Thursday, June 30, 2011


Had a delicious breakfast of hot buttermilk biscuits from Popeyes on my last trip to the HK airport. I've actually never tried biscuits before so I don't have much to judge by, but I can say that these were far yummier than cornbread! Crunchy on the outside, sooo soft and fluffy on the inside. There was a light hint of butter so it was perfect without the addition of toppings :)

mmm..biscuits... :D

Popeyes can do no wrong! I love their fried chicken - much more so than KFC - and their popcorn shrimp. If only there were outlets throughout Hong Kong. We need more southern cooking!! I remember watching the Princess and the Frog and wanting to eat gumbo and beignets and jambalaya! Was tempted to buy Tiana's Cookbook but I can't bring myself to buy a book for 3-7 year olds :( I'm already doing that for Chinese!!

Level 7, Departures Check-in Hall
Terminal 1, HKIA

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Al Molo

For my sister's pre-birthday celebrations, we headed to Al Molo. It's a newly opened modern Italian restaurant by chef Michael White (of Marea fame) and his first venture outside of the States. The executive chef in the kitchen is Jimmy Everett, his protege from Marea. The restaurant is located in Harbour City, taking the place of Cafe Habitu. The view can be pretty amazing on a clear night, and once it gets cooler it'll be nice to sit al fresco by the waterfront (though the Victoria Harbour isn't exactly the cleanest...)

Unfortunately, my iPhone doesn't do the view justice. Same with the food photos - iPhones just don't hold up in low lighting...


Some foccacia to start off with. Quite good when doused in olive oil & balsamic, though by itself it was a bit meh. Tasted slightly stale to be honest.

fior di zucca - squash flower fritters ($118)

My sister had heard rave reviews about this dish but it in my opinion, it was far too salty. I didn't taste any buffalo mozzarella which it was apparently served with, and instead it appeared to be stuffed with anchovies which were overpowering. Luckily, the tomato puree was fresh and helped cut out all the saltiness.

polipo - grilled octopus ($158)

This dish was one of their signature dishes but I had mixed feelings about it. While the octopus was delicious and it was beautifully presented, I really didn't like the fregola sarda underneath. Apparently it's a type of pasta from Sardinia and consists of semolina dough, rolled into small balls. It is similar to couscous but tasted...lumpier? I've never heard of the stuff before and doubt I'll ever try it again - though a quick google search shows that it's fast becoming a new favourite in Italian restaurants.

Luckily, the fregola is the only pasta that isn't prepared in the restaurant, so I was still really excited to try the homemade pasta that Michael White is so famous for.

agnolotti - meat ravioli ($178)

While this was not one of the signature dishes, the minute I saw ravioli I was hooked. Our server told me that the meat was mainly beef with a bit of pork, though you could barely taste it. The dish was perfect and definitely lived up to the hype. It was served with a delicious red wine sauce and sage - super simple and rustic. One of the best ravioli's I've eaten in Hong Kong. I do want to go back and try their macaroni with cured pancetta and carbonara sauce! Mmmm.

osso buco ($258)

The osso buco was highly recommended in a couple of the reviews I've read. I tried a few bites and wasn't particularly impressed. Sure, I'm not a fan of veal, but I thought it could do with longer braising to make it more tender. I also didn't like the saffron risotto... I know they're totally different dishes from totally different countries but I really felt like eating a nicely braised coq au vin afterwards!

Next was dessert time which was pretty exciting, though the photos don't do the dishes justice! All the desserts are $88.

panna cotta

A good panna cotta is one of my favourite desserts and this one was very well done. It might not look the most attractive but the vanilla custard was super soft and creamy, and I loved the rhubarb compote though the strawberry sorbet took the dessert to another level! Yum!


Another love of mine is tiramisu. It's the ultimate in romantic desserts with its divine richness and silky smooth texture. The tiramisu at Al Molo was pretty good. It had a nice espresso kick and very lush, smooth mascarpone mousse! Mmmm.

yvonne and her "birthday cake" :)


This gianduja chocolate tart isn't something I would normally order as I tend to stay away from rich, chocolate desserts. However, this was really good in small doses, and I particularly loved the hazelnut crunch gelato! Mmm, it was like a ferrero rocher but better! I would order a scoop of this any day~

I found the food a bit hit and miss, and there are still a few kinks that have to be worked out. The food came out almost instantaneously and we were served our main courses even before the appetisers were finished. Luckily our server was delightful, a woman from Argentina (with an Italian mother) who was quick to recommend a whole host of dishes. I'll be back for more pasta and dessert, but not much else.

Al Molo
G63, Ocean Terminal
Harbour City
Tsim Sha Tsui


I used to love Finds when it was still at LKF Tower, not just for their creative drinks (I can't find better earl grey martinis) but also for their outstanding food. It has taken me 6 months to venture to their new location in The Luxe Manor on the Kowloon side, but it was definitely worth the wait.

I went for a Saturday lunch and when I arrived shortly before 1pm, the place was pretty much empty save two tables. The interior is much nicer than the old FINDS - less gaudy and much more minimalist, with wooden chairs and a general earthy colour palette. We were seated by the window which, while not having much in terms of scenery, was fun to people watch. There is an inordinate number of women in TST who seem to enjoy shopping in leopard-print mini dresses and five inch heels. Or maybe it's just the walk of shame.

The lunch menu is really good value. Three courses (plus coffee/tea) sets you back $128, and you can add $38 for a glass of wine. I love that the menu changes weekly, and you can go onto the FINDS website to "find" out (haha...-_-") what they have on offer. I've been checking periodically for the past few weeks and was hooked when I saw that this week they were doing homemade pork & beef burgers and bread pudding! Yum!

We started off with their complimentary bread which was delicious with their garlic butter spread (and dipped in my soup):

Appetizers -

roasted cajun chicken breast with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, rocket

The chicken was nicely cooked and I loved the mushrooms. Rocket was also super fresh, and not too bitter. Unfortunately, the description said it came with fingerling potatoes but we couldn't find any :(

roasted garlic and potato soup w/ crispy fingerling potato chips and roasted garlic cream

This was absolutely delicious!!! It was so light and frothy, but with really intense flavour. The crispy potato chips were a great addition too. I only wished the the bowl was bigger - especially in comparison to the size of the plate! It only held about 10 spoonfuls of soup

Big plates, small food make me sad :( Though it was beautifully presented, and if I had to choose it would always be quality over quantity!

pan-fried seabass w/ cauliflower puree, sauteed vegetables and fennel dill sauce

The seabass was cooked really well, with a great crispy skin (my favourite part!) The sauteed vegetables were a pass, but it was plated nicely.

homemade pork and beef burger w/ mashed yukon gold potatoes, browned onions, truffle-poached egg and red wine sauce

When this first came out, I was slightly disappointed as I was expecting (and craving) a proper burger. The waiter noted our disappointment and kindly offered to replenish the bread basket so we could make our own burger haha. We declined and I'm glad we did because this "burger" was outstanding. The mashed potatoes may have been the best part of the dish and really brought everything together. Caramelised onions can never go wrong, and the burger was super juicy and meaty! The poached egg was a bit of a disaster though, I was so looking forward to runny egg yolk spewing all over my burger but unfortunately, it was overcooked :( Shows how much I loved the burger that I'm prepared to overlook badly poached eggs!

homemade bread pudding w/ vanilla sauce and whipped cream

I know I've been starting each sentence with "this was delicious" but this really was delicious. The bread pudding was far better than the one I had recently at the W (though that was a buffet so it's probably an unfair comparison), but seriously - this was good. The outstanding part was the whipped cream. Tasted so light but so decadent.

Another burger shot. Just because.

I would definitely recommend coming here, especially for their lunch deals (I had a buy one get one free coupon (yay) but would still be more than happy to pay the normal price), and I was happy to see the place fill up a bit by the time we were leaving.

1/F, The Luxe Manor
39 Kimberley Road
Tsim Sha Tsui

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Curry Puffs

It always baffles me that no one in Hong Kong has opened up a curry puff stand yet. It seems like something Hong Kong'ers would love, fitting right in with the likes of stinky tofu, curry fish balls, and random fried food on sticks. Whenever I go back to Singapore I get my fix at Old Chang Kee's - sure it's a commercial snack chain where everything is mass produced, but it's so convenient and honestly, I'm no curry puff connoisseur and am always pretty satisfied with their version!

still delicious a day old :)

curry 'o - traditional curry puff

The fillings are basically chicken, potatoes, egg slices, and curry powder. You can also get variations including sardines, chicken & mushroom, and even sweet puffs with durian mmm! However, what I enjoy most is the skin of this curry puff. It's quite thick and substantial, and much easier to eat than the flakier, crispy-skin versions that break upon each bite.

Next time anyone's in Singapore, do bring me back a box please! Though I'm nursing a sore throat after over-indulging in them :(

Old Chang Kee's
Various locations across Singapore

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kitchen, W Hotel

I'm not a huge fan of buffets but in the past few months I've gone to Kitchen twice - once for their Sunday brunch and this evening for dinner. I love the ambiance of the restaurant with the floor-to-ceiling windows and ample space between the tables. Also appreciate the fact that there's good noise control here - I hate it when a restaurant has poor acoustics (the Press Room and Oolaa are definite culprits). Finally, the service is pretty top-notch. Servers were always quick to clear plates, pour water, fold napkins, and take the numerous photos required before I look semi-decent. Plus, they did all that with a smile :)


The brunch costs $628 per person with free-flowing Perrier Jouet (my fave!) and loads of deliciously fresh juices. If you have My W card you get an extra 15% off. We ended up staying from noon to 5, without anyone attempting to kick us out. Super chill way to spend a Sunday! Didn't capture too many pictures because my plates were all really ugly - I'm absolutely hopeless at plating food - but here are a few that didn't turn out too bad:

Couldn't resist the donut (which was yum) but tried to offset it with some greens...hence the very bizarre combination of food.

bircher muesli

Always my favourite breakfast item. If only more restaurants served this, my brunches would be far healthier! I recently picked up a ready-made pack from CitySuper - just add milk and leave in the fridge overnight. Can't wait to try it!

eggs bene and oysters

The oysters were absolutely delicious, super fresh, and shucked on the spot. I felt so sorry for the guy doing the shucking, must be so tiring considering how many oysters people go through! Eggs bene though was a waste of calories.

Blurry picture because I had to take it surreptitiously after being told I wasn't allowed to take photos... But I loved the carnival-esque feel to the buffet! They also had a candy floss machine and gigantic lollipops 3x bigger than my head :)

dessert and delicious homemade truffles

green tea creme brulee & mixed berries yoghurt

My favourite dessert of the day was their creme brulee which tasted really light and went down easily after all the eating.

dinner buffet ($488 per person)

It was dad's birthday yesterday and we initially wanted to check out the Ritz but after numerous bad reviews from friends, decided on the W instead.

dad is super spiffy...

I told myself I could only eat the expensive stuff, meaning no carbs. However, I caved on my last plate and had to help myself to a bit of bread! Too bad it had been sitting out all night and was already stale by the time I got to it...

japanese selection

cold udon and soba noodles

buffet spread


utensils for happy eating and bliss wet wipes - though personally I'm just as happy licking my fingers!

sushi & sashimi, mozzarella & sundried tomatoes, oysters, and Japanese spiced cured salmon

The oysters were great as always (dad had 14 hehe) and I really enjoyed the spiced cured salmon which had a nice kick to it. Sushi is a pass - the rice was far too dense and tasted a bit off. Sundried tomatoes weren't as good as I expected either.

little pot of couscous - so cute but so tasteless.

oysters, little lobster, mozzarella, olives and salmon

garlic prawns

I loved that they brought these out to each table and made sure there were enough so each person would get one. It's always the little things that make me happy - though it didn't hurt that these tasted fantastic.

lobster, snowcrab leg, more sashimi, proscuitto, chicken and potatoes

Okay, moving into seafood overdose here. I'm not a big fan of shellfish so won't pass judgement on the crab, though my family loved it. The proscuitto was yummy, but the chicken was super dry (as I often find in buffets) and the roasted potatoes far too salty.

duck, cold soba, bread and roast potatoes

The duck fared a lot better than the chicken and was really good when dipped in the plum sauce. Cold soba was great with the sesame sauce. Bread and potatoes were awful but I really needed something starchy by this point :P

dessert spread didn't look as good as for brunch

cheeses all gone by the time i got there

The table next to us were celebrating a birthday too and the restaurant brought out a big chocolate cake for the birthday boy. Realising that we hadn't arranged anything for dad, we quickly flagged down the maitre d and asked him if we could get a cake too. He was super accommodating and told us he would take a selection from the buffet table and plate it with a Happy Birthday sign. What he ended up bringing out was far better:

A whole cheesecake topped with super juicy blackberries!! I never get the chance to eat blackberries much so whenever they feature in a dessert, I'm quick to order it. Though they always remind me of Seamus Heaney's "Blackberry Picking" and the endless list of sexual connotations the poem evoked... I suppose along that vein, these blackberries were pretty orgasmic :) The cake itself was actually pretty good too, very light with a nice base.

happy birthday daddy :)

Even after eating a quarter of the cake, I still couldn't resist hunting down other desserts.

chocolate mousse with praline bits

This one was creamy and delicious. One of my favourite desserts of the night.

green tea angel cake

My favourite dessert was the green tea angel cake which really did melt in your mouth. The other three desserts on this plate were bad.

Ended the night with coffee and tea, the milk cup was so cute and carried nicely warmed milk.


(Btw I'm loving this new iPhone app my friend told me about - it's called photosynth and it's real easy to create panoramas like above :)

Silly family photo while walking home haha. Trying to channel a pop band. Maybe.

Both experiences were really enjoyable, though definitely no more buffets during beach season! The food is above average for a buffet, but I guess so are the prices. Doubt I'll be coming back but I would definitely recommend trying it once if you love seafood and can eat a lot.

Kitchen, the W Hotel
No. 1 Austin Road West