Baking, Cooking

Banoffee pie = banana + toffee

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Banoffee pie is an English dessert pie that has the right balance of everything; the slightly salty digestive biscuit pie crust, fresh and chunky bananas, the richness and sweetness of toffee balanced by the light and fluffy whipped cream on top of it. Some recipes call for cocoa powder rained over the whipped cream but i prefer grated dark chocolate, the unevenness of freshly grated chocolate gives a more interesting texture

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I love making banoffee pie coz it’s so easy yet the end product is so satifying! And most people love it! So here it is, the recipe to a perfect banoffee pie

Serves 12
Preparation time:  20 minutes
Chilling time:  1½ hours

Ingredients

For the pie base:
100g (3½oz) butter, melted
250g (9oz) digestive biscuits

For the filling:
100g (3½oz) butter
100g (3½oz) dark brown soft sugar
397g can Carnation Condensed

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For the topping:
Milk 4 small bananas
300ml carton double cream, lightly whipped
Grated chocolate

You will also need:
20cm (8”) loose–bottomed cake tin, greased

Method

To make the base, process the biscuits until like fine crumbs then tip into a bowl. (I prefer crushing the biscuit manually as that gives the pie crust texture with the uneven pieces of crumbs). Stir in the melted butter. Press the mixture into the base and 4cm (1½in) up the sides of the tin. Chill the base while you make the filling.

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To make the filling: place the butter and sugar into a non–stick saucepan over low heat, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.  Add the condensed milk and bring gently to the boil, stirring continuously until it thickens and resemble the color of toffee. Spread the filling over the biscuit base, cool, line sliced bananas on the toffee, spread another layer of toffee over the bananas and spoon the softly whipped cream on top of it. Finish with the grated chocolate and then leave to chill for about 1 hour, until firm.

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To serve, remove the pie from the tin and place on a serving plate.

Enjoy!! Oh and have a great long wkend!! =)

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Hong Kong Restaurant

K- roll

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K-roll is a Korean takeaway diner opened by three lovely ajimas (how koreans address married women)- a friend told me about K-roll last Dec coz everyone knows how much I LOVE KIMBAP! Although they are readily available on the streets of seoul, it’s hard to come by here in hong kong (especially in central away from K-town, TST). There are a few Korean caterers in Sheung Wan who would make kimbap in bulk upon orders placed at least a day in advance but it’s just such a hassle to arrange. Then came Dine- in and I was overjoyed!! Sadly that secret couldn’t be kept for long, kimbap was sold out before I could even call to reserve =( so K- roll’s opening was an exhilarating news for me!!

Since my first visit, I’ve been back almost every week to satisfy my kimbap craving. Besides the delectable food, what I like about most is the whole experience, the owners are very friendly and happy to listen to your feedback or suggestions; and make adjustments to cater to individual taste. For example, I prefer having spinach in my kimbap instead of lettuce so they made one according to my liking on the second visit. And on my third visit, as I called to place my order prior to pick up, they recognized it’s me calling just by my specifications

V: Can I get a bulgogi roll with spinach without lettuce?

K-roll: Bibian? Is that bibian?

V: *gasps, they remember my name* yes it’s bibian

K-roll: ok we’ll have it ready for you

I rave about k-roll, hmm.. maybe a bit too much :p LOL and as a result, quite a lot of my friends have been going to there. Mon told me that when she ordered kimbap with spinach without lettuce (now patented as the Bibian’s B-roll, just kidding… not really), the ajima asked her if she’s vivian’s friend :p LOL

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K- roll has a simple yet fun menu with all the takeaway essentials, I’ve yet to try everything on the menu but I’ll surely work my way through slowly (on days I’m not craving for kimbap)

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K- roll is basically kimbap; think of sushi with cooked food instead of sashimi. I’ve read pretty unjustified reviews on kimbap saying “OMG, it’s warm!! That must not be fresh” (-_-“) No, you idiot, google before you complain, kimbap is freshly made, and different from sushi which is kept cold, kimbap is made with freshly cooked rice which explains why it’s kinda warm. If it’s cold, it just means it’d cooled.

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The bulgogi kimbap was stuffed with generous portion of juicy bulgogi (marinated sliced beef) along with egg, cucumber, carrot, spinach (or lettuce if you don’t specify), the surface of the dried seaweed is rubbed with tiny bit of sesame oil to add flavor. I love how the lightness of vegetables balances the tender, seasoned bulgogi (love that slight sweetness in the seasoning too)

Dukbokki aka Korean rice cake in spicy sauce; this dish packs a punch, the heat from the red pepper paste makes me blush, like literally **how embarrassing** it’s perfect for the winter or on rainy days when the office is freezing. I love the texture of the rice cake, it’s bouncy, al dente and not mushy; the sauce has a slight hint of sweetness which adds nice complexity to the flavor.

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Bibimbap literally means stirred rice or mixed rice; you need to mix everything well before you eat it. Bibimbap is like harmony in a bowl where different textures and flavors go so well with each other. On the bottom is rice seasoned with sesame oil (slightly) and then its covered with bulgogi, carrot, bean sprout, mushrooms, spinach and topped with sunny side up and a splash of gochuchang (spicy red pepper paste). The heat from the spicy paste, the slightly runny egg, the crunch and freshness from the vegetables, the slight sweetness from the bulgogi….It’s so satisfying, it brought a smile to my face =)

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Korrito, aka Korean burrito, is fun and scrumptious; it’s like a super sized kimbap but with more ingredients and perhaps more westernized flavor (with avacado and the special dressing). I had a bite of my friend’s shrimp korrito; the avocado brings richness and creaminess to the crunchy yet light fried shrimp, the special dressing adds slight spiciness to it. I shall try the chicken korrito on my next visit!

K-roll is super packed during lunch so be sure to order in advance over the phone; the restaurant is supposed to close at 7pm but most stuff are sold out before that so I usually just call before I pop over. Did I mention I’ve their number saved on my phone? LOL I love this place so much it’s embarrassing…

Shop 6A,

G/F, Sen Fat Building,

6 Bonham Strand,

Sheung Wan,

Hong Kong

+852 2234 5505 (5506)

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Hong Kong Restaurant

Metropolitain

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With the new escalator and train station being built, Sai Ying Pun is becoming quite the up and coming area with galleries, trendy restaurants and bars popping up around the hood. Friends in SYP had told me about this new French place along the new escalator which is the latest addition to the French Creations group who also owns Pastis, FAB and St Germaine. I never bother going to Pastis coz it is pretty much always packed with people overflowing onto the street. But this restaurant is in SYP and is still rather unheard of so Lo, Fi and I thought we would go there for a casual, mellow weekday dinner.

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Metropolitain was designed to look like a Parisian metro station; the bare concrete walls, the metro map, the railway station clock, the wrought iron details all plays to the theme. We were seated comfortably in a corner facing the open kitchen; service was friendly and chill (but not slow, which is great). The ambience is cozy and relaxed.

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The menu was simple French fare: we ordered the calamari, the Steak tartar with fries, the Braised lamb shank with olive oil mashed potato (in case you haven’t realized, I love lamb), Seabass fillet, celeriac puree & sauce vierge and the Tarte Tatin

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The calamari looked rather greasy on first glance, I had one piece just so I know how it taste like. The batter wasn’t light and crispy enough and the squid, although not rubbery, was not crunchy and bouncy. We left more than half the plate untouched hoping that this is just one off dish out of the menu.

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Next up was Fi’s Steak tartar, her fries looked like they were drenched in oil, not just once but multiple times till they are kinda brown and gross. Needlesss to say, none of us touched those fries. Her steak tartar was rather tasteless and chewy, she had to add a whole lot of salt & pepper to season it but pretty much gave up half way

salmon tartar

While waiting for my main, I spotted Ag on the other end of the restaurant and went over to chat with her. I also sampled her salmon tartare, the salmon was fresh, and the refreshing acidity of the mixture cut through the richness of the salmon; making the whole dish light and appetizing =) thanks Ag for sharing!

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Back to our table- my lamb shank looked a lot more promising, the meat was tender and tasty (the sauce had infused through yet was not overpowering); it was so not gamey I almost forgot I was eating lamb. The mashed potato was decent; the mash a bit uneven (i.e. not entirely fine and smooth) so there were small chunks of potato, which adds texture to it.

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Lo’s sea bass fillet was surprisingly small and thin, different from the thicker or chunkier pieces we are used to. Despite the size of the sea bass, Lo really enjoyed her dish, the sea bass was flavorful and its skin crispy. Lo especially liked the celeriac puree; which is creamy yet light with subtle sweetness.

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While we weren’t very inspired by the choices of dessert, we would like to stay and chat for a while more so we ordered the tarte tatin (the upside down apple pie). Let’s just say the best part of this dessert was the ice cream and Lo said it could be from Haagen Dazs, the pastry was too soggy; the caramelized apple overly sweet.

Overall, I quite like metropolitain, predominately for its laid back atmosphere (laid back but not empty for sure, there was not a single empty seat even though it was a weekday and this restaurant is relatively new). It seems to be a fun place to have a few glasses of wine and simple dishes especially when you want to get away from the usual “ I need this table back by 9pm” kinda places.

G/F, 46 High Street,

Sai Ying Pun,

Hong Kong

6292-3779
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Hong Kong Restaurant

Divine Du Vin…. NOT

I’d heard alot about Bistro Du Vin which is operated by the Singapore based Les Amis Group who also runs the Michelin- starred Cepage. Words are that it’s much better than all the other casual french restaurants that popped up around the same time last year, and the fact that it was hard to book a table for 3 people 2,3 weeks in advance made me even more determined to try it, even if I had to drag myself to Kennedy Town on a FRIDAY night!

The place was packed when we arrived and we waited patiently next to the high tables at the entrance for our table to be ready. Everything looked promising, happy patrons, Parisian bistro decor, wine cellar at the far end of the restaurant (visible from where we were standing) ….. and then we noticed that a couple at the table closest to us were just finishing up their last dish and the waiter rushed in and start cleaning around that dish, essentially rushing them to leave. Maybe not so promising after all..

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Finally we were seated and bread was served; bread was cold, dry and stale; we put it down after the first bite but we remained hopeful that the appetizers and mains would be as good as we heard. After studying the daily special scribbled on the mini chalkboard on our table and recalling the list of dishes that were recommended by friends who’d been, we were ready to order.  The beef checks and the Bouillabaisse which was highly recommended, was sold out by the time we were ready to order **darn!! We were so excited about those two**  The waitress recommended crispy suckling pig leg confit, my friend was concerned that it could be really fatty but ordered after she assured him that it’s not. On top of that, we order the pan seared foie gras, the onion cheesy soup, the bone marrow escargot,  slow cooked lamb shank and the pork confit.

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We really enjoyed the bone marrow with escargot; the garlic- herb buttered escargot sauce goes very well with the jello like- melt in your mouth deliciousness of the bone marrow. The escargot was tender and the flavor of the bone marrow lingers =)

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The onion cheesy soup was less than cheesy and I pretty much had forgotten how it tasted like; this soup was highly recommended and a look at pictures of the same soup taken at Bistro Du Vin by other diners made me feel like the chef had forgotten about the cheesy part of the deal.

The two pieces of pan seared foie gras were of decent size, with caramelized peach and nuts on top adding different texture and flavor to the smooth creamy foie gras. We thought it was pretty average, we definitely had better ones elsewhere

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The lamb shank was slightly too gamey and it’s not as tender as I’ve tried in other places, slowed cooked shank meat is supposed to be falling off the bone but in this case I had to saw them off the bone. I got tired from the chewing and left more than half of the dish untouched **shakes head**

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The crispy suckling pig leg sounded every bit decadent on paper. The pig leg was cooked in duck fats before baking to crispy golden goodness but my friend’s concern came true- it turned out to be as fatty as can be and my friend pretty much lost his appetite after the first bite, all we saw was fats and skin on the first bite.

Maybe we visited on their “really off” day; the escargot seemed to be the only dish we really liked. Service was horrible and rushed, I’m not sure if the hype had gotten to their heads, but the overall experience was honestly not very pleasant. The three of us agreed that it’s just not worth revisiting this place again. We din even bother with the dessert after being disappointed with most of the dishes we tried.

Bistro du Vin

Ground Floor,

Shop 1D, Davis Street,

Kennedy Town Hong Kong

2824 3010

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Uncategorized

In the pipeline

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It’s crazy how time flies! A quarter of 2013 is almost over in the blink of an eye?! It felt like 2012 just a month ago and now it’s already the 7s weekend! This weekend is gonna be insanely busy, with the 7s, the parties and a charity bazaar.

The charity bazaar is hosted by a couple of my friends and it’s going to be at the Ebenezer school and home for the visually impaired on this coming Sunday 24th March. The event is to increase awareness of the school and to express thanks to those who have supported the school over the years. There will be over 20 vendors, along with fun games, good food and performances by students and the elderly. Do drop by with your friends and family at this meaningful and educational gathering to learn more about the school, how the kids learn in their classrooms and how they cope with their disabilities!!

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On another note, I’ve heard decent reviews on metropolitan (opened by the same group that opened Pastis) and am excited to check it out tonight! In the pipeline, there’s also a few upcoming post on Bistro Du Vin, K-roll, Chicha etc. Stay tuned and have a great day!!

chicha

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Hong Kong Restaurant

Suzuike

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There’s an understated elegance to Suzuike, from the subtle entrance (place your hand in between the pole at the entrance and the door will magically slide open), the simple yet polished decor, the well-spaced out tables to the clean color scheme. Everything is well thought out to provide a comfortable, relaxing dining experience.

I haven’t been back to Suzuike for awhile and was excited to find that it’s the venue for L’s birthday dinner. Thanks hun for the awesome dinner!!!

sashimi platter

We started with the Grilled blow fish as we ran around the table to catch up with each other. Next up was the Sashimi Platter, it has a good selection of fresh sashimi, the portion was just right, the ebi sashimi was my favorite of the lot, it almost doesn’t require any biting and the natural sweetness was thirst quenching

toro roll

Negitoro Roll – the buttery richness and sweetness of toro was well balanced by vinegar and scallions. The seaweed wrap was kept crispy and adds crunchy texture to the decadent roll.

seared scallop

The Pan- Seared Scallop was slightly brown on the outside and raw and tender on the inside; the scallops were plump and juicy =)

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Deep Fried Amadai– I don’t touch fried food but L convinced me to try a small bite of it. The Amadai looks like a porcupine with the curled up scales, it’s deep fried till it’s crispy on the outside (the scales are edible), I had a tiny chunk of the flesh and was pleasantly surprised by how moist and light it was. I wouldn’t have known it was deep fried if it were a blind test :p

uni chawamushi

Uni Chawanmushi– the subtle sweetness of the velvety uni adds flavor to custard like steamed egg; while the lightness of latter balanced the richness of Uni

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The White Truffle Somen– OMG! I had three plates of that, it’s my absolute favorite, the al dente (there’s bite to it) texture of somen, the intense aroma of truffle and the creaminess of the sauce just melts my heart. Just writing about it makes me want to go back to Suzuike, like right now!

Other dishes that I like from my previous visits includes

One of the rarer dishes is the Tuna Kama Sushi, it’s bascially the cheek and collar of tuna. IF there’s a part of tuna that taste better than the prized toro (tuna belly), it’s the kama. Kama has equal amount of fat content as toro, so it’s very soft and melts in your mouth. But on top of that, it also has a higher concentrated, more robust flavor than the belly section. There is only a few pieces per fish and it’s rare for even an average sushi restaurant in japan to have that. Lucky for us, Suzuike does it well, the sushi is so juicy and literally melts in your mouth.

Foie gras sushi ; Foie gras cooked to perfected with the sides pan fried and inside soft. Wagyu steak is flavorful and tender. The Kambachi & Botan Ebi Carpaccio with Italian White Truffle Oil & Sea Salt is one of my favorites, sea salt brings out the subtle sweetness of fresh sashimi and the truffle oil bring aroma and add depth to the dish.

I like Suzuike for their food, ambience and excellent service! The staffs are attentive, knowledgeable without being pesty. They will make recommendations according to what’s in season when/if you need suggestions. Note: there are two private rooms for those who would like even more privacy 🙂

Suzuike
1/F Shui On Centre, 8 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
+852 2104 5333

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Hong Kong Restaurant

Three Monkeys

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See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil; Three monkeys refers to the three partners John, Brian and Alex. The trio comes from very different fields but are united by the passion for great food, drinks and dining experience to start this trendy gastropub. John, who also owns Gyotaku, is noted for his extravagant fusion style in Gyotaku’s menu. Brian manages artist such as MC Jin and Far East Movement and loves to cook. Alex was in finance before spending months mastering the art of gelato-making in Italy, he is the guy behind all the decadent gelato served in three monkeys.

Three monkeys had been generating quite a lot of buzz with the eye- catching panels with quirky, animated mascots long before it was opened. I kinda miss the mysterious, secretive vibe it had in its early, soft opening days =) Once the panels were taken down, you can see the raw industrial loft like interior through the glass windows, the high ceiling, the exposed light bulb and the use of metal beams. I like going to Three monkeys be it just for drinks or a proper sit down dinner; the vibe is always fun, cozy and lively.  You could start your night getting custom blend Japanese style cocktail at the bar downstairs. I love the Sakura, which is made of Awamori, it was deceivingly easy to drink, but I was super buzzed after 3 glasses of it. There’s also a long list of alcoholic beverages from sake to shochu, whiskey to handcrafted Japanese beer, to bubbly available.

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Besides spoiling patrons with the choices of drinks, three monkeys also serves delectable yakatori, one of their secret weapon is the handcrafted grill forged by ironmonger Kama- Asa from Kappabashi Japan. It can heat up to 850 degrees which allows food to be cooked in a very short time, retaining the freshness and the original flavor of the ingredients; there’s also a flow of fresh water running under that grill so oil and grease that drips down doesn’t collect and give a greasy smell or taste. The water also create steam which helps keep the grilled items moist.

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I LOVE the Lobster chawanmushi (steamed egg); once we removed the lid we were hit by the intense aroma of black truffle which lingers in the air as we consumed the decadent dish; the steamed egg silky smooth and the lobster firm, and juicy. I enjoyed every bite/ slurp of it.

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Foie gras tofu toast -Both the tempura tofu and the pan-seared foie gras were crispy on the outside and soft and smooth on the inside. The lightness in tofu balances the richness of foie gras.

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The Kalbi Beef was like yakitori with a Korean twist, the marinade made the deliciously tender short rib even more rich and decadent with both savory and sweet flavors.

Angus rib was flavorful, succulent and tender, topped with daikon ponzu dressing and spring onions.

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I don’t touch Ox tongue but friends loved three monkey’s ox tongue! Their ox tongue is different from the other yakitori’s in that they are cut much thicker, the grill that was mentioned earlier allows them to grill the thick cuts to perfection. The end result was melting tender and meaty. They also serve it with whole grain mustard which brings a kick to it

The outside of the yam was slightly browned and almost caramelized and moist on the inside. They were so good on their own I din even touch the butter that comes with it.

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The tomato wrapped in bacon was a melting pot of flavors and textures! Crispy savory-peppery bacon VS the sweet juicy cheery tomato.

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I was excited about the tiger prawn but the topping (Uni with mayo paste) was a little too overwhelming and overshadowed the subtle sweetness of the fresh tiger prawn.

I miss the mochi they served on their opening day- Jess (www.eatwithjess.com/threemonkeys) and I parked ourselves on the second floor right next to the grill while everyone kept themselves busy at the bar downstairs. We managed to ambush quite a few dishes that were going out of the kitchen/ grill **scored** The mochi with cheese was heavenly! The outside of the mochi was crispy and chewy while the inside is molten with cheese oozing out. They still serve a similar dish on the regular menu now but the one served that day was definitely better.

Tada… dessert time, I don’t typically eat much ice cream or anything cold but I had three fat scopes of their homemade gelato all by myself- the Pistacchio, the Hokkaido Milk and the Stracciatella. They were all very smooth, creamy and velvety with the pistachio being my favorite.

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Three Monkeys
151-155 Hollywood Road
Hong Kong
T: +852 3151 7771

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Brunch spot

Common Ground

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Away from the hustle and bustle of soho, lies this charming cafe in the quiet neighborhood of Shing Wong Street. Even though it’s just minutes away from Oolaa, it’s shield away from the noise and the crowd. It offers refuge to those who are seeking simply peace and quiet

I chanced upon this charming cozy cafe one day as I was strolling in the hood after a huge brunch. I couldn’t possibly eat anymore but walked away with a cup of salted chocolate in my hands.

The salted chocolate won my heart, like what pinch of salt does to dessert, not only does it enhanced the flavor of the hot chocolate, it added dimensions to the otherwise typically flat chocolate-y sweetness. Note to self: MUST GO BACK TO COMMON GROUND

Something about Common ground puts me at ease, might have been the potted plants or wooden tables which adds a touch of nature, the casual yet chic décor or maybe it’s the friendly smiles. Doesn’t matter, I’ve finally found my pocket of tranquility in this overly hyped up area of SOHO, NOHO, POHO..

Joshua- part owner of common ground is a food and beverage consultant and started this place with his twin brother, Caleb.

They have started with a simple menu for now- J and I ordered the scrambled eggs with ciabatta toast; the rib sandwich and cappuccino.

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V: is there cream in the scrambled egg? It’s very creamy and smooth

Joshua: yes, the eggs were cooked with cream and milk in double boiler **smilez**

V: No wonder they are so good! **light bulb** gonna try that at home

The eggs were creamy, tender and smooth, served on toasted ciabatta with pepper salad on the side drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Definitely a winner!

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Rib sandwich was equally good, tender juicy rib cooked in homemade barbeque sauce served with caramelized onions and fresh ciabatta.

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J had to rush off so I din get to try their dessert but I’ll definitely be back for it! Why can’t we have more cafes like this? A perfect hideout not far from center of action where simple food is made WELL?

Common Ground

19 Shing Wong Street, Central

11am – 8pm

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Hong Kong Restaurant

Ronin

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Months before Ronin was opened, chatters had been that Yardbird was opening a new joint in February and had eager foodies enquiring endlessly on its opening dates.

Quite the contrary to Yardbird’s glass windows, brightly lit interior and loud music and crowd, Ronin provides a much more private and relaxed dining experience. A random passerby would never stumble upon this, the grey exterior offers no clue to what’s behind the closed door. Tucked in the quiet lane off Gough Street is the 14 seater private kitchen-like Izakaya opened by the brains behind Yardbird. It has 12 person standing capacity and gets filled up pretty quickly so be sure to make your booking in advance, and definitely ask for the seats in front of the bar so you won’t be eating facing the wall.

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Instead of focusing on chicken like Yardbird does, Ronin is all about seafood, local fresh catch as well as daily flown-ins make up their daily revised menu. The one sheet food menu even has today’s date stamped on it! **hot off the press** Items on the menu depends on what Chef Matt finds in the local wet market that particular day and of course what was flown in the night before. Matt explains that he likes going to the local market and getting what’s fresh and what’s in season and do a new spin on it.

daily menu

Of course it won’t be an izakaya without the alcohol, the bar has an impressive display of large variety of whiskey, beer and shochu including some rare finds from even distilleries that aren’t around anymore.

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A and I were starving by the time dinner starts, the only available slot was 7:45pm and even though it’s way over our usual dinner time, we thought we should check it out before it becomes impossible to get a seat at this sure to be the next hottest joint in town. We ordered a bunch of dishes, from both the “cold” and “hot” section, “cold” being mostly sashimi and “hot” are typically fresh catch or seasonal items. While waiting for our food to arrive, Matt handed us our welcome bites. Matt is so friendly and nice!! He was serving us food and explaining to us what’s in each dish and answering my endless questions with a big smile the whole night! =)

Welcome bite: Bamboo shoot marinated with orange and olive oil. I quite like the fresh take on marinating the bamboo shoot with orange and olive oil, it was crunchy and refreshing.

Oyster

The Ebisu Rock Oysters were very fresh, usually oysters are eaten with overdose of condiments. This dish was just seaweed and oysters; you could taste a hint of salt and that’s it, simple yet so fresh and good

Uni

Uni Nori– Uni was rich and smooth with subtle flavors of the sea and when eaten with the seasoned breadcrumbs and nori (seaweed) adds different texture and flavor. As A said, she’s had better uni (just the uni on its own) before but this is definitely an interesting and pleasant spin on the usual uni experience

Akagai Clam Akagai Clam

Akagai Clam Sashimi– comes in a pretty little container which has ice in the secret compartment. The clam was fresh and served with cucumber

geoduck

Geoduck Clam– different from the usual big geoduck clam that are crunchy, this geoduck clam is smaller and has a squid like texture to it. I like how it’s firm, kinda chewy but not rubbery, a contrast to the crunchy chopped vegetables and  the yuzu peel was definitely a nice touch =)

Me: “ wait a sec, did you taste orange peel?”

A: “what orange peel” (-_-“)

Chef Matt walks by, “Close, it’s yuzu peel” **smiles**

Baby cuttlefish, red Shiso– this dish was mostly untouched, not coz it wasn’t good, we wish it was indicated on the menu as “fried cuttlefish” then we wouldn’t have ordered it. I can’t eat fried food and A doesn’t want to touch fried food so …sorry baby cuttlefish…

silver fish

Silver fish, kimchi vinegar almond– another dish that’s fried **sad** silver fish was also banished to the corner along with baby cuttlefish

Turnips

Tokyo Turnips, Clams– who would have thought I love turnips this much? Actually I don’t believe I’ve ever ordered turnips, like probably in my whole life. I was pretty full at this point and A was about to cancel this last dish but I thought I want to give it a try and I LOVED IT! The turnips was juicy and the natural sweetness comes out subtly with each bite, that with the bacon bits, the chewy (when I say chewy it just means springy, firm and not tough nor rubbery) clams and the chili mixed with vegetables. I actually finished the whole dish on my own.

Ronin bar
A asked for dessert but unfortunately they don’t really have dessert on the menu yet (I was about to cry at this point), so we asked for the bill instead. Overall, it was a lovely dining experience, the crew was friendly and helpful (especially Chef Matt, in fact, he showed me how to take this panoramic picture of Ronin’s bar on A’s iphone!), food was fresh and great, the ambience relaxed and intimate (with reggae music in the background). Will definitely be back since the menu is different everyday! =)

Ronin

8 On Wo Lane, Sheung Wan

Open 6pm-2am and closed Sundays

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Hong Kong Restaurant

坤記煲仔小菜 Kuan Kee Claypot Rice

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Claypot rice is my comfort food in the winter and out of the places I’ve tried, Kuan Kee has one of the best claypot rice in Hong Kong. Since it’s not easy to get a table in this humble- looking restaurants, I made it a point to arrive before 6:30pm on the two trips I made late Jan/ early Feb, we had to wait both times despite arriving early. The best way to get a table seems to be booking in advance, there’s a slim chance that you’ll get a table if you call within the same day.

Crispy rice

Something about claypot rice: crispy rice crust on the bottom of the claypot is the crown jewel of claypot rice, the chef needs to make sure that the rice is crispy but not burnt nor stick to the bottom and is cooked through in the middle, the juice and fats from the ingredient on top of the rice seeps through into the rice underneath which coats and separates each grain of rice. The rice is cooked to perfection, not too sticky and soft nor too hard and chewy. Each claypot comes with a small bowl of soy sauce, it’s sweet and salty which goes really well with the rice. The trick of getting the perfect crispy rice bottom is to be patient, and not open the lid too early. Once you open the lid, pour the soy sauce into the pot and stir the middle section of it without disturbing the bottom portion and you’ll end up with the whole piece of crispy rice crust intact.

Dishes I’ve tried these two trips

satay beef with vermicelli pot

沙爹粉絲肥牛煲- The satay beef with vermicelli pot was still sizzling when it arrived, sliced beef was tender and flavorful and the vermicelli had soaked up the satay sauce and is yummy on its own

goat brisket with beancurd sheet pot

枝竹羊腩煲 The goat brisket with beancurd sheet pot was served on the gas stove; V and I eagerly waited as the stew continued to boil and the heavy aroma of goat and herbs enveloped us. The goat brisket was not too gamey and the meat was tender, full of flavor and not too fatty. The beancurd sheet and the mushrooms absorbed all the essence of the soup. “goat” 黑草羊 was used instead of lamb as it has a slightly gamier taste to it. The soup was so tasty, I saved some of it for my claypot rice that’s on its way.

Black bean and pepper eel claypot rice

After about 20- 30 minutes the claypot rice started to arrive. 豉汁白鱔煲仔飯 V liked her Black bean and pepper eel claypot rice. The spiciness from chopped chili, the black bean and pepper sauce goes well with the sweet and salty soy sauce and together brought out the freshness of the succulent eel meat

荔芋排骨煲 – The yam with spare ribs pot Coated with rich coconut milk infused sauce, chunks of yam were almost creamy on the surface and soft and fluffy on the inside! Ribs are tender and the fats and meat proportions were just right.

yam with spare ribs pot Chinese sausage with chicken claypot rice

臘腸滑雞飯- Chinese sausage with chicken claypot rice once the lid was opened, we were greeted with the fragrance of rice and chinese sausage. Chicken was tender, juicy and well marinated; rice was coated with oil and fragrance from the chinese sausage. This dish was tasty enough on its own, we left the soy sauce aside.

We were both stuffed and satisfied at the end of the dinner and had to take a walk from Kuan Kee to central to walk off part of our heavy meal :p We’ll be back the next time to try the other dishes!

Kuan Kee Claypot Rice

Address: Shop 1, Wo Yick Mansion, 263 Queen’s Road West, Western District

Phone:2803 7209

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