Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hong Kong - Mamoz

We were watching Dolce Vitae on TVB Pearl and they were promoting Mamoz, a new bar/fancy dim sum in Causeway Bay. Right away, the decor and setting got me interested (and took my mind away from the overly rehearsed and stiff delivery of the Dolce Vitae hosts. The producers of the show should just let them improvise. Would be nicer to watch.... anyhow, I digress...)

So, long weekend, we go check it out.

All-in-all, the drinks are great, the food is OK, the views are nice and the ambiance is quite relaxing. There isn't enough incentive for us to go back for the food on its own. But we'd go back for a drink at night, when there's a bit more people.

Cucumber Mint Fizz. The drinks are quite good. Worth going to Mamoz for.
Penne with shrimps in basil and garlic sauce. Was missing something. I'd have pushed further on the garlic and basil to make it more fragrant and embolden the taste. Or added a little bit of lemon juice, or hot sauce, to spike it up.

Steamed Vegetable dumplings (good), Steamed Angus Beef Balls (OK, but the Angus makes this classic Cantonese dish lose a little bit of its local flavor), Black Pearl Rice Dumpling with Gold Flakes (all sizzle and no steak; tasted bland)

Da View. Note that there was only another couple in the space. But, it was also 2pm.

4 "tapas" (Dim Sum + pasta), one drink + gratuities: HKD $260
27-28/F, Cubus
1 Hoi Ping Road
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hong Kong: Busy Suzie

Long easter weekend. We went to Ocean Park during the day. I feel like a treat for supper and we've been wanting to try Busy Suzie for a while. We head to 1881 Heritage and take a seat at the bar, where the action is. Japanese Robatayaki is essentially barbeque. In Suzie's case, the chefs are kneeling in front of us. Can't imagine how painful that would be after a few hours.
Anyhow, doesn't seem to impact the food because it was great. Very fresh produce make a huge difference and at Busy Suzie, freshness is clearly an imperative.

I liked everything about it: the decor, lighting, food pacing, cooking, ingredients. May can attest that I have never been much of a seafood person but when faced with amazingly fresh products served well, I will joyfully indulge.

Octopus carpaccio with wasabi (that was reaaally good), and Japanese beans.

Sashimi. Yum.

Soup in a teapot

Tempura. Light an tasty.

Scallops and mushrooms. Scallops tiny bit overcooked.
We will overlook that fact granted the greatness of everything else.

Seabass; nice and crispy exterior. My favorite fish.

I don't usually care too much for lobster but this was just great. Tasty, perfectly cooked, flavorful.


At HK $888 for two, with 2 glasses of Champagne, I thought it was a pretty good deal.
Highly recommended.
Busy Suzie, 1881 Heritage, Tsuim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Hong Kong: Asian Twist

Laksa and Beef Curry

As I work in Central, I often go by Asian Twist at lunch time. Most often, it is packed with people, which lead me to suggest to May that we give it a try during our Easter holiday for casual lunch.

Well, I'll be damned if I know why this place gets packed. Certainly not for the food! The beef in the curry beef was hard as rock. The laksa was OK at best. May was disappointed that coffee was brought to her pre-sweetened. The decor is cheerful but that's not enough of a redeeming quality for that establishment.

Much better local options are available. I suggest you avoid it. Still trying to figure what the Twist is by the way.

Asian Twist
Shop 2017, 2/F, International Finance Centre Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hong Kong: 晶輝飯店 (Crystal splendor something or other)

One little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Tai Kok Tsui that is getting rave reviews from the locals.

The chicken hot pot was OK but we've had better. I thought that the chicken came in already a bit too cooked, which made it tough. Broth was good however. Not a dish that would make me want to come back but nothing to be ashamed about either.

The squid dish, which is supposed to be a house, specialty, was a big miss for me. I was expecting fresh squid but it was preserved squid with cashews (which were just fine). I'm sorry but that squid tasted like cow. And I don't mean it tasted like beef... no, it literally tasted like cow. If you have been close to a farm, there's this characteristic cow smell that is hard to define but immediately recognizable once you smelled it. Well, that was it. Ain't going to order that dish again.

On the other hand, the eel and rice dish was quite something; very flavorful and subtle. Eel was nicely cooked. Really enjoyable. 

All-in-all, you sure can't beat the price (can't remember the exact amount, I think it was under HK $175) and the quality of the eel-rice made us want to come back to try their other dishes in hope to find another gem of the same kind.

31-33 Kok Cheung Street

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hong Kong: Barolo

After our bad experience with Habibi, we wanted to try another North-African restaurant... which was closed on Sunday. Never fear, we were close to Hollywood road and decided to give Barolo a try.

I enjoyed the ambiance. The food was a bit uneven; Tuna tartare was good but no great surprise taste wise. My rack of lamb was quite good but May's steak was a bit flavorless. Deserts were not just not up to par and you could get something similar at any cake shop.

Tuna tartare




I think that Barolo needs to step up their game food wise or risk being shoved aside by the tons of excellent restaurants that are popping-up in the neighborhood.

Total for two wityh 2 glasses of wine, coffee, desserts: HK $808

G/F, 30 Hollywood Road, SOHO, Central

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hong Kong: Din Tai Fung

Xia Long Bao is a Shanghaiese delicacy. It is a pork and soup-filled dumpling. Interestingly enough, Din Tai Fung has Taiwanese origins.

Thin and flexible, yet not chewy skin makes Din Tai Fung's Xia Long Bao quite good. Is it worth it's 2010 Michelin Guide's star? I'll let you be the judge. For sure, we found it very good and reasonably priced, which is a killer combo in my book. The rest of the food is also quite pleasant. I was telling me that it was one of the rare times I tasted Chinese food which had successive layers of flavors.

We'll be back.

The star; the Xiao Long Bao

Din Tai Fung:
Shop 130, 3/F, Silvercord, 30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hong Kong: Habibi Cafe

So there was this feature on North-African restaurants in HK Magazine and since multi-ethnic is something we love to try, we picked Habibi Cafe as the closest target to go to on a week night.

We had the Humus, fried Halloumi, falafel, some couscous and Samak Dakka.
Don't know if the chef was sleepy on that night but the food was bland, weakly presented and overall, not all that interesting.

We'll try the other venues for that type of food enxt time.

Total HK $407 for two.
112-114 Welington Street