Friday, May 17, 2019

The best chicken soba at [Zagin Soba]

I have been wanting to visit Zagin Soba for ages because everyone is raving about it and how no other chicken broth ramen in Hong Kong is as good as this. Finally went over during the Bank Holiday as there were less people.

Zagin Soba on Gough Street is the second branch in Hong Kong and while I was there, I overheard that they will expand to UK by the end of this year. Their signature chicken based broth comes from Osaka which is rich and creamy so I had that with extra smoked egg.

To summarize I was really impressed with the chicken ramen because every element was good, ie the broth, ramen, meat, egg and the crispy burdock.

Although, seemingly a simple bowl of ramen, there were lots of things going on so decided to try every element separately. To begin, the burdock looked like a complicated spaghetti junction of crispy strands. It was deliciously crispy but also delicious dipped in the chicken broth as you get some unami to it.

Moving on to the meat, there was a piece of chicken and chashu. Both were slow cooked hence the tenderness. The chashu tasted like delicate slices of ham.

The smoked egg which costs HKD15 was silky with an evenly smoked flavour that combined well with the rich thick creamy yolk.

The star of the show was the broth, thick and creamy just like English chicken soup. It gets its taste from finely pureed chicken, where the broth is then frothed up like cappuccino.
The purple onions and greens help balance out the heaviness of the broth.
Simply a comforting broth that everyone will love and drink to the last drop.

As well as ramen. the fried chicken is also worth ordering. I was expecting the usual fried chicken with mayonnaise but here they give you yuzu salt which is a million times better as the yuzu salt is refreshing like squeezing lemon juice on to it with a touch of saltiness.

My friend had the Salmon Tsukemen which looked captivating so next time I am going to have tsukemen as they have limited edition ones like Kinmedi.



Overall, it was an impressive visit from the environment to service.
All their crockery and fixtures come from Japan so that you get that all round Japanese experience.
Will be back soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

McCafe's 20th Birthday in Hong Kong - Rainbow Cake

If it wasn't for this new tea series and rainbow cake I wouldn't have known that McCafe has been in Hong Kong for 20 years. I remember going to a McCafe near North Point MTR station but not sure if that was the first branch.
Anyway,  I happened to be in Fortress Hill so went in for the new Tea!

Out of the drinks choice, I wasn't keen on the Four Seasons Tea because it was tasteless from the shops I have tried before, but still ordered it as it was the only tea choice available.

Spotted the rainbow cake so got that as well.


The bill came to HKD35.

Visually the cup was nice with rainbows on it and there was a decent amount of cheese froth on top.

The cake was topped with colourful candy pearls.

As each layer was a different colour,  I tried each layer to see if the colour made any different but it just tastes the same. The cake was soft, fluffy and not too sweet.

Finished off with the Four Seasons tea which gave me a surprise because it had a strong taste compared to the ones I have tried before.
On top of the cheese foam, there was some dried tea leaves which enhances the tea flavour when they get in your mouth and you end up chewing them.
The cheese foam texture was thick like double cream but I find it strange they call it cheese because it wasn't cheesy but sweetened.
Anyhow the thick creamy cap and the tea were a match made in heaven. 

I felt quite content after having the cake and drink because I didn't feel thirsty or have any strange aftertaste in my mouth.
Definitely will be back to try the berries drink as strawberries and thick cream go so well together.


#McCafehk #McCafe #HongKong #foodie #rainbowcake #20thanniversary

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Lutosa at HOFEX 2019

As a potato and carbs lover, I was immediately drawn to the Lutosa booth Thanks to those eye catching Belgian cones that hold the fries/chips.

It sent me memories of La Cornet Belgie in Central.

I tried samples of the flat slices which were fried to perfection!!!
They were similar to potato scallops but without the batter.

At the front, there was a cabinet that showcases most of the products they have.




I believe I have tried most of them at various different restaurants except the Pom'Tapas so I was really keen in trying some.
They are delicately flavoured potato mash under a crispy crust and they come in four flavours:

Pom'Tapas Sirataki: garlic onion paprika, coriander, cumin, pepper, caraway seed and oregano
Pom'Tapas Latino: tomato, paprika, pepper, allspice, cumin, oregano, thyme, bay leaf and parsley
Pom'Tapas Basilic: basil
Pom'Tapas Arabesque: coriander, cumin, curcuma, pepper, fennel seeds, aniseed, allspice, celery seed, mace.

All of them were captivating especially the Arabesque and Green because I love cumin and fennel.
I can imagine for the Hong Kong market, restaurants would probably want to offer the Italian but in UK it would be the Arabesque or the Latino but I believe they would all taste great.

Tried the Pom'Tapas Sirataki which was just how I expected it to taste, they were crispy on the outside and silky in the middle infused with light cumin and caraway seeds.

All the samples I tried were good on their own and didn't need sauces.
Quality potatoes and bi products should be tasty on their own and things like mayonnaise should enhance the taste.
It frustrates me when I see people dunking their fries/chips in sauce without trying how it tastes alone.

After browsing the Lutosa catalogue, they offer more than just fries and it seems I have tried a majority of their items at different restaurants.
It is hard for me to remember fries/chips but if I was to seriously taste test them I possibly could, whereas the restaurants that serve different potato products make it memorable.
My personal preference is [blonde] lightly crispy on the outside and not hollow in the middle but in Hong Kong fries have to be CRUNCHY or people complain and even bread has to be hard toasted.
This explains why my blonde hair is white to them as their definition of gold is BROWN, so if you ask for blonde hair at the hairdressors in Hong Kong,  you get ginger.
The fried stuff in HK which is golden brown by their definition is burnt in my opinion!!!

The HK KFC fried chicken has a different batter to UK, again it is crunchy!
They serve grid fries only whereas UK serves chips.

I just wish that Hong Kong restaurants could be more adventurous with more variety.
Once something is trending then all restaurants will be serving it which makes dining so boring as the menu is practically the same everywhere.
I understand they will only serve what will sell but as a consumer I feel that the restaurant scene is getting boring.
As well as the restaurants, shopping malls are clones with the same shops, restaurant groups and even clothes.
The hilarious thing in Hong Kong is that when the temperature drops below 14 degrees, you will find 90% people wearing puffer jackets!!!

Enough ranting for now, here are the potato products from different restaurants which I believe are from Lutosa.

[Please Note:  Some restaurants below are no longer in business]

Mini Waffles at Shelter Lounge, Sheung Wan:

Croquette at Shakeem Bun, Wanchai

Dauphines at La Cantoche:

Duchess at Champak:

Vegetable Rosti and Cheese Rosti at Chip In"


Potato cubes at the Green Waffle Diner:



  • Lutosa also does mash and roast potatoes but I would really need to try samples from them to recall anything but for now I want to buy every Pom'Tapas flavours as you can put them in the oven according to the brochure which is convenient!!

Thursday, May 09, 2019

The Legendary Triple O's by White Spot

I love Triple O's by White Spot, it is one of the places I go for Poutine.

Triple O's by White Spot has been in Hong Kong longer than I have and way before Shake Shack, Five Guys, Butchers Club and has even seen the good and bad times of the burger trend while some competitors like Shakem Buns and Caliburger packed up.

There is something special about Triple Os.

To be honest, I haven't been to Triple Os for a long time but recently I was back for the Vegan burgers. 

There are two on the menu. 

The veggie burger isn't new but they have another plant based one that uses the Impossible Patty.

Triple Os is one of the first burger chains in Hong Kong to serve a plant based burger while McDonalds, Burger King serve it in other countries. 

The Impossible Patty served here is the 2.0 version. 

[Veggie Burger]

Perhaps this is the most original veggie burger before the plant based trend came by. The patty is made with vegetables, potato and rice which is simple and filling.

[Impossible Burger]

All I can say is that it was just as good a meat if not better because it didn't have the fatty pieces and gristle. It also has the raw meat colour before being cooked.

The poutine was divine, I just love chips and gravy with a little bit of cheese. I think it was the first time I tried the onion rings and they were spot on with juicy sweet onion in the middle ad crispy coating that wasn't heavy.

For drinks, I had the blueberry milkshake which is a popular pick. It is made with blueberries and icecream hence the natrual taste. Evidently Triple Os is a legend as everything tastes good from the burger to sides and milkshakes.  

Definitely coming back but also gutted that I have missed some of their seasonal items such as Surf n Turf, Turkey & Gravy Burger which are captivating.


Foodwise Wine pairing @ La Mer Restaurant & Lounge

As a FoodWise member, there are lots of events like wine pairing etc.
It was my first time joining the wine pairing event by FoodWise. I attended the event because I have always wanted to try the food at La Mer Restaurant & Lounge which is founded by celebrity Stefan Wong.

As well pairing it with fine wines from Bodegas Corral, the signature dishes from La Mer were also on the menu.Started with the beef tartare paired with Don Jacobo Crianza 2014.
By far this was my favourite beef tartare because it was made with tenderloin so the beef is lean and flavourful.
It contains capers and gherkins which make the tartare moreish.


Next was the French Onion soup, again flawless as it was loaded with onions which were soft and sweet, topped with a lovely piece of baguette with melted gruyere cheese.
The pairing of Don Jacobo Reserva complimented it nicely.



The main course was Wet aged US Prime hanger steak served medium rare to go nicely with the red wine.


The wine pairing was good because Carlos Rubio, CEO & Winemaker of Don Jacobo led us through the wines so for wine rookies like me, I ended up understanding more of the wine pairing journey and how different characteristics of the wine come by. The last act was my favourite!
Cheese.........
On the platter was smoked cheddar, goats cheese, Stilton and Parmesan.
Goats cheese and Smoked Cheddar were my favourites and went well with the wine.


Overall, it was a great event so I will look out for other events organized by Foodwise in future. All the wines we tried that night can be bought at FOODWISE.
 
La Mer Restaurant & Lounge:
https://www.facebook.com/Lamerrestauranthk/

FoodWise:
https://foodwise.hk

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Sorrowful Noodles at Hofex 2019

There is so much going on at the Taiwanese section of Hofex.
Mandarin is not my strong point so I only managed to talk to a few booths!!!

To my surprise, I spotted GoodBBQ at the Shuangrenhsu booth [3E-305] !!
Shuangrenhsu is like the Chanel of Taiwanese noodles so the marriage of GoodBBQ, the Tiffany of Hong Kong's siumei results in delicious bowl of Sorrowful noodles (暗然銷魂麵).
Originally Sorrowful Rice ( 黯然銷魂飯) is a dish that came from the Stephen Chow's God of Cookery Film where it is a bowl of rice with egg and charsiu on top.




Everything is about egg porn these days, so the poached egg yolk mixed into the famous noodles were simply delicious accompanied by the chunky pieces of charsiu!


Both GoodBBQ and Shuangrehsu do ready to eat vacuum sealed products.
Tescos in UK stock them soon so we shall see these products world wide at other Tesco branches!

Other interesting finds at the Taiwanese section were taro scented rice and colourful noodles.



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