Monday, December 5, 2016

Palace (四合院)

Authentic and wallet-friendly Northern Chinese and Sichuanese joint in the heart of Wanchai seemingly unnoticed by non-Chinese. Often a line out the door at dinner times. Cozy place that seats maybe 20-25. Claims to be Sichuanese but has the Chinese name for a courtyard house, found in old school Beijing neighborhoods called Hutongs. Serves Northern Chinee and Sichuanese fare and does well at both.

Shui Zhu Yu (pictured below), the fiery numbing traditional fish and noodles in a spicy broth was a strong effort but not on par with nearby Yuchuan Club, but did not leave anyone complaining...or hungry.  Di San Xian, a classic Northeastern dish consisting of stir fried eggplant, potato and peppers was cooked beautifully and would not feel out of place in any kitchen in Northeast China. Suan la tudou si, another northeastern Chinese dish of sour and spicy shredded potatoes was more on the sour side with a slight kick, as in most places; potatoes were slightly crisp and served slightly below room temperature. Lovely.





Cash Only

100-200 HKD/person;

G/F Hundred City Centre
7-17 Amoy Street
Wanchai

灣仔廈門街7-17號百旺都大廈地下A舖

3791 2206

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Chez Moi

Previously well known restaurant when it was on Arbuthnot Road in Central, which is now hidden in the upper floors of Causeway Bay's Bartlock Centre (home to Si Jie and Japanese Whiskey Bar, b.a.r Executive Bar).

Appetizers sampled consisted of Foie Gras, Sauteed Chanterelles with Garlic and Tomato (pictured); both were delicious while the Tuna Nicoise was tasty but not outstanding. Specifically, the Chanterelles were beautifully cooked, and had a firm texture to the bite and was well complemented by a light, yet flavorful sauce. Following a palate cleansing fruit sorbet were the mains. Both steaks, which came with a red wine sauce, were ordered medium rare and perfectly cooked. However, the Australian "Wagyu M7" was more tender and offered far more flavor than the American Dry-Aged Sirloin Steak. The Lamb Rack, ordered medium rare, was more on the rare side, which was a disappointment, though the flavoring was there. Desserts, which consisted of a Bread Pudding with Ice Cream as well as a Baked Yogurt Cake were both delicious. The former had the moist texture one would expect from a well executed bread pudding but was not overly rich. Service was swift but friendly and never rushed.





Cash Only, Reservations Recommended; Free Corkage

500-800 HKD/person; No Service Charge included

21/F Bartlock Centre
3 Yiu Wah Street
Causeway Bay


銅鑼灣耀華街3號百樂中心21樓

2881 1929

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sabor

Dinner seemed to progressively get better as each course went on; a number of very well executed dishes with no real disappointments. Choice of two set menus with substitutions allowed for those with dietary restrictions.

Upon arrival, were served the classic Pan con Tomate. First course was Portabello Mushroom Benedict. Not sure how Spanish that is, but all components were well executed, the Egg perfectly cooked and the right amount of sauce and the Portabello soft but chewy in texture adding contrast. Standout dishes included the Crispy Suckling Pork, which was soft and tender on the inside with crispy skin on the outside and star dish of the night was the Squid stuffed with Rice and Pork covered in Squid Ink (pictured, apologies for the bad quality of photo). Seafood paella didn't stand out, though was finished quickly and with no complaints. Clams in Fish Sauce were fresh and the sauce delicately balanced. Grilled Cuttlefish with Green Alioli was nice given the freshness of the fish, though nothing particularly memorable. Garlic Shrimp and Chorizo in Apple Cider were tasty but nothing special. The Ham Croquette was perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Desserts were a Catalan Cream Pudding that was nearly fought over and a cup of Tiramisu served with mixed berry ice cream, which was more pedestrian. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable meal with friendly service, intimate setting and free corkage. 



Credit Cards Accepted and Reservations Required; Free Corkage

500-800 HKD/person

Room 601, 6/F Cheung's Building
1-3 Wing Lok Street
Sheung Wan

上環永樂街1-3號世瑛大廈6樓601室 

2481 8828

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Chibee

Contender for the best Korean Fried Chicken that I've had in Hong Kong. The space has a cozy feeling, cheerful staff and an interesting menu.

Across two visits, tried Creamy Pesto Korean Fried Chicken, Onion Fried Chicken as well as the Sweet Spicy Korean Fried Chicken, Kimchi Cheese Fries and finished with the Carbonara Dukbokki. Both times, chicken pieces were boneless and perfectly fried. Crisp on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside and thickly coated enough so that drenching in the sauces did not make them soggy. Though it seemed odd (Korean and pesto?) the pesto cream worked. The sweet and spicy sauce is what one would expect at a quality Korean Fried Chicken place with a touch more tang to it. Onion Chicken was more plain, accompanied by raw onions slices and two sauces, a sweet and sour (think American Chinese) and a lemon sauce. Both did the trick but the clear winner was the Sweet Spicy Korean Fried Chicken.

Feeling adventurous, opted for the Carbonara Dukbokki and Kimchi Cheese Fries. Dukbokki was perfectly cooked, firm to the touch but chewy to the bite. The sauce, thicker than an authentic carbonara was well flavored with a bit more oomph and bacon flavor to stand up to the thick noodles. Fries were cooked perfectly but was nothing special.

For those at the end of (or in the middle of) a big night, Chibee is open until 2AM




Credit Cards Accepted. Reservations suggested at peak dinner hours.

HKD 200 - 400

7/F, Circle Plaza, 499 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
銅鑼灣軒尼詩道499號永光商業大廈7樓

2838 5777

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Kozy Okonomi-yaki Teppan-yaki

A great and overlooked late-night hangout. Open until 4am, last order at 3:30am. Cozy atmosphere, has a large counter seating about 10 facing the teppan, or iron griddle, where the cooks make their magic. Menu somewhat limited and not particularly vegetarian friendly. Started out with cheese omelet, eggs cooked to perfect texture with cheese. Gooey and stretchy but not overly so. A nice but uninspiring starter. Main hits were the filet steak with fried garlic slices, which was cooked perfectly and served atop some toast. Hint: don't eat the toast with the steak. The waitstaff will take the toast away and then dress it with a variety of sauces, the remaining garlic, melted cheese and slice it up into pieces. A perfect post-steak snack. Main draw is the Okonomiyaki, a popular dish in Osaka that is essentially a pancake that sits on top of or among eggs, meat and cabbage. It can, but does not always contain cheese, green onions, fried noodles, bonito flakes or a host of other things. Okonomiyaki is a meal of its own or a great late night bite after a night out... To top it all off, beers are HKD 38 for draft, which is a bargain in this part of town and a great way to start (or end) the night.





Credit Cards accepted. Reservations suggested, though probably not needed.

HKD 250 - 500

9/F, Circle Plaza, 499 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
銅鑼灣軒尼詩道499號永光商業大廈9樓

2591 1281

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bella Vita

To date, best steak to be found in Causeway Bay (far better than Wooloomooloo Prime on Tang Lung Street and the consistently mediocre Manzo in Times Square). Seemingly hidden in plain view despite being situated in the Cubus. Starter was a primo, splitting a Papardelle Ragu. Perfectly cooked pasta and tender ragu. Main was a Fiorentina Porterhouse for two with sides of Asparagus and Roast Potatoes. Of the sides, the former was expertly cooked, with snap to the bite but not crunchy (ie. raw); the latter was, sadly, quite pedestrian. The steak itself was cooked a perfectly medium rare and flavorful. We were too full for dessert. Wine list well stocked and those by the glass, though very limited in number and expensive, are well chosen and tasty. Finally, good service, waitstaff attentive but not hovering. Currently, the place to go if one is in CWB and needs a steak fix.


Credit Cards accepted. Reservations suggested, though probably not needed

HKD 500 and up 

11/F Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay
銅鑼灣開平道1號Cubus11樓
2577 0699

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Silver Room



Note – Have now eaten dinner here which is just as tasty but more expensive. Review based on a number of weekday lunches over past few weeks.

Legit contender for best pasta in HK. Décor somewhat industrial and minimalist in feel. Choices for lunch, are sets. 2 courses, starting with soup or salad and with a main of pasta or a type of protein. Salad is typically fresh mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with a dash of olive oil. Soup changes by the day but has never been a disappointment. Both soup and salad served with a piece of bread. Pasta, often spaghetti, is cooked perfectly al-dente, every time. Sauces are authentic and homestyle Italian. Repeat hits have included Spaghetti Marinara, a simple yet very easy to screw up sauce which is balanced well and salted perfectly with a combination of salt and parmasean cheese. Spaghetti Amatriciana is beautifully balanced with proper use of guanciale (cured pork cheek), tomatoes, pecorino cheese and olive oil. Only tried dessert once, a berry crumble which was nice, but nothing to scream home about (add 20 HKD). Coffee or tea included in the lunch set.




Credit Cards accepted.
HKD 120 - 200 (lunch)
HKD 350 - 700 (dinner)

G/F, 16 Tsing Fung Street, Tin Hau
天后清風街16號地舖 
3995 8988