Archive for the ‘Trilease’ Category

Good Affordable Vegetarian Restaurant – Happy Veggies 樂農

Monday, April 15th, 2013

The FoodLover had a vegetarian lunch with Surina at Happy Veggies 樂農 in Wanchai. This restaurant offered set lunches (HK$42) that included soup, brown rice and choices of three out of six vegetarian dishes. An additional drink cost only HK$8. Surina and I each picked different dishes so we could try all six of them.

Many vegetarian restaurants would add MSG to enhance the taste but not this one. The dishes tasted natural and good. The portions didn’t look too big in the picture but that was quite enough for me. After I finished my bowl of rice, the manager came around to ask whether I wanted more. They have an “all you can eat” policy for brown rice. One bowl was enough for me.

Happy Veggies 樂農 2013.4.15

In addition to serving good tasty food, this restaurant is also a social enterprise that hires mostly hearing impaired staff in both the kitchen and dining room. I think they can offer good simple food at reasonable price because it is located upstairs rather than on the street level. When you are up there, your cost is less affected by “Developer Hegemony” (地產霸權).

When I visit Hong Kong next time, I will go there for dinner which should offer many more choices. If you want to have a healthy, quick, affordable lunch in Wanchai, this is the place. It’s nothing fancy, just good old honest food.

Happy Veggies 樂農
1/F, Bayfield Building, 99 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2529-3338

After lunch, I walked over to Causeway Bay to check out this new eslite (誠品書店) – branch of the famous book store from Taiwan. It wasn’t anything like the real thing in Taiwan, so I sat down at the cafe to have some dessert. That was a bad idea. The coffee and cake cost HK$110 plus tips. I should have used the money to buy a couple of books! That would be much better for my body and soul.

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Traditional Cantonese Cooking is Not Dead – 益新美食館

Monday, November 26th, 2012

20121126 Yixin AEric (明哥) couldn’t make it to the crab banquet in Shanghai this year but was so kind to invite the FoodLover to lunch at a traditional Cantonese restaurant in Wanchai near his office – Yixin Restaurant 益新美食館. He also brought along his colleague Connie whom the FoodLover hadn’t seen for over twenty years. She hadn’t changed much.

Dim sums were really good, especially Shrimp Dumplings (蝦餃) and Dumplings with Soup (灌湯餃). In the Shrimp Dumplings, there were just enough pork and bamboo shoot to add flavor and texture to the shrimp. The Dumplings in Soup was prepared correctly, i.e. having delicious soup inside the dumplings. These days, many restaurants take the short cut of simply serving the dumplings in a bowl of soup.

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Specialties at Yixin were Pipa Duck and Home Town rice Noodle and Eric of course had ordered these dishes. Taking the first bite, the duck might taste a little bit heavy; it did go very well with the rice noodle. Flavors of the ingredients totally penetrate the duck meat that every bite was delicious (入味). I know a guy who can definitely finish at least four bowls of rice with this dish alone. Rice noodle was cooked with unbeatable fish soup – a must-have in this restaurant.

20121126 Yixin C20121126 Yixin D

I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is willing to pay a little more to enjoy life. Will definitely come back myself.

Yixin Restaurant 益新美食館
電話: +852-2834-9963


Lunch in an Old Pawn Shop – OVOlogue 祗月

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Surina and Sally were so kind to invite the FoodLover to have lunch at OVOlogue 祗月 in a historic building where the former Woo Cheong Pawn Shop (和昌大押) used to be since 1888. This restaurant was one of the projects organized by the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office to conserve and revitalize Hong Kong Heritage. Most of these kind of projects tend to attract foreigners rather than locals and this one is no exception. According to the FoodLover’s unscientific observation, there were more westerners and visitors from the mainland than Cantonese speaking locals on this day.

Unlike most restaurants in Hong Kong, this one is very spacious with high ceiling. It is easy to relax even though one can see trams passing by only ten yards outside the window.

I expected western-style Chinese food and was pleasantly surprised to see traditional dishes. The Chicken in “Hua Diao” Wine (花雕醉雞) was very tasty with wine flavor penetrating the tender meat. Steamed Beef Patties Flavored with Aged Tangerine Peel (陳皮牛肉餅) was 香口. While other dim sums were good but not outstanding, I was really impressed by the taste and presentation of the Sweet and Sour Pork with Dried Fruits and Sweetened Aged Vinegar (京果陳醋咕嚕肉). Unlike tranditional sweet and sour pork, it was “dry” in the sense that there was no excessive sauce. It was crispy and neither too sweet nor sour. I strongly recommend this dish.

If you are afraid of eating anything that has bones inside, don’t worry. Even the chicken and pork had bones taken out in the kitchen. Again, westerners should feel comfortable not having to deal with bones with chop-sticks.

If you appreciate elegant decor and nicely prepared dishes, you should go there at least once with two other friends – there are three pieces in most of the dim sum dishes. Just go with someone who has a deep pocket.

OVOlogue 祗月
G/F 66 Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong 香港灣仔莊士敦道66號地下
Tel: +852-2527-6088

C.C.C. 紀利華木球會 is Good for Lunch Too

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Went to meet Nelson at his office before the reunion lunch with former Trilease colleagues. As we were leaving for the CCC (i.e. Craigengower Cricket Club 紀利華木球會), I noticed a torch being displayed in a glass cabinet (see picture on the right); I thought it was a torch for the East Asian game that was held in Hong Kong last year. No, Nelson told me that it was in fact an Olympic Torch he got as a relay participant in the 2008 Beijing Games. He promised to let me take a picture holding it next time.

We arrived the CCC slightly before 12:30pm and walked upstairs to Dragon Room, its Chinese restaurant. I had had dinner there a few times before and this was the first time for lunch. Shortly after we sat down, Stephen, Jimmy, Connie and Irene showed up one by one. Even though we never worked for the same employer, I spent a lot of time in their office many years ago. I might not have worked with each of them on any project, I felt I knew them better than many of my “real” colleagues.

Nelson had to leave at 1:30pm for another appointment in Kowloon, so he ordered so much food to make sure we would not be starved after he left. And we were definitely not starved. Food quality and service in general were very good. Again, everything tasted better when you had good company.

I don’t need to recommend this place. If you are a member, you already know it.

Craigengower Cricket Club 紀利華木球會
188 Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2837-1833

Great Crab Dinner Despite Mediocre Food – Ling Long Ge 凌瀧閣

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Last Friday, the Food Lover hosted his 11st Annual Crab Dinner in Shanghai. This event gave the Food Lover the opportunity to share war stories and good food with old friends once a year. The venue this time was Ling Long Ge 凌瀧閣. In the past, this annual event had been held at other reputable crab restaurants such as 王寶和, 新光, and 成隆行.

Ling Long Ge is an upscale crab restaurant with private rooms only – there are large rooms for multiple tables as well as small ones only big enough for table for two. Decoration is traditional Chinese style without being overly extravagant.

The good news was that we had ten people to share a variety of dishes; the bad news was that most dishes were mediocre at best. Most cold plates were just so so except the “Drunken Crabs” (醉蟹) which were delicious with enough wine to stimulate our taste buds without overpowering the crabs. The “Crab Claw in Aspic” (水晶蟹鉗凍) looked good but tasted terribly – the crab claw inside was dry and tasteless. In general, presentation of most the dishes were not bad; the chef should have paid at least as much attention to taste and quality of food.

The “Asparagus Tips with Crab Meat” (蟹柳扒蘆筍) consisted mostly of asparagus and the crab legs did not taste very good. Tofu with Crab Meat was OK but the dish was shallower than it looked. “Crab Fat with Bean Noodles” (蟹膏燴粉皮) was a major disappointment. In previous crab dinners, everybody would be quiet and totally immersed in the enjoyment of feeling crab fat melting slowly in their mouths when this dish was served. Not this time. The bean noodles (粉皮) were thick and wide and we had to send out a search squad to locate any piece of crab fat. Sauteed Crab Meat (清炒蟹粉) was too dry. I started to feel sorry for those who flew a long way to Shanghai for this crab dinner. I failed to offer the best.

Sweetwater Shrimp Crab Meat Sauteed with Green Apple (青蘋果蟹粉河蝦仁) was strongly recommended by the Assistant Manger who took our orders. The shrimp didn’t taste like shrimp and crab didn’t taste like crab; There was no flavor of apple either. Wallace, a.k.a. 東灣食神 went as far as biting off a small piece of apple and still couldn’t find any apple favor.

Fortune for the Food Lover and his guests, the Tai Hu Hairy Crabs 太湖大閘蟹 were as good as any crab in season with a lot of fat. The waitress did a good job in dissecting the crabs for those who didn’t want to get their hands dirty. Other hot dishes was OK.

電話: +86-21-3207-0077/1177

Even though the food was disappointing, we had fun, we had joy just to be dining with friends. A few of the participants have already registered for this event next year. Better send in your request before all the seats are filled.

老朋友 老地方 – Lao Shanghai 老上海飯店

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

20091202 Lao Shanghai AVincent 照哥 is one of the few friends who helped me tremendously in the early days of my career. Nothing else need to be said.

Lao Shanghai 老上海飯店 (灣仔謝斐道238號世紀香港酒店地庫1層) used to be Lao Ching Hing (老正興) before the former owner Mr. Yang passed the restaurant to his employees before moving to Dalian (大連) and running a 老正興 over there. This is a restaurant where I can greet the waiters by name and don’t need to look at the menu. Nothing more need to be said either.

Before 照哥 arrived, I ordered my usual drink there – half a bottle of the restaurant’s 15-year old wine 花雕. Since we are both getting older and more concerned about staying healthy, we started with two vegetarian dishes: 素鵝 and 馬蘭頭. After finishing the crab, we had the delicious smoked egg (煙燻蛋) and an order of 毛豆百頁 to go with a bowl of plain noodle (陽春麵) for each of us.

The taste? Just superb.

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