Friday, August 30, 2013

Hong Kong Eats: Simple Eats

Whew!  Finally, I'm rounding off my Hong Kong posts.  But before I close off the series, let me share with you guys a couple of must-tries: some old, and some newly discovered ones.  Here it is!

Paul Lafayet's Praline Mille-Feuilles
"Chopped caramalised hazelnut, Gianduja cream and praline cream sandwiched between layers of crispy flaky pastry."

Just imagine biting into the crunchy outer shell with the cream oozing out.  It's the first time that I've tried a Mille-Feuille that wasn't already limp/soggy so it was a welcome change.

Hui Lau Shan's Mango and Coconut Milk with Aloe Jelly
If you happen to walk around Hong Kong in the afternoon and under the scorching sun (which is what happened to us!) then the welcoming sign of Hui Lau Shan will definitely urge you to go grab a drink (or some dessert!).  We had the Mango and Coconut Milk with Aloe Jelly which was absolutely refreshing!  It's a nice combination of sweet and creamy with some aloe jelly bits to chew on.  Yum!

Ikea's meatballs
Yes.  Meatballs.  I think what makes it special is the sauce.  It's a mix of gravy and cranberry sauce, so you get that perfect mix of sweet and salty.  They didn't include the cranberry sauce this time.  I wonder why?

La Maison du Chocolat's Maracuja Island
Look at that perfect dome.  Almost too pretty to eat.  But we must. (Scroll to next picture)

Cross section of the Maracuja Island
...and we did!  Attack would probably be the more precise word.  Look at the poor cake.  That's what happens when a fork is all you have.  We were too excited that we ate the cake right outside the store even if we told the cashier that we were having it to-go.  Haha!

Honestly, I just got it because it looked nice.  And after trying it out, I STILL don't know what it is.  All I can tell you is that it's really, really good.  (Further research tells me that it is banana, coconut, lime and passion fruit cream covered in rich, dark chocolate.  Oooooooh.)

So here it is, officially signing off on the Hong Kong food posts.  Hope you guys liked it!  Please do sound off at the comments section to let me know!

Paul Lafayet is at Shop 38, B2, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Hui Lau Shan is at 58-60 Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
Ikea is at basement floor, The Park Lane Hong Kong, 310 Gloucester Road,Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
La Maison du Chocolat is at Shop 246, 2/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hong Kong Eats: Ladurée Macarons

Ok ok, so it's not actually a restaurant.  But I think Ladurée deserves a post of its own since I'm such a fan.  Confession:  I've never actually set foot in Ladurée ever since they opened in Hong Kong.  Guess Hong Kong just has too much places to go to that I never actually found myself wandering around that particular part of Harbour City.  Plus, my best friend D already got me some during his trip last year.  So more than half a year later, I found myself longing for those scrumptious macarons and therefore I stand before this wonderfully evil store.  LOL.  

The storefront
I swear I was like a little kid in a candy store the moment I stepped into Ladurée.  I didn't know they have so much things other than macarons!  Scroll down and look!

Selection of tea


Coffee and gift hampers

Scented candles

Selection of macarons

... and more macarons!
Aaaaah!!!  I'm in macaron heaven! (and diet hell if I may add. haha)  I actually already bought one box) all favorites) but decided to seize the moment and add another box of the other flavors.  Glad I did because there were some new discoveries that didn't sound good but actually is!  

Because one box is not enough

I don't think I'll ever tire of Ladurée Macarons.  It'll always remind me of that first bite I took one afternoon in Paris.  Ladurée is love.

Dear Ladurée, please please please open here in Manila.  I promise to buy at least once a week!  

Ladurée Macarons is at Shop 3224, 3/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hong Kong Eats: Ebeneezer's Kebabs

I discovered about Ebeneezer's Kebabs on one of the posts from my favorite food blogger.  It was so highly recommended that it made my mouth water and I immediately made a mental note to try out Ebeneezer's when we set foot in Hong Kong.  Almost missed the chance too because there was just way too much restaurants on our must-try-when-in-Hong-Kong list, but good thing we were able to squeeze in a quick lunch on our last day, right before we left for the airport.  

Here's what we had:
Ebeneezer's roti was a bit thick.  It also tasted like stale bread.  Our local Banana Leaf's thin, chewy version most definitely wins over Ebeneezers'.

The lamb was quite juicy and tasty, except that there are soft ones and there are also tough ones.

Donar (Lamb) Kebab
If there's a reason to try out Ebeneezer's Kebabs, then this is most likely THE reason for it.  The lamb pieces were juicy and tender, and the sauce was really good too.  I am 1000%  sure I'll be back for this one.

Chicken Curry
Tastes like normal chicken curry.  Nothing much to rave about.

Gulab Jamun
I literally almost squealed in glee when I saw the gulab jamun on their menu.  Why?  Because the very first gulab jamun I had was during college, at an Indian friend's house.  I've never had it since, and having it again made me reminisce about the good ol' college days. (oh and if you're wondering what it is, I think it's just sponge cake soaked in syrup.  At least, that's how it tastes like for me.  Haha!)

Overall I'd give Ebeneezer's Kebabs a 3.5 out of 5 stars.  NEVER miss the chance to order the Donar (ILamb) Kebab.  It's a definite MUST!

Ebeneezer's Kebabs is at G/F, 52 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Outfit of the Week: That T-shirt Dress

" I don't have anything to wear!" --- does this sentence sound familiar?  Yes, seems like we girls are always plagued with nothing to wear issues.  Never mind that our closets are stuffed to the brim.  Never mind that we just went shopping the other day.  Never mind that there are still unopened paper bags on the floor and clothes that still have tags attached to them.  This is what guys normally do not understand, that a certain occasion or a certain place needs a certain outfit, and sometimes the things in our closet just isn't right.  The solution?  The ever reliable t-shirt dress.  Throw it on and go.  Doesn't matter if you're just going to the mall or you're going to a family gathering, the t-shirt dress works in every occasion (ok, maybe not for horseback riding or camping, ok?  LOL).  But take note:  not all t-shirt dress works.  You have to find one with the right fabric, right print and the right cut.  So imagine my glee when I saw this in the racks at Monki Hong Kong.  It has the right fabric (silky), right print (I'm loving the floral scarf print) and the right cut (straight, not too loose and not too tight).  If it came in 10 other colors, then I would've been so tempted to get them all! (thank goodness it only came in one print!)  So here it is, my beloved t-shirt dress.  How do you like it?  Sound off at the comments section!

Dress:  Monki
Bag:  Givenchy
Shoes:  Tory Burch

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hong Kong Eats: agnes b. le pain grillé

Ok confession:  agnes b. was never part of my restaurants-to-try-in-Hong-Kong list, and I never really planned to set foot there until I saw how pretty the restaurant looks and how nice the ambiance is.  Just look at it!

Pretty huh?  It's located at the IFC Mall in Central, right on top of the humongous Apple store.  The whole area looks like the agnes b. kingdom, with everything agnes b. ranging from clothes and accessories to flowers and food.  I'm absolutely in love with the fact that the ceiling on top is glass and it makes you feel like you're dining outdoors at a Parisian cafe.  Tres chic! 

Here's what we ordered:
Hazelnut Latte
Tasted uh... normal.  But I can get this in any other coffee shop too.  And I think they added a bit too little hazelnut syrup.

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

The quiche was pretty good, and it was pretty soft too.  They surely did not scrimp on the ingredients.  Plus, the slice is a bit bigger than usual.  Hurray for portioning!  

Vanille (walnut, vanilla custard, puff pastry)
The puff pastry was crunchy, and the vanilla custard was not too sweet.  It was perfectly complementing.  

Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Didn't like their salted caramel ice cream.  It lacks the taste of caramel and doesn't taste like salted caramel at all.

Overall I'd give agnes b. cafe a 3 out of 5.  There's nothing spectacular about their food, but you'd want to go there just to get the feel of an outdoor cafe, with the perks of being indoors (no rain!  no heat!).

agnes b. is at Shop 3096-3097, La Loggia, Podium Level 3, IFC Mall, Central, Hong Kong

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hong Kong Eats: Delicious Kitchen

If you're from the Philippines and regularly visit Hong Kong, then I'm sure that you've tried Delicious Kitchen at least once in one of your visits.  It's quite a popular restaurant and it's almost impossible not to bump into a fellow kababayan (countrymen) whenever we dine there.  While I've already tried it a couple of times, Hubby's family have never tried it.  So Hubby and I made sure that during our trip to Hong Kong this time, Delicious Kitchen would be part of one of our restaurant stops.  

Here's what we had:
Deep Fried Pork Chop

Scrambled Egg White

Braised Beef Tendon Nanjing Style

Deep Friend Won Ton

Fried Rice

Won Ton in Soup

Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup

Stir Fried Shanghai Noodles

Yum.  Looking back at these pictures just made me wish I was back in Hong Kong again.  If you must try just a few dishes, my most recommended would be the deep friend pork chop (the main reason we went there; this is their most sellable dish - every table has one!) and the Braised Beef Tendon (melts in your mouth).  

Overall I'd give Delicious Kitchen a 4 out of 5 stars.  I'd go back even if it's just for the lip smacking pork chop alone.  Highly recommended!

Delicious Kitchen is at Shop B, G/F, 9-11Cleveland Street,Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Outfit of the Week: Ladies Who Lunch

For some reason, I feel like one of those ladies-who-lunch when I'm wearing this outfit.  So mature!  Maybe age is finally catching up with me?  LOL.  Wore this outfit to my super belated birthday dinner with the girls.  Wanted something a little bit on the semi-formal side because after all, it's my birthday and I need to get a bit dressed up, right?  Pair it with my ever trusty Hermes bag and the finally-got-it Melissa wedges.  Back story:  I saw these wedges on a lady in Podium and I wanted it ever since.  Sadly, I discovered that Melissa Philippines only carries up to size 8 and my huge feet will never ever be able to squeeze into it no matter how much I try!  So what's a girl to do?  Hello, online shopping!  Found these babies in my size from, a retailer based in the United Kingdom.  A few clicks after, I shipped it to my aunt in Hong Kong and got them when I went there last month.  Sweet.  

Dress:  Monki
Bag:  Hermes
Shoes:  Melissa

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hong Kong Eats: Din Tai Fung

Remember my post about Lugang Cafe?  This time on our trip to Hong Kong, I went back to the mother of all xiao long baos, Din Tai Fung.  The place that started my love affair for xiao long bao.  Being familiar with the restaurant, I already knew what I'll be having before I even sat down.  You see, on a trip to Hong Kong a year back, I was able to experience one particularly special xiao long bao, something that is not readily available on other restaurants serving these little nuggets of soupy heaven.  I'm not going to spoil it for you, scroll down and see what it is!

 Steamed Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao

The insides of the Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao

Nope it's not this one.  But it's also pretty delicious.  I made sure to take a picture of the insides of each xiao long bao we had to be able to show you guys how fully packed their soupy dumplings are.

Steamed Black Truffle Pork Xiao Long Bao

The insides of the Black Truffle Pork Xiao Long Bao

Oh yes.  This is it.  Black truffle!  Since I'm such a sucker for truffle, I make it a point to order any dish that has the word "truffle" in it.  Sadly, this one paled in comparison to the one we had before.  It's missing the strong truffle scent that I'm used to having.  Scrimping on ingredients?  Boo.

Noodle with spicy sesame and peanut sauce in "Taiwan" style (Dan Dan Noodles)

The Dan Dan Noodles I had from Lugang Cafe was pretty good, so when I saw this one in the menu, I wanted to get it and compare it to our local version.  Guess who won?  Lugang Cafe!  I did not like Din Tai Fung's version because their peanut sauce is a bit bitter.

Spicy Shrimp and Pork Wonton

You cannot go wrong with spicy shimp wontons.  This was loads spicy (see the number of dotted chili on the bowl?) and oily, but it was ok.  I like the sweet-spicy wontons that I usually get here in Manila though. 

Overall I'd give Din Tai Fung a 2.5 out of 5 stars.  Compared to the last time we dined there, the quality has deteriorated a bit.  I've also tasted their other dishes when we went back a week after (2nd HK trip with the Hubby's family) and sadly, aside from their famous xiao long baos, there's nothing to write home about.  Sad. 

Din Tai Fung is at Shop 130, 3/F, Silvercord, 30 Canton Road Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hong Kong Eats: Ippudo HK

Remember Butao Ramen and Ajisen Ramen?  Here's one more ramen place to add to the growing number of good ramen restaurants in Hong Kong.  For those in the know, Ippudo HK did not actually originate from Hong Kong, but rather in the land of ramen, Japan.  It was so successful that it now has branches all over the world in the US, Singapore, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia.  Wow!  

The first time I got to try Ippudo was in Singapore.  Before we went, I did a few searches about good restaurants in Singapore and Ippudo was one among others that popped up from the search.  Well, all I can say is, the recommendation was spot-on.  The moment we took that first sip of tonkotsu broth, we swore to go back to Ippudo every chance we get.

Fast forward to last month, indeed, we went back to Ippudo.   It wasn't actually our first time in Ippudo HK.  We already got to try it a little more than a year ago, but since the trip last month was with Hubby's family, we also wanted to share with them our yummy discovery.

Here's what we had:
Shiromaru Motoaji

"Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth served with thin noodles, rosu chasu (pork loin), kikurage and spring onions.  Classic Hakata-style ramen."

Akamaru Shinaji

"Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil.  Served with thin noodles, buta bara (pork belly), kikurage and spring onions.  A refined, modern-style ramen."

Both ramen we tried that day was still as yummy as the first time we had it.  And if given the option to choose one from these two, well... I can't.  They're both delicious in their own way!  And did I mention REALLY fragrant?

Codfish with Saikyo Miso Sauce

This one took us by surprise.  The codfish might look simple, but trust me when I say that one bite of this will send you straight to heaven, no detours.  It's THAT good.  If I could eat one fish for the rest of my life, then this is it.  This fish still haunts me to this day, and the moment I set foot in Hong Kong again, this will be on top of my list.

Aji Tamago
Another one that will send you to food heaven is their soft boiled egg.  As simple as eggs come, I don't know what they do but they manage to make the insides a bit sweet.  Research shows that the Ajitsuke Tamago is soaked in some sort of marinade to get the flavor.  Ippudo seems to have mastered the art of Ajitsuke Tamago because theirs is pretty good.  Would have stuffed my face with a dozen or so if only I didn't fear for my life.  Haha!

The verdict?  5 out of 5 stars!  If you could try one thing alone, go for the codfish.  It's 1000% good, great, fantastic, amazing... I don't think I can run out of nice adjectives to describe how superbly delicious that piece of fish is.  The ramen itself is pretty mouthwatering too.  Oh and don't forget the egg! 

Ippudo HK is at Shop 210, Silvercord Tower, 30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Outfit of the Week: Colorblock

I've been fascinated by the colorblock trend for quite some time now, but never got to try it out.  This week, finally threw together some solid colors and voila!  Colorblocking.  Or as Hubby would say, it's my minion outfit.  Yep, didn't realize that I looked like a minion with my yellow top and blue shorts, but to be compared to a minion, I think it's quite cute.  Despicable Me 1 and 2 are my favorites and it never gets tiring even if you watch it several times, or several hundred times!

Special mention to my shoes.  They're one of the most comfortable pairs I've worn, ever!  Can you guess where I got them?  Payless ShoeSource!  Such a steal too since they're having a buy-two-pairs-for-Php 1250 promo.  Amazing.  I think the promo is still ongoing now so better run to your nearest Payless store and get your shoe fix!

Top:  Zara
Shorts:  Gap
Shoes:  Airwalk
Bag:  Fendi

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hong Kong Eats: Ginza Bairin

The very first time I've tried Ginza Bairin was on the last day of our honeymoon in Singapore.  Hubby and I were on a last minute shopping hurrah in Ion Orchard and needed something quick before we miss our flight.  A sign that said "Japan's best katsudon" was all it took to convince us to try it out, and that was one of the best decisions ever because yes, it was the single best katsudon I've ever tasted in my life.  Fast forward close to two years later, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that Hong Kong too has Ginza Bairin and the glutton in me just said "go for it!".  

Chawan Mushi

Velvety smooth.  Nuff said.

Salmon and Salmon Roe Kushiage / Soft Shell Crab Kushiage

Didn't like the kushiages that much,  It was oily and the taste, forgettable.

Beef Short Rib Skewer
 Nothing special with this one either, would rather go for our tried and tested Pinoy BBQ.

Hotategai Katsu (Scallop)
 NOW we're talking.  The scallops were huge and simple tasted divine.  Soft and juicy.  Would've had seconds if not for the price.  Hehe!

Barin's Signature Special Hire Katsudon
 And for the main event, the main reason we went back to Ginza Bairin:  the signature special hire katsudon.  Still as yummy and as flavorful as I remember it.  Sooooo good!

Rosu Katsu Set (Black Pork)

The Rosu Katsu (Black Pork) was pretty good too, the outside crunchy and the meat tender .  But the overall winner for me would still be the katsudon.  

Overall I'd give Ginza Bairin a 4 out of 5 stars.  The scallops and katsudon is worth every single penny.  It's the stuff wet dreams are made of.  LOL.

*Ginza Bairin has just recently opened here in the Philippines too, hurray!  But I've yet to try it and see how it compares to our neighboring Asian branches.  Something tells me I'm going to get to try it out very soon.  Do watch out for my post on our local Ginza Bairin!

Ginza Bairin is at B/F, Macau Yat Yuen Centre, 525 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay Hong Kong