Monday, June 10, 2019

1970s bar with drinks inspired by British icons at [Hugger Mugger]

Discovered this secret bar on the way to Chaiwala.
The red door against the blue bricks will just get you curious and draw you inside.

I don't know why but it just brings me back to London. When you step inside, it feels like home.

I love the tea cups and Chinaware.

At Hugger Mugger, it is set in the 1970s and they serve cocktails inspired by British icons such as Banksy, Pink Floyd, David Attenborough etc.

The cocktails menu is simply beautiful, especially the faded newspaper style print.

I settled for the Amore Amaro which is concocted with Plantation Pineapple Rum, Mancino Rosso, Vermouth, homemade Almond syrup, strawberry cherry shrub.

It was nice and fruity which I sipped slowly that night after a beautiful dinner at Chaiwala while reminiscing every dish I ate that night.

[Hugger Mugger]
Basement, No. 43-55, Wyndham Street, Central,

[Chaiwala] Bollywood romance with modern Indian dishes

Society and the food industry scene is rapidly changing so is the way food is served.
We are now in an era where we are seeing a rapid change in society with lots of old things being scrapped, new things built

With lots of cuisines, they are either going backwards or going forwards to get the limelight so it is all about going retro or reinventing dishes.

At Chaiwala, the location couldn't be more perfect as it is located where Zafran used to be.

The restaurant is big and not a spot is under decorated.
You get to Chaiwala by going through Hugger Mugger another successful English bar set in the 1970s with cocktails inspired by David Attenborough, Pink Floyd etc.
I love the way everything is so different once you pass the doors, it is like entering another world yet it feels like home in London especially the living room corner with an old working TV set, dining table and photos on the walls.
Before you get to the dining area, you will see an open kitchen where everything is going on,

When you enter the main restaurant you are greeted with this long table with lots of pretty dangling fabrics and beads above it.

As well as the decor, the menu is humorous yet detailed.

Started with THE MAGIC LAMP which was the beginning of an exciting adventure concocted with rum and citrus.

Being clueless on what to eat, we had the  Dabbawala tasting Menu which includes a selection of signatures from Chaiwala.
The guy who served us was extremely knowledgeable and will ask your likes and dislikes as well as your relationship with spices.

Started with the Pani Puri: These are a must try as they are crispy balls filled with potato and chickpeas.
You eat them by pouring Jal jeera in it.
I love Jal Jeera which is tangy and appetizing laced with cumin.
The challenge was trying to stuff the whole thing in my mouth to get all the flavours!!

Aloo Tikka Chaat: This is another one of my favourite, spiced potato cake topped with delicious yoghurt and chutney followed by the bursting sweetness of the pomegranate seeds.

Moving on to the Modern dishes, the Mexi Thali which is a twist of Mexican cuisine.
It was tender pieces of slow cooked beef served on Indian Tortillas.

The following dishes will amaze you as being a fine Indian Restaurant, Chaiwala serves seafood which you will take your taste buds to the next level.

Malabar scallops (HK$190) are kerala-style Hokkaido scallops, with coconut and ginger sauce, fresh mango and curry leaf.

Lobster nerulli (HK$390), charred lobster with South Indian spices, tomato and pearl onions, lobster claw rice and vegetable poriyal.

The lobster dish was simply lavish and different while the vegetable poriyal cooled the palate down with a crunch as it had lots of grated coconut.

As well as seafood, curries are a must for a complete Indian meal experience.

For curries, there was Kerala Fish curry and Old Dehli Butter chicken served with truffle Naan and rice.
The butter chicken was thick and rich complemented by the truffle naan which was topped with generous shavings of truffle just like they do with pasta at PICI!

The Tandoori range here is more than just chicken with lamb chops and fish.
I loved the lamb chops which were soft and came off the bone easily.

Finished with the Wagyu Seekh Kebab which was beefy yet not overpowered by the spices.

Although I was stuffed, dessert was a blow as it was my favourite carrot cake with delicious buttercream frosting topped with crispy carrots and beetroot.
The carrot cake was quite a substantial portion that will satisfy your sweet tooth as the first mouthful will send you craving for more.

The final act was the Chai tea latte which is poured at a height with skill into the cup so that fine layers of bubbles are formed.
It was mildly spiced and a great finish to the journey.

The evening ended with a book and you will definitely be back for the next story!

Chailwala is definitely the place to go for a memorable night out with great food and vibes.
Although they have brunches and lunches, I recommend going there in the evening as the darker ambiance makes it more memorable.

Basement, No. 43-55, Wyndham Street, Central,

Thursday, June 06, 2019

[Drink Puppet] Late night drinks and desserts in Central

Girls will always have a sweet tooth and room for dessert after dinner. At Drink Puppet, it is clearly successful as they have desserts as well drinks. Central simply lacks a dessert shop and DRINK PUPPET has filled the gap serving Chinese and Western desserts.

The joint is pink and girly so definitely the place to hang out before or after the a meal and they open till 1:30am.

Stylish neon pink logo:

Bar Table:

Pink Drinks vending machine:

There were so many drinks and desserts to choose from so tried the signature items since they highly recommended it. Started off with the Pink Sakura Latte which was dreamy with a subtle Sakura flavour without being too sweet.

Next was the Rose Lychee Waffle tart cup. Rose and Lychee always pair together well with its fragrant sweet scent and it is nice how it was presented in this crispy waffle tart cup topped with pieces of lychee.

The Sakura with cherries souffle pancake is another recommended item because the souffle pancake is soft and fluffy topped with Sakura cream and quality cherries.

Moving on to the Chinese dessert was the red beans soup with aged fruit peel and milk foam. There are two to choose from 10 years and 100 years, the older the better. I was really impressed with the 10 year one as it was strong and just as good as the aged one I tried a while ago. The best thing is the milk foam on top which makes the beans light and fluffy when you mix it together. Definitely the best red bean dessert I have ever had as the thick milk foam and aged fruit peel made it heavenly. As well as red beans, they also have pomelo mango and almond soup.

Can't wait to come back soon!

[Drink Puppet]
42 Aberdeen Street
Opening hours: 09:00 - 01:30

Monday, June 03, 2019

Indian food reinvented and healthy

I love Indian food so went to Cardamon Street!

Cardamon Street, it is not what you would expect so be prepared to be blown away with fantastic and healthy food.

The all day menu has everything covered, so is their weekend brunch with an Indian twist with dishes like Masala French Toast, Scrambled Eggs Paratha Wrap and Chole Batura.

For the lunch rush hour, there is a fuss free Lunch set where you get a starter, mains and a dessert which is quite basic so I highly recommend trying the main menu which really showcases their dishes.

The main menu will blow you away with Salads, Sliders, Tacos, Curries etc and not Naans, Tandooris, Tikkas etc!
Scouring the menu, you will find super foods and modern ingredients at play like Kale, Quinoa and Beetroot which are healthy.

It was so damn hard deciding what to eat as the tacos and sliders with an Indian twist should be delicious but in the end I went for the Indian Mezze Platter,  Cardamon Special Roasted chicken, Lamb Quinoa Biryani and the Beetroot Halwa. Those who don't really eat spicy food will love this because it isn't spicy!

[Indian Mezze Platter]
The mezze consisted of three dips: chick pea, eggplant and tomato.
The eggplant dip is a fusion Baingan  bharta reinvented. I loved the bread that came with it as it was topped with my favourite rosemary and zaatar so everything was delicious.

[Cardamon Special Roasted chicken]
The roasted chicken was two chicken drumsticks which is convenient and tasty to eat drizzled with Saffron and Cream cheese.

[Lamb Quinoa Biryani] 
This was another one of my favourites because it was so tasty and healthy.
The lamb was moist and tender.
[Beetroot Halwa]
Halwa is traditionally made with carrots but here they have used beetroot which is just as tasty.
I actually finished it all because the sweetness has been toned down!

For drinks, I had the Kacche amm Ka sherbet which is raw mango,  cumin, coriander etc. My kind of drink because it was savoury and sour so imagine it like a salted plum or salted lemon drink.

For lunches, you get an appetizer, curry and a dessert of the day.

Appetizer:  Paneer croquettes

Mains: Bengali Fish Curry

Dessert of the day: Kaju Katli

Will definitely be coming back to try the brunch and dessert as the sweets here are not cloyingly sweet.

[Cardamon Street]
38 Elgin Street

Hello Kitty series at Maxim's Bakery 美心西餅

I'm not really a fan of Hello Kitty but tried it anyway as it was affordable and some of the bakery products in the series looked delicious.

Strawberry burger:

Savoury burger:
Apple cheese tart:
Sugar and Cinnamon Toast:
On this visit, got the toast and bread.
I'm not a fan of Maxims bread but this cute little this loaf was filled with red beans and cream cheese.
Out of all the products, I liked the toast most because it was just simply Hello Kitty's head with sugar and cinnamon.
I love the taste of sugar and cinnamon so therefore I liked it.
It was a little soft but it didn't bother me.

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