All posts filed under: Sai Ying Pun

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 …

4 New Casual Brunches That’ll Make You Skip Dinner

I always admire beautiful brunch shots from Melbourne or even Singapore, featuring the perfect eggs benedict sprinkled with a twist, or perfectly browned French toasts decorated with colourful don’t-know-whats. We may not be loaded with options for that type of hipster cafe brunch spot, but restaurants are rapidly leveraging on Hong Kong people’s love for brunch – it’s become more of an event than just a meal, right? And restaurants are now really good at making it huge and epic, often leaving me too full to even have dinner 8 hours later. Here are four of the latest brunch spots I’ve fallen in love with: 1. Mamasita’s Cantina (Mexican) The deal: HK$338 for starter/dessert buffet + made-to-order tacos + main course; HK$148 free flow sangria, red/white, champagne The vibe: I’ve eaten at Mamasita’s a number of times (see dinner review here) and most of the time I pick it for its casual and colourful setting that makes it a fun place to be especially when you’re in a larger group – everyone I’ve taken here compliments the decor. Two times I …

8 New Restaurants for Weekday Lunch Dates

It was January 2015 when I came up with a list of 10 restaurants in Central for lunch dates – you know, for when someone is counting on you to make a decision on where to go for that team lunch or catch up. But the Hong Kong dining scene evolves quickly (i.e. restaurants frequently close) and people get bored easily – so here are some of my latest suggestions. This time, the list goes beyond Central and to the wider CBD area of Hong Kong. Leave a comment below and share your favourite lunch spot! For locations, check out the map at the end of the post. 1. Mercato – Italian (Central) I first visited Mercato for dinner (see the full review here). I loved the food and vibes so much that I was eager to return for lunch, especially given the restaurant’s convenient location in California Tower. At HK$198 for two-courses, the set lunch didn’t seem like an amazing deal. But the portions were extremely generous, especially for the salmon tartare starter which I …

Rhoda: The Latest Sai Ying Pun Hype Not to Miss

Few places generate as much hype as Rhoda has and then live up to it too. I’ll try not to be repetitive because there is already an abundance of reviews on this place – but that’s just the first piece of proof that it is one worthy of your restaurants-to-try list. Of course, with hype comes expectations and then larger room for disappointment. So in attempt to control some of that, I’d say, while the atmosphere is perfect, all our dishes delicious, I have heard mixed reviews on selected items – such as the chicken being too dry – though I can’t attest to that claim. It was Wednesday so naturally a drink was needed. I was just a tad disappointed that the cocktail list wasn’t pages long or feature some exotic creations. I guess there was something about the rustic cool decor led me to believe Rhoda would be that kind of place with amazing cocktails. I got the Whisky Smash (HK$120) which was refreshing and tasted good. But the focus here is definitely on the …

3 New Restaurants in Hong Kong You Need to Try

Most new restaurants can’t claim the heart of the average demanding Hong Kong customer. We love new things, but it’s also gotta be a little unique, something we can’t get elsewhere and of course so deliciously interesting that it makes us go “wow” or “ooo” or “mmm mMM”. Nothing less is adequate. So I was pleasantly surprised to recently come across as many as three new restaurants – Belon, Okra and Vanimal – which I loved and can recommend to you all with conviction. They’re not exactly 10/10s but follow the must order dishes below, and you won’t go wrong. 1. Belon It’s no surprise that Black Sheep Restaurants is behind one of the hottest new restaurants to open up lately. They’ve done a number of successful ventures before that I personally love, with Le Garcon Saigon and Carbone being among my favourites. Belon is a nice little French bistro with a modern fused cuisine, but you’d need to take a closer look at the food on offer for a better idea of what I mean. The …