Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hong Kong: Papi's

One of the characteristics of the Hong Kong food scene is how quickly and suddenly restaurants open and close. Mostly due to the insane rent prices, even busy restaurants will close because they just can't afford their rent. Uno Mas, which was quite good, suffered the rent hike faith.

Papi's is new but who knows how long it will last. We wish it good luck because it is reasonably priced and quite good. Fresh produces make the difference here. Among others, olives that are NOT out of a can. Yay!

Update 2012-04-30: Don't know what happened, we went to Papi again today and the food was just atrocious. We had meatballs that were mushy, mushy octopus, a whole round of mushy food. Not quite sure what to think of that place anymore.

Olives. Imported from Italy, not from a can! HK $38

Ratatouille. Bold flavors. Yum. $68

Rolled omlette with Gorgonzola. May would have preferred it warm, I thought it was quite good. $58

Marinated fresh squid. $88

Sauted clams. Low-point. Clams were way overcooked which made them overly chewy. $168

Sauted spinash and potatoes. $58

Tuscan sausages and Cannellini beans.  $98

Traditional Tuscan pudding. Sort of an Italian trifle. I thought this was really good. I wouldn't mind getting the recipe. $58 

Public Square (podium)
Elements Mall
Kowloon MTR station

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hong Kong: Spoon by Alain Ducasse

May and I have been together for 13 years, married for 8. We used that opportunity to try Spoon by Alain Ducasse. I had high expectations and Spoon fell somewhat short. While the food was all quite good, it is also quite expensive (HKD $4000 for the two of us, before the Premier card discount of 15%-20%). Tasting menu for May was HKD $1,388 + $688 wine pairing (we didn't think the pairing was all that great) I preferred The French Window which, to me, was a notch better and also less expensive.

I also thought that the service could have been tweaked a little bit (please, don't come ask if we are ready to order if the menus are still open. That's the basic etiquette; open menu, we're still deciding, closed menu, come take our order. Oh, yeah, while we're at it... cutlery lined-up on the plate; we're done. Cutlery resting on the side of the plate, we're still eating)

Views of the harbour are quite amazing.


Bread was good. On the right was a brioche that was light and fluffy.

Marinated sea scallops, seasonal vegetables with truffle condiments HKD $310. There was about a total of half a scallop on that dish. Sorry but the price charged is outrageous. Was tasty but it didn't blow my mind... only my wallet.

Cep mushrrom and lobster light velouté

Bresse chicken and foie gras paté en croute.

Pan-seared sea scallops, endive-orange. Quite good.

Filet of venison, fruits and vegetables, pepper sauce. Satisfying. Honest dish. Pricey.

Veal tenderloin, Choisy-style.

Some macaroons.

Monte-Carlo chocolate palet with gold leaf.

Spoon by Alain Ducasse
Intercontinental Hotel
18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hong Kong: Entourage

Sometimes, food is good, could even be great, but the ambiance or service of a restaurant is what makes you say you may not go back.
That is sort of what we experienced at Entourage. I called for reservation but no-one picked-up. I left the booking information and my phone number. The recorded message was stating that we would be called back. They didn't. We showed up and while the restaurant was mostly empty, we were seated next to the other 4 people in the restaurant instead of at a more comfortable spot with banquette seating. May asked to move. The guy said that he didn't really want to seat us there in case some group of 4 would show-up. But, there were plenty of room for a group of 4 pretty much everywhere in the restaurant. May was peeved.
Then the same maitre D' sort of came a few times to ask if we were ready to order, which made us feel rushed. Remember, 4 people in a restaurant that probably seat 40.
Then the music was sort of an eclectic mix of pop not too conducive to eating and more appropriate jazz pieces.
At one point, the staff decided to close the windows, which is fine, but didn't turn down the AC, which made the place really chilly.
It's sad because my main course, I thought, was amazing; the yellow-fin tuna was seared just perfectly, with  nice condiment of tomatoes and peppers. Two big pieces of tune. Really, really great. Just like the finest steak without the guilt! May's steak was OK but suffered from being Australian beef. Ok, we may be prejudiced but sorry, Australian beef doesn't even come close to U.S. or Alberta beef.

Anyhow, I think I may want to go back just for a Tuna hit-and-run but the overall experience at La Marmitte was much better.

Salad of feta cheese and grilled eggplant. Eggplants had a nice smokey flavor. Very enjoyable.

Vol-au-vent of crayfish with lobster sauce. This one was smelling so nice but such a disappointment as the crayfish was chewy and the sauce just not enough to save the dish.

Grilled yellow-fin tuna, virgin sauce. This was, for lack of better words, out of this world. Loved it.

The beef. Australian should learn from us Canadians, eh? Same sides as for my tuna, a bit strange.

Apple almond tart & ice cream. Was ok.

1-5 Elgin Street
SOHO, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2559 8281