Saturday, March 10, 2018

InterContinental Davos Hotel (Davos, SWITZERLAND) ❤❤❤❤❤

A few years ago, I saw some stunning pictures of InterContinental Davos Hotel on a luxury hotel website and I still remembered my first reaction - WOW. From there on, I knew I would stay here one day. And the day has finally come.

InterContinental Davos Hotel is a really nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life and after stepping into the lobby, I immediately knew I've made the right call to stay here for our 2-day visit.

The rooms were well spaced and tastefully furnished with a modern alpine theme. And that was just the beginning. Wait until you step out to the balcony.....

There's a breathtaking view of beautiful Davos waiting at the balcony. Even the air seemed to be a little fresher from up here.

Davos is not a big town so although the hotel is not situated in the town centre, all it took was a comfortable 8-minute drive to get there.

Very seldom do I trouble my hotel concierges unless I was in Japan or Korea. Sometimes, the language barrier made it virtually impossible to get a restaurant booking done. But for the first time in a very long time, I was looking for advice on where to go for dinner or bring my little nugget out for some outdoor activities. There I saw the professionalism and passion from the hotel concierge team. They (a couple of different staff were on this) gave me advice to go for a hearty dinner. They gave me tips on how to get to the Rinerhorn Alpine Petting Zoo, even showed me a few cable car tickets which were included in the hotel package. That was very helpful!

Price: €€€€
Address: Baslerstrasse 9, 7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland
Tel: +41 81 414-0400

InterContinental Davos Hotel Switzerland breathtaking view balcony best top comfortable stay

Sunday, March 4, 2018

HEXA 六公館 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

This weekend, we went back to HEXA (六公館), a restaurant I have previously labeled "Good food poor service" for a belated Chinese New Year gathering with our friends. Jelloman is the one who's been in love with this place particularly their outdoor patio, which I agree gives the kids a place to run around (with a harbour view too!) but I have not forgotten about what happened last time we were here (And I have never been a forgiving person).

But I know better to argue with the ladies so I decided to keep my mouth shut on this one. To be brutally honest, the food here, particularly their dim sum, is worth the return trip; however, the service always seems to let it down and I have a feeling it will let it down again this afternoon.

Steamed Shrimp dumplings in bamboo charcoal wrapping (黑金蝦餃) ($68) - We arrived really late just before their last order so I was pleasantly surprised to see their signature dim sum still not sold out.

Their shrimp dumpling in bamboo charcoal wrapper made headlines in a ton of magazines when HEXA first opened a few months ago. I guess for one, we have never really seen a black har gow before so I could understand the buzz. We wanted to try it out last time but it wasn't even on the menu so it was nice to finally check it off the list.

Personally, I thought it was pretty tasty. The charcoal skin really brought out the sweetness of the shrimp nicely.

Baked BBQ pork buns topped with buttered crust (雪山叉燒包) ($52) - This was almost sold out and we managed to grab the last one (I think). We enjoyed this a lot last time and I found it pretty delicious again. Love that soft and pillowy bun with a wonderful crust that's crispy yet not crunchy. 

Steamed rice flour rolls with wagyu beef (特級和牛腸粉) ($68) - I couldn't tell whether it's high-end wagyu beef judging from the flavors. Probably could do without this one.

Steamed rice flour rolls with BBQ Kurobuta pork (黑豚叉燒腸粉) ($56) - Much better results comparing to the one with wagyu beef. The BBQ Kurobuta pork was pretty juicy and flavorful working well with the steamed rice flour rolls.

Baked squid in spicy salt (椒鹽魷魚鬚) ($68) - The deep-fried squid was nice and bouncy but the spicy salt was a little too overpowering for me.

Classical Shrimp toast (懷舊蝦多士) ($58) - I was expecting something really traditional like the ones we saw at Fung Shing (鳳城酒家) where they have the minced shrimp on top of the toast. 

But this looked more like a sandwich or French toast with the savory minced shrimp stuffed right in the middle of the toast. What I love about this contemporary creation was that it's not nearly as oily as the traditional one and on top of that, I thought the texture and flavors of the minced shrimp really stood out nicely from the thin-sliced toast. Very nice.  

Fried puntalette "Yangzhou" style (揚州炒米型意粉) ($158) - This is my favorite dish from our last visit - a dish where they incorporate a bit of European twist (the rice-shaped pasta) into our traditional "Yangzhou" fried rice. The size was again pitifully small (We all got about 2 spoons.) but it was really delicious with pretty good "wok hei" (鑊氣).

Rice in fish broth with poached grouper and minced pork (班片肉鬆脆米魚湯泡飯) ($168) - Fairly decent. The chefs have added some puff rice into the fish broth to give it more bite which made it slightly more interesting. 

The service team was very robotic in what they did all afternoon but at least they didn't do anything wrong or disrespectful this time around. That's a start! I guess I can live with the poor service (probably result of poor training) as long as they can keep up with the food quality.

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop OTE 101, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2577-1668

HEXA 六公館 Hong Kong modern Cantonese restaurant dim sum amazing waterfront harbour view outdoor patio Harbour City Tsim Sha Tsui

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Vive Cake Boutique at HQueens (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

We walked around Central a bit after our late lunch at 1935 壹玖叁伍 before suddenly realizing that we haven't had dessert to end the meal. That was a terrible mistake on my part so in order to make quick amends, I decided to bring everyone to Vive Cake Boutique at HQueen's for some sweet treat. This is Vive's second location away from their Wanchai branch and I have been waiting for a chance to drop by since their soft opening last month.

Lover's Gift ($52) - The heart shaped cake was Vive's special creation for Valentine's Day but I guess they're keeping it around until White Day (14th March). Not a bad idea at all.

The tried and true combination of red beans, purple sweet potato and mochi took a different shape and form (based on my previous experience with purple sweet potato mochi cake with red bean stuffings) here and it was nothing short of brilliant. Based on the little corner I had, I left very impressed with its contrasting textures and flavors. My little one loves it so much that he almost finished the whole cake all by himself!

Red velvet macaron cream cheese ice-cream sandwich ($58) - Pretty decent but for virtually the same price, I would gladly have another slice of cake instead.

I think we do need more home-grown cake shops and dessert cafés like Vive in Hong Kong. It gives those born with sweet tooth a little something to cheer about.

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop 3, 1/F, H Queen's, 80 Queen's Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central / Hong Kong Station

Vive Cake Boutique HQueens Central 80 Queen's Road best cake shop dessert cafe coffee Hong Kong