All posts filed under: By Cuisine

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 …

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 …

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 …

Lee Lo Mei: Creative Hong Kong Food with Quality Ingredients

Learning that a plate of rice rolls (cheung fan/腸粉) at Lee Lo Mei would cost HK$138 initially made me roll my eyes at a potentially overpriced gimmicky spot. I was skeptical as to whether foie gras and truffle would actually be a meaningful upgrade to the traditional cheung fan, which is already delicious with simple char siu or minced beef. I mentioned these feelings while having brunch at Mamasita’s Cantina five floors up (same restaurant group) one day, and a friend insisted that the food was genuinely really good, while acknowledging the slightly high prices. So I finally checked it out for myself, and could not agree more with the summary that it’s pricey but it’s good. Charmingly Colourful Dai Pai Dong Decor Lee Lo Mei’s use of the Hong Kong dai pai dong theme is hipster-ish borderline cliche, though perfectly in line with their menu offering. They used better quality foldable tables and stools to recreate that local street vibe, but the consequence of uncomfortable seating is admittedly a questionable compromise for cute decor. That said, half of the tables had better chairs – …

TokyoLima: Hong Kong’s Answer to Peruvian Cuisine

I have been on the prowl for Peruvian food in Hong Kong ever since I came back from my trip to London and discovered the Peruvian restaurant, Ceviche, where I had my favourite meal over my 9-day trip (see also: 8 of London’s Must-Visit Restaurants for First Timers). So as soon as I read news about TokyoLima – a Peruvian-Japanese or ‘Nikkei’ restaurant – opening up in Hong Kong, high hopes were cultivating. Restaurant Week was the perfect excuse. So I dragged my family along and we were all surprised with how good a deal we ended up with: HK$398 for 5 courses. Most importantly, most of the portions were very sizeable. (This means that the portions in these photos are probably not the same as the a la carte options) Good Vibes For a good dinner night out, good vibes are almost equally as important as good food and drinks. Impressively, Tokyolima delivers on all three fronts. The entrance to Tokyolima is a bit obscure – you have to climb half a flight of stairs next to a carpark entrance and …

Pici: New Cute Italian Pasta Bar in Wan Chai

I was immediately sold by the description of Pici as a casual pasta bar tucked behind the small streets in the Star Street area of Wan Chai. It seemed like the perfect spot to suggest trying for three girls catching up on a implicitly-agreed chilled out early Friday night. Cozy bustling vibes in a quiet corner Tucked away deep into the quieter alleyways of Wan Chai, this small pasta establishment had curated lively vibes and charm on its own. In fact, given that this restaurant had only opened on 25 January and I was visiting on 3 February, I thought, surely we would be able to get a seat (they don’t take reservations). Thankfully my friends arrived at 6:55pm and grabbed the last three-person seat because when I got there at 7:03pm, a few people were waiting outside already. Vitello Tonnato  – HK$80 I found out about this dish when I was dining at Cochin and absolutely fell in love with all the mesh of flavours. When I saw it on the menu, I thought …

3 Simple Wine Pairing Ideas for Weeknights at Home

I usually don’t make New Years resolutions but for 2017, I decided to make it a mission to cook more. One Sunday I spent the entire day studying Serious Eats and making this slow cooked ragu sauce which took 5-6 hours. But on weeknights, quick, easy and satisfying options are necessary. So one Monday, I decided to make myself this epic, while simple, three-course wine pairing dinner at home. Blowfish Wines & Giveaway (ends 11 Feb 2017) People always say, Thursdays are the new Fridays. People also celebrate Hump Day Wednesdays. Then there’s Mondays. In short, there’s always an excuse to open a bottle of wine. Blowfish wines are good options for non-wine-experts; they’re inexpensive (averaging HK$100 per bottle), pair easily with food and simply crowd pleasers. Now to celebrate the end of the elongated holiday season and welcome a lot of weeknights to come before another holiday, Blowfish are giving out a full case (12 bottles) of wines, which include: Chardonnay (x4), Shiraz (x4) and Cabernet Merlot (x4). Head over to my Instagram page for more details (now!) – it ends …