Hong Kong Restaurant

Quemo

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Catalunya and Quemo were both on my to- try list couple of months ago, after trying Catalunya I felt like I wasn’t in a rush to try Quemo so it wasn’t until five weeks ago (I know I know… I’ve not been up to date with my reviews) when I revisited that list that I went ahhh… what about Quemo?

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Quemo is run by Quim Márquez, who has already gained fame at El Quim de la Boqueria, in Barcelona and Elite concepts. The name comes from a commonly heard word in Spanish kitchen meaning “burning” or “scorching”. The exact word I was screaming when I burnt my finger on the pan (I was trying to get a better angle taking pictures of the paella). Luckily, a staff handed me ointment and told me NOT to put ice on the wound immediately as it’ll give you blister straight away. And she was right!!! I never knew that!! The wound healed overnight =)

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Quemo is located in QRE, (another Spanish restaurant in wanchai?) I liked the decor of the restaurant where it’s rustic, clean and simple. Note to self: Quemo has an outdoor patio and a private dining room perfect for summer group dinners! While waiting for Cel to arrive, we ordered a bunch of dishes to “snack” on..

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Pregnant tomato filled with smoked fish, roasted eggplant onion and pepper

With an interesting name such as this, how could we give it a miss? I picked the smallest piece on the dish and popped it whole as instructed by the waiter, the hallowed tomato filled with cheese, roasted eggplant and smoked fish was refreshing, juicy, creamy, slightly salty and smokey (from the smoked fish) all at once

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Bread with tomato

This was definitely not my favorite dish, pale in comparison to the memory of how good the Pa amb tomaquet at Catalunya was! The bread was so crispy, fluffy and airy and the taste of the tomato was intense and refreshing at the same time. The Quemo version was bland and the bread was just blah… =(

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Cod Ravioli with Iberico ham and leek sauce

We loved this dish! The texture of the ravioli pasta was perfectly al dente, the cod fish wrapped inside was smooth, buttery with subtle sweetness. The iberico ham, the charred red pepper and the leek sauce added complexity to the taste and texture of the dish =)  

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Egg Timbal layered with iberico ham, roasted piquillo and potatoes

This hearty brunch like dish served in a skillet was every bit satisfying; creamy gooey runny egg yolk mixed with roasted potatoes, iberico ham and piqullo peppers eaten with toast. Love the mix of texture and flavors in this dish

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Oyster burger Oyster bocata with BBQ foie gras and homemade sweet potato bread

These humble looking burgers were hot in demand, we killed two plates in no time. Sandwiched between the homemade sweet potato bun were fried oysters and foie gras. This decadent combination of juicy, plump and fresh oyster with rich, creamy foie gras was simply irresistible.

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Unlike the typical paella we are used to, this squid ink paella was served with short grain rice thinly lined on a big flat pan while the clams were served separately. The proper way to eat was to scrape the rice from the centre to the edge of the pan so you get the different textures. The rice in the center should be moist and chewy while the ones on the side should be perfectly crispy like the base of our claypot rice. We were a bit disappointed that the rice weren’t as crispy as we would like it to be, but the flavors made up for it! The rice was  packed with flavors of cuttlefish, fish and chicken stock while the cuttlefish and shrimp bits in the rice added different texture to the mix.

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The clams served on the side were fresh with subtle sweetness; although it was served with garlic sauce, the clams were good enough on their own

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Iberico pork, presa, was cooked to perfection with gorgeous char, the beautifully marbled shoulder loin was very succulent and flavorful, rendering the sauce redundant. Presa is the wagyu of the porcine world, I loved it so much, I forgot all about the potato mash that came with it.   

Even though some of the dishes were below average (bread with tomato), I would go back to Quemo for their presa and to try their dessert =)

Quemo

Address:  5/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tel:  +852 2836 0699

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Cooking

Wollamssam – K-Style Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll

Ignoring a few hiccups, my eyeballing and guestimation errors (more at the end of the post), my apartment is finally feeling a little more livable, while it’s far from what I have envisioned, I’m finally starting to settle in.

Prior to all the hiccups I’d volunteered to host our mission trip debrief at my new pad, oh boy!!! I’m so thankful that the team had come up with the brilliant idea of having wollamssam for the debrief which really involves not much on site cooking at all =)

Wollamssam is the Korean version of Vietnamese rice paper roll, while the Vietnamese rice paper roll is usually simpler and lighter, wollamsam is typically more hearty where you can add anything to the roll.

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Wollamsam sauce

  • Fish Sauce
  • Fresh lemon Juice
  • Garlic
  • Pineapple Juice (from can)
  • Blend small apple wedge
  • Fresh viet/thai chillis (these are HOT so chop up and add to sauce bowls).
  • Chop up coriander stalks and add to sauce at the end (optional for those who can’t stand coriander)

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Wollamsam ingredients

  • Avocado (please pick ripe ones)
  • Meat (preferably bulgogi)
  • Mint
  • Coriander (Cilantro)
  • Pineapple (From can)
  • Egg strips (break eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and fry one thin layer at a time on a frying pan. Remove and slice into finger-length strips.)
  • Crab stick (tear into strips)
  • Tomato
  • Apple
  • Mushroom
  • Cucumber
  • Spanish onion

Other optional ingredients

  • Capsicum (Peppers)
  • Lettuce
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Fish Cake
  • Rice noodles
  • Alfalfa sprouts

And the soul of the dish- rice paper

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Slice all the vegetables thinly into finger lengths, wash the herbs. Place ingredients onto big plates, separating meat from vegetables and put bowls of sauce along to table for sharing.

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Get a shallow, yet wide bowl/ plate and fill it with cold drinking water for dipping rice paper.

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Steps to insanely delicious wollamsam

  1. Dip dry rice paper sheet into water for a second, just enough where water covered every surface

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2. While the paper is still hard, place the now damp rice paper sheet onto the strainer plate. The strainer plate is key, it is a plastic plate with holes in it which allows excess water to be drained from the rice paper.

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3. Put leaves/ herbs in the middle of the rice paper and start stacking up your desired ingredients

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4. Add sauce and roll it up like a kebab

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Tada!! There you’ll get your customized wollamssam =)

Back to the eyeballing and guestimation errors I mentioned earlier…

I’ve intended to get a bench for my dining table

dining bench

I’m not quite sure what I was thinking or whether I was even thinking when I bought the bench but when it arrived at my house I realized it was much wider than my dining table (-_-“)

Frd: did u not measure it before u bought it?

V: I eyeballed it (with much confidence)

Frd: (-_-“) you with the amazing sense of space who still walk into walls coz u think u can fit thru the gap?!

V: yes

Frd:…

AND I realized now that the table and the bench are side by side that the color is completely different. AMAZING!

And just as u think I do not have a measuring tape at home, I do. In fact, I measured this space where the wardrobe was supposed to fit but because I’m vertically challenged, I guesstimated the last few inches and the wardrobe ended up being just half an inch too tall to fit into that space… another epic fail.. I should write a blog about what NOT to do.. me thinks

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Hong Kong Restaurant

Chachawan

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I finally made it to Chachawan on its official opening night! I’ve just been so swamped with my recent move (I’m still sleeping on the sofa as I blog coz my lovely new bed hasn’t arrived ='() that I din get to check out this new Thai Isaan- style restaurant.  

Last night I decided to take a break from this whole moving apartment madness and 1, checked out this pretty cool show at Perrotin featuring works by three Chinese Artists.

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2. Checked out Chachawan

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3. Volar’s official opening. I’m happy to report that I did all of the above in one night! And got myself home by 12mid night (such sad life :p lol, I’m indeed getting old)

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Anyways, focus focus focus!! Eager patrons been lining up outside this new hot spot even during its soft opening, undeterred by the no reservation policy. Chachawan is collaboration between Chef Adam Cliff, protege of David Thompson, and Yenn Wong, who’s behind 208 Duecento Otto (my go- to place when I crave some good pizza), 22ships (still on my top restaurant list for their AMAZING mini burgers and desserts) and Duddell’s (I like the vibe and decor when I was there for drinks but have yet to try their food).. back to my point, how can I miss this new project??

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To avoid lining up, I put my name down on my way to the gallery and by the time they called us, we were done with the gallery =) The decor was very old school Hong Kong-ish, it reminded me of the good old Cantonese black and white films粵語殘 back in the 60s? 70s? (kinda like G.O.D stuff) but with a hip spin with murals on the wall.

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The menu features dishes from Isan, a Northeastern region in Thailand, where grilled meats and som dtum salads are staples.  We ordered a salad, a meat and a seafood dish as per recommendation; you can choose the level of spiciness when ordering your salad. We totally over estimated our tolerance for heat and got a medium spicy.

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Even though the salad – Som Dtum Grop Pounded green papaya salad, cherry tomatoes, chili and crispy pork with a sweet and sour tamarind dressing- was very flavorful with a delicate balance of salty, sour and crunchy from the roasted peanuts, the chopped chili, lime, succulent crispy pork and the sweet and sour tamarind dressing, my tongue and lips were burning and couldn’t taste much of it after the initial bits.

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The Goong Golae Whole tiger prawn smothered in dry red coconut curry, grilled over fire with fresh lime was a little disappointing. While it looked all plump and juicy on the outside, it was a little overcooked, leaving it bit too tough and chewy.  

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The highlight was the Gai Yung Chicken thigh marinated for 24 hours in garlic, pepper, coriander grilled till crispy, served with jhim jaew (chili dipping sauce). The grilled chicken was very tender and moist and the complexity of flavors was elevated by the delicious sweet, salty, spicy and tangy chili dipping sauce (aka Jhim Jaew). I’m not a big fan of chicken but this dish definitely exceeded my expectation!

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The mango sticky rice hit my sweet spot too, the mango wasn’t overly sweet and gave a good tanginess to the sweet coconut sauce on the sticky rice.

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As we were getting our bill, we gasped as we saw the glorious looking Salt Crusted Seabass being served to the table behind us. Apparently celebrity chef Tetsuya went to the award wining Kha (a Thai restaurant in Singapore also ran by Adam Cliff) three days in a row to enjoy this dish. Note to self: definitely getting that dish on my next visit!  

Address: G/F, 206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Phone: +852 2549 0020

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Brunch spot, Hong Kong Restaurant, Travel

28 days

😦 So sorry for being MIA! I haven’t posted anything in almost a month.. 28 days to be exact!! It’s just been such a crazy month with traveling, preparation for mission trip/ voluntary work, the actual mission trip and not to mention, I’m just about to move after having viewed a gazillion apartments (Thank God I’ve got the best deal EVER!!!!) I promise I’ll be more consistent once I’ve moved and am settled into the new apartment!!

Before the actual post of each event, here’s some of the highlights of the past 28 days

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I used to LOVE going to taipei for the weekend but I hadn’t gone in a long long time, this trip really made me realize how much I miss Taipei!!

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Girly dinner at Quemo, I know I know, it’s almost been 2 weeks now! the review will be up very soon!! =)

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Piggy and I in Phnom Penh

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Cupcake overload at Bloom Cafe .. droolz…

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My beautiful niece was in HK for a couple of days, she’s grown so much and is such a jolly kid!!!! 😉

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Jenn’s birthday brunch at Catalunya, Happy birthday babe!!!! =)

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