All posts filed under: By Cuisine

Weird Dishes to Try on your Next Trip to Europe

As I hesitantly tried guinea pig and alpaca meat in Peru, a friend asked me, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I still don’t dare to try fried scorpions in Beijing or Bangkok, but I suppose Japanese shirako (cod sperm) is probably the weirdest on my list. There’s always some strange type of food, a local ‘delicacy’, in different cuisines around the world. I can’t even count the number of times foreigners have found century eggs in Hong Kong revolting, while it can almost be my comfort food when placed in a bowl of congee. However, I definitely didn’t expect there to be such a list for European foods, until foodie/traveller, Elizabeth, shared the below with me… Which would you dare to try? (The below article was not written by me, and doesn’t represent my experiences of the dishes) 1. Sardinia’s casu marzu If you’re not a fan of strong cheese, you may want to steer clear of this one. Casu marzu, translated to rotten cheese in English, is Sardinia’s famed pecorino cheese that lives up to …

Solo Travel in Porto and Lisbon

It was a pleasant 3:30pm as I stepped out of the metro at Baixa-Chiado, downtown Lisbon. Never had I felt so instantaneously in love with a city. I had just flown in from Porto and had already experienced a little bit of Portugal’s charm – colourful houses, steep hills and cobbled streets. But it was the addition of sunshine and bustle of people that makes Lisbon easily my favourite city in Europe. It helped that all the Portuguese people I met on my trip were friendly, open and so proud of their country. The genuine happiness and excitement they felt when I told them I was in Europe just to visit Portugal, was priceless and just so warming. Travelling alone in Portugal That made travelling alone in Portugal so easy. It was so pleasant and I never once felt alone, which was quite different from my first solo trip to the south of Taiwan. There was something I really enjoyed about standing on the busy streets of Lisbon and devouring three scoops of Chiado (milk and rum), pistachio …

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 …