Year: 2016

Bib n Hops: Casual Korean with Subtly Unique Flavours

There are definitely enough Korean ‘fusion’ restaurants in Hong Kong, including Moyo, Momojein and Kobab & Koshi, just to name a few that I did enjoy. But just when we thought the train of modern Korean restaurants had long set off, Chef Alvin Leung from One Michelin star Bo Innovation introduces yet another casual ‘urban’ take on Korean food. Casual, Semi Al Fresco Vibes Located in Wan Chai, Bib n Hops lives up to the standard of good vibes its neighbours (22 ships, Ham & Sherry) have brought to Ship Street, as they played epic hip hop throwbacks like No Diggity as we walked in. But unlike their neighbouring restaurants, the seating arrangement was very comfortable and pretty spacious too. They also take bookings. This makes the restaurant a good choice for medium-sized group gatherings and dates alike. They also have a nice spacious outdoor area for drinks. Kimchi Supreme Fries – HK$98 We had decided on a few items already and contemplated whether we were ordering too much. But who could say no to kimchi fries!? From the …

Pacamara: Hipster Brunch Cafe in Singapore

When work life back at home starts to overwhelm you, taking a long weekend trip to Singapore to eat brunch for three consecutive days with your bff of 16 years could not be more rejuvenating. Well it was more about having great company and nothing but Singapore’s amazing hipster brunches on my agenda for three days. 3 Brunches in One Long Weekend I visit Singapore quite often, and it’s hardly ever been for work. Apart from the hawker centres, my favourite part is the excellent selection and quality of hipster cafes. Hong Kong may be known for good food, but Singapore beats it for its brunch scene hands down. See also: List of my favourite cafes in Hong Kong Last year, I paid a visit to Curious Palette, but the choices I covered this time were even better. Over my three day weekend, we went to Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters, Common Man Coffee Roasters and Artichoke. I think I equally loved each one for different reasons. Pacamara’s location is a bit random but Uber-ing around Singapore …

Dragon Noodles Academy: Peking Duck, Lobster Noodles and More

It’s always been a mission to find good quality Chinese food around Central which offers comfortable seating (to entertain visitors, for example), yet is not extortionately priced, excessively formal or terribly outdated. Dragon Noodles Academy seems to fulfil this particular demand quite perfectly. That said, I actually just came here on a random week night after the gym… so it can be pretty casual too. The Newest Hip Chinese place-to-be The decor of this place makes it a hip spot-to-be, yet the seating wasn’t claustrophobic like many hip restaurants are in Hong Kong these days. It has a good dose of excessive Chinese-y designs: think lion dance heads, wing chun props, golden dragons on the wall etc. At the same time, it still felt casual enough – the overly formal settings at some higher end Chinese restaurants tend to make me feel uncomfortable. They also have two semi-private large round tables, which can accommodate up to 12 people. These spots are perfect for slightly laid back work lunches or dinners. Lobster tail soup noodles (HK$149) They have a whole section of different …

Mamasita’s Cantina: Casual Fun Mexican Food

I was both excited and nervous when I heard a new Mexican restaurant was coming to Central. Excited because apart from Calimex, Little Burro and Brickhouse, there haven’t been many Mexican spots opening up in the recent few years (have there..?). Nervous because I heard it was under the same group as My Tai Tai – which I honestly feel serves mediocre chain restaurant-like Thai food a few floors down. Ok, My Tai Tai is not that bad, but because we have Kowloon City and a whole lot of other new Thai restaurants flooding the city lately, My Tai Tai just doesn’t live up to Hong Kong Thai food standards. Mamasita’s Cantina is cute and very colourfully decorated – it’s home to the perfect ambience if you’re looking for casual good vibes with a group of friends. In fact, there were at least four big groups dining there when we went on a Thursday night. Guacamole Dip – HK$88 *must order* Starting with some guacamole and chips is an unspoken must if you’re having Mexican food, so I …

Lantau Trail Sec. 12: Hike to Beachside Restaurant Mavericks

For those of us who aren’t serious trail runners, but are fit and nature-loving, a comfortably challenging hike which ends at a beachside restaurant could not be a more perfect way to spend a Saturday morning/afternoon. It’s always nice to have a rewarding end point to a hike, which is also the reason I highly recommend part of the MacLehose Trail Section 2 in Sai Kung which leads to Ham Tin Wan. That walk is still the best value-for-effort walk I’ve done to date. It’s easy (I can even bring my toy poodle along), the views are amazing and you end up at a beach restaurant. Section 12 of Lantau Trail is similar, except the beach restaurant – Mavericks – is even better. Lantau Trail Section 12: Mui Wo to Pui O (we went backwards) What I loved about this hike is that it’s more challenging (than the walk to Ham Tin I mentioned earlier). There are steeper climbs and descents, but it’s still just challenging in the right doses. There are some beautiful views …

Fujiyama 55: Japanese Sea Urchin Tsukemen

Ever since 三田製麵所 Tsukemen Mitaseimenjo and Tetsu opened up in Causeway Bay, I’ve been hooked onto Japanese tsukemen noodles. But what is tsukemen? Unlike the more prevalent type of soup ramen, Japanese tsukemen noodles are much thicker and are not served in a soup broth. Instead, a smaller bowl of thick broth is served on the side, which is usually extremely dense and flavourful. You’re meant to pick up a few strands of the noodles then dip it in the sauce before slurping. Quick lunch in Tsim Sha Tsui East A flavourful broth and al dente noodles are a must for my bowl of tsukemen noodles. But when I was walking around Tsim Sha Tsui East for a quick lunch to kill some time, I came across this quaint-looking Japanese storefront and saw that they sell sea urchin tsukemen. I was instantly sold. Sea urchin? A surprisingly good fit for ramen From the menu photos, I wasn’t sure if sea urchin would be a good match for ramen noodles, or if this was just one of those places trying …

Popsy Modern Kitchen: A Quirky Creative Dining Experience

The first time I visited Popsy Modern Kitchen was for brunch and I remember…. The food was alright – I ordered lamb chops. But with so many different meals lined up each week, you have to be even better than ‘good’ in Hong Kong. When I finally returned to try out their British themed ‘Mockingbird Experience’ menu (book here) designed in collaboration with Feedme Guru, the meal was a completely different story. Intrigued by the drastic improvement, I then heard that they had overhauled their entire kitchen team only 1-2 months ago! The founder is extremely artsy and while the interior is a little much for someone so un-artsy like me, the dishes were intriguingly creative – and I mean, not only the plating, but also the layering of flavours, textures and ingredients. There’s so much attention placed on the finest of details, to the millimetre of every dish, I just can’t even bring myself to pretend that I’m sophisticated enough to appreciate it all. But it was definitely a very interesting and delicious experience, with more than a …