Friday, July 31, 2009

Dr. Frog's, Chaweng Noi, Koh Samui, Thailand

Passed by this restaurant during my stay at the Sarann on Chaweng Noi. It's just a bit upward after the Sarann. When I noticed it claimed as "cutting edge cuisine", why not try if it's true.
1/2. the shop entrance.

3/4. the restaurant was built on a very steep ruggy rocky cliff with a panoramic view to Chaweng Noi and the east coast of Koh Samui.

5. Someone fishing on the big rock below. 6. Ordered a very special non-alco. drink (forgot the name) but it's awesome - blended with some ginger, lemon, watermelon juice. When I first looked at the color, I didn't think it's that good.

7. Ordered this seafood pizza. It's wood-fire flamed. The seafood is very fresh and at least the Chef used some scallop, fish chunks, shrimp, squid. That's what we call seafood. We finished it all though it's pretty big. 8. Another delight - stir fried flat rice noodle. When I looked at the color, I didn't expect it has the burnt aroma of high heat frying (in Chinese we call it "wok fire").

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Canton Deli 廣東茶居, Harbour City, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon

Canton Deli (廣東茶居), a subsidiary of the ChefMaster (尚膳) Chiu Chow restaurant founded in Tai Koo Shing quite many years ago. Chef Master then got a name and expanded their business. Interesting there are indeed quite a no. of restaurants originating in Taikooshing expand their business, e.g. Crystal Jade, UCC Cafe.

I visited this Canton Deli quite a few times and brought my KL old friend who loves Cantonese food a lot. Then when she comes back to HK for business, she would ask me to bring her to this restaurant. She also asked me to recommend this restaurant to her New York boss who is addicted to Chinese food.

I told my KL friend how I get lingered with this nostalgic tea room term in Chinese 茶居. That reminded me of my first BBQ pork rice I tried in a tea room called 新新茶居 (now where the MacDonad's is at the roundabout of the tram final stop at Shaukiwan). I told myself in my brain "wow - there is something so nice in this World like this red burnt sweet pork! That motivated my curiosity about cooking and I often stood behind my uncle, my aunt, my mother and my grand mom in the kitchen.

1. Chrysanthemun tea is my favourite drink and I wouldn't get sleepless. Check the tea pot - doesn't it remind you of your childhood? 2. Deep fried squid HK$38 - not too impressive. When it was put on the table, I simply told my friend that you would be disappointed with this one as I can tell from the look. I pointed at the greasy oil inside the coating. Like I often told, the final step of deep frying is really important. This one failed.

3. crab and sweet corn soup - quite average. 4. stir fried Kai Lan with beef. Quite impressive and it simply tells the technique of quick stir-frying. In fact, Cantonese cooking for stir frying is to quickly stir fry all the ingredients at high heat and then seal it in a light sauce - light enough to just coat it and not to make any gravy. I was asked by a foreigner for not using corn starch much as she noticed the heavy gravy in most Chinese food. I then explained to her the half pound corn starch in my kitchen (when I used to cook very often in the family for 2 meals a day) could last for a few months. She got puzzled. I told her most of the stir-fried dishes seem to be mistakenly made and identified as a dish with heavy gravy - like the most renowned sweet and sour pork. Stir-frying shouldn't be with heavy gravy. The essence of stir-fried dishes is to quckly cook the food and seal the juice of the food inside. If some people prefer gravy dishes, they should choose those stewed dishes. Even for the stewed dishes, we would make use of the ingredients to create its natural gravy and thicken it by itself. It's not that often we would use corn starch to thicken the sauce.

5. Chicken in red onion fragrant oil (蔥油鷄) - pretty good as the aroma of the red onion soaked in the chicken meat. 6. Tofu Garoupa casserole (山根豆腐斑腩) - this one is nice and sizzling hot when it was served on the table. The Chef put some dried shrip roe (蝦子) and made the whole casserole so aromatic.

7. coconut chill cake - pretty nice and it's complimentary after the meal. 8. Another signature thing in a Tea Room in the old time - quite a no. of customers would bring their loved birds in a cage.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Courtyard by Marriott, Bangkok, Thailand

Courtyard by Marriott close to Rajadamri BTS station and just opposite to Grand Center Point and behind Four Seasons. Inside the small soi, you can go to Lang Suan in 2-3 minutes. Location-wise, it's pretty good and yet it's very quiet. On its first few month opening, CX has a special package for 2 plus 1 (3 nights in total) at HK$2,180 but no longer available now as this hotel is getting more popular. The new package price is at around HK$2,5xx and I think it's still a good buy.

1/2. the room inside - quite spacious and the design is very user-friendly.
3/4. Standard TV and it's lucky that I got a 2 sided window suite.

5/6. the bathroom - I kind of like it as everything is jut in a nice position and very user-friendly.

7. the mini-bar and luggage area. 8. view to Lang Suan.

9. view to the residential and serviced apt. bldg/10. another view to the neighbouring bldg.
11/12. the lobby/reception area.

13. the swimming pool. 14. Marriott serviced apt. on Lang Suan.

L Hotel, Tin Hau, Hong Kong

It was a Monday on 27th yesterday and I thought I could have easily booked a table in most of the restaurants but amazingly all the top-lined restaurants or five/four star hotel restaurants were fully booked. I got told it's simply because nowadays many students in HK can afford their "thanks teacher" dinner in all those high class hotels. The kids in HK are indeed quite rich or maybe super rich as compared to other Countries. Their rich parents may spend too much time on the stock markets and simply compensate with abundant money to their kids for not accompanying them. So finally I got to find a table in this L Hotel in Tin Hau on Hong Kong Island. Frankly speaking, the look of this hotel does make me feel it's restaurant shouldn't be bad. Then I was going thru' an amazing journey.

1/2. the hotel entrance.

3. the lobby area. 4. the cafe inside. When I took this photo, I found out something interesting. To be told in the last photo.

5. another view to the cafe inside. 6. Shrimp with beet root salad underneath. Can you tell what was missed in this photo? Answer is also on the last photo.

7. cold dishes. Some of them are quite nice but in general the food is a bit too salty. 8. Hot and cold - these 2 photos also missed something.
9. one more dish for hot food. 10. congee - it's just so so.
11. sliced pear soaked in red wine juice. It's ok as compared to the others. 12. the cheese cake and tiramisu are not to my taste. Note the Dairy Farm ice cream but I somehow like it because it relates to my Childhood.

13. herbal jelly - a canned one. 14. ok, the answer is this friendly street lam light. If you can noticed all the above photos, you would find a shade of light coming in horizontally. Except for the photo no. 11, I couldn't help for not using the flash to take the photo as it's too dim. Why - the answer is simple. The cafe didn't have any in-room lamps at the window side. The good part is the hotel is very eco-friendly and must be an environmentalist. When they first built this hotel, they must have counted in the street lamp light coming in the Cafe. So it does help them save the electric bill. However, if you sit against the street lamp, you would feel uncomfortable when you speak to your friends with bright light on the behind.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Frangipani Wing, Aleenta Pranburi, Thailand

During my stay at the main wing of Aleenta Pranburi, I checked for their Frangipani Wing (which is 500 feet away from the main wing) and they have a golf car for shuttle transport. The concept of this wing is quite similar to the Ocean View Loft of Aleenta Phang Nga - whereas they have a direct pool access from the room and share a big swimming pool. There are 6 suites in this new wing.

1. the Entrance. 2. the swimming pool.

3. View to the suites by the pool. 4. View to the Pranburi beach - very nice coastline.

5/6. open restaurant between the pool and the beach.

7. view from the suite to the pool. 8. entrance to the suites.

9. nice sun deck area by the pool. 10. Aleenta provides free bicycle for the guests to check around. I guess the resort might be first developed by a group of Europeans, the bicycle's seat is a bit too high, even you adjust it to the lowest point.