Archive for April, 2013

Saigon 88 Cuisine 西貢88小館

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Saigon 88 Cuisine 西貢88小館After an early round of golf at Macau G&CC, the FoodLover and Vincent went for a light Vietnamese lunch. Saigon 88 is located at a quiet corner on the far side of Z.A.P.E. (新口岸) near Statue of Kun Iam (觀音像).

It was noon on a Saturday but I didn’t see any tourist there. Good. We had a simple meal, i.e. rice noodle, egg rolls, and vegetable. Taste was not bad and price was reasonable.

If you are tired after walking around Macau, this is not a bad place to refuel.

Saigon 88 Cuisine 西貢88小館Saigon 88 Cuisine 西貢88小館Saigon 88 Cuisine 西貢88小館

Saigon 88 Cuisine 西貢88小館
Tel: +853-2872-8457

GOLD by Harlan Goldstein

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

It was the FoodLover’s lucky day. Kinney and Loretta invited him to dinner at the Michelin 1-starred restaurant, GOLD by Harlan Goldstein, that Kinney had designed. Harlan Goldstein is known to be the “chef to the rich and famous” and Gold is his flagship restaurant located in LKF Tower at the top of Lan Kwai Fong.

This was obviously not Kinney’s first time there as everybody seemed to know him and the chef came out to say hello. We had the “Harlan’s Michelin Star Tasting Menu” which was a sampler of various dishes. Instead of the main dish in the menu, Kinney ordered the Big G Fiorentina. As one can see in the pictures, presentation of the dishes were exquisite; they tasted great too, especially the Fiorentina.

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If you want to take your good friends or family to dinner for special events, try this place. I didn’t know the price because Kinney didn’t let me see the bill. However, this restaurant is probably too expensive for you if you have to ask the price. Here’s the menu – GOLD-MENU.

GOLD by Harlan Goldstein
2/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2869-9986

Grand Hill Taiwanese Restaurant 圓山台灣料理

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Mr. and Mrs. Chan were so kind to take the FoodLover to lunch at Grand Hill 圓山 in Tsimshatsui. We ordered the Business Set Lunch for two plus an extra dish and that was more than enough for the three of us. This is a Taiwanese restaurant but the dishes are not limited to Taiwanese cuisine.

The Soup of The Day was not your typical soup; there were indeed plenty of ingredients in it. Shrimp dumplings were very Cantonese and good. My question was why there were five dumplings.

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Noodle and rice were typical Taiwanese. Portions were not big but enough; taste was yummy.

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Dry-fried French Beans were dry on the outside but pretty moist and soft inside. Salty Duck is a Nanjing special. We should have order a bottle of beer to go with that.

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This Stir-fried squid, pork with Celery dish was also very good, both its taste and presentation.

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If you are in Tsimshatsui and want to have a decent and honest meal, give that place a try.

Grand Hill Taiwanese Restaurant 圓山台灣料理
Tel: +852-2721-9833

Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16Twice a year, the FoodLover would have the opportunity to taste fine food in Hong Kong with Janet, Ah Sai and others. This time, Ah Sai was so kind to arrange a dinner at Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 in Wanchai. Joining us was also Lincoln.

Kin’s Kitchen is a Michelin 1-Star restaurant owned and operated by prominent gourmet critic Mr. Lau Kin Wai (劉健威) who also owns another Kin’s Kitchen in Tin Hau and Yellow Door Kitchen 黃色門廚房, a private restaurant (私房菜館) in Central. However, we noticed that Mr. Lau, his wife and son (Lau Chun 劉晉) were all busy dealing with customers and managing the staff at this place that night. This Wanchai branch had to be the most important site for the family.

I never had abalone as appetizer before; what I had this time was very refreshing and a little crunchy with aroma of wine. The pork kidney was crispy (爽脆); I especially liked the taste of sesame paste. Both dishes went very well with the wine that Janet had brought.

Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16

Fried Bombay Duck Fish is a common household dish for Cantonese families but wrapping the fish in nori is hardly a common practice. It gave the dish a little fusion feel. The soup was vegetable based but one could not see the vegetable. Why? The vegetable had been frozen for three hours to -22°C and ground to “ice sands” before it was heated up again as soup. Fancy stuff!

Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16

The Baked Salty Chicken was one of a kind. The meat was very tender with pleasant salt taste that was not too strong but penetrating. According to Mr. Lau, it was cooked the old fashion way, i.e. first stir-fried a wok of salt then buried the chicken in it until the salt cooled down; the process was repeated a second time until the chicken was just right to be served. Almost all restaurants nowadays would cook the chicken in salt water instead. There is no secret, just the dedication of time and effort. This chicken alone is worth a trip to Kin’s Kitchen.

Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16

The sea cucumber was also very good. I liked the taste of shrimp roe.

Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16

Fresh-water shrimps and seasonal vegetable were a good way to end our dinner. We didn’t need any rice.

Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16

Another good refreshing “sweet soup” 糖水 that was not too sweet.

Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房 2013.4.16

Again, a dinner with friend is always great. Having good food just makes it that much more enjoyable. This dinner at Kin’s Kitchen was not the cheapest. Considering the quality of food and service, it was a bargain!

Kin’s Kitchen 留家廚房
5/F, W Square, 314-324 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
香港灣仔軒尼斯道314-324號W Square5樓全層
Tel: +852-2571-0913

A Training Restaurant – The English-Speaking Dining Society

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

20130416 TDS BAfter having morning congee and walking from Tsim Sha Tsui to SFXC in Sham Shui Po with Peter The Japanese, the FoodLover went back to the hotel (on MTR of course) to take a break. Peter called again to inform that John (馬仔) was inviting us to lunch at his club – The English-Speaking Dining Society (TDS). John was so kind to pick us up and took us to TDS in Kowloon Bay.

TDS is a private organization operating several restaurants for purposes of providing training grounds for young trainees who are planning to work in the restaurant business. Members who pay an annual fee of HK$888 can enjoy good food in a nice environment for very reasonable (i.e. cheap) price. The only requirement is that customers have to speak to servers in English.

During the lunch, I noticed that instructors were looking over the shoulders of the servers and corrected their mistakes right away. For example, there were a few drops of soup on the saucer when the waitress was serving my soup; the instructor told her to take it aside, clean the saucer, and serve again. What a way to learn! When the waitress had problem understanding what I was asking, the instructor answered for her and explained to her what I was saying. (I was asking whether the salmon was wild salmon.)

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As shown in the pictures, presentation of the dishes were pretty good and taste was not bad either. All in all, it was an enjoyable and relaxing place to dine. For the four course lunch I had that included Grilled Scallop with Foie Gras Ice-Cream (263kcal), Russian Borsch (164kcal), Grilled Angus Beef Fillet (406kcal), Pear Chocolate Charlotte (252kcal) and coffee cost HK$120. Thank you, John.

This restaurant is within walking distance of the Kowloon Bay MTR station and there are enough parking spaces if you decide to drive. The HK$888 annual fee can be recovered by having a few meals there.

The English-Speaking Dining Society
Western Training Restaurant
8th Floor, VTC Kowloon Bay Complex
46 Tai Yip Street
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: +852-3717-7388

Traditional Cantonese – 蓮香居

Monday, April 15th, 2013

The FoodLover had a traditonal Cantonese dinner with old classmates at Lin Heung Kui 蓮香居 in Sheung Wan. This restaurant is famous for preparing dishes the old fashion way.

We started with roast goose to go with the large bottles of cold beer. That might not be the healthiest way to begin the evening but it tasted great. Shrimp on Toast was another dish that could seldom be found in Hong Kong  these days. It was also good with more beer.

Pan-fried Stuffed Mud Carp (煎釀鯪魚) was actually fried minced fish meat wrapped in fish skin. The hard part was to maintain the shape of a fish. This was a perfect way to enjoy the flavor of fish without having to worry about bones. More beer please.

By the time the Baked Fish Intestine (焗魚腸) arrived, I was already pretty full and only had room to taste a little of the Lotus Paste Pudding.

Lin Heung Kui 蓮香居 2013.4.15Lin Heung Kui 蓮香居 2013.4.15Lin Heung Kui 蓮香居 2013.4.15Lin Heung Kui 蓮香居 2013.4.15Lin Heung Kui 蓮香居 2013.4.15Lin Heung Kui 蓮香居 2013.4.15

The food was good at very reasonable price. It was also only half full while we were there. That made it a perfect place for old friends to enjoy a few drinks and have a good time

Lin Heung Kui 蓮香居
2-3/F, 46-50 Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong 香港上環德輔道西46-50號2-3樓
Tel: +852-2156-9328

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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Rubbery Fish Balls – 香港仔魚蛋粉

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

20130413 XGZ CAfter flying from Shanghai to Hong Kong and taking the train and taxi to the hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, the FoodLover unpacked and went out for a simple dinner. Aberdeen Fish Ball Noodle 香港仔魚蛋粉 down the street looked clean and was fully packed; that was good sign of a decent restaurant.

I was lucky that a small table near the door was just cleared and I got to share it with another guy. When I was going through the menu, I noticed that I might be the only customer in this whole place who spoke Cantonese. Everybody else seemed to be speaking Mandarin (國語 aka 普通話). I figured out why when I saw several posters on the wall advertising that this restaurant was highly recommended by certain tourist magazine named 自由行(“Free Travelers”). The restaurant must have paid a lot of money to this magazine and it works.

I ordered my favorite Soup Noodle with Squib Balls (墨魚丸粉) and a dish of vegetable. The vegetable was alright but the fish balls were terrible. They were so rubbery I had a hard time biting into them and I am known to have strong teeth!

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The guy sharing the table spent 10 minutes going through the menu and finally decided to order Fried Noodle with Beef (乾炒牛河) and Congee with Oyster in Chao Zhou Style (潮州蠔仔粥). This dish of noodle definitely did not look like the kind of 乾炒牛河 as I knew. The noodle was too narrow and “wet”; I didn’t see any beef in it either. It could not taste too bad because this guy seemed to enjoy it. His congee was so watery it looked more like soup than congee.

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This is a successful business in that it is fully packed with people waiting outside most of the day. I don’t like it because its dishes are not what I expect and the fish balls are rubbery. It’s possible that they have changed the cooking style to cater to its target customers, namely the mainlanders. It’s not about good or bad, right or wrong; it’s just different. Don’t go there if you speak Hong Kong style Cantonese.

地址: 5 Humphreys Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong 香港九龍尖沙咀堪富利士道5號

In comparison, the lunch I had on the flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong was much more tasty.

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龍井村口浙江菜 – 龍井壹號

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

After purchasing new tea of the season, the FoodLover and brother Vincent had lunch at Longjing Restaurant near the entrance of Longjing Village. What I like about this restaurant is that it serves mostly Zhejiang cuisine and does it well. Nowadays, too many restaurants are trying to sell expensive dishes of all provinces but cannot do anything well.

We ordered a few typical Zhejiang/Hangzhou appetizers followed by a main dish – the Braised Wild Mandarin Fish that was partially responsible for my foot problem a couple of years ago. Drink of the day was 8-year-old rice wine 會稽山八年陳. All the dishes were pretty good, especially the jelly fish and the Longjing Shrimps. You can find jelly fish in most Zhejiang/Shanghai restaurants but seldom have it so crispy 爽脆.

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This pot of braised seafood is not the best for somebody who has uric acid problem but it surely tastes good.

20130410 Longjing G


Chicken Congee at KFC

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

After the terrible experience at McDonald’s, the FoodLover tried the congee breakfast at KFC which was conveniently located in the basement of the hotel. The congee tasted OK except for the tiny portion. The fried dough (油條) was too oily and “dense”. The egg obviously had been “manufactured” in a factory before shipping to this restaurant; I couldn’t say it tasted bad because it had no taste. The small cup of coffee was actually the best part of this breakfast simply because it did taste like coffee.

Total cost of this breakfast was RMB15 including RMB5 for the coffee. When a friend heard that I had chicken congee for breakfast, he told me to be careful of the bird-flu. My response: What chicken? I couldn’t find any trace of chicken in this congee.

KFC 肯德基 2013.4.7

After learning my lessons at McDonald’s and KFC, I would buy some bread at the Yamasaki in Tai Ping Yang Department Store across the street in the evening for breakfast in the next morning.

KFC 肯德基
電話: +86-21-63906707

Shanghai Sun Island International Golf Club 上海太陽島國際高爾夫俱樂部 Old Course Hole #17

Shanghai Sun Island International Golf Club 上海太陽島國際高爾夫俱樂部 Old Course Hole #17