Month: August 2015

Smoko: Hole-in-the-Wall Iced Coffee in Fortress Hill

No doubt there’s been a proliferation of beautiful looking coffee shops opening up in Hong Kong and despite fierce competition, the colourful floral cup sleeves from Smoko did a good job in setting itself apart. So much so that one lunch time I decided to take an MTR ride from Central to Fortress Hill to sample a refreshing drink from this new coffee shop. They’re most unique for serving tap coffee which apparently is cold coffee with gas from the tap and they recommend to have it with cucumber. It was definitely something that piqued my interest but I also read good things about their cappuccino where they use a cocktail shaker for the foam – and that, I just could not resist! Iced Cappuccino They have a range of colourfully designed cup sleeves to choose from and these kind of gimmicky details often do the opposite of instilling confidence… But the coffee was a surprising delight! The cappuccino was appropriately strong and the milky foam was thick. I got it as part of their …

#lollefood Monthly – August 2015

#lollefood is the tag I use on Instagram for all my recommended food items devoured in Hong Kong. Every month I consolidate some of the new food discoveries I’ve made in attempt to give you all a basis for brainstorming your next dinner or snack outing. This month… I’ve become even more of a caffeine addict. So don’t be surprised to see an overwhelming number of coffee-related posts to come. See the previous versions here. New Bun Cha Vietnamese is new to the Soho area, located up the hill from PMQ. The prices are very decent for the area (under HK$200 per person) and most importantly, they serve the best beef pho I’ve had in Hong Kong. Porterhouse by Laris does a great value lunch set on weekdays for HK$158 for two courses and HK$168 for three. They’re not really as steakhouse-y as their name suggests, dishing out extremely fresh salads for starters and great pastas for mains, in addition to good steak. Smoko is a hole-in-the-wall type coffee shop in Fortress Hill. I rarely venture to that …

Top Classic Steakhouses in Hong Kong

[Update] Make way for Grand Hyatt Steakhouse: The Ultimate Steak Experience, which is probably my number one now. And see other steak-related posts here. USDA Rib Eye/Medium Rare is my standard response to the waiter at any steakhouse. Steaks with excellent quality meat which is beefily flavourful and executed well will have be pounding down close to a pound of steak in one sitting. Less-cooked/rarer meat often lacks beef flavours and can sometimes be chewy, but the good places somehow manage to negate these negative qualities and serve a perfectly medium rare meat that’s strong in flavour and extremely tender too – and that’s the only kind of steakhouse I’d recommend! So here’s my list of the best classic steakhouses in Hong Kong. Morton’s Steakhouse (Sheraton Hotel) 16oz USDA Center-Cut Prime Rib Eye: HK$658 It’s definitely a tough choice between first and second. I struggled between Morton’s and The Intercontinental (placed second) for a very long time. Ultimately, the execution is just a teeny bit superior at Morton’s. The 16oz USDA rib eye was full of flavour, had an excellent …

Elephant Grounds: Ice Cream Sandwich and K11 Pop-up

Elephant grounds may or may not be pioneers of the ice cream sandwich trend in Hong Kong, but they’ve definitely created a league of their own with their perfectly structured and beautifully decorated mini frozen creations. Each new flavour looks meticulously crafted, but its taste is always equally impressive. It’s no wonder they always sell out before 1pm on weekends! …or so I heard! In fact, I don’t frequent as often as I’d like to because they’re hidden at the back of their woaw store all the way in Sheung Wan and their larger store is all the way in Wong Chuk Hang. But the great news for Kowloon people like me is that they now have a pop-up store in K11 (until 31 August 2015), serving coffee and ice creams! The “Terror Richer” is the ice cream flavour exclusive to this pop-up store (and the only ice cream sandwich sold there) and features a DELICIOUS crunchy cookie and hazelnuts surrounding the ice cream. They also have a handful of other interesting ice cream flavours …

Viet Kitchen: New Menu Items Better than the Pho

When I first visited Viet Kitchen, I was pumped for the beef pho, having read some good reviews. I was ultimately a tad disappointed because it wasn’t really my kind of pho. While the beef soup base was outstandingly full of flavours, it was the soft pho and beef cuts that I didn’t love too much. But pho aside, their other dishes, especially some of the new items, turned out to be good surprises. They’re not traditional Vietnamese choices at all, but are delicious and definitely interesting to try. Salmon tartare – HK$108 *must order* This salmon tartare reminded me not to take authentic-ness too seriously as I’m certain the chef had no intention of serving traditional Vietnamese dishes, rather modern food with influences from different cuisines. With that in mind, this new item on their menu doesn’t taste very Vietnamese-like, but had strong Asian herby tastes to it. I loved the taro chips too! It’s a refreshing dish to kickstart the meal. Caramelised Chicken Wings – HK$88 Our group had many compliments for the …

Scarlett: Chacuterie Boards and Oysters Deal in Tsim Sha Tsui

It’s always hard to find a good restaurant for birthdays or small group gatherings in Tsim Sha Tsui, unless you go for the fancy (read: expensive) ones atop The One or in some hotel (though I do often splash out at Morton’s). Otherwise you’re left with an overly casual restaurant with good food but doesn’t do reservations or will make you leave within 1.5 hours. Striking a pretty good balance between affordability and ambience is Scarlett, a new French cafe hidden on Austin Avenue (off Kimberley Road). Regardless, with the numerous “deals” they do on weekdays, there are many reasons to give this place a shot. Signature 1-meter chacuterie board – HK$368 *must order* The signature 1-meter board is exactly that perfect sharing item for a group of about 4-6 people. On this board, they serve several cuts of ham and cheese, as well as an interesting pork spread. The bread they serve is also excellent, which is great to go along this huge sharing starter. Priced at HK$368, they’re not stingy with content at …

Edinburgh Larder: Best Recommendation for Cakes and Scones

We went to Edinburgh expecting a lot of fresh seafood, but instead were left most impressed by Edinburgh Larder’s cakes and scones. The quality and taste of tea time treats at this home-y cafe is almost unparalleled in my encyclopedia of eating. This place would undoubtedly be my number one food recommendation to anyone visiting the city. Perfect Scones – They sell out quick! We came here at about 2:30pm and immediately noticed only one scone left at their counter. We frantically ordered it and given how good each bite was, we were ultimately unsatisfied that there was so little of it to share between our group. We loved it so much that we came back the next morning and ordered one whole scone each! I continue to fantasise about these scones and my only hope may be to recreate it myself… Any advice? Super Moist Beer Chocolate Cake *must try* They have a range of homemade cakes on their counter and the lady recommended this beer chocolate cake. The beer makes the cake extremely moist; …