Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Lounge, JW Marriott, Queensway, Hong Kong.

It's been almost 7-8 years I haven't visited the Lounge at JW Marriott Queensway, Hong Kong. The most impressive thing was that I was given a very nice freshly baked scone at a high tea. So this time I feel like trying their scone one more time, but it's a tea buffet served from 1-5pm on weekends and charge at HK$250+.

1. Canton Tea Hose inside the Lounge. 2. Entrance.

3. another view to the Lounge. 4. the bar area and I was put sitting here since it was full house today.

5. Isn't is a bit American style? 6. the cold dish - they served 5 different types of salmon - pretty good, so are the salad.

7. Japanese cold soba - also quite nice but a bit big portion. 8. the buffet served with some yoghurt booster, passionfruit in the front and mango the other one.

9. The green is good and the good thing is not too many people paid attention to the veggie station; so the dressing is a bit in a good condition. 10. ok, dim sum, steamed rice roll and all are just average but like I often told, hot food is hard to be done nice in buffet. So no complaint.

11. I forgot the exact English term but everyone should know it. When I saw they serve this one, I really think it's much worth it at HK$250. Though sugar is not that expensive, the idea behind is! 12. oh, my scone - still good! the bread is nice too and always be neglected by most others.

13. mango ice cream on the left, coffee on the bottom and choco on the top. All are pretty good. 14. from bottom(clockwise), brownie, blueberry muffin, choco tart, lemon tart, raisin/wheat cookie, raspberry mini-cake, fruits and strawberry pastry in the middle. I couldn't finish them all due to my semi-functioning stomach, but they are good.
15. Earl Grey from Canton Tea House. Very nice for a 3pm afternoon!

Happy Halloween Party, Hong Kong

Halloween is a warm gathering to us more than our hunting for candy or any dressing up in fun. So this is about festival on a reason for a gathering. This evening no more "low salt, low sugar, low fat" cooking from an eccentric cook as he also needs to give the kids a break for some fast food. Then there we went for some fast food hunting.

1. pizza (HK$35@ plus a can of soda) from a shop in South Horizons Plaza; $70 for 2 - a very good deal beside the above average quality. 2. KFC 12 pieces in a bucket! HK$108. Some of the KFC shops have dropped a bit of their quality in terms of the freshness, so do I find the same for McDonald's. They kept the food for quite a long time.

3/4. pasta and rice from the same pizza shop in South Horizons. $32@ plus a can of soda too. This shop is actually quite nice in every way, and the price is very reasonable.

5. Sushi from a sushi shop in South Horizons Plaza. 6. a table of food.

7. pig's stomach, pickled veggie white pepper soup made by Lea, a nice Filipino maid at my sister's family. Pretty nice and she cleaned the stomach very thouroughly and this is a very important step.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ballon Show, Central World, Bangkok, Thailand

*got up at 3am from my stomach upset due to the stir-fried udon(HK style and very greasy). So then checked on something which I may forget to post. Herebelow are the ballon show at which I took the photos in one of the last few trips I had:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hong Kong Old Restaurant (香港老飯店) 98 years old

What a contrast of today going backward to a century ago. My Taiwanese friend gave me some cash coupon for consuming in this famous nostalgic Shanghai restaurant. Her father is from Shanghai and she knows lots of Shanghai cuisine. She was surprised with this restaurant and immediately recommend me to try it. So when I walked into this shop, I noticed most of the customers are very senior and that made me like I am a kid in the restaurant. When I checked on the menu, the prices are also very "senior". Those common dishes are either $98 or $128 (like those below). If you want some more delicate dishes, it will be around $250-400 such as those shark's fin wonton soup or hot burnt pig's knuckle. However, their service is pretty good and that told why the shop is still very full. To respect the seniors, I didn't take photos of the restaurant.

1. the crispy peanuts was very crispy and not too salty. 2. deep fried spare ribs - note the spicy salt and sweet/sour sauce were served aside.

3. chicken/veggie stewed with noodle - nice soup base and the noodle is not that soft as this kind of stewed noodle would get the noodle a bit too soft. 4. Don't know why I ordered this one as it's quite Cantonese but it turned out a very nice stir-fried bean sprout. It was used with some very fine yellow wine for the stir-frying. Aromatic without a trace of bitter taste! The conpoy (dried scallop) is very selected. Not salty but very sweet and not too loose.

5. veggie/pork dumpling - wow, the soup base is nice and as I finished the wonton, I stopped the waitress from taking it away and simply told her "I really appreciated the soup left.". 6. I purposely asked for some vinegar and see if they use some fine vinegar. The answer is yes! Nice vinegar is sour to the right level, not to make you feel bitter dry. This is it! (haha... a promo. for MJ subsciously).
7. do you know why I took this one. I couldn't help with this nostalgic yellow mini towel placed on the sink. When is this year?

Tea for Two, Ying Kee Tea House since 1881, 英記茶莊(自光緒八年)

I am not a tea person but I am quite curious about this tea house every time I pass by it. So when my friend asked me to help him get some nice tea leaves, I took the chance of going into the shop and found out quite many interesting things. In the shop I was told the boiling water for making tea should vary on different type of tea leaves, e.g. 100 degree for the darkest tea leaves Po Er 普洱, then down to 80 degree to Jasmine. The old man in the shop further told the water is also very important, better use some high mountain water. No distilled water. He further told drinking tea is a study and once you are in it, you would be obsessed with it.

I further noted that the shop has been in HK since 1881 and HK island and the Kowloon Peninsula south of Boundary Street were already part of the British Colony. What a historical shop and still here to serve tea.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blue Bar, Four Seasons Hong Kong

Have been told by quite many business friends visiting Hong Kong that they enjoyed quite much staying at Four Seasons Hong Kong. Besides, they told me to try their restaurants. So out of curiosity, I suggested my local business friends try this one. At the moment of entering into this hotel, I had been escorted all the way to Blue Bar after I just asked "can you tell where the Blue Bar is?". So this noon I feel like I was in Mandarin Oriental Bangkok. Then as I arrived at Blue Bar, a journey of professional service begins to impress me for a re-visit next week. Why next week, it's simply because Blue Bar has been fully booked for a whole week and further fully booked for several weekends until end of November. In fact, the reservation called me back 2 days ago when a table was cancelled after I called them up for a booking originally made this Friday but 2nd option was on today. See how good they care for each of their customers. Most of their staff speak articulate Cantonese and English (when they left voice messages on my cell. phone). I haven't heard such articulate Cantonese and English for a very long time. I think the staff must have been well trained in every way including their speaking manner. My 2 local business friends were so happy to try Blue Bar and we have decided to try the other restaurants at Four Seasons HK.

1. Summer sparkling - mango, peach and cucumber mix with mint. HK$85. Very nice mix and so good to sparkle your appetite! I also noticed on their drink menu there are some other interesting drinks. 2. First their wheat multi-grain bun is superb! Nice aroma of the wheat flour! No need to put butter. Their house made caesar salad is good too - no dressing left on the tossing bowl and very crispy. Then the other green is very fresh too. I am much much impressed with their balsamic vinegar - so fragrant and slightly sweet and not too acidic! Then that crouton slice is very crispy. The parma ham is so "aromatic fatty" but not too fatty. The string bean is very sweet and crunchy but not too hard! The tuna sandwich is awesome! Nice french bread!

3. After we took the first plate of cold dish, the waiter was very discerning and suggested us get a bowl of lentil soup and even helped us to deliver them to the table, as he said the soup is quite hot. When he was suggesting, I was about to turn him down since I actually don't like bean soup. Wow, this one impressed me so much that I got another bowl! I think the chef must have pan fried the beans first and so making the whole soup a lot different. This is also the way I made my tomato/onion/potato with spare rib soup. Pan fry all the ingredients and put those into the boiling water. That's the key to making good soup! 4. One more plate of cold food and the good thing about the lunch buffet of Blue Bar is that they serve more cold dishes than hot ones. I cleaned the plate! Sun dried beef on toast with a slight touch of olive oil - so good! This is the way to use olive oil. No need to put much as it would overwhelm the other foods' taste! Another food impressing me is somtom on the bottom right! Wow - what a nice mix and they even put some carrot slices to make it sweet instead of putting the sugar paste. The quiche is excellent and I actually don't like quiche. My 2 local business fellows noticed I took something I didn't like as they both travelled with me to Cannes quite several times and knew that I don't like quiche and bean soup. I simply told them this is the way to see how good the cooking skill of the chef, by trying the food which I hate the most.

5. You know what impressed me in this plate? It's the mashed potato which I don't like either! Very nice texture and I can't really tell what they put inside. I can taste some sweet milk and I believe they use some very nice milk. Then the steamed rice - so good! The honey ham is ok and maybe as compared to all the other good food, it's a bit not too good. Then the asparagus is very selected! By the way, all the food were not salty at all. That told how skillful the chef is! The curry chicken is nice too. At least they used the whole chicken and cut in pieces, not just the frozen chicken thighs. 6. The dessert is "100 marks"! First, it's not too sweet and really to my preferred sweet level. When I first looked at the muddy like tiramisu, I wondered if I should try it. It turned out the coffee aroma is so good and moist but not too wet. Then next to it on the left is the chestnut pan cake with vanilla sauce. Must try! Very nice and good texture of chestnut paste. The vanilla sauce is slightly sweetened and that is the best way to let it be tasted! The marble cheese cake is wonderful! Very nice cheese and perfect mixture of not too soft nor too hard. The warm choco. in the cup - I cleaned that up like it's washed already! I think they ground the chocolate beans by themselves rather than using some already choco. bar. It's because I can taste the bean aroma. Coffee and choco. beans would release kind of aromatic oil right after they are ground. If you keep those ground beans or already made powder/bar for some time, such bean oil aroma would go away.
7. fruit salad - see, remember I talked about making fruit salad in fresh orange juice. I am so happy to see my most favourite way of making fruit salad. Besides, they used more than 7-8 kinds of fresh fruits. Bravo! So how much do you think this lunch buffet is? HK$250(+10%)! What can I say? So that's why I already made another booking for a weekday lunch next week.

9. Of course, I took this photo after all the guests were gone. 10. the entrance.

11. the table. 12/13. the left building. the right one. Not sure which one is the serviced apt. I was told the monthly fee is around HK$300k.