Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A tasty Piedmont food journey at Castellana

Castellana Restaurant is no ordinary Italian cuisine because they specialize in dishes from Piedmont in Italy.

Piedmont cuisine is so different to your usual Italian fare like pizza because of its location and climate. You won't find olives growing well there hence root vegetables are used and you will find risotto cooked with butter instead of olive oil.

I  had the 7 course set which meant I could try more variety and all the courses on the menu were worth trying.

Started with their house made crusty bread:

Roasted Pepper with Parmesan Cheese:
This was a nice appetizer to tease the palate.

Smoked lake trout:
The first course started well with the smoked lake trout which I found it comforting because I always have that in UK and it is rarely served in Hong Kong unless some restaurant imports it. The trout was not overly smokey complemented well by the berry gels on top.

Fassona beef broth and vegetables:
Next was the soup which was warm soup with beef tartare on the spoon. The tartare was the finest I have ever had, you begin with the beef tartare, then the soup and finish with the pickles. I loved it the way the tartare was not over seasoned so that you could taste the beef and the warm soup adjusts your palate with savouryness and then the pickles get you ready for the next course.

Risotto with black garlic and river prawns:
As mentioned earlier, many dishes use butter instead like this one so the risotto was very rich but the black garlic was a good element in mellowing out the butter with its sweetness.

Carbonara Au Koque:
Homemade taglioni and Vigezzo valley cured ham. This was no ordinary Carbonara, I loved the way the sauce was poured on when it was served. The best thing was the cured ham on top which was crispy and thin. Every mouthful was sinfully delicious with creamy strands of pasta and the saltiness from the cured ham crisps.

Corregone Lake fish glazed with black cherry:
Again, this another dreamy moment, delicate fish in an aromatic sweet black cherry sauce. On the side was rainbow chards which I haven't had in ages, again another vegetable that I always take for granted in UK. On top there were fresh blackberries and raspberries.

Fassona beef:
The last main dish before dessert was the beef which was soft and supple in a bed of silkilicious mash with crumbs. It was definitely a satisfying main before dessert.
Dessert was a playful twist of the past, present and future in the form of Tiramisu. My favourite was the middle one which was sweet and creamy, while the chocolate bonbon had a bitter twist. 

There was more to come with hazelnuts and truffle chocolate which was a perfect ending.

I would definitely recommend this place as every course is a surprise and it is helmed by Marco Sacco.

10/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Camellia is not just a garden flower

Earlier this year I discovered Camellia oil because it was awarded 'The Best Natural Cooking Oil' award at Hong Kong LOHAS Award 2019.

Sunplan - Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Camellia Oil is a vegetable oil extracted from Camellia tea seeds which contains all three essential fatty acids like Omega 3, 6 & 9.

Since I have this plant in my garden, I felt compelled to try it because Camellia has always been a pretty flower in the garden.

Before I use any ingredient, I will always smell and taste it so that it can be used accordingly.

I was expecting the oil to have a flowery aroma like the real plant but it didn't which meant you could use the oil for anything like cooking and making cakes.

One of the advantages of Camellia oil is its high smoke point (burning point) which means it is suitable for cooking at high temperatures like frying food.

I used the oil on egg fried rice because egg is the soul of fried rice and it turned out quite well.

It just behaved like normal oil and the fried rice tasted good as you could still taste the egg.

For baking, I happily used the oil in the muffin mixture because it is good for your health and better than using non nutritious oils.

As as well as cooking, it can also be used on hair and skin.

The best thing is that it complies to the FDA which is something I trust.

Sunplan - Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Camellia Oil can be purchased from HKTVmall:

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Over the moon with the world's first KFC mooncakes

A while ago, I spotted this huge signage that KFC was going to open a new branch at Causeway Bay in July so made a mental note about it.

The new branch is located on the corner and occupies two floors!!

The street level is Sweet Box which is grab and go desserts and drinks, the first floor is the ordering area with self service kiosks and bar seats while the second floor is the main dining area.
Both floors have an order screen that indicates the orders that are ready to pick up. 

Attended the KFC Causeway Bay new store and Mooncake official launch.
At the new concept store, there are some exclusive options to give diners a different experience.

Grilled chicken combo:
The chicken is grilled to order and it was really comforting because it visually reminded me of nandos, although the taste is different.
The chicken tastes like the flava roast.

Oven glazed hot wings platter:
The wings platter is great for sharing.
My favourites were the garlic cheese and honey glazed hot wings while most people liked the sweet chili.

Previously this was only available takeaway but they were so popular that it is now offered for dine ins.
It was appetizing with the pineapple chunks.

Baked rice with chicken filet combo:
For carb lovers, this is another option as well as the rice buckets.

All of them were tasty but my favourite had to be the  grilled chicken because it was grilled to perfection.
As well as chicken, they have desserts!!!

For mid Autumns festival, I was over the moon with their new World's ever KFC moonlight bucket which lights up with LED.

Inside this cool moonlight bucket you will find Moonakes!!!

There are two flavours:  Golden Lava custard and Spicy chicken and nuts mooncakes.
The Golden Lava custard is a popular mooncake in Hong Kong so it can't go wrong.

For the Spicy Chicken and nuts mooncake, think of it like chewy chicken biscuits gaaijaibeng with chicken floss and nuts inside just like the five nuts mooncake.

Overall I felt that the chicken mooncakes were quite traditional so it won't be a shock for the tastebuds.

KFC, G/F, 1/F & 2/F, East South Building,
479 & 481 Hennessy Road & 29 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2745 2903

Monday, July 01, 2019

華御結 Hana-Musubi new product launch event

華御結 hana-musubi has been around for quite a while, they started off with a few shops and now they have more than 20 branches with shops conveniently located at various MTR stations.

As a fan of HM, I was really lucky to get to visit their factory and see how the musubis are made.

Everything is taken seriously so quality is ensured with high hygiene standards.
Before you enter the factory, you have to get vacuumed for any dust or stray hair, scrubbed 2 times, enter a drying room and then wear protective gear from head to toe.

At the product launch event, we got a preview of the Jumbo omusubis and the healthy mixed rice series that will be launched on 8th July 2019.

Jumbo Omusubi series:

Okinawa style ham and egg Jumbo Omusubi

Black pepper and chicken and burdock roots jumbo Omusubi
Grilled salmon with cod roe mayonnaise Jumbo Omusubi

Healthy mixed grain series:

Pork and vegetables in Okinawa style:
Konbu and Dadachamame:
Soy sauce and Sakura shrimp

We even tried our hand at making some omusubis.

When we left, we were given this lovely box which lights up when opened.

Inside was the new musubis we tried, Koshihikari rice and Amazake drink.

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