Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New York Diner (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

Tsuen Wan is a real sad place to be if you happen to be looking for a nice juicy burger.
As I have reported earlier, one of the better options available actually reside near Tai Wo Hau at a place called Kitchen Corner. But there's been a new kid on the block since the turn of the calendar year - a new burger joint by the name of New York Diner.

However, very quickly I started realizing that other than the name itself, there's nothing "New York" about this diner. Even the food menu suggests that it's a Hong Kong style western restaurant serving casual comfort food that is more international than American.

I'm ordering from the set menu and first up was soup of the day - carrot soup.

For my main course, I'm having mushroom burger with potato wedges. 

I like the mushroom mayo from the burger. The beef patty was decent too but it was a bit weird having marmoreal mushroom rather than the usual porcini mushroom or even portobello. Like I said before, this is very Hong Kong style (or localized). 

No complaints for my sunset peach milkshake though. Although the flavor was a bit artificial, I thought it was foamy, rich and pretty thirst quenching. 

A pretty average food menu but the list of milkshakes managed to save the day.

Food Rating: 4/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop G27-28, G/F, Citywalk 1, 1 Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan
Closest Metro Station: Tsuen Wan West
Tel: +852 2246-9488

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cochin Delicatessen (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

While it was sad to hear the once-popular Chicha closed a few months ago, I was really happy to find out that Cochin Delicatessen has taken over the space left behind by the only authentic Peruvian restaurant in the city.

Cochin Delicatessen is a restaurant, bar and deli all under one roof in Soho. The kitchen is helmed by Chef Renaud Marin and this is his first solo venture since he left St George and Upper Modern Bistro, two of my favorite restaurants in town when they're still under the direct guidance of Chef Philippe Orrico.

It was right in the middle of lunch hour when I arrived at Cochin and the staff here wasted no time presenting me with their set menu. This looks pretty good. An appetizer, cheese and dessert buffet was only priced at $125 while adding a main course (spring chicken, fish, beef cheek or pasta) costs another $85. This is truly fantastic value but since I had a really big breakfast at Lobster Central already, I thought I should get something light from the a la carte menu rather than an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Not much has changed since Cochin has taken over. At least from the interior design standpoint. Everything seems to remain intact.

I was told the bread here was baked by Gregoire Michaud. No wonder it's so good.

First up for me was prawn carpaccio, beautifully presented with layers of fennel and cress on top ($140). The prawns were fresh and sweet with the yuzu and ginger dressing providing a nice bit of acidity into the mix. For the price they were charging, I thought the portion was very generous too, and that's tough to come by these days.

Believe me or not, I was almost full by now but there's this mushroom consommé ($135) still waiting on deck.

As soon as my server started pouring the warm mushroom consommé into the taiyouran onsen egg, sweet corn, baby spinach and Avruga caviar, I could sense the aromatic broth brimming with rich mushroom flavors.

This was just a very simple yet well executed dish with every ingredient harmonizing each other nicely. Very nicely done.

Service here was impeccable. If my stomach would allow me to, I would love to sample a couple more dishes (or dessert) but I was way over my limit this afternoon. So until next time.....

If you happen to love places like Upper Modern Bistro and Figaro, you will love this place too!

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$
Address: G/F, 26 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central
Tel: +852 2561-3336

Shake 'em Buns (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★☆☆☆

Central is likely not the place you want to be if you're looking for a frosty milkshake these days, especially when Double D has just closed down a little while ago. I'm hoping Shake'em Buns can come to the rescue here.

This American burger joint is probably not the easiest of all places to find in Central.

Cozy little cafe they've got here. Too bad I'm on the run so can't really sit down to enjoy my milkshake for too long.

Sadly, my vanilla milkshake wasn't up to par. It was frosty but not rich or creamy enough for my liking at all.

Price: $$$
Address: UG/F, 76 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central
Tel: +852 2810-5533

Lobster Central (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

I have been up early a lot these days (getting old?) and well before noon time, I already found myself wandering around Central. With all the time in the world (until my next engagement), I thought I should re-visit Lobster Central for a quick brunch.

There's been a lot of rumblings going on with this local lobster roll specialist. Obviously, some of us have been fairly impressed with what they're offering at a pretty affordable price.

Looks like Rabee'a (楊洛婷) is a fan.....

And one of my (recent) favorite TV hostesses, Ashley Chu (朱智賢) also a frequent customer...(You look pale, Ashley...go put some makeup on real quick...)

While the new scallops roll and short rib roll look pretty tempting at first glance, I have pretty much decided to stick with the basics here.

Yes, their lobster roll. The buttery brioche bun is totally stuffed with Maine lobster meats. Lots of them!!!

Slightly disappointing was the truffle fries. They have to do a much better job with the fries and truffle sauce I am afraid.....

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop E, G/F, 50 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central
Tel: +852 3565-6725

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Foxglove (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

I haven't been out a lot since the nugget was born, let alone a night full of live music so I knew I have to enjoy every moment of this. It's a perfect night out with the boys and our indulgence is not only for our taste buds, but our ears too. It's my first time visiting Foxglove, a speakeasy-themed whisky bar and rest assured it won't be my last.

First and foremost, I must admit jazz is not my game but hey, after listening to lullabies for months, my appreciation of music has just reached another level.

With everybody very much concentrated on what's happening on stage, I took the liberty of ordering food and alcohol for everyone (including a lot of meat for myself!).

Pork belly and octopus ($298) - This was very tender. I like the spicy kick from the chorizo and smoked paprika with a bit of acidity from the sherry vinaigrette to back it up. Pretty good start.

BBQ glazed duck breast ($298) - I was expecting a little more than the two slices of duck breast. This is pretty decent stuff but nothing really spectacular. I did enjoy the supporting cast of green asparagus, Padron pepper, porcini, spring onion and parsley though.

Japanese cheesecake ($128) - There were only 2 desserts on the menu so we decided to order them both for our "dessert stomach". First up would be their Japanese cheesecake made with Hokkaido milk. This is a very simple dessert but yet they managed to make it pretty palatable. 

Ginger and orange butter cake ($128) - Another simple creation. I thought ginger and orange make a surprisingly good pairing in this one. 

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$
Address: 2/F, Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central
Tel: +852 2116-8949

Friday, June 17, 2016

HeSheEat Café Causeway Bay (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

This is one of the few times that I'm having dinner at HeSheEat Café in Causeway Bay instead of dessert. I guess I have really run out of ideas for a quick bite (in the CWB area) and I know I could do much worse than coming here.

Well, kicking things off is again my favorite oreo milkshake but where's my whip cream? Did they manage to forget that or somehow they know I'm on a dietary alert? Anyways, this is very good as always. Rich and silky smooth. Exactly why they made it to my top 10 milkshake spot in the city.

My first ever savory dish here. I picked the seared scallops with watercress and green peas risotto ($130) mainly because of the fact that I wanted scallops this evening but the result was really beyond my expectation. It's surprisingly tasty. The scallops (of pretty good size) were seared to near perfection and I love the rich watercress flavor from the risotto. It's especially good when you consider the fact local cafés often pair risotto with porcini mushroom or truffle so this is really a breath of fresh air.

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop 201, 2/F Causeway Bay Place, 2-10 Great George Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 2868-2277

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lan Fong Yuen 蘭芳園 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★☆☆☆

There are countless tea cafés or cha chaan tengs in Hong Kong and if you're on a quest to find the best in the city, most signs will point in the direction of Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園), one of the oldest cafés in Central.

I had the pleasure of visiting the storied tea café at Gage Street on many occasions but in recent years, it's almost impossible to get into the place. For that, I had the Hong Kong Tourism Board and many tourist guides to thank as they've done a great job promoting this old institution to our visitors. So as a backup plan, I have been shifting my attention to their Tsim Sha Tsui outlet at WK Square on Nathan Road.

Some of Lan Fong Yuen’s signature dishes include the classic Hong Hong style "pantyhose" milk tea (絲襪奶茶), pork chop bun (豬扒包), condensed milk butter bun (奶油豬仔飽) and chicken steak instant noodles with green onion (蔥油雞扒撈丁). I have never been much of a fan for unhealthy fast food but occasionally, I let the guard down once in a while (especially when I visit Lan Fong Yuen).

Starting things off for me tonight was their patented iced milk tea. Unlike what I was used to getting from their Gage Street flagship, the milk tea was pretty "bland" without the usual strong tea flavor. And judging from its color, one could tell there's been a shortage of milk as well.

Instead of the famed chicken steak instant noodles with green onion, I am having their pork chop instant noodles with mushroom sauce. This is again a bit underwhelming. Perhaps I should be sticking with their Gage Street location from now on?

Food Rating: 3.5/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop 26, WK Square Basement, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2316-2311

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fauchon Paris Le Café (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

As promised, we came back to Fauchon Paris Le Café after 2 hours of shopping at the New Town Plaza and this time around, I'd make sure that I have all my favorite pastries covered. Looking left and right, everyone seems to be having the afternoon tea set which I admit is a pretty good bargain ($188 for two I think) but hey, I'm not here for their sandwiches and quiches! 

Paris-brest eclair ($45)
I have been missing this Paris-brest eclair since Fauchon Paris closed down its operation at Harbour City mall. A lot of friends complained that it's way too sweet but I thought it's just right for me. The almond hazelnut butter cream was simply perfect and the crunchy almond hazelnut praline combined well with the choux for the wonderful bite. I don't think I will ever get tired of this.

Gâteau Megève ($55)
This is one of Fauchon's all-time classic, combining the traditional French meringue with 
French bourbon vanilla and silky smooth chocolate ganache. I thought the chocolate mousse was very delicate, rich yet not too overpowering. Not bad. 

Carré Caramel ($55)
Oh my goodness, this was very good. Just love the crunchy sugary pastry! The soft and creamy caramel on top was very rich in caramel flavor. Very nice. 

As a French patisserie, Fauchon Paris still ranks very high on my list and I'm glad they finally launch this cafe concept in Hong Kong.

Food Rating: 7/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop 408 & 410, 4/F, New Town Plaza Phase 1, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Shatin, Hong Kong
Closest Railway Station: Shatin
Tel: +852 2237-1515

Fauchon Paris Le Café (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

I must admit I was pretty disappointed to see the Fauchon Paris outlets in Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay folded a few months ago. There goes one of my favorite French pastry shop (not counting their Peak and Airport locations). So from now on, where can I get my favorite hazelnut praline éclair? Then news broke that Fauchon Paris is actually reshuffling their business plan and the new look strategy saw them joining hands with Cafe Deco Group, a local R&B group who's been very successful implementing projects like Cafe Deco Pizzeria and Berliner. As soon as we could roll our eyes, their brainchild, Fauchon Paris Le Café has already soft-opened in Shatin.

I haven't ventured over Shatin for a long time; at least not since my nugget was born so I was excited to bring him over here to check out this new cafe and their famous macarons.

Interestingly, they have this bar deep into their dining room. Don't suppose they will let anyone sit here for their drinks.....

I thought I was dreaming when I saw the food menu. The 2-course lunch set starts at $82 only. Is this too good to be true? So with zero hesitation, I quickly placed my order and here comes my Caesar salad with bacon and egg. 

Carrot soup was actually better than the small salad. 

I haven't had a decent pasta in a few days now and was curious with this Paris ham linguini with mushrooms and egg yolk cream sauce. Is this just a carbonara or there's more to this fancy name?

Well, this is indeed a carbonara and a pretty good one too I might add. The sauce was creamy enough and the linguine was pretty al dente.

A couple of us wanted some meat and decided to take a flyer on this braised beef with mushrooms in red wine sauce. They're serving it with a small mashed potato that's nice and buttery.

The braised beef was actually better than I have expected. Pretty tender and full of red wine flavors. Not a bad choice at all.

We decided to pick something from the a la carte menu just to satisfy our curosity. Since I'm a duck freak, the duck leg confit was simply a no-brainer here for me. It was pretty nicely done. I have to say, it's even better than the previous two dishes.

A pair of complimentary macaron came with our set. Oh I love that pistachio flavor.

We were too full to take on more desserts at this point. It may sound crazy but I am planning to come back in 2 hours (after some shopping) to get my sweet tooth fixed.

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop 408 & 410, 4/F, New Town Plaza Phase 1, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Shatin, Hong Kong
Closest Railway Station: Shatin
Tel: +852 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

AnOther Sweet Place (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

Last week I was reading about Another Place joining force with local chocolatier and pâtissier Jeffery Koo on a new project in Central. I decided to dig a little deeper on the mighty internet and looks like I got exactly what I was looking for - AnOther Sweet Place

Located just a stone's throw from Tai Cheong Bakery (泰昌餅家) and Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園) in the Lyndhurst Terrace area, Another Sweet Place becomes the newest French patisserie in trying to crack the lineup of top dessert spots in Central.

Despite being the new kid on the block, the little French patisserie did not go unnoticed. By the time I got settled down and started shooting pictures, the place was already filled up with potential customers.

More and more local cafes are starting to serve up artisanal ice-cream and looks like Another Sweet Place is getting themselves ready too!

Cheshire Cat ($46) - I was all set to go with the Signature Noir 65 first but then again I wasn't a chocolate lover to begin with, so let's go a different route. Cheshire Cat ended up being a solid choice for me. The combination of a velvety mixed berries mousse, 29 percent white chocolate and vanilla sponge provided an excellent balance of sweetness and acidity and the purple glaze was a nice touch.

Midsummer Night's Dream ($46) - Better was this fierce red creation with caramel and dulcey chocolate. The silky smooth mousse worked perfectly well with the pineapple compote providing my sweet tooth with quite a special treat.

Matcha opera ($50) - Chef Koo's opera cake has a pretty rich matcha flavor along with a slightly crunchy texture. A nice change of pace from the previous two pastries which were a little more fruity.

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop G, G/F, Lyndhurst Building, 23-29 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central / Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2523-4388