Saturday, June 29, 2019

[品 PIIN Wine Restaurant] Fine wines paired with Cantonese food

Piin is a wine restaurant founded by the owner of Chateau de Meursault and Chateau de Marsannay. The restaurant focuses on Burgundy Wines so you can expect over 2,000 fine wines on the list. At the wine bar, they had whisky and other spirits a well.

As well as wines, they serve Cantonese food by Chef Ming who used to work at FLM according to their website so they did a fabulous pairing of Chinese food with these wines. I was super hungry after trying these wintermelon balls soaked in red wine which were refreshing and appetizing.

We were in good hands that night with experienced sommelier Jason who paired the wines that went with the dishes.

Started with the Cold Abalone In Smoke With Plum Sauce paired with Château de Meursault, Clos du Château 2014
I loved the way the abalone was thinly sliced drenched generously in tart plum sauce.

Next was the Stir Fry Fish "Noodles" With Abalone Thins paired with Domaine Prieure Roch, 13 Roses 2013.
Again, more delicious abalone tossed with springy fish noodles which tasted similar to dace mince.

The Seasonal Double Boiled Soup with bamboo piths, whelks and mushrooms was really comforting and moreish.
I loved the glass spoon and pot which made it memorable.

Deboned Crispy Chicken paired with Château de Marsannay, Le Clos de Jeu 2017
This was the best Chinese style crispy chicken I have ever had.
To be more exact it should be called deconstructed crispy chicken as the skin is fried separately which makes it evilicious like wafer thin crisps.

Cigar Duck Roll paired with Cos d’Estournel 2006
There are lots of edible Cigar rolls these days and it was much better than the one I had at Super Giant Tapas a few years ago because the duck here wasn't gamey and the frying oil was fresh.
At Piin, they have used fried kale to mimic the ashes whereas SG has used poppy seeds.

Signature Black Garlic Fried Rice paired with E. Guigal, Brune et Blonde, Côte-Rôtie 2011
The fried rice had a lot of texture in it with chewy black garlic and raw garlic pieces.
Overall, I found it quite bitter.

Finished with the Whiskey Cheesecake which was creamy cheesecake topped with a layer of whisky jelly.
It would be great if the Whiskey jelly was stronger.

Chocolate: Inspired like the Chinese cocktail bun filled with custard coconut, the chocolate actually tasted like the chocolate BOUNTY bar.

Overall, a fine place to dine with quality Chinese food and wines in the experienced hands of sommelier J who made the wine pairing experience a good one.

品 PIIN Wine Restaurant:
2/F, The Steps ‧ H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central

Saturday, June 22, 2019

A great hot pot experience in Macau

Went to Macau for the weekend and it was someones birthday so decided to celebrate it here as it was close to the hotel and the place is new and spacious.

This is the beauty of Macau, everything is spaced out with tall ceilings and tables well spread out.

To begin, everyone gets to mix sauces from the sauce tray.

I was impressed with the choices as there were more options than Hong Kong and they had the English name for each sauce.

There were a few sauces that were really tasty such as the Thai Chili sauce which went well with the lobster.

For the non hotpot items, there was soy sauce fried rice and salt and pepper lobsters.

Eating the rice and lobster together was so satisfying.
The lobster was impressive as the coating was crispy and light.

As for the fried rice, every grain was fragrant and evenly coated in soy sauce.

Moving on to the hotpot, we had the tomyumkung broth and the pork broth.

Streaky pork with Sake:
The pork was quite unique because it was just like bacon but not cured.
You get a side of sake which you either dip before you put in the hotpot or dip after it is cooked.
I think it tastes better dipping in the sake after it has cooked in the pot because if you dip it before the sake gets diluted in the pot but overall delicious because the pork is tender.

Ferris wheel meatballs:
There was a good assortment of meatballs and my favourite was the one filled with salted egg yolk.

The dumplings were neatly wrapped like tortelli, after they were cooked the prawns inside were nice and bouncy.

What appears to be fish shaped pudding is actually squid paste which you break up into smaller pieces into the pot.
When it is cooked, it is springy with delicious pieces of squid in it.

For beef, we had two types: Angus and Fresh beef slices with egg.
I liked the fresh slices of beef as they were tender and silky.

To finish, we had this light Chinese soup which had pieces of peach and egg which was soothing.

Our friend also got a free birthday cake because you get a free birthday cake if you book a birthday dinner a day in advance within the birthday month.
Will definitely be going again as Macau is always a good getaway.

[Seasons Hot Pot 春秋火鍋]
1/F, Harbourview Hotel, Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, Porto Exterior

Shanghai food with a Hong Kong twist at [Ging Sun Ho King of Bun]

King of Sheng Jian is  a well establish restaurant for Shanghai pan fried dumplings by Oscar Siu a former cantopop singer.
I have previously tried the Causeway Bay and Shamshuipo branches.

The latest debut Ging Sun Ho King of Bun in Mong Kok offers more with a young and modern vibe to it.

There is a digital menu at the front with English and Chinese.

Obviously I was captivated by the Roast Goose Xiao Long Baos which are made with roast goose and pork topped with a piece of crispy goose skin.
It also comes with plum sauce which I did not use as the Roast goose XLB tasted great on its own. You could taste the spices from the roast goose.

There were some new dishes that will satisfy your craving for spices such as the Chicken feet and pig ears.

For the mains, I liked the omnipork dandan noodles which were just as satisfying as the pork version because of the strong beany sauce contrasted by the sweet peanut broth.

If you're missing your balls, they've certainly got balls here!!!

But anyway Shanghainese food wouldn't be complete without trying the pork belly with vegetable rice and their signature chicken steak and Pan fried buns!

Will definitely be coming back.
 [Ging Sun Ho King of Bun 堅信號上海生煎皇 ]
Shop 7, G/F, Hung Wai Building, 3-5 Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok

[The Leah] English comforts in Causeway Bay

Since Excelsior closed, English food in CWB is scarce. Enter THE LEAH which offers English comfort food. It is located at Lee Gardens where you take the lift from the elevators near PRET, so you have to resist not going into Pret as well because that is English! 

When you get there, you have to walk through a lovely garden before you get to the restaurant and there is a play area for kids. 

I loved the huge deck chair which reminds me of the beaches but the one here is much bigger and covered with artificial foliage.

As you an imagine, everything on the menu is a must eat for me because they had pies, desserts which were all popular English items. 

The bigger items like Beef Wellington and Dover sole have to be ordered in advance. Being raised in a seaside town I miss my Dover soles which look like flounder fishes but slightly different. 

It was good that we came in a group so that we could order more dishes. 

Here were the dishes that we had: 

[Scotch egg and Soldiers]: 

This dish is the ingenious marriage of egg and Soldiers with the Scotch Egg. Egg and Soldiers is a breakfast dish where a soldier is a thin strip toast that resembles soldiers on parade. Other versions include marmite Soldiers and Vegemite Soldiers in Australia. Seemingly a simple Egg and Soldiers dish is made fancy with the Scotch Egg so this dish is the best of both worlds.
Scallop & Black Pudding: 

Black Pudding is a blood sausage served for breakfast and I liked the way it is used to compliment the scallops which gives it a richer flavour.
For pies, there was chicken and Fish pie. 
It's a bit difficult to explain, but there are two different types, the shortcrust and the ones topped with mash like Cottage and Shepherds etc. 

[Chicken Pie with leek and bacon]: 
Another classic, delicious creamy chicken with smokey bacon in a flaky crisp pastry.

[Fisherman's pie]: 
Also another classic pie with creamy seafood beneath silky mash on top.

Beef Short rib & bone Marrow Gnocchi:
The pieces of gnocchi were huge which made them great for accompanying the sauce and the beef was tender and soft.

Butterbean and Aubergine Casserole: 

The butterbeans were surprisingly flavourful because it tasted like a Mediterranean dish with cumin and spices as well as vegetarian chili con carne.
Beef Wellington: 

Interestingly, the Beef Wellington is quite popular in Hong Kong and no exception here with quality tenderloin beef wrapped in pastry with tasty mushrooms and parma ham.
Dover Sole: 

I love Dover Sole so we were lucky it was in stock as this fish is sooooooo hard to get in Hong Kong. The fish is similar to the flounder found in Asia. Anyway it was cooked in caper butter so the fish was moist and soft.
Green Beans and Shallot butter:

Moving on to dessert, we had the trifle and apple pie. 

Strawberry & Sherry Trifle: 

I love trifle so I am so glad that this place serves it as well as Marks and Spencers. 
The base is loaded with strawberries and the cream is light and fluffy laced with vanilla seeds.

Granny Smith apple and nutmeg custard: 

The apple pie had chunky pieces of apple complimented by nutmeg custard sauce which is something different to your usual custard however I would prefer to have some real thick nutmeg custard but not ice cream.
Overall, everything was really good and just like the food in UK with a slight modernization but then if you have been dining in the UK, lots of dishes have been reinvented.

[The Leah]
Shop 308 & 311, 3/F, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road Causeway Bay.
Tel: 23377651

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,

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