Monday, November 30, 2009

Yataiya Japanese restaurant 屋台屋, Craig Rd., Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

The disappointment from the Noodle Plus I tried last week gained me a happy finding with this nice Japanese restaurant just next to Noodle Plus. The shop offers quite a big variety of Japanese food, from grill, sashimi, noodle soup, tempura, rice and various snacks or stir fried dishes. They have a menu of various mix and match for you to get an appetizer/a mini bowl of rice with a big bowl of noodle soup plus a coffee/tea at a price range of HK$50-70.

1. I chose a mini-bowl sashimi on sushi rice. It's not mini at all and the rice was quite nice and it's almost a full size. Cha Siu ramen - it's a very big size to me and the presentation is pretty nice. Lots of veggie inside. The soup base is quite average but what can I say at just HK$60? Actually I couldn't finish it all.
3. deep fried chicken on rice in curry. The curry is very nice and the deep fried chicken too. 4. So add HK$5 to get a scoop of ice cream; so I chose green tea - pretty nice.

5. Iced coffee - this one is a bit disappointing as it's quite dry but can't complain about it much since the price is already a bargain. 6. the shop inside is quite in Japanese style.

7. In walking into the shop, a very nice water tank with beautiful coral fishes swimming to greet you. 8. the shop entrance.
9. the BBQ area. 10. When going back home, I took another view to my giant neighbour - Island East. This giant friend can be seen from Chai Wan to Tsimshatui/Hung Hom.

2046 with Cafe de Gold Finch 金雀餐廳, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

I guess about 10 years ago I had a dinner set at this restaurant at just HK$40-50. As the movie "2046" took the shooting here, the price has gone up to HK$90-100. Anyway, forget about the price and let's go back on a time journey.

1. the paper napkin is cool... 2. the table setting is quite cozy (or I can say "congested").

3. the red soup. 4. the toast.

5. the butter and the wet napkin. 6. OK, HK style spaghetti with beef filet in black pepper sauce. See that frozen veggie.

7. this one with rice but the rice was a bit too wet. The beef filet wasn't bad but the cooking was really HK style, especially the black pepper sauce. Though I don't like this way it's cooked, it did bring back some old old memory. So the price of HK$85 for this set meal would mean something to you not just on the $. 8. Iced lemon water and hot one.
8. Vanilla ice cream. 9. the restaurant posted the movie poster 2046.

11/12. special set menu to get on the 2 movies by Wong Kai Wai, "In the mood for Love" & "2046".

13. another view to the restaurant. 14. the entrance.
15. the restaurant.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The great sea general Cheng Wo (in Ming dynasty), 明朝海上統領鄭和

Why I relate the great Ming Dynasty sea general Cheng Wo to this Malaysian made chocolate. First Malaysian chocolate isn't that famous as compared to those European brands. However, in the same latitude area, Malaysia takes a good advantage of the massive sunshine, nourishing rainful. The natural resources are very rich. The fruits can be the symbolic representation and actually the cocoa beans are pretty good, but just the technology of making nice chocolate has been lacked, until lately some int'l brands like Van Houten decided to develop their locally made chocolate from Malaysia. This can tell Van Houten has a fore-sight to get the benefit.

Under a recent study, Malaysia being in the same climatic and geographical condition to Africa. However, Africa has been devastated with a lot of virus and gems which shorten the general life span of the local people. Then why Malaysia didn't suffer from the same. It's mostly attributed to the Chinese medicine taking place to help prevent all those diseases. When we further go back to a few hundred years ago, a great explorer Cheng Wo set sail to most of the Asian seas and even some research showed that he might have reached the American continent besides Africa and India...etc. However, the old Chinese culture wouldn't let some unchanged belief be attacked when in the ancient belief the Earth couldn't be round and that China was not the center part of the World. Most of the things General Cheng did might have been burnt without a trace. It's like the Evolution theory was also once denied by certain religion groups. It's very sad that we are restrained from not taking on a cosmic rationale.

Not only Cheng discovered more of the world outside of China, but also he did many good things for the navigation and ship cruising technology. His fleet has 100 ships in the sea. Besides having one ship as a clinic, Cheng made one ship growing some veggie and fruits in order to cope with the chronic vitamin-C deficiency due to no veggie and fruits provided on a long sea journey. The chronic vitamin-C deficiency has been the big headache for the old time sailors when they took on a long sea journey. This practice has paved an important path for all the sailing ships and also it is the blue print for the future Space development of having a self-producing veggie/fruit mini-farm in the long journey of starship. These are just a very few things about General Cheng. Salute to this great person!
1. this Tudor Gold choco. bar may not be the best but at least it's better than certain common brands. I am looking forward to some refined chocolate in the not-too-distant-future.

Epoch, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

This shop Epoch has been there just across the street from my apt. for a year. Every time I passed by it, I was hesitant in going in. This shop has another store in Central and has been quite talk of the town for its renowned 7 layer chocolate cake. So yesterday I went in for a try of their high tea for 2 at HK$128 net.

1/2. the shop is in a simple red/dark deco. 3. Iced coffee by Illy - one of my favourite brands. The shop did a nice job in making it not too strong but yet at the point of tasting a refreshing coffee flavour.

4. Usually I don't put much milk and syrup in the iced coffee as too much milk and syrup would take out the original nice coffee flavour. Note on the leaflet that they serve Thanksgiving dinner set with a slice of roast turkey and gammon ham with chestnut filling plus a pumpkin soup and pecan pie. Tempting! 5. the tray for the high tea set.

6. Avocado egg mayo on mini toast - superb! They put some black pepper to balance the stuffed feeling of avocado and egg. The toast was still warm and pretty crusty! 7. smoked salmon on toast. The smoked salmon is not salty and I really like this way smoked salmon was made.

8. scallop on veggie in salsa dressing. The scallop is very fresh with a slight touch of olive oil. Then when I took it together with the crispy veggie in salad dressing. The soft tender scallop, the crispy veggie and the little hot and spicy salsa dressing just made you feel like you are taking an icy lemonade in a 4pm sunbathing! 9. The lemon tart on the right is awesome. Lemon tart seems to be easy to make. This one is so good, not too bitter but zesty enough and the sweet wouldn't cover the whole flavour. The custard crumble tart is also good. Crunchy on the top and silky smooth inside the tart!

10. Dark choco. madeline (not sure the exact French spelling), cut in half. I really like this shop which made their cakes not too sweet, moist but not greasy. 11. the strawberry preserve is not too sweet either - reminding me of the home made strawberry preserve made by Tea Room by Grand Hyatt BKK. :)

11. OK, the renowned 7 layer choco. cake on the right. So it turned out it deserves the name of it. The choco. aroma wouldn't overwhelm the vanilla mousse in the middle and the moist cake in the middle takes the balance of the choco. and vanilla flavour. Then the top layer is with some tiny crusty bits. So when you bite it on the whole, the various texture and flavour do impress you and get you a fond memory of it. So devil! 12. the shop inside.

13. HK$6 for one cm (minimum 2 cms) for a slice of the choco. or marble pound cake. I'll try it some time later. 14. See the array of their cakes.

15/16. more to go....

17. the shop entrance. HK$128 net for such a nice high tea set and it would be an alternate choice for me to get a pleasant afternoon. 18. the shop.

cakes by Leonidas HK

Leonidas and Godiva are the 2 most of my favourite brands for chocolate. I found their shop at the Sogo basement has some cakes for sale. Wow, immediately I bought 3 and also 2 choco bars and hurried home for an immediate tasting. The cakes are not that expensive, at around HK$26-28. I shall definitely go back and try more - gorgeous cakes!

1. Choco mousse cake - the best chocolate is that it can melt in your mouth without any greasy paste texture. So this is the one. The most of all, it's not too sweet at all and that's how we can taste the immaculate aroma of their finely made chocolate. 2. Blueberry cheese cake - the chesse in it is at a very good balance in not having the cheese too rich but yet it delivered a very nice cheese mixture. BTW, the blueberry is selected. So good to go with the cheese and taking out the greasy feeling.

3. I think besides the cheese cake of the coffee shop in the old time Mandarin Oriental HK, this can be a good alternate for me to keep on my target. 4. Dark chocolate has been my irrecoverably helpless addict. My choice of range is at the range of 70% to 85%. The left one "NIBS" is a very nice one as it has some crunchy bits making it a contrast to the silky smooth aromatic chocolate. The left one has a very strong aroma.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sushi One, 一壽司, Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Sushi has come and gone for the past few decades in Hong Kong and now almost every street corner, you would find a sushi shop. In general, most of the shops charge from HK$6-40 for an order.

1/2. the shop inside.

3. the sushi bar. 4. crab roe mango salad HK$22. They shouldn't use the almost rotten mango. I just put those mango slices aside but I didn't feel like telling them. If they want to notice, they should. Can't complain much this kind of sushi shop.

5/6. various sushi. The rice itself is pretty nice and the way they hand-grab it is also quite of a technique. Quite firm but not very hard for you to chew. The rice temperature is nicely controlled.

7/8. all about salmon. I started finding it a bit too much for most of the sushi with crab roe.

9. Sashimi on mini-rice HK$28. Pretty nice. 10. deep fried chicken bone joints. At average to me.

11. Burnt sushi - I actually don't recommend using the gas burning directly on the food. I prefer the natural fire cooking (like wood or charcoal). 12. Beef hand roll - average.

13. Tuna hand roll. Also at average. 14. Japanese yam salad - also at average.

15. More crab roe to go. Really a bit too overwhelming. 16. the shop entrance.