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

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

HK-style lunch @ Tsui Wah [The Peak Galleria], Hong Kong

A good friend visited Hong Kong with her baby a couple of months ago, and I brought her to The Peak, one of the main tourist sites in HK. We decided to lunch at Tsui Wah at the Peak Galleria, to give her an idea of what many of the locals like to eat. I'm surprised I haven't eaten at Tsui Wah more often, given how prolific it is in the city - or perhaps that is exactly why - it is too easily available, like McDonald's everywhere, and the food is quite average. The last time I ate at Tsui Wah was also with a visiting friend. The food here is cheap and tasty, so there's not much to complain about. Tsui Wah is very likely the cheapest eats at The Peak, hence also very popular, so expect to wait a while for a table during peak dining periods.

No shortage of patrons here:

Hong Kong Milk Tea:

The Condensed Milk Bun is probably the most popular and most ordered item at Tsui Wah:

Fish Balls and Fish Cakes with Flat Rice Noodles in Fish Soup, also one of the Top 10 dishes at Tsui Wah:

Wonton Noodle Soup:

Iced Okra:

This meal came to under HK$200 including the 10% service charge.

Tsui Wah [The Peak Galleria]
Shop 1A
Ground Floor, The Peak Galleria
118 Peak Road
The Peak, Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2849 2345

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Superb lunch @ Din Tai Fung [Taipei 101], Taipei

When I was planning our Taipei trip, visiting Din Tai Fung in its native city should have been on my list of places to eat. But I'd mistakenly assumed Din Tai Fung was born in Shanghai, very likely because xiao long bao is usually associated with Shanghainese cuisine, not Taiwanese. Anyway, now I know better! When my friend and I (with our babies) visited the iconic Taipei 101, we planned to lunch in one of the restaurants in the higher floors of the skyscraper. However, we were put off by the limited and expensive choice of menu, and the indefinite waiting time (any period of waiting with cranky hungry babies is torture, especially in a small lobby with no shops to pass the time). So we decided to check out how bad the queue was at Din Tai Fung in the basement of 101. The waiting area outside the restaurant was pretty crowded, but we were told our group would only need to wait 10 minutes, which was manageable. We did some food tasting at the nearby shops to pass the time. Upon entry, I was surprised at how vast the dining room actually was! The waiting area only showed a small portion of the interior. Baby girl and I loved watching the dumpling-making action through the windows into the steamy kitchen. Those guys were working very hard, and there were many of them! Service was pleasant and efficient, and the food was delicious! There's good reason why Din Tai Fung is a very successful franchise worldwide!

Huge dining room:

Xiao long bao, and lots of them!:

Guotie (potstickers, aka gyoza in Japan):

Zongzi (rice dumplings):

And of course, we had to order xiao long bao! We ordered the normal one, and the fancy truffle type. Both were delicious:

Din Tai Fung [Taipei 101]
45 Shifu Rd
Xinyi District
Taipei, Taiwan
+886 2 8101 7799

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Tasty Thai @ Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine [Harbour City], Hong Kong

We were in Harbour City with the kids one Sunday - I think we went to Toys R Us - and we needed lunch. We had a look at the restaurants list, and liked the sound of Thai for lunch at Sweet Basil Thai Cuisinse. We had no expectations, and were pleasantly surprised at the experience. The restaurant was spacious and comfortable with a pleasing interior, and staff were mostly friendly and polite. The food was good quality and tasty. Definitely worth a try if you're in Harbour City and in the mood for Thai food!

Roomy and lovely:

My benchmark dish I always order when trying out a Thai restaurant for the first time - Green Papaya Salad (HK$98). This one was a delicious balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy!

Shrimp Stick Noodles (HK$128) with soy sauce, for the kids, who loved it:

Bean Curd and Mushrooms (HK$90) - a delicious vegetarian dish:

Yellow Curry with Duck (HK$120) - flavourful curry with juicy duck:

Pineapple Fried Rice (HK$158) - a safe choice:

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

Sweet Basil Thai Cuisinse
Shop OT260-OT263
2/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City
17 Canton Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2730 1963

Friday, 28 April 2017

Cambodian @ Bopha Devi [Docklands], Melbourne

When we travel as a family, I always try to fit something in the daily itinerary that is for the kids. Travelling is tough on kids - sleeping on strange beds in an unfamiliar surrounding, being dragged every single day out to everywhere your parents wish to go, made to eat unusual food and exotic cuisines. So I try to give them something to look forward to - a trip to the park, to a playground, or playing with cousins (if visiting family in Australia). When we were in downtown Melbourne a few months ago, we made an impromptu trip to the Ron Barassi Snr Park for the playground. It was soon lunch time, and after a quick google search for nearby restaurants, we headed for Bopha Devi Restaurant in the Docklands area. It stood out in my search purely because it offered Cambodian cuisine, and I don't recall ever trying Cambodian food before. The staff was welcoming to our boisterous party of three kids, and the dining room was spacious and comfortable. The menu was quite extensive, and hubby ordered for all while I was busy putting #3 to sleep. The food were delicious, and the kitchen was careful with our allergy requests. I appreciated the chef came out personally to double-check our son's allergies.

A cool and chic interior:

Fried spring rolls:

Rice paper roll with prawns:

Beef Skewers in Lemongrass - popular with the boy:

Saramann - coconut cream, onion, broccoli, lime leaves, lemongrass, turmeric, nuts with rice. This came with a choice of chicken, beef, tofu or prawns, and you can see what hubby chose:

Cambodian food has much similarities to other South-East Asian cuisines. Bopha Devi has good quality food with friendly service in a comfortable setting - definitely worth a try if you're in the area.

Bopha Devi
27 Rakaia Way,
Docklands, VIC 3008
Tel. +61 3 9600 1887

Bopha Devi Cambodian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato