load of chubby penguins and piggys adorning the walls and ceiling lamps:

Chef Alex Fargas is also a delight who always makes a point of checking up on all the diners.

i love the quirky design

white sangria. yum! my go-to drink at fofo 'cause you don't often see it on menus.

platter of iberico ham to start, on the house :) love this stuff.

spinach, tomato, and mozzarella salad with pesto sauce mmm ($90).

organic winter vegetables ($85). meh.

We also had a grilled eggplant salad with spinach and Manchego cheese. That was delicious but unfortunately, people dug in too quickly before I could take a picture!! It's a must order though! Then again, I'm pretty partial to anything with Manchego cheese in it :)

organic eggs cooked at 62 degrees in crispy potatoes "nest" with chorizo ($110). flavourful and fun to mix, but a little too salty for me. couldn't manage more than a few spoonfuls.

kingfish. forget the complete description but this was really good - we were all fighting for the last piece.

foie gras, tomato chili jam, basil ($145). i'm not a foie gras fan so I shouldn't pass judgment. friends really enjoyed it though.

crispy suckling pig ($115) was decent but I actually prefer suckling pig at ABC Kitchen haha maybe because of the price discrepancy? :P

red peppers with codfish mousse filling ($90). delicious! usually I don't like mousse but this dish might have converted me!

sauteed button mushrooms with garlic ($75). so simple but SO GOOD!

spanish omelette with potatoes & onions ($50). not much to say, it's just an omelette.

half portion of Boston lobster juicy rice ($170). The name just sounded so inviting. The rice was pretty good comfort food, tasted almost like risotto and it was so easy to shovel down spoonfuls of the stuff.

iberico pork paella ($348). Usually go for the seafood & lobster one but since we got the juicy rice, opted to try this instead. I actually prefer it to the seafood!

Should also get the sauteed prawns with garlic & chili ($85) which again were attacked before I got to take a photo! One of their signature dishes :)

What I love about Fofo is that they update their menu regularly so each time I return there's always something new and exciting to try! Highly recommended, though it's not your traditional tapas joint and I must say, tapeo and estudio iberico gives it a run for its money ;)

Fofo by El Willy
20/F M88,
2-8 Wellington Street, Central

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Food Hodgepodge!

Here's some food that's kept me happy (in varying degrees) in 2011, and that I've been meaning to write about. Hopefully this'll get me back on track to start blogging (more) frequently!

the vietnam woods

Came across this restaurant one evening and really liked the interior so decided to give it a try. The restaurant is very minimalist inside, with dark wood tables and mirrors to make the room even more spacious. I loved the high ceilings which reminded me of my old home back in Tai Po, though what with the high ceilings, linen-free tables and wooden floor it was a nightmare to have conversation - restaurants really need to do something about their acoustics!

They also have a side room for larger parties with a gorgeous birdcage hanging from the ceiling (sounds garish but it wasn't).

The food was plated beautifully but a little hit and miss. One thing I loved though was the prawn rice paper rolls which were so good we ended up ordering one each. I'm addicted to the sweet sauce.

prawn rice paper roll

The beef fried rice was delicious the first time I had it, but I've been back twice and both times took a bit of a dive in quality. Hm...

beef fried rice - forget the proper name

The shrimp paste on sugar cane came in a beautiful deep bowl but was a little too deep-fried for my taste.

shrimp paste on sugar cane

Will be back though to try the avocado milkshake (first time I've seen it in HK!!). On a side note, the menus are the largest I have ever seen - can only imagine how cumbersome it'd be to manoeuvre without the ample space between tables!


Following the trend of Vietnamese eateries, we recently moved to Elements so I've pretty much exhausted all the restaurants on offer. Nahm was probably the last one I got to, and while it's not strictly a Vietnamese restaurant (there is a whole range of Thai food too), they did offer two dishes I enjoyed - though I wouldn't recommend the pad thai.

poached sea bass rice roll - this dish really grew on me! served warm.

gelato - vanilla bean was amazing. or maybe i just liked the presentation.

sushi shin

Lunch bento box is such good value! I think it's something like $150? Loved the sweet prawn sashimi.


I always enjoy my meals here - while it's pricier, they do offer interesting combinations and I recently discovered they have amazing beef udon (don't get the stir fried beef one). Though if you like the traditional inaniwa udon, you might not be impressed. Shiro offers the thicker variety which I actually prefer - maybe my tastes aren't refined yet :\

I'd suggest going at dinner when it's less busy. Also, the photos are a bit odd - I'm not adept at photographing long-plated food!

lovely scallop roll and soft-shell crab roll

the tuna toro on the left is my favourite at shiro! (forget the name but it's under their "signature dishes")

this is the strangest thing I've seen at Shiro.

estudio iberico tapas bar

This was absolutely delicious! The pictures don't do justice because I was lucky enough to eat this in the comfort of my home...So it's all in tupperware, plus my lighting sucks, plus I'm using an iPhone camera, plus my friend was eager to eat...But it was really, really good. Don't let these photos fool you :P

delicious patatas bravas.

absolutely loved this salad of mixed greens with crispy ham and manchego cheese (my favourite!)

looks kinda sad here.. but this was really succulent duck in a delicious orange sauce. i wanted to lick it all up!

Also tried the calamari which was deliciously fried, and the chicken skewers which weren't so good and a little dry. Should've ordered the wagyu beef skewers!! Will definitely be back to eat there in person :)

Phew... W Sunday Brunch up next :D


the vietnam woods
Shop 1, York Place
22 Johnson Road

Shop 1044-1045

sushi shin
G/F, Wing Hing Court
110-114 Tung Lo Wan Road,

Tai Hang

Level 1, Pacific Place

estudio iberico
Great supermarket,
Pacific Place