Friday, May 11, 2018

HAKU curated by Hideaki Matsuo (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

I am back at HAKU to check on their “normal” set lunch menu on my own this afternoon. The omakase menu was excellent when we tried it two weeks ago but I wanted to see how they fare without the premium ingredients.

Between the two set menu offered at lunch, I had a choice between lobster ($380) and Iberico pork ($450) as my main course. Pretty tough choice but I never say no to lobster especially after my recent run of meat.

Amuse bouche again provided me with a flying start to this meal.

On top of the bite-sized okonomiyaki and beetroot cone which I had last time, I was presented with a crispy kibinago fish skewer and a gazpacho made with white garlic, celery and olive oil. Good thing I left the gazpacho last coz that was seriously refreshing.

The first course of the set menu was Nagahama white fish served with sea lettuce (seaweed?). This was pretty refreshing thanks to the nice acidity from the yuzu dressing. And there’s a bit of kombu flavor in there somewhere which provided a nice complement to the sea lettuce.

Next up was my nicely plated main dish with the lobster topped by slices of pickled cauliflower and served with dashes of miso purée. Before I got the chance to sneak in a photo, the chef already started pouring in the finishing touch with a light lobster sauce made with its bones.

The lobster meat was really nice with lovely bouncy texture. I was surprised how light the sauce was but if the idea was to let the natural flavors shine (in this case, the lobster), then I’m all for it. It was a pretty enjoyable dish. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the acidity from the pickled cauliflower. I thought the lobster was already delicious enough on its own so really didn’t see the point of introducing additional acidity into the mix.

There was a second part to this lobster dish, which came with a bowl of Koshihikari rice covered with sakura ebi and a deep-fried lobster claw.

The lobster claw was seriously tasty and the thin batter just perfect. Now, this decision to take lobster over pork is really making me look like a genius.

As much as I wanted food to keep coming, it’s time for dessert (no palate cleanser?).
Dessert today was homemade ice cream sandwich with black sesame custard cream filling. There was some matcha cream around the edge of the sandwich to give it some vegetal and grassy notes.

Some black and white sesame sugar was provided as a dip but I thought the ice-cream sandwich was already sweet enough on its own.

A small canapé of yuzu bon bon and it's about time for me to get some shopping done in the mall. 

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$$
Address: Shop OTG04, G/F Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2115-9965

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Australia Dairy Company (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

It was nice spending Sunday afternoon with my nugget watching birds flying around their cages at Kowloon Park. We were going to leave the park from the Jordan side and an idea popped up about going to Australia Dairy Company for tea, which got everyone fired up.

It's been a while since we last visited this place which used to be one of my favorite dessert places on the Kowloon side. As usual, I got myself a bowl of steamed egg custard. This was soooo good. Silky smooth with rich eggy flavor. I was surprised they were still sitting at $28. Checking from three years ago, it was $26 so the recent surge in inflation didn't blow it out of the water yet.

By now, my little one has fallen asleep so we could afford more time for desserts. There's another item on the menu I haven't had for a while - their French toast. Somehow it just tasted a little different comparing to other cha chaan tengs (茶餐廳). The batter seemed a little softer and the syrup a little sweeter. Then again, maybe it's just me being biased about this place.

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$
Address: G/F, 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Jordan
Tel: +852 2730-1356

Friday, May 4, 2018

Fook Lam Moon Tsim Sha Tsui 福臨門 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

It's been a few months since I last met up with my buddy V. Both of us have been extremely busy of late but with my birthday coming up soon, we knew it's time to catch up. V picked the spot for dinner tonight so I was going to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Sautéed wagyu beef with pickled baby ginger (酸薑炒和牛) - I know morel mushrooms and asparagus are both in season but didn't realize the same goes for these baby ginger. They tasted particularly good with the green pepper and wagyu.

Wok seared omelette with crab meat (煎芙蓉蟹) - I initially thought it was our stuffed crab shell at my first glance but turned out I was wrong. It's instead our wok-seared omelette with crab meat.

I honestly didn't know how much egg white was in this omelette because it felt (and tasted) like a web of fresh crab meat to me. Very very tasty. Won't mind having another order of this at all.

Spinach in Fook Lam Moon’s broth (上湯大蒜浸菠菜) - Some vegetables in between our seafood and meat courses. The broth was surprisingly light which was right up my alley. Love those big garlic too.

Baked stuffed crab shell with onion and fresh crab meat (釀焗鮮蟹蓋) - I thought this dish would go first but they held it back until after the spinach was served.

This was pretty delicious. Underneath the crispy crust were fresh crab meat, onion (tons of them) and celery. But if I had to choose between this and the crab meat omelette, I would incline to go with the latter. 

Steamed minced pork with chopped squid and water chestnut (魷魚馬蹄蒸肉餅) - Portion was very generous and I got the feeling that I was having a homemade dish at home. Suddenly feeling a little nostalgic because it's a dish my goo-por used to cook for us when I was little.

Walnut cream (合桃糊) - We always got room for dessert, especially Chinese-style sweet soup. This was a little more bitter than I expected and more nutty as well.

Some petite fours before we took off to meet up with some friends. More bubbly tonight! 

There was something strange about the lighting here tonight. My photos (taken with my iPhone) were all screwed up and despite my best effort using PhotoShop, I couldn't get it right.

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$$
Address: Shop 8, 1/F, 53 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2366-0286