Thursday, April 30, 2009

Momo Cafe, Courtyard by Marriott, Patong, Phuket, Thailand

Been to this Momo Cafe in Patong of Phuket during my last trip. The shop had a special offer for all-you-can-eat pizza meal set at B250 net incl. one drink and one appetizer.

1. The shop is in its red and wooden color.
2. it's just opposite to Holiday Inn Patong. 3. Ice coffee - nothing is as good as this one especially during a hot day.

3. green salad. 4. Salmon fried cake with mango sauce - quite a nice one.

5/6. I took 1.2 pizza and my friend took 0.5 of it.... So full. Need to know if there is anyone who can take 2 whole pizzas of this size (about 16" diameter). The pizza is wood grilled - very nice.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nan Xiang mini bun, 南翔小籠包

The original shop of this one is in Shanghai Yue Yuan (豫園). I have been to Yue Yuan a few years ago and was told it's the best at making mini bun. In seeing the long queue, I decided to skip because personally I don't like mini bun that much. That's also why I visited this HK branch a few years after their opening. Actually I found out those famous restaurants like Siu Nam Kuo (小南國) are not that good as compared to the Shanghai restaurants in Taipei and Hong Kong. It's not about the taste. It's about the cooking technique and the source of ingredients. Those famous restaurants in Shanghai even picked up some cheap sauce and unfresh shrimp, but charged at the same price level as those of restaurants in Taipei and Hong Kong. So I personally don't recommend people to try Shanghai food in Shanghai. If you want to, try those in Taipei. However, if you want seafood, then HK may be the best. I noticed the Japanese and HK people know how to keep seafood fresh. The key is at the time when the fishermen catch the seafood.

1. Ordered a rose tea. It's pretty good. 2. the mini bun - the dumpling is a bit thick. Supposed this one should be a thin one. However, personally I like it thicker as I prefer the flour taste to the juicy soup inside.

3. Egg plant in thick soy sauce - a bit disappointing as it doesn't have the "burnt" aroma and silky texture, but for health reason, it's a good one because when having the "burnt" aroma and silky texture means the eggplants having been cooked at high heat and with a lot of oil. 4. Shrimp, chicken/ham fried rice - a typical Shanghai style fried rice. I think this shop needs to have a more powerful stove or the Chef didn't turn on the high heat. Supposed the egg should be quick stir fried first at ultra high heat and put on the side of the wok, and put the shrimp/chicken/ham and and quick stir frying it. However, the egg is a bit too well-done and dried. That means the Chef didn't use ultra high heat to quick stir fry it. To this texture of fried egg means it is cooked for quite a long time at low or medium heat. So that's the point of cooking technique and in fact 100 people would cook to 100 different tastes on the same recipe. Those people saying "oh this is my secret recipe or this is supposed to be the eldest son to keep it and pass it to his next eldest son...etc.". I hope they should go to the book store and see why there are so many famous chefs writing books of cooking. Wouldn't they want to keep those recipe for themselves?

5. the classic dish that I often try in various Shanghai restaurants, just like I try Pad Thai and SomTam in most Thai restaurants in Thailand. If a Shanghai restaurant can't do this one well, then it can't be named as a Shanghai restaurant. So this one is quite ok but the sauce is not that good. Supposed this one should be with a bit of "burnt" aroma. However, the meat balls are good - juicy but not mashy. 6. This soup bun with crab roe is really disappointing to me. They used some smelly crab roe. So I dropped it.

7. Sesame dumpling in ginger sweet soup - it seems the Chef didn't do a good job on the flour part. The dumpling is quite mashy. However, the ginger soup is really nice - strong ginger taste. 8. mini dumpling in wined rice sweet soup (酒釀丸子) - another disappointing sweet I have tried. Trying this one often reminds me of my favourite Shanghai restaurant on Chatham Road in Tsimshatsui - Shanghai Garden上海花園. It moved to the mid-level in late 90's but then disappeared. I really miss their food. They put peeled tangerine in it and made the whole sweet a lot different and yet their mini dumpling is chewy but not hard. After that, there is no other Shanghai restaurants in Taipei, Hong Kong and Shanghai making this lovely sweet with tangerine.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Patong, Phuket, Thailand

1. Note the right side is the Millenium Resort and it's claimed to be a "beach side". For those who have ever been to this area Jung Ceylon Mall, they would certainly know it's about 1km away from the beach. So if anyone read this on the internet, they may have thought it's just on the beach side. When they check in this hotel, they may first ask "where is the beach?". Jung Ceylon is the newest shopping place in Patong.

3/4. When I walked along this road (about 1 km inward from the Patong beach), I noticed many signs for direction of escape in the event of tsunami. That meant last time the tidal wave hit there.

5. Sino Market is the restaurants place next to Jung Ceylon. 6. Patong at sunset.

7/8. another view to Patong South.

Baby Mango 豬腰芒

Madam Fa and I went to the Wanchai market and something caught my eyes. These baby mangoes! What's even more attractive - it's HK$10 for 2 pounds (about 20 mangoes). So without any thought, we bought 2 pounds. When we were kids, these baby mangoes could cost $20-30 for one pound. It could be as expensive as one whole fresh chicken. Behinds these cuties are the various vinegar we got lately. The right one is my most loved one and it's good for ice cream or BBQ pork.

Haichi Ramen 八番拉麵, Wanchai, Hong Kong

The area surrounding Hopewell Center Wanchai is undergoing quite many changes. Modern serviced apartments, up-trend restaurants...etc. are on the increase. Found this one quite some time ago but tried it only a few days ago. The first time I tried this shop was in Bangkok and found it so so. That's why I hesitated to try this one in Wanchai. It turned out it's quite nice. The pork-bone broth is excellent. One thing amazing me is the soda. It's quite different from any other fast food outlets. It tastes fresher and what I would tell the difference is the ice cubes. It's more transparent and probably it's the water being frozen into the ice cubes. The Gyoza and fried chicken are nice too. So one set with all these is about HK$60-70.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Aleenta part 4, Phang Nga, Thailand

1. Put my camera on the floating bed and transported it to the other side of the pool for taking photos from another angle. So this one is on the pool's edge.

2. this floating bed has been such a nice pal through all the 5 days there. 3. Our next door neighbour is a very nice French mother and daughter and sometimes we felt sorry for being so naughty to fire water guns to spoil this tranquil atmosphere. Then the other next door is a German couple who just spent their one week holiday in Banyan Tree Phuket. They claimed to me that Banyan Tree is like a 100 year old antique and upon their arrival at Aleeta, they found it such a contrast.

4. our loft 307 - now I really miss it.

5. the sunset lounge and sun deck area.

6. the beach at sunset.

7. the beach front 2/3 bedroom suite villa.

8. I used the longest exposure time to take this photo at 1am. The magic of photography!

A340-600 Thai Airway

The cold meal for my flight back from Phuket to Bangkok is pretty nice and in fact I don't mind the airline serving cold meal. There are quite many people complaining about the in-flight meal but as far as I know those people who complain may not cook; so I don't blame them. If they know, and especially when they know how insufficient of the inflight pantry's tools, they should appreciate the inflight meals.
2/3. Business class seat of A340-600. A340-600 is a very nice jet of Air bus and I prefer this one to the A380. A340-600 is a stretched body of A340-300/400. The last time I tried this 340-600 was my flight from HKG-LAX in 2005 with CX got the first delivery. I recalled I had the last row for my flat bed in Economy class and slept so well that even the plane was in severe turbulence the crew couldn't wake me up. I was told by the crew after I woke up for the breakfast. They told me I was one of the few people who could sleep through turbulence. TG made this C class seat really nice and even nicer than CX's new business class seat. This TG seat has more stretching angle and also a couch position for you to get relaxed. 4. TG's first class seat.

Vie Dining, Vie Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Vie Dining is the only restaurant in Vie Hotel. The other outlets of Vie Hotel are Vie Bar, Vie Lounge...etc. So in having taken such a good bargain offer of the room, we had better try their restaurant for appreciating their offer.

1/2. The restaurant inside.
3. Warm bread - I was so surprised with my most favourite bread "Sourdough!". Sourdough is the my most most favourite bread when I was in the States. At first, I thought the closet one in the photo is just a French bread but it's not and what a pleasant surprise. 4. Virgin Mary and Mango juice - just so so.

5. Onion soup - a bit too thick. 6. Fish soup - this one is quite nice and quite Southern French too.

7. Grilled chicken breast - this is a very difficult dish but it surprised me. Yes, it is quite juicy and nicely grilled. 8. Pad Sie Eiu (stir fried flat noodle) - this one is also quite nice.

Khao Che, Bangkok, Thailand

I think whenever possible, I would get prepared to go to Bangkok in early April for the only few week season of Khao Che.

This Thai new year classic food looks simple but yet difficult to do, especially the jasmine scented water. I haven't tried many
places for Khao Che but up until this year, Tea Room by Grand Hyatt is the one I find it nice both in terms of price and quality.
B180 isn't that much but they did it quite to my taste. Most of the Khao Che is either not too chill nor the Jasmine scent is too
or not aromatic enough. Besides, the condiments is also important.

2. Khao Che by the Cafe of JW Marriott - the condiments is nice but jasmine scented water is not nice and not chilled enough. This one is with the buffet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Aleenta Phang Nga part 3

2/3. Another day of breakfast.

4. the soy milk - a big disappointing as they use some soy milk from outside - not their home-made. 5. steamed egg white - also disappointing. The Chef used high heat to steam it; so it's much too chewy.

6. So this one is with Chinese mushroom with baby ba choy and a poached egg on top with kimchi on the side. Don't know where the Chef got inspired with this one.

7. So make an order for in-room dining. Ordered the lobster bisque again. 8. the stir fried morning glory - also a good one. B90 is considered very cheap for a 5 star hotel standard.

9. sweet and sour chicken - it can't be compared to those Cantonese sweet and sour dishes but it's still good. 10. tried the Tom Yum Krung again.

11. the table setting with warm sun shine.