Pages

The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 24 November 2017

Birthday lunch @ Nobu [Intercontinental], Hong Kong

I had my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Hubby had just returned from two weeks of work in London, but he wanted to organise something special for my birthday though it was short notice. I requested Japanese, and he mentioned Nobu. My first reaction was: "There's a Nobu in Hong Kong?" How could I have not known? Having babies have certainly taken up much of my resources, and it's evident I've had to let many things slide. I've always wanted to try Nobu, and I'm glad that Nobu came up as one of hubby's suggestions. Nobu is a good option for a classy lunch: there's panoramic harbour views paired with stylish interior, and service is a good balance of warm friendliness and professional efficiency. Our waiter was more than happy to recommend drinks based on our preferences, and to help us with menu selection because sometimes it can be hard to choose due to having so many options! I was lucky to try the new Hokkaido Premium Set Lunch (HK$668) that was launched on that very day, and hubby enjoyed the Signature Tasting Lunch (HK$888). The food was delicious and gorgeously presented, and I honestly liked them all! There were quite a few other enticing menu items, and I would love to try out the bento options one day.

The restaurant interior is long and narrow, which allows for more tables with a view:

A cocktail with yuzu (an excellent choice for those who like fruity cocktails) and the mocktail that came with the Hokkaido Premium Set Lunch, which also had citrus notes of the yuzu fruit:

The appetiser on Signature Tasting Lunch was salmon tartare with caviar:

The first course of the Hokkaido Premium Set Lunch was zuwai gani (snow crab) with miso butter:

Second course on the Signature Lunch was yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno:

Second dish on the Hokkaido Lunch was seared tuna with cheese and jalapeno, and hotate (scallop) with yuzu dressing :

Third course of Signature Lunch - rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy sauce:

Third dish of Hokkaido Lunch - hokkigai and oyster tempura with ponzu dashi:

Fourth course of Signature Lunch - black cod saikyo yaki. Hubby loves black cod at any Japanese restaurant, and this was excellent - so juicy and flavourful:

Hubby's second cocktail, named Sea Foam which was delicious, made with ume shu (sweet plum wine):

The meat course was grilled US prime beef for the Signature Lunch. This was not as good as the meat dish for the Hokkaido set, but it stands well on its own without comparison:

Meat for the Hokkaido Lunch was braised wagyu short rib. This melted on the tongue:

Sushi for hubby:

My sushi set:

Dessert for the Hokkaido course was titled Snowy Comfort and it featured all things associated with Hokkaido - cheese, corn and lavender. There was also a birthday wish on the dessert, which actually surprised me, even though i should have expected it:

Hubby's dessert was soy panna cotta which I forgot to take a photo of in the fuss of my dessert coming out with a candle and everything. It was also delicious and possibly a boozy dessert. This was a really pleasant first Nobu experience, and I do hope to get the opportunity to try out the other Nobu restaurants in other countries.

NOBU [InterContinental Hong Kong]
2nd Floor,
InterContinental Hong Kong
18 Salisbury Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2313 2323

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Cocktails @ The St. Regis Bar [The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central], Macau

Last month we flew my mum over to Hong Kong for a week, for a well-deserved break from caring for my dad full-time. We spent a weekend in Macau, because it had been her unfulfilled wish since she first visited us in HK about five years ago. We brought our capable nanny along to help with the kids, and each night after we put the kids the bed - a long process with three kids that involved older sibling(s) waiting for the younger sibling(s) to fall asleep before they could enter their room for their bedtime(s) - hubby and I would drop my mum off at a casino for a couple of hours while we enjoyed some drinks at a nearby bar. We were based in Cotai Central, and the first thing that I was surprised at was the lack of bars in the vicinity. On the first night, we went in search for The St. Regis Bar because I'd seen an advertisement card on the hotel room table, and it turned out to be a lovely experience. It was nicer than the only bar at The Venetian we went to on the following night. We liked the selection of cocktails available at The St. Regis Bar, and the atmosphere was more cozy and intimate than at Spirito Lounge in The Venetian. The drinks were delicious and beautifully presented, and the prices are far lower than in Hong Kong. Service was super-friendly too!

This was brought to our table shortly after we ordered, and it was unstacked to reveal more snacks:

How cool is that container!

St. Regis New York claims to have invented the Bloody Mary in 1934, and each St. Regis has its own version of the Bloody Mary. All versions are available here, and I ordered Macau's version, Maria do Leste (Mary of the East) which has tomato juice spiced with cinnamon, black vinegar, pink peppercorns and black pepper. Mini bottles of Grey Goose vodka, tabasco sauce, lemon and additional spices were served on the side to add your own touches. I loved it!

The Mario do Leste Bloody Mary also came with a chorizo and a savoury egg tart for a Macanese flair:

Hubby's first drink was the Ammolite - Scotch whisky , ginger liqueur, lemon juice, and homemade oolong syrup. Whipped cream and oolong tea leaves were served on the side:

Second drink was Citrine - gold rum infused with mints, fresh pineapple, pineapple juice. Such a bright and refreshing drink, and so easy to drink:

The St. Regis Bar is worth a visit if you're in the area in search for some evening drinks, especially for Bloody Mary fans.

The St. Regis Bar [The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central]
Level 1
The St. Regis Macao
Estrada Do Istmo. S/N, Cotai
Macau
Tel.: +853 8113 3700

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Sunday Brunch @ Clipper Lounge, Hong Kong

A couple of years ago, I read the book China Rich Girlfriend (sequel to Crazy Rich Asians) by Kevin Kwan, and one of the characters was first introduced waiting in the Clipper Lounge of the Mandarin for her clients for afternoon tea. This particular character was portrayed as a "special consultant for social climbers", and this is how she describes the Mandarin Oriental Hotel to her "new money clients who are looking to integrate into the billionaire class": "The Peninsula gets too many tourists, and the Four Seasons is where all the new people go. The Mandarin is where proper Hong Kong families have been coming to tea for generations... You must also leave out the 'Oriental'– we locals simply call it 'the Mandarin'." Well, I didn't know that! Of course, I knew that the Mandarin is one of the top five star hotels in Hong Kong, having had the opportunity to stay there for five days in 2010 a few months prior to our move to HK. The standard of quality of everything during our short stay - from the service (our family was personally escorted to our room by one of the staff!) to the decor - was exceptional. And we were fortunate enough to enjoy these at hubby's company's expense, because the Mandarin is not exactly the cheapest option.

Our table peered down into the hotel's lobby. Look at the massive crystal chandeliers:

The book was my first introduction to the Clipper Lounge, and I was happy when we were invited by hubby's relatives out to brunch at The Clipper Lounge. We catch up with hubby's aunt and her husband every few months, and we're always guaranteed a good feed whenever we meet up. Buffet is always a good choice with picky kids, and the Sunday Brunch at the Clipper Lounge offered a decent variety of good quality dishes. There were abundant seafood, sushi and sashimi, a roast carvery area, and cute little bamboo steamers filled single servings of various dim sum. The dessert spread of pastries, cakes, macarons, creams, puddings etc was beautifully presented in the center of the buffet area. We were asked if we wanted oysters, to which we said yes please, and a dozen fresh oysters were brought to our table!

Understated elegance:

Lobsters!

Various sushi:

Mini bamboo steamers holding single servings of various dim sum:

Hubby's first helping:

His second plate was a bit less full than his first:

A dozen delicious fresh raw oysters:

Pastries:

Various cup desserts:

Various cakes (and glass bottles of fresh milk - great for my baby!):

Hubby's choice of desserts:

I hear the afternoon tea at Clipper Lounge is excellent, and I hope to try it one day!

Clipper Lounge
5 Connaught Road Central
Central, Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2825 4007

Monday, 16 October 2017

Easy brunch @ Le Pain Quotidien [Elements], Hong Kong

There's a new breakfast place that opened up in the mall downstairs from us, and we were pretty keen to try it out. Hubby and I are already familiar with the Le Pain Quotidien brand from our time in Japan and our trips to the United States, and it was interesting to observe how the brand altered its image to fit in the different cultures in the two countries. Now we have the opportunity to see it in a high end Hong Kong mall. We visited Le Pain Q twice soon after its opening, and we found the prices were affordable and the quality was good, presenting good value in such an expensive location. Service was friendly and efficient, and the food was delicious on both occasions. The menu had a wide variety, so there is something for everyone and every mood. The baguettes are really yum! The atmosphere is family-friendly, and we will one day soon have a family brunch with the kids at Le Pain Q.

Everything so bright, shiny and new:

Check out the size of our cappuccinos! Bigger than a soup bowl:

Frittata of the day (HK$115). Can't remember the specific ingredients, but it was delicious:

Spanish Omelette (HK$120) with chorizo, tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, onions and Spanish sauce:

Scrambled Eggs (HK$78), made with three eggs and done very nicely (soft, the way I like it):

Organic French Toast (HK$88) with maple syrup and crushed pistachios. I really liked this baguette version of the French Toast:

The Chocolate Bombe (HK$45) was so good, a must for chocolate lovers. The serving size is huge, even for hubby who has a big sweet tooth, but that's not a bad thing:

Le Pain Quotidien is an excellent option in Elements for breakfast/brunch/coffee!

[The prices quoted above do not include the 10% service charge.]

Le Pain Quotidien [Elements]
shop 1089C, 1st Floor
Elements Mall
1 Austin Road West
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2521 1377

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Brunch @ Gusto Food, Perth

When we were in Perth a few months ago, I escaped from the kids for a couple of hours and caught up with a dear friend over brunch at Gusto Food in South Perth. She'd warned me that the space was tiny, and she wasn't kidding. But the coffee and the food! So scrumptious with generous portion sizes. Plus, the service was friendly and efficient. I would love to come back to Gusto Food to try out other dishes!

Delicious cappuccino:

Potato Hot Cake, with poached eggs, oak smoked salmon, avocado salsa and hollandaise. This was really delicious, and I particularly enjoyed the avocado salsa:

House-made Crumpets with pear and berries, peanut gravel and yogurt. Very filling! The peanut, jam and yogurt made great accompaniments to the crumpets:

Gusto Food
86 Angelo St
South Perth WA 6151
Australia
+61 8 9367 3512

Gusto Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato