Author: lolleroll

Fine Dining Redefined in Hong Kong

When L’Estrange London first approached me for my recommendations on fine dining restaurants in Hong Kong, I blanked. Amber? Caprice? What other fine dining restaurants do I know? I couldn’t possibly bring myself to recommend places I didn’t even personally love, but I honestly have barely visited “fine dining” restaurants in the past 2-3 years. Thankfully, the important detail emerged as they were looking for excellent quality restaurants I feel comfortable in. Shifting dining trends in Hong Kong These thoughts of mine are anecdotal of the major shift in dining trends in Hong Kong, and around the world, towards more laid back spots which are still able to deliver top quality food. This was also exactly why I loved Tapisco so much, during my recent visit to Lisbon. The thing is, I used to fantasise about being taken to Michelin-starred fine dining restaurants at hotels for my birthday. But to suggest this today would have even my closest friends cringe at the thought of having to act so uncomfortably formal. Check out the full article …

Tapisco, Lisbon: The Best of Modern Portuguese Fine Dining

Dining experiences are very personal and often subjective. With only three days in Lisbon, and endless lists of restaurants, I was starting to feel exhausted at the thought of deciding where to eat next. Except for a handful of wine bars, the typical recommendations were not speaking to me. For example, even though more than five people suggested Ramiro in the span of 24 hours (I’m sure it’s excellent), I just wasn’t in the mood for prawns, crabs and clams, no matter how big, fresh and juicy they were. Then I came across Tapisco and it was almost like I had a eureka moment. It wasn’t on any ‘Restaurants you must visit in Lisbon’ lists, but I stumbled across it when browsing photos on Instagram. This is usually my process of restaurant research – it’s painstakingly inefficient, but often accurately helps me find what I know I would personally enjoy. Striking the perfect balance I was immediately sold by the laid back bright vibes of Tapisco and photos of its squid ink paella. They had comfortable …

Cafe at Hyatt Regency: A Seafood Lover’s Buffet

Dinner buffets are sometimes shunned for their subpar quality of food. But growing up with younger siblings, it was almost a ritual for any of our family celebrations. So no matter how un-classy loving buffets may seem, they do secretly have a place in my heart. They tend to be an especially apt choice when there are kids in your group, but the selection at Cafe 咖啡廳 of Hyatt Regency (K11, Tsim Sha Tsui) will impress adults equally as much, if not even more. They have the most extensive variety of choices I’ve seen in Hong Kong, and more importantly, the quality of their food was impressive. Poached Lobster *must order* With so much on offer at this buffet, it’s impossible to get through even just their seafood offerings. They served chilled crab legs, prawns, crabs and mussels; they also had grilled scallops, oysters and tandoori tiger prawns. But the one thing you can’t miss is their poached lobster. Not only was it fresh and prepared-to-order, it was also cooked perfectly. The texture was crisp …

Scarlett: Gerard Poulard’s Unmissable Cheese Collection (until 31 May 2017)

I was charmed by Scarlett’s inviting vibes on my first visit (for lunch) – it’s one of the rare places in Tsim Sha Tsui which isn’t overly fancy or un-ambiently casual. Their wines by the glass are about HK$60-70 which is decent value considering the quality, and if you’re early enough, they have a buy-one-get-one-free deal from 3-7pm. So it’s also pretty ideal for pre-dinner drinks. 2017 Collection of Fromages de France This time I also made it a mission to visit Scarlett because they were housing 30 varieties of France’s official Cheese Ambassador Gerard Poulard’s 2017 Collection of Fromages de France. I do love a platter of cheese to go with my red wine, so it seemed like the perfect weekday indulgence and experience for me. Gerard Poulard is purportedly a renowned fine cheese expert. Each year, he selects a variety of cow’s and goat’s cheeses from boutique farms in France. He then travels around the world to present this collection at different fine dining restaurants. Selection of 9 Cheeses – HK$385 Honestly, we could not comprehend a single name …

Imperial Treasure, Hong Kong: New Go-to Michelin-Quality Chinese Restaurant

Even though Imperial Treasure was awarded Two Michelin Stars in Shanghai last year, and has been a household brand name in Singapore for many more years, I admittedly had not heard of this restaurant until it opened in One Peking Road in Tsim Sha Tsui recently. When I mentioned I was coming here to a Singaporean friend visiting town, the familiarity of the name had her burst into excitement. Apparently it’s her go-to Chinese restaurant in Singapore. Over there, they have established many different dining concepts: casual dim sum, hot pot, Peking duck and even congee. Presentable, yet still affordable While Imperial Treasure has a range of different concepts in Singapore, the one in Hong Kong is a higher-end Chinese restaurant – the type you would go to for a nice dim sum lunch or proper extended family dinner or even business meals. In fact, its beautiful views over Victoria Harbour means that it’s also appropriate to treat your colleagues or clients from out of town here. As I inspected the regular a la carte menu, I breathed with relief that it was not …

Uma Nota: As Good As Brazilian-Japanese Sounds

We were talking about how beautiful Brazilian-Japanese babies are, comparing it to how good this combination would be with food, as we stood around on Peel Street sipping on cocktails and waiting to be seated. Uma Nota opened only about two months ago and has already amassed a crowd waiting outside its doors. I’m definitely guilty of adding to their table wait time, as I was there for the second time in just three days. Apart from their good food, I was eager to come back despite the short time lapse from my first visit (48 hours), because the ambience felt pretty perfect for a small four-person gathering. Cocktails On my second visit, we waited about 30-40mins for our table. But the wait was pretty bearable as we stood around trying out their cocktails. I was initially drawn to their Caipirinhas (HK$90), since they had a dedicated section for it and it’s apparently the ‘official cocktail’ of Brazil. The A Fresca version, made with a fresh fruit of the day (passionfruit) was sweet, fruity and pleasant – albeit a tad …

Beyond Yangon and All Around Myanmar in 9 Days

Walking out of Sedona – possibly the most upscale hotel in Yangon, or all of Myanmar – from our friend’s wedding, we shouldn’t have been surprised when a middle-aged taxi driver uncle quoted a seemingly ridiculous 8000 kyat to take us to our lunch destination. Fate would have us refuse on the basis of not-getting-ripped-off, because that actually equates to less than HK$50, and end up meeting Liam. Yangon was the last stop of our 9-day trip around Myanmar, and Liam, a young (business)man who grew up in Singapore, driving a taxi part-time to gain customers for auto sales, shocked us with English so excellent, our observations about this fascinating country were finally put into perspective, explained in depth, by a “real person”. We too wondered why Liam had moved away from Singapore and back to Myanmar. Given the extremely rapid change in Myanmar over the past few years, he tells us he earns the same amount of money in Myanmar as he did in Singapore, except of course the cost of living is substantially lower. Just how …